Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ,
let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation
of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God,
Of the doctrine of baptismS, and of laying on of hands,
and of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment.
Baptisms is an important doctrine in Christianity. But water baptism is not the only baptism in the Bible. This is the doctrine of baptismS (it is plural, See Heb 6:1,2); there is more than one baptism. The baptisms are water baptism, known as baptism in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost (Matt 28:19) (Trinity baptism or baptism in the name of Jesus Christ (Acts 8:16)), baptism of the Holy Ghost, and baptism of fire (Lk 3:16). There is also the Baptism of John the Baptist, which is now obsolete. Since all of these are important, I will cover all of them.
Water baptism is a necessary act in Christian life.It does not and cannot save you(we are saved by grace through faith).
We should be baptized because Jesus told us to: “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them…” (Matt 28:19), and
Baptism is an action identifying us with Christ’s death and resurrection. “Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life” (Rom 3:4). It does not save, but shows the world what has already happened in your life. It is a public confession of faith. It shows that you have died to your old sinful ways, and have put on the new man (or woman), which is righteous and holy:
22 That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts;
23 And be renewed in the spirit of your mind;
24 And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.
Baptism identifies with the death of Christ, but also with His resurrection. We are given a new abundant life (Jn 10:10), full of joy and hope. Not only that, you are given the guarantee that as Christ resurrected Himself, He will also resurrect you some day. “Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead” (Col 2:12).
Why should I be baptized? Jesus gave us the Great Commission: “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost” (Matt 28:19). Jesus told us to baptize the new believers, and He Himself was baptized to give He set the example by being baptized Himself (Matt 3:13-17). When Jesus rose from the water, God said from Heaven “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased” (Matt 3:17). Now don’t you want to please your Father which art in Heaven by being baptized, too? You should be baptized because Christ tells you to and because He set the example by being baptized Himself. If God the Father was “well pleased” when Christ was baptized, you should please Him by doing the same.
“But since baptism is a work and I don’t have to do works to be saved, that doesn’t mean I have to do it, right?” We were saved TO DO GOOD WORKS!!! I would recommend that you read my article “Salvation Unto Good Works.” (If you can’t get baptized because you are on your deathbed or have other physical limitations, don’t worry, you are still saved.)
Baptism is done by complete immersion in water only. This is the only method found in the Bible, and therefore is the only legitimate one with God. The first proof is that people were traveling to bodies of water to be baptized. Now if they were baptizing by sprinkling or pouring water on them, why would then have been traveling to bodies of water when they could have just used some water from their well or cistern? John the Baptist was baptizing in the Jordan River:
And were baptized of him in Jordan, confessing their sins.
And there went out unto him all the land of Judaea, and they of Jerusalem, and were all baptized of him in the river of Jordan, confessing their sins.
Jesus was baptized IN the Jordan River by John the Baptist (Mark 1:9). Jesus’ baptism was by immersion, because “he went up straightway out of the water”(Matt 3:16). He had been under the water.The Ethiopian eunuch (See Acts 8:26-40) said to Philip, “Here is water, what doth hinder me to be baptized?”They had been traveling along, and came upon water (an oasis in the desert). Why did the eunuch wait until they had found water to ask to be baptized?Why didn’t he say something like, “This jar hath water, what doth hinder me to be baptized?”Surely he had plenty of water for his journey back to Ethiopia.Maybe, just maybe because baptism was done by immersion ONLY.
Another reason why immersion is the only valid method is because it is the only one that portrays the death and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ.The submersion under the water symbolizes both death and burial.“Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death…” (Rom 6:4). Nothing about sprinkling or pouring symbolizes death.Immersion also is the only one that portrays a resurrection from the dead.Just as Christ rose from the dead, you rise out of the water.“Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with [him] through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead”(Col 2:12).
Immersion is the only acceptable method of baptism because it is the only one used in the Bible, and it is the only one that symbolizes Christ’s death and resurrection.
Baptism is for believers in Christ only.ALL baptism recorded in the Bible were of those who had put their faith in Jesus Christ, not unbelievers or babies.(I’m talking about baptisms in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, not the baptism of John the Baptist.More on this later.)
“What doth hinder me to be baptized?” Philip had been expounding on the Scriptures and preaching Jesus to the Ethiopian eunuch. The eunuch asked him, “What doth hinder me to be baptized?” (Acts 8:36). What prevents me from being baptized? What must I do to be baptized?
