The words “baptize(d)(ing) and baptism(s) are not found in the Old Testament. These are first introduced by John the Baptist in Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. However, the stories of Noah and the flood and Moses and the parting of the Red Sea can be seen as types of water baptism. Hebrews 6:2 uses the term “doctrine of baptisms.” There are 3 doctrines of baptism: 1) Baptism in Water; 2) Baptism into the Body of Christ; and 3) Baptism in the Holy Spirit. In the following Scriptures you will find out what the Word of God says about each of these baptisms.
The Three Baptisms
Matthew 28:19 says, “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.
Acts 19:3-6 And he said to them, “Into what then were you baptized?” So they said, “Into John’s baptism.” Then Paul said, “John indeed baptized with a baptism of repentance, saying to the people that they should believe on Him who would come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus.” When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. And when Paul had laid hands on them, the Holy Spirit came upon them, and they spoke with tongues and prophesied.”
The above tell us through Scriptures about the three baptisms.
Questions: How important is water baptism? Do you need to be water baptized to be saved? What is the baptism that Jesus was baptized with? Why is the baptism in the Holy Spirit important?
Before the Cross there was water baptism. John the Baptist said that he baptized with water but Jesus would baptize with the Holy Spirit. Before the Cross the Jews were baptized in water. It was an outward expression of dealing with sins. After the Cross the Jews and Gentiles were baptized with the baptism that Jesus was baptized with. Romans 6:10 tells us the baptism that Jesus was baptized with was death to sin (power and penalty of sin) once for all and alive to God. Romans 10:9-14 says nothing about water baptism to be saved. Mark 16:16 says, “He who believes and is baptized will be saved…” This is after the Cross. The baptism here is baptism in the Holy Spirit into the Body of Christ. It is the Holy Spirit’s work in us through what Jesus did in His death, burial, and resurrection that provides sozo (saved in every way) for all who believe. It is an inward work, not outward as before the Cross.
All baptism seems to have to do with sin (ridding man of the power and penalty of sin) and eternal life. Water baptism reminds a person of forgiveness of sins. Holy Spirit baptism reminds a person of the removal of the sin nature, baptism into the Body of Christ, and the empowering of the Christian for service in the Kingdom of God.
Two Old Testament types of the baptism are the flood and Noah’s ark and Moses and the Red Sea. Both Noah and Moses were put through water to save them and those with them. Exodus 14 is a great type of what Christ did for us on the cross. When Pharaoh type of Satan) of Egypt(a type of the sin nature -cause of sins) sent the Egyptians (types of sins caused by the sin nature) to attack the Israelites (mankind) in the Red Sea (body and blood of Jesus), all Egypt (cause) and Egyptians (effect) were destroyed and Satan was defeated. An example of the baptism into the body of Christ.
How important is water baptism? For a Christian it is a reminder that God has forgiven our sins. The real question is- How important is Holy Spirit baptism? In Christ the Holy Spirit does the work to cause death to sin (power and penalty of sin to be done away with) and made alive to God (baptism into the body of Christ). (Romans 6:3-11) Then we can have a good conscience toward God through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, so that we may serve Him. Hebrews 9:13 – 14 says, “For if the blood of bulls and goats and the ashes of a heifer, sprinkling the unclean, sanctifies for the purging of the flesh, how much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself with out spot to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?” (baptism in the Holy Spirit with power)
Do you need to be water baptized to be saved? No. Again Romans 10:9-14 tells us what we must do to be saved- believe with our heart and confess Jesus Christ with our mouth. What Jesus did for you in His death and resurrection is sealed into you by the Holy Spirit when you accept Christ. (Ephesians 1:13-14) The Holy Spirit does the work in the process of being saved.
What is the baptism that Jesus Christ was baptized into? He was baptized into the death of sin/sins and death and arose to give us newness of life. (Romans 6:3-4, 10- 11)
One last thing that has puzzled me. The testimonies of many Christians over the years have been that until they had received the baptism of the Holy Spirit they could never really understand the word of God. Why? Romans 6:3-4,10 says, “Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father even so we also should walk in newness of life. For if we have been united together in the likeness of His death, certainly we also shall be in the likeness of His resurrection,…For the death that He died He died to sin once for all; but the life He lives, He lives to God. Likewise you also, reckon yourselves to be dead indeed to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
When you are baptized with the Holy Spirit into Christ’s death, all of Christ becomes available to you and alive in you as you believe. Then the Holy Spirit becomes your teacher, guide, and empower. Also, your new man has the ability to communicate with God through speaking in tongues. (1 Corinthians 14:2-4)
Thank you Andrew Wommack and Don Krow for the knowledge and inspiration to write on discipleship. See THE COMPLETE DISCIPLESHIP EVANGELISM, 48 Lessons by Andrew Wommack and Don W. Krow.