Baptism: What are we to believe about it?
It is a common mistake to think that water baptism is the only baptism in the Bible. Every time the word “baptism” is mentioned many people wrongly assume water is involved. What they do not realize is that the Bible mentions many baptisms, and most of them are dry, including the one and only baptism required today for being a member of what is called “the Body of Christ.” Being a part of that Body simply means the person has accepted the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ as the basis for their salvation. The moment a person makes the decision to do that, God, the Holy Spirit enters that person into a permanent relationship with Christ. That identification with Him is called the baptism of the Holy Spirit. By means of this baptism, this identification, we are made one with Him forever.
I Corinthians 12:12-13
12 For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ.
13 For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit. [Emphasis added]
4 For as we have many members in one body, and all members have not the same office:
5 So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another. [Emphasis added]
There is no water involved in this baptism at all. It is one where God miraculously enters every believer into union with the Lord Jesus Christ. It is a baptism that is neither seen nor felt. It is God, the Holy Spirit who performs this baptism for the one who puts his faith solely in the death, burial and resurrection of Christ as the basis for their salvation. No works, including water baptism, are involved at all. Even though this is a totally dry baptism, it is just as real as any other baptism. Furthermore, contrary to the beliefs of many, it is the ONE and ONLY baptism God has authorized for our time.
4 There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling;
5 One Lord, one faith, one baptism,
6 One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all. [Emphasis added]
This is the one baptism taught by the Apostle Paul, and the only one that accompanies salvation in this present dispensation of grace. Again, as noted above, it is when any person accepts the work of Christ as the basis for their salvation that God identifies that person with Christ in His death, burial and resurrection for salvation.
3 Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death?
4 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. [Emphasis added]
Even though baptism is the subject of much of that chapter, there’s not one drop of water involved in any of it.
26 For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.
27 For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.
28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus. [Emphasis added]
Listed below are fourteen baptisms discussed in the Bible.
Noah’s type baptism
Peter mentions that eight people were saved by water in an ark as a type of a future baptism. Water is present, but the people are dry [Genesis 6:13; 1 Peter 3:20-21].
Baptism unto Moses
Paul presents Israel’s baptism unto Moses “in the cloud and in the sea.” Water is present, but the people are dry [1 Corinthians 10:1-2; Exodus 14:29].
Israel’s ceremonial washings [baptisms]
These rituals were required under the Mosaic Law for the cleansing of the people [Numbers 19:13; Leviticus 11:25; Exodus 19:14; Exodus 30:17-21; Hebrews 9:10].
Levitical priesthood baptisms
These washings were required in order to become a priest under the Mosaic Law [Exodus 29:4; Leviticus 8:6; Numbers 8:7].
Traditional Jewish baptisms
These baptisms were not commanded by the Mosaic Law but were part of Jewish tradition [Matthew 15:1-2; Mark 7:1-9; Luke 11:38].
John came to Israel baptizing with water for the remission of sins so that they could enter the kingdom promised to Israel and identify their Messiah [Matthew 3:5-6; Mark 1:4; Luke 3:3; John 1:31; Luke 7:29; Acts 10:37].
Jesus’ baptism by John
Jesus, who knew no sin, was baptized by John to fulfill all righteousness under the law [Matthew 3:13-17; Mark 1:9-10].
Baptism with fire
Jesus will baptize the nation with fire as they go through the Tribulation. This trial baptism will damn the unfaithful to hell [Isaiah 4:4; Malachi 3:2-3; Matthew 3:11; Luke 3:16].
Jesus’ baptism unto death
This was Jesus’ second baptism which He accomplished on the cross where He was identified with the sins of Israel and the world [Matthew 20:22-23; Mark 10:38-39; Luke 12:50].
Pentecostal water baptism
This was Peter’s presentation of water baptism for the remission of sins in the name of Jesus. This was John’s baptism plus the name of Jesus [Ezekiel 36:25; Acts 2:38; 22:16; Matthew 28:19; Mark 16:16].
Pentecostal Spirit baptism
This is the baptism with the Holy Spirit by Jesus Christ from heaven poured out upon the believing remnant of Israel with signs and powers following [Isaiah 44:3; Matthew 3:11; Mark 1:8; Luke 24:49; Acts 2:17-18, 38; 8:15-17; 11:16].
Gentile baptism of Cornelius
Cornelius was baptized with the Holy Spirit as a sign to Peter. Peter subsequently baptized Cornelius and the other Spirit-filled Gentiles with water in a different order but for the same reason as Pentecost [Acts 10:45-48].
Baptism for the dead
This baptism is debated heavily and is most likely synonymous with one of the other baptisms. If this is true, “for the dead” would signify the circumstance under which those believers were baptized [1 Corinthians 15:29].
Baptism into Christ
This is the only baptism taught by Paul which identifies the believer with Christ, His death, and resurrection. This baptism is performed by the Spirit and does not include water [Romans 6:3-4;1 Corinthians 12:13; Galatians 3:27; Ephesians 4:5; Colossians 2:12;].
This is not nearly as complicated as it may first appear. However, as with the learning of a lot of things, it takes study. That time spent in study will be all to your benefit for now and for all eternity.
Awards: Are there awards we can qualify to receive in Heaven?
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