And Philip said, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.
“If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest.” The eunuch was not a believer. Lack of faith in Jesus Christ WAS hindering him from being baptized. When he made his public confession “I believe that Jesus is the Son of God,” he became a Christian, and Philip baptized him. Here are more examples of people getting baptized AFTER salvation:
And Crispus, the chief ruler of the synagogue, believed on the Lord with all his house; and many of the Corinthians hearing believed, and were baptized.
11 And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the street which is called Straight, and enquire in the house of Judas for one called Saul, of Tarsus: for, behold, he prayeth,
17 And Ananias went his way, and entered into the house; and putting his hands on him said, Brother Saul, the Lord, even Jesus, that appeared unto thee in the way as thou camest, hath sent me, that thou mightest receive thy sight, and be filled with the Holy Ghost.
18 And immediately there fell from his eyes as it had been scales: and he received sight forthwith, and arose, and was baptized.
30 And brought them out, and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved?
31 And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.
32 And they spake unto him the word of the Lord, and to all that were in his house.
33 And he took them the same hour of the night, and washed their stripes; and was baptized, he and all his, straightway.
A baby cannot be a believer because he can’t old enough to understand the Gospel, and the Bible doesn’t mention anyone being baptized who was not already a Christian. Baptism is for believers in Christ only.
Water baptism is very important for Christians. You need to be baptized in water. But it is not the only baptism that we need to know about. You also need to have the Baptism of the Holy Ghost and Baptism of Fire.
Baptism of the Holy Ghost is a very necessary event in the life of the believer. It is when the believer is indwelled by the Holy Spirit of God (aka the Holy Ghost). He gives the believer the POWER to abandon sin, follow God and be a witness for Christ. On the other hand, without Him you will struggle with sin, and be a poor witness. Baptism in the Holy Ghost can happen right at salvation, but this is not always true. You NEED the Baptism of the Holy Ghost!!
Baptism in the Holy Ghost gives you the POWER to overcome sin, live a holy life, and become a BOLD witness for Christ.The Holy Ghost gives you the BOLDNESS to preach (or witness) without fear.And when they had prayed, the place was shaken where they were assembled together; and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and they spake the word of God with boldness (Acts 4:31).Without Him, your preaching/witnessing is done from the flesh and will go nowhere.Your flesh is weak.YOU NEED THE BAPTISM OF THE HOLY GHOST.Jesus told His disciples after His resurrection to wait for the Holy Ghost before they started preaching.They couldn’t preach out of the flesh.Their flesh was too weak to stand up to the persecutions that would come.They needed the Holy Ghost for BOLDNESS and COMFORT.
Preaching/ witnessing and just plain living without the Holy Ghost is powerless. Jesus said. “without ME ye can do NOTHING” (Jn 5:15) and He speaks to us thought the Holy Ghost. Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come (Jn 16:13). I have experienced some unanointed preachers first hand. I have also seen what anointed preaching is like. I know a pastor who’s NEVER been to Bible school who can preach better than many I know who have, because he has the anointing of the Holy Ghost. Many were converted at the preaching of Barnabas. This was not because of his own doing but because he “was a good man, and full of the Holy Ghost and faith” (Acts 11:24). Barnabas’ preaching was “not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth” (1 Cor 2:13), and because of this, people listened. Paul wrote, “For our gospel came not unto you in word only, but also in power, and in the Holy Ghost, and in much assurance” (1 Thess. 1:5). They weren’t preaching using man’s wisdom; they were preaching using the Holy Spirit of God. The Holy Ghost was guiding their preaching.
The Holy Ghost gives you your spiritual gifts/ anointing(Heb. 2:4), and He helps you carry them out.Just as witnessing is dead if not done through the Holy Ghost, so are your gifts if you do not do them with His guidance.He will make you very fruitful in Christ if you patiently work through Him.He will help you perform your spiritual gifts and God’s will for your life.
The Holy Ghost gives you the POWER to abandon your sin, and live righteously. He is the POWER that God gives us that I mentioned in the “Salvation Series” and other Basic Christianity articles. You CANNOT turn from your sin yourself, your own human nature, your carnal desires, will keep you sinning.You cannot fight sin with the flesh because sin is in your flesh.There is nothing good in your flesh, only evil. Paul wrote, “For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) DWELLETH NO GOOD THING” (Rom 7:18).There is nothing good in your flesh.If you try to fight sin without the Spirit of God, you will fail.
