JESUS SAID:
Acts 1:5 says “for John baptized with water, but you should be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.”

The Old Covenant is out. John is dead.
The new is beginning. Jesus’ departing words must be important.

“Since by Spirit’s baptism the greatest transformations are wrought in behalf of the believer, it is to be expected that Satan, the enemy of God, will do all within his power to distract, misdirect, and confuse investigation respecting this specific ministry of the Holy Spirit. This harm Satan has been permitted to do. Not only is there need that all the false conceptions be corrected, which have reached the masses of unsuspecting people, but special attention is demanded on the part of those who would be instructed lest they themselves fail to comprehend the precise truth which the doctrine embraces.”
(Systematic Theology Chafer, Vol. 6 pg.138)

If you want to be diligent to preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace within the body of Christ, teach people that there is one Lord, one faith, and one baptism. Ephesians 4:5 indicates that there is one Lord, one faith, and one baptism not two Lords, two faiths, two baptisms.

The key to understanding Ephesians 4:5 is to know what the word “one” means.

The one baptism is the same baptism Paul refers to in 1 Corinthians 12:13 For by one Spirit we are all baptized into one body...

You cannot be in the Body of Christ unless you have been baptized into the body by the Holy Spirit. (Acts 1:5 & I Corinthians 12:13.)

Ephesians 1:13
In Him, you also, after listening to the message of the truth, the Gospel of your salvation-having also believed, you were sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit of promise...

Note: The sealing is the result of being baptized in the Spirit. It takes place at the time of regeneration or, simply put, being saved.
(Spirit Baptism)

The word “baptism” metaphorically means a change of identity or to identify. When we become saved, the Holy Spirit seals us and dwells within us. God can look at the earth and easily see who His people are, because they have been baptized “sealed” by the Holy Spirit and the Holy Spirit dwelling in them.

Possibly, the most exact way of describing the event of salvation from God’s point of view is baptism, which has nothing to do with water. More importantly, it involves a changing of identity. In essence, before Holy Spirit baptism, you were an unrepentant sinner, hell bound. Then after Spirit baptism, you are forgiven and a new creature in Christ.

One question that always comes up is, how do I handle Matthew 28:19?
I draw a parallel between Matthew 28:19 And Mark 16:15-16.

Some folks place little or no value on Mark 16:15-16. They say these verses do not appear in some manuscripts and therefore, are not a part of divine Scripture. I have a real problem with this kind of thinking. For hundreds of years, many Bible scholars from all different faiths have chosen to include these verses in their Bible translations. For example: King James Version, Living Bible, Revised Standard Version, New English Bible; Phillips Modern English, Jerusalem Bible, New American Standard Bible, New International Version, and many more include this text. To say that God did not intend for Mark 16:15-16 to be a part of the Bible is not something I choose to do.


Mark 16:15-16
And He said to them, Go into the world and preach the Gospel to all creation. 16) He who believes and has been baptized shall be saved;

This would be Spiritual baptism as demonstrated in Acts 1:5,
1 Corinthians 12:13, and Ephesians 4:5.

The result of correct believing is expressed in baptism and the result of baptism is salvation. Hence, they happen simultaneously.

There are different qualities of believing. The devil believes in God.
So not everyone who believes is spiritually baptized and saved.

Matthew 28:19 ... This was a command given to the eleven disciples.
I believe it is in perfect harmony with Mark 16:15-16.

Matthew 28:19...
Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father the Son and the Holy Spirit...

1. A disciple is a believer and a believer is a disciple. Matthew 28:19
“Go therefore make disciples” means “Go therefore make believers.”

With this understanding we can see Mark 16:15-16 is saying the same thing as Matthew 28:19.

You see, the emphasis in Matthew 28:19 is on making disciples (believers), not water baptism. It seems that the reason baptism is mentioned is because Jesus wanted the disciples, “believers,” to be baptized in the Holy Spirit. Act 1:5 portrays them being saved, sealed, and indwelled. This new concept of the permanent indwelling of the Holy Spirit was an experience foreign to all believers before the fulfillment of Jesus parting words in Acts 1:5.

