Message of Baptism
By Dennis Huebshman
The Bible tells us of 3 different Baptisms:
1. John’s Baptism
2. Christian Baptism
3. Holy Spirit Baptism.
(First a disclaimer – My intent here is to advise what the Bible says about Baptism not what is claimed by certain religions. As a youth, I went down the isle and was baptized around the age of 14. At that time, I did not realize the significance of what was being done, just that it was what that Church required, and after that I was allowed to participate in communion – which I also didn’t realize the full meaning of. At approximately age 40, I began to read the Bible for myself. I found many things I had been told as a youth just weren’t there, or what was there was different than what was preached. I have read several different versions, and even though the wording is different, they all say the same. (KJV; NKJV; NASB; NIV; ESV) Jesus Paid The Full Price For Us! I am not cutting down water baptism as I believe one should still do this to show we have accepted the Savior, but if one doesn’t get water baptized, they aren’t automatically condemned to the Lake of Fire. If we do not have the Holy Spirit Baptism, all else is for naught. To say we can do something to gain our salvation other than to accept Jesus is just wrong. I invite you to read the verses provided and open your hearts and minds to the Savior and establish an eternal relationship with Him – on God’s terms, not man’s also, as a personal commitment, I was again water baptized at about age 55, and my wife was baptized the same day. We were already believ, but wanted to honor our Savior)
Starting with John’s Baptism. It is a water immersion baptism for remission of sins or a sin offering.
A bit of History first.
Before Jesus, and after the law was given on Mt. Sinai, God allowed animal sacrifice as a temporary measure for Israelites to atone for their sins. Also, there was a ceremony using a scape goat which people laid their hands on a goat and confessed their sins, and then the goat was released into the wilderness which symbolized the carrying away of their sins.
From the very first sin, God required a blood sacrifice to atone for wrongdoing. Adam and Eve’s clothing were made from the skins of animals God sacrificed to give them cover. God required daily, weekly, monthly and annual sacrifices. Also, there were special sacrifices during different feast or holiday times.
The main problem with this was, none of these were permanent. The Blood of Animals could never appease God for sins committed against Him, and all sin is against God!
So, for several thousand years, animals were used as man’s feeble attempt to get repentance for his sins. Even today, plans are being made for the animal sacrifices to start again in Israel. Flocks are present and all implements to be used are ready. Just need a temple which will be built very soon. Why? Jesus hasn’t been accepted as Messiah there yet.
Why then John’s Baptism?
The word baptism has several meanings. One is complete washing or to clean. Another is to be fully immersed, and water is normally the element associated with this. There is another definition we will cover later.
When John baptized people, he would immerse them in the Jordan River for the “remission of their sins, or basically as a “sin offering”. It was a public profession of faith in God. It was not a permanent solution, and John even said there would come another that would baptize not with water, but by the Holy Spirit.
Those being baptized were making a pledge to God they would leave sin behind and live for Him. The immersion was a “ritualistic washing away” of the old sinful self, and starting a new life.
Problem is God would accept this as temporary, but never a permanent fix; the same as animal sacrifice was always temporary. Nothing man could do (or can do) would ever totally appease the Father for the evils of sin. This applies even today.
Even when the disciples baptized people, it was a temporary measure – Jesus did not baptize anyone. (John 4:2). This was not a permanent saving baptism. Anyone using baptism UP TO THE CROSS was using John’s baptism.
After the crucifixion/resurrection, it became known as Christian Baptism. It was still using water immersion, and still temporary.
Here the profession of Faith changes direction. It is now “Ritualistic” of the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus our Lord. When one is baptized in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit by water immersion, it is a showing of faith by that person that he/she proclaims acceptance of Jesus as their Savior. It’s a public demonstration of that proclamation. Jesus, Himself, led the way with this by submitting to the Father in all respects when baptized by John. His was the First Baptism to be completed by the Holy Spirit, and the only one of this type before His death.
It was a sign the Father accepted the man Jesus’ testimony as true and pure. It proved the God-Jesus was ready to fulfill the absolute sacrifice that was required
No Other Individual Human could even offer such testimony as there was some form of sin in everyone else.
Only the Man-Jesus led a sin free perfect life, and was born with a sin-free nature because He didn’t have an earthly father that would have infected Him with the sin that went all the way back to Adam.
