THE BAPTISM INTO THE BODY OF CHRIST
There are three baptisms that all Christians should experience. The first is described in the passages below. The Holy Spirit baptizes the repentant (change of mind) sinner into the body of Christ Jesus. This is the baptism for salvation or justification.
I Corinthians 12:13 states, “For by one by 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.”
Romans 6:3, “Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into His death?”
Galatians 3:27 states, “For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.”.
In the verses above, the Holy Spirit is clearly the baptizer. When a Jew looked at the east entrance to the tabernacle of Moses, they saw a curtain hanging on four pillars. The colors on the curtain were white, scarlet, purple, and blue. The color white represented Jesus’ righteousness. The color scarlet or crimson represented the blood of Jesus. The color purple represented the royalty or majesty of Jesus. Finally, the color blue represented heaven. The four pillars upon which the curtain as hung represented the four Gospel accounts (only one Gospel). The only way into the outer court and to the tabernacle was through the east entrance. Only one way.
Romans 10:17 states, “So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.”
Jesus is the Word of God. Jesus stated, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man comes to the Father but by Me.”
If a lost person believes or trusts the Gospel or Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection (1 Cor. 15:1-4), then they are saved.
When the person entered the tabernacle, the first thing they encountered was the brazen altar. The brazen altar represented the crucifixion of Christ and also represented the believer’s baptism into the body of Christ Jesus.
There were believers declared righteous before the cross, such as Abraham, but the sin debt was still present. Abraham’s faith was accounted for righteousness. He saw Jesus’ day and was glad.
Jesus was baptized into Mary by the Holy Spirit because He could not be born like we were. When we were born, we were conceived in sin (Psalm 51:5). The sin nature passed through the seed of man to all men, women, and children. Jesus’ blood had to be free of sin or He could not be our Savior. Jesus was born with the Holy Spirit already living in Him. When He was 12 and was in the temple, the doctors or teachers were amazed at His understanding and answers. You cannot enter and understand the Kingdom of God unless you have the Holy Spirit living in you. Jesus was born righteous the 1st time. We were not. You must be born again (John 3:3,5,7; 1 Peter 1:23).
BAPTISM IN WATER BY A DISCIPLE
Matthew 28:19 states, “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing in the name of the Father, the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.”
AFTER the born-again experience, another disciple baptizes the new convert in water by immersion. The Greek word for baptism or baptized is baptisma or baptizo, respectively. They both mean “immersion.” This is a reflection of what happened at salvation. I Corinthians 1 clearly states that water baptism is NOT part of the Gospel, but it is clearly a command by our Lord in Matthew 28 and other verses.
1st Corinthian 1:17 states, “For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the Gospel; not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be of none effect.”
It is the blood of Jesus that cleanses from ALL sin, NOT water. Here are a few scriptures to prove this:
Ephesians 1:7 states, “In whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace.”
Colossians 1:14 states, “In whom we have redemption through His blood, even the forgiveness of sins.”
1 John 1:7 states, “But if we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus cleanseth us from all sin.”
Jesus plus none equals salvation.
BAPTISM WITH OR IN THE HOLY SPIRIT
If you have not already seen the pattern, the first two baptisms were by two different persons: The Holy Spirit and another disciple. The baptism with or in the Holy Spirit is the baptism believers get confused with the first baptism. Even worse, they know it is a separate baptism but say that was only for the Apostles or the first century Church. Is that true?
On the day of Pentecost, the Holy Spirit came down upon 120 born-again believers, and they were filled with the Holy Spirit. I say born-again because the thief on the cross and those held captive in Abraham’s bosom were saved or born-again (Ephesians 4:8-10). If these people were saved, then the 120 were saved before Pentecost. Men, women, and accountable children were able to be born again after Jesus was resurrected. Pentecost was 50 days after Jesus’ resurrection. On resurrection day, Jesus breathed the Holy Spirit upon the disciples (John 20:22). That is when they were born-again. They were sealed with the Spirit but not filled with the Spirit.
Jesus commanded that the believers stay in Jerusalem until they were endued or clothed with power from upon high (Luke 24:49). This baptism with the Holy Spirit is the power for all Christians to fulfill the calling the Lord has commanded them to complete. Jesus was not baptized with the Holy Spirit until He was about 30 years of age (Luke 3:23). When Jesus came out of the water after John the Baptist baptized Him in the Jordan River, the Holy Spirit descended upon Jesus. Only after Jesus was filled with the Spirit did He begin His ministry (Luke 4:1,14-15).
Do you believe Jesus is our example? If you say yes, then we must follow His example. First, He was born of the Spirit (Luke 1:31-35). Secondly, He was baptized or immersed by John in water (Luke 3:21). Thirdly, He was filled by the Spirit by our Heavenly Father (Luke 3:22). Salvation ALWAYS occurs before water baptism.