All believers are disciples in the sense that they are being taught of God through the indwelling Spirit and whatever instrumentality the Spirit may employ.
(Systematic Theology Chafer, Vol. 7; pg.12)

(This is assuming that they are true believers.)
The disciple of Christ today, in the words of Farrar, is “One who believes His doctrines, rest upon His sacrifice, imbibes His Spirit, and imitates His examples.”
(The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia, Vol.2; pg.851)

Matthew 28:19
“Go therefore and make disciples” means “Go therefore make believers”
But how can anyone make a believer?

1 Corinthians 1:21
It pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.

Romans 1:16
For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it the power of God for salvation to every one who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.

1 Corinthians 15:11
Whether then it was I or they, so we preach and so you believed.

1 Corinthians 9:22
To the weak I became weak, that I might win the weak; I have become all things to all men, that I may by all means save some.

Romans 10:13-14
For “whoever call upon the Lord will be saved.” 14) How then shall they call upon Him in whom they do not believe? And how shall they believe in Him whom they not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher?

Note: The Greek word for baptize in Matthew 28:19 is used for both water and Spirit Baptism

It is He that makes believers.
It is He that makes disciples.
It is He that spiritually baptizes.
It is He that uses us.

Philippians 2:13
For it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure.

The problem many minds have is, how can we make disciples and baptize them in the Spirit? We don’t want to forget that God is the Chief Interpreter of His Word. If He equates our actions of leading people to the Lord as Spiritual baptism, He has that right.

Aren’t we really begging the question knowing that when we lead people to the Lord, the instant they respond they are baptized in the Spirit? And the person leading someone to the Lord is indwelt by the same Holy Spirit that is spiritually baptizing.

The end result is a new creation with a new identity. The believers new identity is in the name of: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, the believer is identified with the name of Jesus.

Also Note: At the time Jesus spoke Matthew 28:19, there were no believers that had been baptized in the Holy Spirit, the one baptism spoken of in Ephesians 4:5. It was only after Acts 1:5 was fulfilled in the upper room that they were commissioned to go forth telling of this new experience of having God the Holy Spirit permanently indwelling the believers through the baptism of the Holy Spirit.

Acts 19:1-7
And it came about that while Apollos was at Corinth, Paul having passed through the upper country came to Ephesus, and found some disciples, 2) and he said to them, “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?” And they said to him, “No, we have not even heard whether there is a Holy Spirit.” 3) And he said, “Into what then were you baptized?” And they said, “Into John’s baptism.” 4) And Paul said, “John baptized with the baptism of repentance, telling the people to believe in Him who was coming after him, that is, in Jesus.” 5) And when they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. 6) And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Spirit came on them, and they began speaking with tongues and prophesying. 7) And there were in all about twelve men.

So by Jesus saying in, Matthew 28:19 Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them, He indicated their need for Spirit baptism as a requirement for salvation.

It fits the context of the historical record of what actually happened.
Also keep in mind that the Acts 19:1-7 situation was in a transitional period of time. Now when a person believes correctly, he automatically receives the baptism of the Holy Spirit.
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ANOTHER QUESTION THAT IS ASKED CONCERNS:

I Peter 3:21… Baptism now saves us... (Yes, Spiritual Baptism.)

It has nothing to do with H20 water.

I Peter 3:21 makes it clear:
(not the removal of the dirt from the flesh) referring to H20 water.

Keep in mind that I Peter 3:21 corresponds to I Peter 3:20 and it’s referring to the days of Noah. Remember what happened to all who went under the water? Those that went under the water received death and all who stayed out of the water received life.
To think that salvation will be obtained through an act of works related obedience on your part will result in your eternal spiritual DEATH.

Romans 5:19
For as through one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, even so through the obedience of the One the many will be righteous.

NOTE: The one is not you!

 

(More Below)

BAPTISM IN THE BOOK OF ACTS

The reader should be aware of the fact that as a result of Acts 1:5, Ephesians 4:5 and 1 Corinthians 12:13, I always assume when I see the word “baptism,” it means Spiritual baptism, (not H20 water) unless it states water directly either by word or clear context, from Acts through Revelation.

