There are actually quite a few baptisms spoken of in the New Testament. However, regardless of how many baptisms the Bible speaks of, they are of little importance since God proclaims in Ephesians 4:5 that there is only ONE baptism. All the other baptisms are historical and only one is imperative for Christians today. Which one is it? By the context of Ephesians 4:1-7, it must be the baptism of the Lord Jesus Christ, the one and only begotten from God the Father. Not the baptism of The Spirit, or of John, or of Moses or any one else. Why? Because Christ died for us and was raised, proving he was the Son of God with power, but the Spirit did not die for us, and baptism is best understood as a watery grave, victorious by His resurrection from the grave. That grave is what God speaks of in Romans 6:3-5.
Why is the baptism of Christ important?
- It is a command/ordinance from the Lord, Matthew 28:18-20.
- It contains a promise of Christ’s Spirit as a gift, Acts 2:37-39.
- It contains a principle/the source of unity, 1st Corinthians 12:13.
- It is the venue for the operation of God by faith, Colossians 2:11-12.
- It is the venue for coming into Christ from the outside, Galatians 3:27.
- It is a type of Christ’s burial, by immersion, Romans 6:3-7.
- It is our personal pledge for receiving salvation, 1st Peter 3:21.
Immersed believers are not baptised by one Spirit, we are baptised by a fellow believer. We are immersed into the Body which brings us into a relationship with the Spirit as a gift, Acts 2:38-39. The one Spirit of Christ is God’s gift we receive when obeying the baptism of Christ as a fellow Christian baptises us. The racial, social and gender differences that divide society and sometimes even a congregation, do not exist within the body of Christ: “You are all sons of God by faith in Christ Jesus, for all of you who were baptised into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” (Galatians 3:26-27) So even if we make divisions within the church and denominate the church into different denominations, if a believer obeys Christ and is baptised according to the will of God (a Biblical reason) by faith, then the Spirit does what He promises to do, no matter who baptises or officiates in the ordinance of baptism. The Spirit unites the people of God by having them all immersed into the one body where we have access to “the one Spirit to drink.” 1st Corinthians 12:13. Having this clear understanding of who is doing the baptism, which baptism we are baptised into, and who we receive in baptism, helps us understand the difference between Christ’s baptism and the Baptism of the Holy Spirit, which is actually a very different subject. Do you believe anyone can come into Christ by faith through immersion? See Romans 6:4-11.