Jesus is the third baptizer. Here is scriptural proof. In Matthew 3:11 John the Baptist stated, “I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance, but He that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: He shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire.”
Do you see the pattern? John baptized those who repented of their sins. They were saved and then they were water-baptized. Just a note. Before the cross, believers were saved by promise until Jesus was crucified, was buried, and then resurrected three full days later. All the believers who repented by the preaching of John were born-again or justified on resurrection day. Here is scriptural proof:
Romans 4:25 states, “Who was delivered for our offences, and was raised for our justification.” 1 Corinthians 15:17 states, “And if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins.”
BIBLICAL PATTERNS OF THE THREE BAPTISMS
The 120 disciples who met in the upper room for 10 days and then moved to the Temple were already born again. But they were not filled with the Spirit until Pentecost. When they were filled with the Spirit, they began to speak with tongues. Jesus baptized all 120 with the Spirit, not just the Apostles. The greatest gift to the lost person is Jesus. The greatest gift to the believer is the power of the Holy Spirit.
As a body, we need to operate in all gifts of the Spirit listed in I Corinthians 12. The Apostle Paul wrote this letter to a Gentile Church. Many of you have never heard one sermon on these gifts because your Pastor either does not know how they operate, or they teach the lie that these 9 gifts are not for today.
Here is scriptural proof these gifts are for today. When the Apostle Peter was done delivering his powerful speech in Acts 2:14-37, he makes this very important statement: Acts 2:38-39 states, “Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of the Lord Jesus for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, and even as many as the Lord our God shall call.”
Please notice the last part of the verse. The gift, the promise, or the power of the Spirit is to all that are afar off. That means us today. Nothing has ceased.
When you repent (change of mind), the Holy Spirit baptizes you into Jesus. You receive the earnest of the Spirit, which is a down payment or a pledge that the full amount will be paid in the future. II Corinthians 1:22 states, “Who hath sealed us, and given the earnest of the Spirit in our hearts.”
Next, the baptism for the remission of sins is water baptism. You are NOT born again after you are water baptized; it is BEFORE you are water baptized. You receive the gift of the Holy Ghost for ministry. For power. You cannot speak in tongues, interpret tongues, prophesy, lay hands on the sick so they may recover, and operate in other gifts until you are filled with the Spirit. Jesus, the Son of God, God manifested in the flesh, the Word of God, and the Son of Man did not perform one miracle until He was 30 years old. His first miracle was in Cana when He turned water into wine (grape juice) (John 2:1-11). If Jesus needed this baptism, you need it too.
Here is other scriptural proof of the three baptisms:
Acts 8:12 states, “And when they believed Philip preaching the things concerning the Kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women.”
Philip was preaching the Gospel or Jesus; men and women believed and were saved. After they believed and were saved, they were baptized into water.
Acts 2:14-17 states, “Now when the apostles heard which were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent unto them Peter and John. Who when they were come down, prayed for them, that they might receive the Holy Ghost: For as yet He was fallen upon none of them: only they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. Then laid they hands on them, and they received the Holy Ghost.”
To summarize, the men and women of Samaria believed the word of God preached by Philip. This means they were born again, saved, or justified. The next thing they experienced was water baptism. They were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. Finally, the Apostles laid hands on saved men and women and then they were filled with the Spirit. Three baptisms.
A believer must ask for the Holy Spirit. Luke 11:13, Jesus states, “If ye being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask Him?” You must ask the Father for the Holy Spirit.
Next, you will see the three baptisms in I Corinthians 10:2. 1 Corinthians 10:2 states, “And were all baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea. This is the Old Testament type of the three baptisms. Moses was a type of Christ. Notice the 1st baptism. The baptism into Moses. The fulfillment is when the Holy Spirit baptizes us into Jesus. Next, the baptism into the cloud is the baptism with the Holy Spirit. Finally, the baptism in the sea is baptism in water.
Finally, 1st John 5:8 states, “For there are three that bear witness in earth, the Spirit, and the water, and the blood: and these three agree in one.” The blood represents salvation. The Bible teaches, “without the shedding of blood there is no remission of sins.” Next, is water baptism. Finally, Spirit baptism. The three baptisms agree as one.
The Biblical pattern is very clear:
Blood, Repent, Believe, Salvation, Born-Again, Justification – Holy Spirit is the baptizer
Water Baptism, a mirror of salvation, good conscience towards God, witness – A disciple is the baptizer
Baptism in or with the Holy Spirit, anointing, power, to use Gifts for ministry – Jesus is the baptizer
I know some of you who are reading this have never heard this taught before today. Some of you are so heavily invested in your denominational teachings that nothing stated above will change your mind. But, thank God there are some of you who will ask, seek, and knock to determine what was written above is true.
(Acts 17:11). Ask the Lord if it is true.