1. Acts 1:5... Jesus’ parting message.
Acts 1:5 for John baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.
Jesus is talking about New Covenant Salvation, just as He was in Matthew 28:19 and Mark 16:15-16. All these verses were spoken within a short time from one another and all were talking about the same subject. The context of what Jesus was talking about is clear. He is talking about salvation.

Furthermore, it seems that He wants people to change their way of thinking about baptism. He wants them to think of baptism as spiritual, not H20 water.
Thus, He makes His point as clear as anyone possibly could.

John baptized in water but you should be baptized by the Holy Spirit not many days from now. Something new is about to happen…the permanent indwelling of God within the believers life, being the assurance of salvation.
This is so important to Jesus as is established by being recorded in all four gospel accounts: Matthew 3:11; Mark 1:8; Luke 3:16; John 1:33; and Acts 11:16.

2. Acts 2:38...
And Peter said to them, “Repent, and let each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.”

“The form of speech which this text presents is common in the Bible, namely, that of passing from the main subject to one of the features belonging to that subject, as, “Thou shall be dumb, and not able to speak” (Luke 1:20). The word dumb is amplified by the word not able to speak. In the text in question, the word believeth is amplified by the words and is baptized and with reference to real baptism, which is an integral part of salvation.”
(Systematic Theology Chafer, Vol. 3. Pg.383)

Acts 2:38... It should be understood that the occurrence of salvation within a person’s life is a multifaceted experience where numbers of things happen spontaneously on a supernatural plane.

When that process is put into words there does not need to be a time line involved, since they happen simultaneously. Nonetheless, each facet is important and can be referred to with its own meaning and identity.
So I believe Acts 2:38 is speaking of one event only: “Spirit Baptism.” Consequently, all parts are required and all parts happen simultaneously. This is quite different than any Old Covenant salvation. Even if I am wrong, Acts 2:38 should not be used to teach that water baptism is an experience after New Covenant salvation because in this case, the water would come before salvation as we know it. Again if I am wrong, the only reasonable option is that water baptism should be taught as a condition to meet before salvation. But this option violates Scripture, justification by faith and faith alone, so we are left with only one reasonable option: Spiritual baptism.

3. Acts 2:41 refers to Acts 2:38.
Acts 2:41
So then, those who had received his word were baptized; and there were added that day about three thousand souls.

4. Acts 8:12-16...
But when they believed Philip preaching the good news about the
kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, they were being baptized, men and women alike. 13) And even Simon himself believed; and after being baptized, he continued on with Philip; and as he observed signs and great miracles taking place, he was constantly amazed. 14) Now when the apostles in Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent them Peter and John, 15) who came down and prayed for them, that they might receive the Holy Spirit. 16) For He had not yet fallen upon any of them; they had simply been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.

Acts 8:12-13 applies to water baptism (a sign) before the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, or in other words, New Covenant salvation that we experience. These verses do not teach water baptism after salvation.

There was a serious problem that had to be overcome. The Jews hated the Samaritans and the Gentiles. The Gentiles hated the Jews.
Traditions of hatred were deeply seated within all three groups.
Jesus’ purpose was making all groups one in Him. Therefore signs were used to demonstrate that all groups were on equal footing with the walls of separation destroyed by the cross, all being one in Christ in the New Covenant.


Ephesians 2:14-16
For He Himself is our peace, who made both groups into one, and broke down the barrier of the dividing wall, 15) by abolishing in His flesh the enmity, which is the Law of commandments contained in ordinances, that in Himself He might make the two into one new man, thus establishing peace, 16) and might reconcile them both in one body to God through the cross, by it having put to death the enmity.

