Q. How Many Baptisms Are There?
A. There are actually four Baptisms that must be considered. The word ‘baptism’ originates from the Greek word ‘Baptizo’ which, according to Thayer, means ‘to dip, to immerse, to submerge, to overwhelm.’ Strong’s adds ‘to make fully wet’.
The first is Baptism into the Body of Christ and is the ‘one baptism’ mentioned in Eph 4:5, and expounded upon in Rom 6.This most important Baptism brings about salvation.
Rom 6:4-5 Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection:
If you are a believer and have been born again, Jn 1:13,you have been baptised, immersed, into the Lord Jesus.
- Candidate Repentant sinner
- Element Body of Christ
- Baptiser Holy Spirit
The second is Baptism in Water. Water is an element of death to humans.
Act 2:37-38: Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do? Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized.
To be baptized in water means to be immersed into an element of death, signifying that you are already dead in Christ and buried into His death. As you emerge from the water it signifies that you are risen from this place of death into newness of life. Thus water baptism is a declaration of your salvation; the act does not save you.
Infant Baptism is not in the scriptures. Mk 16:16 – He that believeth and is baptised shall be saved. One must be mature to make a decision to believe. Act 16:31 -Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved
The Lord Jesus was about thirty years old when he was baptised – Lk 3:23.
- Candidate Obedient saint
- Element Water
- Baptiser Another Believer
The third is Baptism in the Holy Spirit.The Lord Jesus, prior to His ascension, said For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence … But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me, Act 1:5,8. The purpose for this baptism is that we might be immersed in the power of the Holy Spirit to be witnesses about Jesus. This baptism is a separate experience from receiving Jesus as Saviour. Paul asks the Ephesian believers, Acts 19:2, Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed? They replied, We have not so much as heard whether there be any Holy Ghost.
Note Paul’s letter to the same Ephesian believers – Eph 1:13-14, In whom ye also trusted, that after ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that Holy Spirit of promise, Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.
First, hear the word of truth, then believe the Gospel, receiving the Lord Jesus as Saviour, then sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise Who is the earnest, or foretaste of our incorruptible inheritance.
Jn 15:26 – But when the Comforter is come, Whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, He shall testify of me:
Jn 16:13,14 – Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come. He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you.
- Candidate Thirsty Believer Jn 7:37-39
- Element Holy Spirit
- Baptiser The Lord JesusChrist
Matt3:11 He that cometh after me is mightier than I, He shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire:
The fourth is Baptism into the Sufferings of Christ. This Baptism teaches the believer obedience. Heb 5:8 Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered.
Heb12:6 Whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth.
The believer is perfected.
Heb 2:10 For it became him, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings.
The believer receives comfort in tribulation and so comforts others in their troubles
2 Cor 1:3-5 Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort; Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God. For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also aboundeth by Christ.
Note: Sufferings of Christ, NOT sufferings.
1 Pet 2:19-21 For this is thankworthy, if a man for conscience toward God endure grief, suffering wrongfully. For what glory is it, if, when ye be buffeted for your faults, ye shall take it patiently? But if, when ye do well, and suffer for it, ye take it patiently, this is acceptable with God. For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps:
- Candidate The Obedient Believer
- Element Sufferings of Christ
- Baptiser The world, the flesh and the devil