The Holy Ghost will give you the POWER to whip all the sin in your life, and He will then turn you into a holy witness for Christ. Yes, you CAN BE HOLY. But you have to let Him do His work in you. If there is some favorite sin that you don’t want to get rid of, do not expect God to fill you with His Holy Spirit. God will only give His Holy Ghost to those who will OBEY HIM: “And we are his witnesses of these things; and so is also the Holy Ghost, whom God hath given to them that obey him” (Acts 5:32). Do not expect God to fill you with His Spirit if you are a carnal Christian.
The Holy Ghost is your guide in worship. We are to worship God in SPIRIT and in TRUTH. You cannot worship in Spirit with out the Him. But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him. God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth (Jn 4:23,24). He is also your guide to the Word of God. He will show you things out of the Bible that you will NEVER find with your own understanding:
But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you(Jn 14:26).
13 Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.
14 He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you.
The Holy Ghost is your Comforter in times of trouble. Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution. (2 Tim 3:12). He will help you live godly, and He will help you endure the persecution that comes with it. You cannot endure the trials and persecutions of this life without the Holy Ghost helping you. You will fail miserably on your own. “for without ME ye can do nothing” (Jn 15:5).
How to get the Baptism of the Holy Ghost
Baptism of the Holy Ghost is very needed in the Christian life. But how do you get it? Baptism of the Holy Ghost can happen at salvation, but this is not always the case. Acts 19:5,6 describes converts who had just been baptized (in water) but who hadn’t yet received the Holy Ghost. They were saved, and baptized in water, but didn’t have the Holy Ghost. They did not receive the Holy Ghost with their water baptism. So Paul laid his hands on them:
5 When they heard this [the Gospel], they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.
6 And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Ghost came on them; and they spake with tongues, and prophesied.
In Acts Chapter 8, many Samaritans received Christ and were baptized in His name (water baptism). But they had not received the Baptism of the Holy Ghost. These too were saved and baptized but did not have the Holy Ghost. When Peter and John arrived to see how things were going, they realized that they didn’t have the Holy Ghost, and prayed for them that they might receive Him “for as yet he was fallen upon none of them”:
14 Now when the apostles which were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent unto them Peter and John:
15 Who, when they were come down, prayed for them, that they might receive the Holy Ghost:
16 (For as yet he was fallen upon none of them: only they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.)
17 Then laid they their hands on them, and they received the Holy Ghost.
These are two examples of people who received the Holy Ghost sometime AFTER salvation and water baptism. Not everyone receives the Holy Ghost at salvation. Ignore false teaching that the Holy Ghost ALWAYS comes at salvation (Taught by many ‘fundamentalists’). Since not everyone receives the Holy Ghost at salvation, the following will show you how to get the Baptism of the Holy Ghost:
God gives the Holy Ghost to them that ASK Him AND OBEY Him: “If ye then, 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?” (Lk 11:13). “And we are his witnesses of these things; and so is also the Holy Ghost, whom God hath given to them that obey him” (Acts 5:32). God will NOT give you the Holy Ghost if you will not obey Him. You must be willing to abandon this world and it’s system, and trust and obey God. You must be willing to allow Him to purge EVERY sin from your life. If this means throwing out all your CD’s, videos, and books, then so be it. You must be committed to become holy at all costs. You can’t become holy without having the Holy Ghost, and God will not give you the Holy Ghost if you are not willing to become holy. And if you don’t want to be holy, you are disobeying God Who said, “Be ye holy; for I am holy” (1 Peter 1:16). And if you are not obeying God, He WILL NOT give you His Holy Spirit. You must be willing to follow Christ AT ALL COSTS.
Ask your pastor or another male church leader to lay hands on you and pray for the Holy Ghost.This is how many people in the early church received Him.If this doesn’t work, perhaps you are not ready to surrender all.
Ask God in prayer for the Holy Spirit and wait. If you do not get Him right away, keep asking, and do some soul searching. Are their any sins that you are stubbornly hanging on to, that you want to keep? Are there any sins that you are not aware of
Note that when you receive the Holy Ghost, you may or may not speak in tongues. Beware false teaching by charismatics that speaking in tongues is THE evidence for receiving the Holy Ghost, and that if you don’t speak in tongues, you don’t have Him. Speaking in tongues is a spiritual gift, and like other spiritual gifts, not everyone gets the same gift (See 1 Cor Ch 12 &14).