Though the Samaritans had been baptized in water (v.12), the gift of the Holy Spirit was delayed until Peter and John came and laid their hands on them. Normally the Spirit was given at the moment of faith (10:44; 19:2; Eph. 1:13). In this instance, however, it was imperative that the Samaritans be identified with the apostles and the Jerusalem church so that there would be no rival Samaritan Christian church.
(The Ryrie Study Bible, (1976) pg. 221 notes 8:14-17)

As certainly as the Spirit was to be given in due time to the Samaritans and to the Gentiles, as certainly they had no part in Pentecost, and as surely as it was important in the gift of the Spirit to avoid a superior attitude on the part of Jews over Samaritans and Gentiles, it was necessary to mark the initial reception of the Gospel by each of these groups with a distinctive emphasis on the ministry of the Spirit in their behalf.
(Systematic Theology Chafer, Vol.6 pg. 132.)
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We see few cases of water baptism in the book of Acts and in most of these incidences, it is a sign. The intent was not to set forth a doctrine of water baptism to be followed for thousands of years. The fact that it has happened, in no way means that this was God’s intent, anymore than numerous other misapplications. This one in particular should be discerned closely since it has caused so much dissension in the Body of Christ. And isn’t that Satan’s goal?
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5. Acts 8:36
And as they went along the road they came to some water; and the
eunuch said,“Look! Water! What prevents me from being baptized?”
The eunuch asked to be water baptized.
So Philip baptized the eunuch as a sign. Please understand that
Spirit baptism was not available for Gentiles at this time.

6. Acts 8:37-38
Acts 8:37-38
And Philip said, “If you believe with all your heart, you may.” And he answered and said, “I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.” 38) And he ordered the chariot to stop; and they both went down into the water, Philip as well as the eunuch; and he baptized him.

Just 25 verses before the eunuch in the same chapter, Acts 8:12 we read, “But when they believed Philip preaching the good news about the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, they were being baptized, men and women alike.”

The baptism was water.

As a result of their believing and being water baptized, had they received the Holy Spirit?

Answer: No

We can know that by Acts 8:16.

Acts 8:16
For He had not yet fallen upon any of them; they had simply been
baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.

I believe Acts 8:38 is the same.
Therefore, the eunuch was not baptized by the Spirit.

Was the eunuch a Jew, Samaritan or a Gentile?

Had the Gentiles experienced the same as the Samaritans had in
Acts 8:17?

Acts 8:17
Then they began laying their hands on them, and they were receiving the Holy Spirit.

No ! That did not come until Acts 10:44.

Acts 10:44-45
While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit fell upon all those who were listening to the message. 45) And all the circumcised believers who had come with Peter were amazed, because the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out upon the Gentiles also.

7. Acts 9:18 is the same as Acts 1:5. Paul arose and was spiritually baptized.
Compare Acts 9:17 and Acts 9:18
Acts 9:17-18
And Ananias departed and entered the house, and after laying his hands on him said, “Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus, who appeared to you on the road by which you were coming, has sent me so that you may regain your sight, and be filled with the Holy Spirit.” 18) And immediately there fell from his eyes something like scales, and he regained his sight, and he arose and was baptized;

Acts 9:17 “regain your sight, and be filled with the Holy Spirit.”

Acts 9:18 “ regained his sight, and arose and was baptized:”

8. Acts 10:47
This instance concerning Cornelius was the first case of water baptism after spiritual baptism.
Why water Baptism?... Peter asked a question,
“Surely no one can refuse”... Can he?”

Can we set forth a Bible doctrine based on this question?
No. Should we make baptism a sacrament or an ordinance of the Church based on this question? No.

Could God have inspired Peter to ask the question not as a means to set forth water baptism as a sacrament for the Church, but to refute baptismal regeneration? Or could Peter have fallen back into his old ways like he did in: Galatians 2:11-13, Matthew 17:4, Matthew 16:22-23?

Did Peter later regret making the water an issue?
Paul did in 1 Corinthians 1:14-17.
1 Corinthians 1:17 For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the Gospel.

Did Paul preach an incomplete Gospel?
If water baptism was part of the Gospel, Paul would have preached it.
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But the word “gospel” now has a particular use and describes primarily the message which Christianity announces. “Good news” is its significance. It means a gift from God. It is the proclamation of the forgiveness of sins and the sonship with God restored through Christ. It means remission of sins and reconciliation with God. The Gospel is not only a message of salvation, but also the instrument through which the Holy Spirit works (Rom. 1:16).