He was Fully Man, born of a woman who herself had a sin nature, but through the power of the Holy Spirit she was the virgin vessel that was allowed to carry the baby Jesus. He was also Fully God, and there’s nothing impossible for God.
This would be the only sacrifice that would appease the Father for all sin – Once And For All! Therefore, Christian Baptism by immersion in water is similar to John’s baptism and is a public declaration of devoting oneself to the Lord.
Logical question – Does Christian water baptism save a person?
As with John’s, it is an act of man, and no act of man can give him salvation.
Many people believe one must be water baptized to be saved. If we can DO anything – other than to accept the Sacrifice of Our Lord and ask Him to forgive us and save us – then the sacrifice of our Lord was incomplete. If it was incomplete, God the Father could not accept it, and the crucifixion was for nothing.
The only “action” as mentioned that we can do is accept the GIFT that was given – period.
Don’t put a comma where God puts a period!
It is by grace we are saved, and not by any works lest we should boast (paraphrased).
If someone gives you a gift, and you try to pay for it, it is no longer a gift. God feels the same way and would be very unhappy by the disrespect shown His Son.
Ok, so is there a saving Baptism?
The baptism that is absolutely necessary for salvation is the Baptism of the Holy Spirit. This is the other immersion I spoke of. When we call out to Jesus as instructed in Acts 2:21 and Romans 10:13, the Holy Spirit comes and dwells within us immersing us into the body of Christ, or the true Church.
John said I baptize with water, but one comes after me that will baptize with the Holy Spirit.
Jesus said in Acts 1:5, John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit in a few days. On Pentecost, this was completed. This is also the type of Baptism Peter spoke of in Acts 2:38 because the Holy Spirit immersed all involved, and they showed their submission by being water immersed also.
He set the stage that all true baptism was through the Holy Spirit. Once we accept the gift, we are immersed as I mentioned before and marked as one of His Children. Jesus said He knows His sheep, and they know Him.
So, is the water baptism a waste – definitely not. It is our public profession that we have ALREADY accepted Jesus, and the Holy Spirit is within us. Jesus said that all who confess Him before man, He would confess before the Father.
If we don’t get water baptized, will it mean we are not saved? (Remember the thief on the cross??)
Absolutely not. We are saved before the Ritual. Once the Holy Spirit dwells in us, Paul said nothing could separate us from the Love of God.
There are a lot of people through the ages that went through water baptism that will never enter the gates of heaven. They never really accepted Jesus, they just wanted to impress others. Their baptism never involved the Holy Spirit.
There are many others that never were water immersed that will be there because they did the most important thing – Accept the Free gift that was given on the cross that was a complete and totally accepted sacrifice for all sin.
Man believes he has to do something, but cannot. That’s what makes religion so hard. If we get away from religion, and concentrate on the relationship, it will become much easier to have eternal salvation and know we are bound for the Promised Land when we leave this earth.
God’s word is not complicated yet man makes it so by adding to and subtracting from it. Also, people take a verse or two out of context to make their point. I have included many verses relating to each of the Baptisms mentioned for all to read for themselves.
Matthew 3: 5-8, 11, 13-16, 21:25
Mark 1: 4, 5, 8-10, 11:30
Luke 3: 7, 8, 12,21; 7:29, 30; 20:4
John 1: 25, 26, 28, 31, 33; 3:23; 10:40
Acts 1: 5, 22; 10:37; 11:16; 18:25; 19: 2-6
John 3:5, 22: 4:1-2
Acts 1:5, 22; 2:38, 41; 8:12, 16-17; 36-38; 9:17-18; 10:45-48; 16:14, 15, 33; 18: 8; 19: 4-6; 22:16
1 Corinthians 1:13-17; 10:1-2; 12:13; 15:29
Holy Spirit Baptism:
Joel 2: 28-29
Matthew 3: 11, 16
Luke 3: 16, 21-22; 24:49
John 1: 32,33; 3:5-6
Acts: 1:5; 2:1-4, 38, 41; 8: 15-17; 10: 38,44,45, 47; 11: 15-16; 19: 2-6
1 Corinthians 12:13
Titus 3: 5-6
This is not to say the above are all the verses pertaining to this subject, but rather enough to maybe spark an interest for further study.
[email protected] – Maranatha!