The Baptism of the Holy Ghost is very important. When you are filled with the Holy Ghost, He will lead you in all truth and away from all sin. You need to be filled with the Spirit to live the Christian life. If you don’t have the Baptism of the Holy Ghost, you should ask God for it, because not everyone gets it at salvation.
Baptism of Fire
The Baptism of Fire is the holy purge given to you by the Holy Ghost. I [John the Baptist] 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: (Matt 3:11). This is the Holy Ghost’s work of purging you of ALL of your sins, referred to in the Bible as SANCTIFICATION. Sanctification is the processes of making you HOLY. Although it starts at salvation with the elimination of your MAJOR sins, it doesn’t get your hidden ones until you receive the Baptism of the Holy Ghost. Once you start bearing spiritual fruit, He will purge you so that you will bear MORE FRUIT. “…every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit.” (Jn 15:2). If you are willing to let Him purge you at any cost, you will bring forth much fruit. It will be quality fruit that can withstand God’s test of fire: Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is.(1Cor 3:13)
Baptism of Fire also refers to the persecution that all Christians will face. Your faith will be tried by FIRE that it might be found unto praise, honour and glory at the appearing of our Lord: That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ (1 Pet 1:7). If you are living holy, you will suffer persecution (2 Tim 3:12)
12 Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you:
13 But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy.
1 Peter 4:12,13
The persecution will divide between the sheep and the goats, for the goats will not be able to stand the heat, thus purging the church of the fake Christians. It will either strengthen your faith in Christ, or show that you never had faith. The persecutions of the Apostle Paul lead the other Christians to be more BOLD to speak the word WITHOUT FEAR: “And many of the brethren in the Lord, waxing confident by my bonds, are much more bold to speak the word without fear” (Phil 1:14).
The Baptism of Fire is the act of the Holy Ghost to purge you of ALL your sins, including ones you don’t even know about, and make you pure, holy, separate from this world, and set apart for God.
Baptism of John the Baptist
The baptism of John the Baptist, also known as the baptism of John, is obsolete.John baptized with water unto repentance (Matt 3:11). He baptized those who were repenting of their sins to prepare them for the Lamb of God that was coming.These were not saved, but were made ready to accept Jesus Christ when He came.John the Baptist was the forerunner of Christ, sent to prepare His way.His baptism was the predecessor of baptism in the name of the Trinity.Acts chapters 18 and 19 tells of people who were preaching only John’s baptism, and had to be corrected by the Christians.
24 And a certain Jew named Apollos, born at Alexandria, an eloquent man, and mighty in the scriptures, came to Ephesus.
25 This man was instructed in the way of the Lord; and being fervent in the spirit, he spake and taught diligently the things of the Lord, knowing only the baptism of John.
26 And he began to speak boldly in the synagogue: whom when Aquila and Priscilla had heard, they took him unto [them], and expounded unto him the way of God more perfectly.
27 And when he was disposed to pass into Achaia, the brethren wrote, exhorting the disciples to receive him: who, when he was come, helped them much which had believed through grace:
28 For he mightily convinced the Jews, and that publickly, shewing by the scriptures that Jesus was Christ.
1 And it came to pass, that, while Apollos was at Corinth, Paul having passed through the upper coasts came to Ephesus: and finding certain disciples,
2 He said unto them, Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed? And they said unto him, We have not so much as heard whether there be any Holy Ghost.
3 And he said unto them, Unto what then were ye baptized? And they said, Unto John’s baptism.
4 Then said Paul, John verily baptized with the baptism of repentance, saying unto the people, that they should believe on him which should come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus.
5 When they heard [this], they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.
Note that these had received John’s baptism, but when they were preached Christ, they received the baptism in the name of the Trinity. So John’s baptism was only the forerunner of the baptism of the Trinity, and is of no use today.
BaptismS is a very important doctrine in Christianity. There are three different baptisms that you need to know about: water baptism (baptism in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost), Baptism of the Holy Ghost, and Baptism of Fire. A Christian should press to get ALL of these. The baptism of John the Baptist is now obsolete, since it’s purpose was to prepare people for Christ. NOW GO OUT AND GET BAPTISED!!!