The Gospel as the whole message and doctrine of salvation and as chiefly efficacious for contrition, faith, justification, renewal and sanctification, deals with facts of revelation and experience.
(The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia, Vol.2 pg.1281)
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Paul did not preach an incomplete Gospel!
We see two baptisms: One water and one Spirit.
Therefore, there is one for the Old Covenant and one for the New Covenant. One is part of the Gospel and one is not part of the Gospel.
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That John served in a specific way in baptism of Christ is most evident. The baptism of Christ by John is to be distinguished from “John’s baptism.” The latter was unto repentance and remission of sin, all of which was wholly foreign to Christ. The former was a compliance with prescribed ritual, and therefore a fulfilling of the Law.
(Special Old Covenant Note: Systematic Theology Chafer, Vol.3 Pg.27)
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We can easily see that John the Baptist’s baptism was unto repentance. Thus, it was water and necessary. Jesus’ baptism by John the Baptist was a fulfilling of the Law; it was likewise by water and was necessary.

Acts 1:5 Spiritual baptism is necessary for New Covenant salvation and has nothing to do with water.
Water baptism after New Covenant salvation is neither necessary nor part of the Gospel. That’s why Peter asked the question in Acts 10:47.
Acts 10:47 Surely no one can refuse the water for these to be baptized who have received the Holy Spirit just as we did, can he?

9. Acts 11:15-16-17
This passage makes it clear that Acts 2:4 was a Spiritual baptism.
And just as I began to speak, the Holy Spirit fell upon them, just as He did upon us at the beginning. 16) And I remembered the word of the Lord, how He said, “John baptized in water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit.” 17) If God therefore gave to them the same gift as He gave to us also after believing in the Lord Jesus Christ, who was I that I could stand in God’s way?

10. Acts 16:15
This is the same Spiritual baptism as Acts 16:33-34.

11. Acts 16:31-34
Verse 34 ties Spiritual baptism to believing in God. In addition, this is the same as Acts 2:41, which refers to Acts 11:15-16-17.
Acts 16:31-34 And they said, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you shall be saved, you and your household.” 32) And they spoke the word of the Lord to him together with all who were in his house. 33)And he took them that very hour of the night and washed their wounds, and immediately he was baptized, he and all his household. 34) And he brought them into his house and set food before them, and rejoiced greatly, having believed in God with his whole household.

The result of believing correctly is Spiritual baptism, Mark 16:16 “He who has believed and has been baptized shall be saved; but he who has disbelieved shall be condemned.

12. Acts 18:8. (Same as Acts 16:15-33-34; 2:41; and 11:15-16.)
And Crispus, the leader of the synagogue, believed in the Lord with all his household and many of the Corinthians when they heard were believing and being baptized.


13. Acts 19:5-6 And when they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. 6) And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Spirit came on them, and they began speaking with tongues and prophesying.

These verses are referring to the same spontaneous event. It should be pointed out that there are two primary experiences for the Christian: the Baptism of the Holy Spirit and the Filling of the Holy Spirit. In the book of Acts, we have cases of both experiences happening at the same time. But that is not always the case. The baptism of the Holy Spirit is regeneration or, in other words, becoming born again. The filling of the Holy Spirit is where one yields his body, soul and spirit to the direction of the Holy Spirit. Often this occurs after regeneration - Spirit baptism.
The attempt of some to make the baptism in Acts 19:5 “water” in order to make water baptism a sacrament or ordinance of the church fails. Simply because the “water baptism” in Acts 19:5 comes before the indwelling of the Holy Spirit in Acts 19:6.

14. Acts 22:16
Ananias gives the answer!!!
Acts 22:16 “And now why do you delay? Arise, and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on His name.”

Spirit Baptism does wash away sin.
The Spiritual baptism spoken of in these verses gives objective proof of this fact:
1 Corinthians 12:13, Acts 1:5, Ephesians 4:5, Titus 3:5, Ephesians 1:13
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Score Board!
After Jesus’ words in Acts 1:5, there are only three cases of baptism that we can know for sure are water in the Book of Acts.

