New Testament believers related to three different baptisms. It is very important and beneficial to understand which baptism is related to water baptism and which is not. Usually believers mix different scriptures that talk about different baptisms. If we believe that (John 3:5, Romans 6, 1 Corinthians 6:11, 10:2, 1 Corinthians 12:13,Galatians 3:27, Ephesians 4:5, Colossians 2:11, Titus 3:5, Hebrews 10:22) speaks about water baptism you will grasp the wrong conseption of water baptism. We would believe that water baptism is something that it is not, and can do something that it can not, and we will miss what God has already done in our lives.
1. Baptism Into Christ
John 3:5, Romans 6, 1 Corinthians 6:11,10:2, 1 Corinthians 12:13, Galatians 3:27, Ephesians 4:5, Colossians 2:11, Titus 3:5, Hebrews 10:22.
This baptism is a spiritual one and occurs when we receive Jesus as our savior and we become a new creation 1 Cor. 12:12-14:
12 For as the body is one and has many members, but all the members of that one body, being many, are one body, so also is Christ. 13 For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free—and have all been made to drink into one Spirit. 14 For in fact the body is not one member but many.
Verse 13”For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body.” The question to be asked is; “when do believers become a part of one body – the body of Christ?” Does this occur in water baptism? No it does not, it occurs when you believe;
and what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the working of His mighty power 20 which He worked in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places, 21 far above all principality and power and might and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in that which is to come. 22 And He put all things under His feet, and gave Him to be head over all things to the church, 23 which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all.
13 In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, 14 who is the guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, to the praise of His glory.
For through Him we both have access by one Spirit to the Father. 19 Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, 20 having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone, 21 in whom the whole building, being fitted together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord, 22 in whom you also are being built together for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit.
For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. 27 For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ.
And because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying out, “Abba, Father!” 7 Therefore you are no longer a slave but a son, and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.
But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name
Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His.
11 In Him you were also circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, by putting off the body of the sins of the flesh, by the circumcision of Christ, 12 buried with Him in baptism, in which you also were raised with Him through faith in the working of God, who raised Him from the dead. 13 And you, being dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He has made alive together with Him, having forgiven you all trespasses,
We receive the Holy Spirit at the moment we believe in Jesus which is a baptism into Christ but not the baptism by water. It is of great importance not to give any of the following reference to water baptism (John 3:5, Romans 6, 1 Corinthians 6:11,10:2, 1 Corinthians 12:13, Galatians 3:27, Ephesians 4:5, Colossians 2:11, Titus 3:5, Hebrews 10:22).
2. Water Baptism
Matt. 28:19, Mark 16:16, Acts 2:38-41, 8:12-13, 36-38, 9:18, 10:47-48, 16:14-15, 31-33, 18:8, 19:5, 22:16, 1 Cor. 1:13-17, 15:29, 1 Peter 3:21. Speaks about the New Testament water baptism. 1 Peter 3:18-22 explains the meaning of water baptism.
For Christ also suffered once for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive by the Spirit”, 19 “by whom also He went and preached to the spirits in prison”, 20 “who formerly were disobedient, when once the Divine longsuffering waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was being prepared, in which a few, that is, eight souls, were saved through water”. 21 “There is also an antitype which now saves us—baptism (not the removal of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God), through the resurrection of Jesus Christ”, 22 “who has gone into heaven and is at the right hand of God, angels and authorities and powers having been made subject to Him.
Water baptism is a antitype (a symbol) of what has happened on the inside of you, an external confession of your faith, but not the removal of filth (The Greek word ῥυπος, rhupos, hroo’-pos, meaning moral depravity)” but an answer of a good conscience toward God through the resurrection of Jesus Christ (verse 21). Baptism is not a purification of sin, but a confession that you are righteous by your faith in Jesus (Philippians 3:9). Baptism is something that should be done immediately after your confession in Jesus Christ (Acts 2:38, 8:34-38, 10:43-48, 16:30-33, 18:8).
To the apostles it would be unthinkable and a denial of your faith if not being baptized at once (Acts 2:38,8:34-38,10:43-48,16:30-33, 18:8). It is not the baptism itself that saves, but insted our faith on Christ`s resurrection (1 Peter 3 :21).
3. Baptism with the Holy Spirit
(Matt. 3:11, Mark 1:8, Luke 3:16) Luke 24:49, Acts 1:4-5, 8, 2:1-4, 8:17, 10:44-46, Acts 11:15-16, 19:2,6.
There are many wrong conceptions about what the baptism with the Holy Spirit is and it needs to be adressed on a seperated article. However, it is different than the baptism into Christ when you got born again. It is evident in several passages in the Bible such as in:
12 But when they believed Philip as he preached the things concerning the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, both men and women were baptized. 13 Then Simon himself also believed; and when he was baptized he continued with Philip, and was amazed, seeing the miracles and signs which were done. 14 Now when the apostles who were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent Peter and John to them, 15 who, when they had come down, prayed for them that they might receive the Holy Spirit. 16 For as yet He had fallen upon none of them. They had only been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. 17 Then they laid hands on them, and they received the Holy Spirit.
The people in Samaria that Philip preached to were already saved (baptized into Christ, Verse 14) but were not baptized with the Holy Spirit (verse 15-17). Because the two are not the same. Another place in the Bible were you can see the same thing occurring is;
And it happened, while Apollos was at Corinth, that Paul, having passed through the upper regions, came to Ephesus. And finding some disciples 2 he said to them, “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?” So they said to him, “We have not so much as heard whether there is a Holy Spirit.” 3 And he said to them, “Into what then were you baptized?” So they said, “Into John’s baptism.”4 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.” 5 When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. 6 And when Paul had laid hands on them, the Holy Spirit came upon them, and they spoke with tongues and prophesied.
The people from Ephesus were believers and disciples (baptized into Christ) but they had not heard about the baptism with the Holy Spirit, only the baptism of John. Again you can clearly see that the baptism into Christ and the baptism with the Holy Spirit is not the same.
Also, we have to remember that the apostles were saved before in Acts 2:1-4 when they were baptized with the Holy Spirit. It is obvious that the apostles believed in Jesus death and resurrection before the baptism with the Holy Spirit in Acts 2:1-4 because they were eye witnesses to His resurrection. Jesus even presented Himself alive during forty days after His resurrection to His apostles (Mark 16:14, Lukas 24:36-48, Acts 1:3, 21-22, 1 Cor. 15:1-7). So even the apostles were saved (baptized into Christ) before the baptism in the Holy Spirit (1 Peter 1:3). The two baptisms; the baptism into Christ, and the baptism with the Holy Spirit, are two different baptisms. Everyone who are saved (baptized into Christ) should be baptized with the Holy Spirit (Acts 8:14-17)!
What is Baptism with the Holy Spirit?
The Bible doesn’t answer that question in a specific matter. However, we can still know what it is between the lines. Because the only two verses in the Bible explaining what it is refers to power from the Holy Spirit that comes upon the believer. The greek word used for power is ”dunamis” which specifically refers to supernatural miracles (Luke 24:49, Acts 1:8). Jesus was probably baptised with the Holy Spirit when the Holy Spirit come upon Him during His water baptism ( Matt. 3:16, Mark 1:10, Luke 3:22a, John 1:32 ). By studying the miraculous power/ or ministry of Jesus and the apostles after the baptism with the Holy Spirit it gives us a clue of what it is.