1. Acts 8:12-16. (They were not saved as we are.)
2. Acts 8:37-38. (The Spirit was not available for the Gentiles).
3. Acts 10:47. (Symbol after salvation).

Peter’s question in Acts 10:47 is not a sufficient text to make water baptism a sacrament or ordinance of the Church, so the question is what else do we have? NOT MUCH!
Two distortions:
#1 We certainly can’t use what Paul says 1 Corinthians 1:14-16 as a basis to establish water baptism as a sacrament or ordinance of the Church. We all should ask the question, if water baptism was a sacrament or ordinance of the Church, why would Paul say that “Christ did not send him to implement a sacrament or ordinance of the Church baptize?”

#2 Knowing full well how many churches Paul started we also might ask, if baptismal regeneration were true, why did Paul the “soul winner” say “Christ did not send him to ... (consummate salvation in people’s lives) baptize?”

CONSIDER THIS:
John 3:5-7…
Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born (not water baptized) of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. 6) “That which is born (not water baptized) of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. (Spirit baptism) 7) “Do not marvel that I said to you, You must be born again.”

Water and Spirit seem to be interchangeable: John 7:37-39... Now on the last day, the great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, “If any man is thirsty, let him come to me and drink.” 38) “He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, from His innermost being shall flow rivers of living water.” 39) But this He spoke of the Spirit, whom those who believe in Him will receive; for the Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.

The Preponderance of the Evidence:
John 7:39
But this He spoke of the Spirit, whom those who believed in Him were to receive; for the Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.

John 4:14 but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall become in him a well of water springing up to eternal life. Is this Spirit or Water Baptism?

Romans 6:3-4 Or do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus have been baptized into His death. 4). Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, in order that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life. Is this Spirit or Water Baptism?

Galatians 3:27
For all you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. Is this Spirit or Water Baptism?

Colossians 2:12
Having been buried with Him in baptism, in which you were also raised up with Him through faith in the working of God, who raised Him from the dead. Is this Spirit or Water Baptism?

TITUS 3:5
He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit. Is this Spirit or Water Baptism?

Revelation 21:6
And He said to me, “It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give to the one who thirsts from the spring of the water of life without cost.” Is this Spirit or Water Baptism?

The above-sited verses can only mean one of two things…

Option #1… exactly what I have been advocating that by the grace of God, through faith, we are regenerated, baptized in the Holy Spirit at the point of being born again (saved).

Option #2… Baptismal regeneration, the act of water baptism being the consummating act of regeneration (being born again).

There are those who will agree with me on the verses above, yet still teach that water baptism is a requirement. They should know that the same Greek words are used for water and Spirit baptism. There is no consistency in their usage, which makes it hard to be dogmatic in reference to the word’s usage apart from context.

Since Jesus is the One who made the statement in Matthew 28:19 and also a few days later in Acts 1:5, it seems we would want to interpret this being consistent with the clarification He made. John baptized with water, “But you should be baptized with the Holy Spirit.”

Well, how can we??? It’s not we, anyway, it’s He.
So just go out and share Jesus Christ with people and when they respond believing correctly, they will be baptized in the Holy Spirit (Regenerated) and identified with the Father and Son and Holy Spirit! Christ often said things with one meaning in mind, while the listeners placed a different meaning to His words.

Option # 2 … Has to be rejected because it makes water baptism a part of the regeneration process, therefore, requiring a personal work for salvation. A work is anything other than faith and faith alone for salvation.

Baptismal regeneration is in opposition to Acts 10:47 where water baptism was administered as a symbol after they already received the Holy Spirit. (Acts 10:44-46) This Demonstrates that water baptism is neither necessary for the indwelling of the Holy Spirit nor for installing one into the Body of Christ.
Romans 8:9 However, you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. But if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Him.
1 Corinthians 12:13 For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body, whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free, and we were all made to drink of one Spirit.

Water baptismal regeneration cannot allow for water baptism to follow Spiritual baptism. Therefore, it reveals the error of the water baptismal regeneration position. (Acts 10:47)

It also makes water baptism a Biblical work. A person can repent of his sins, believe in the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ, but until he is water baptized, he is not truly saved (regenerated) and sealed till the day of redemption. Ephesians 1:13. (Truthfully, this view is false.)

Water baptismal regeneration makes water baptism a work and violates
Ephesians 2:8-9 For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; 9) not as a result of works,
that no one should boast.

It also contradicts…

Titus 3:5 He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness...

EPHESIANS 4:1-6
This passage deals with the unity within the Body of Christ!
ONE BODY***ONE SPIRIT***ONE HOPE***ONE LORD
ONE FAITH***ONE BAPTISM***ONE GOD

Believe it or not, I once was told that baptism was like a coin: one coin; two sides. This theory was that one side is for water and one side is for the Spirit, but there is one coin. Well, if it works with baptism, why not for the others?

One coin two sides, one faith two sides, one for the Christians and one for the Moslems. Or how about two sides, one God for the Christians and one for the Zoroastrians. No, it doesn’t work that way. So we are left with only one reasonable option, which teaches there is only one baptism of substance which is Spiritual baptism.

Water baptism as a symbol should not be used to cause divisions or as a discriminating element within the Body of Christ. If someone wants to identify themselves with Christ and his work through the means of water baptism, it’s OK with me, as long as it is not made out to be a requirement, and is explained properly. The method is of no matter to me since the act has no substance other than a testimony. It should not be a requirement for Church membership.

To be baptized into Christ’s Body is to come under the power and Headship of Christ; it is to be joined unto the Lord, to be identified with Him, to partake of what He is and what He has done not for a moment, but unalterably.
(Systematic Theology Chafer, Vol.6 pg. 140.)


We see that there is one baptism in Ephesians 4:5; it is a spiritual baptism that places one in the Body of Christ, (1 Corinthians 12:13) which is consistent with the words of Jesus in Acts 1:5.

So if we want to be unified as members of the body of Christ, we will teach these truths in Ephesians 4:5.

We can also see that if explained correctly, water can be used as a symbol only as a means to personify Spiritual baptism, which is one’s identity (union) in Christ.

What About The Effect Of Water Baptism?

There are many people that will testify that as a result of being water baptized, their lives changed. There is no question that water baptism does effect lives.

How do I explain the effect of water baptism on so many lives?

I first have to ask the question, was it the water that had the effect on their lives or was it the act of being water baptized that had the effect?
What really goes on when someone is water baptized?

When a person publicly stands up before people and identifies himself with the very God that created the heavens and the earth who saved him from hell, it does have an effect on his life.

Water baptism is an easy way of publicly compelling people into confessing Jesus as their Lord. It’s done often through placing a guilt trip on people, if they do not go along with the religious tradition.

They say, “If you’re not water baptized, you can’t be saved.”
“If you’re not water baptized, you can’t be a member of our Church.”
“If your not water baptized, you’re not being obedient to Jesus etc. etc. Nonetheless, public confession does have an effect.

The motivation of the confession should be one of thankfulness and appreciation rather than manipulation.

Matthew 10:32-33
Everyone therefore who shall confess Me before men, I will also confess him before My Father who is in heaven. 33) But whoever shall deny Me before men, I will also deny him before My Father who is in heaven.

Confession is not only important now, but also in the future.

Philippians 2:9-11
Therefore also God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, 10) that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those who are in heaven, and on earth, and under the earth. 11) and every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

The real issue is what value do we place on the water baptism?

I am absolutely amazed that anyone who understands the book of Galatians would advocate that water baptism plays a part in personal salvation or that it would be used to determine Church membership.
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The old ugly serpent that has always been trying to raise his ugly head at every opportunity certainly has raised his head on the subject of water baptism. The old ugly serpent’s deception in human efforts are the way to determine man’s position with God rather than Christ and Christ alone.

To say anyone has the right to determine personal salvation based on whether or not one has conformed to a religious ritual is wrong.

To determine whether or not one has the right to be a member of a local church by whether or not the person has conformed to a ritual is also wrong. (The serpent’s game.)

These deceptions are inconsistent with the book of Galatians and the Spirit in which Paul writes.
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The one sacrament-ordinance we do have as members of the Body of Christ is the Lord’s Supper and it is clearly taught.

1 Corinthians 11:23-26 For I received from the Lord that which I also delivered to you... 24) ...do this in remembrance of Me. 25) do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me. 26) For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until He comes.

How could anyone make it clearer? It’s kind of like… John Baptized with water but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.

Or how about ...there is one Lord, one faith, one baptism?

The one sacrament-ordinance we do have as members of the Body of Christ is the Lord’s supper and we as members are admonished at times not even to enter into this sacrament- ordinance and when we do not, our salvation or membership in the local Church is not held in
question.

We can see the emphasis in the Bible regarding the Lord’s Supper is quite different than the emphasis placed on water baptism.

But those that want to place people under the bondwoman (Galatians 4:30) don’t seem to care.

They must think water baptism is much more important than the Lord’s Supper, because water baptism can be used to determine church membership and a person’s very salvation.

In conclusion: to make water baptism a condition of salvation would make baptism “a work,” which disagrees with Ephesians 2:8-9.

To make water baptism a sacrament-ordinance for the churches violates Ephesians 4:5 (one baptism).

To make water baptism a symbol of spiritual baptism, a clear explanation is necessary.

There is very little Biblical emphasis on this symbol. There is only one verse we can know for sure where water baptism occurs after salvation as we know it, Acts 10:47 which is a question, not a decree like 1 Corinthians 11:23-31 regarding the Lord’s Supper. Yes, also there is 1 Corinthians 1:14-17. “For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel,”
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Addressing the condemnation question:

There are those that say that if a person is not obedient to the words of Jesus (water baptism), he is probably not saved or in rebellion, and that’s reason to prevent him from becoming a member of their local Church.

Let’s take a look at Matthew 28:19.
Matthew 28:19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations,
baptizing them...

There are two things here:
1. Make disciples
2. Baptizing.

If people were constant in their doctrine of obedience, they would say:
“If you’re not willing to make disciples, more than likely you’re not saved.”

“If you’re not willing to make disciples, you cannot be a member of our church.”

That sure would eliminate pew warmers.
In other words, the water baptism advocates should walk up and down the aisles of their churches asking people if they are involved in making disciples. If they are not, revoke their membership.

What is a disciple, and how do you make a disciple???

If you’re not making a disciple, are you being obedient to the words of Jesus? Can you be saved, if you’re not being obedient to the words of Jesus? Should you be allowed to be a member of a church, if you’re not obedient to Jesus? If Church membership requires obedience to Jesus’ commands, Church membership is going to be way down.

It’s easy to see many are inconsistent in their interpretation and application of Scripture. We would be placing people in bondage just like the Pharisees did in their hypocrisies.

The Doctrine of Obedience is just old legalism in a different package.

In the New Covenant the emphasis is not on outward signs of obedience, but inward.

Take two glasses of water, each half full, one with ordinary tap water the other distilled water. Both are water, but both are different. The content of the one is poured into the other. Thus, they are immersed together and inseparable from that point on. That’s a picture of regeneration, Spiritual baptism, where the one purifies the other.

Ephesians 1:13-14
In Him, you also, after listening to the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation — having also believed, you were sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit of promise, 14) who is given as a pledge of our inheritance, with a view to the redemption of God’s own possession, to the praise of His glory.

So when a person is saved (regenerated) he is Spiritually baptized. That is the one and only Baptism that is necessary for the believer.

If someone wants to symbolize what happens in Spiritual baptism by being water baptized as means of a public testimony, that’s fine with me. As long as they clearly explain it and do not use the water baptism as a means of separating or degrading one brothers faith or position in Christ over another’s.

BibleJim Evangelism Bible School. Baptism
BibleJim Evangelism Bible School. Heaven
BAPTISM
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