Water baptism is a practice many churches claim is necessary to be performed if one is to be considered born again and a christian. Does scripture teach this? John the baptist whose ministry performed water baptism was the forerunner to the Lord Jesus Christ whose ministry was far different. Many believe water baptism is still for our day and age and this teaching is taken from Matthew 3:13-17, only Jesus did not say when He was about to be baptized that it was to continue with water. John knew his ministry must decrease so Jesus ministry would increase. So what was the difference between Johns ministry and his way of baptizing with water compared to Jesus’ ministry and His way of baptizing?
John in his own words goes on to say exactly what our Lord would be doing as far as baptizing in His ministry. (Matthew 3:11,12) 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: Whose fan is in his hand, and he will throughly purge his floor, and gather his wheat into the garner; but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.
This event was first seen at the day of Pentecost as we read how Peters words come to pass of Jesus’ baptism of the holy spirit and fire! (Acts 2:1-8) And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance. And there were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout men, out of every nation under heaven. Now when this was noised abroad, the multitude came together, and were confounded, because that every man heard them speak in his own language. And they were all amazed and marvelled, saying one to another, Behold, are not all these which speak Galilaeans? And how hear we every man in our own tongue, wherein we were born?
Later we see Peter teaching of the same baptism He had learned from Jesus and went on to preach this message. (Acts 2:38-41) Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call. And with many other words did he testify and exhort, saying, Save yourselves from this untoward generation. Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls.
Merriam Webster’s dictionary describes baptism as…… To purify, To cleanse spiritually, Purging one of their sin’s, To be sanctified. A christian sacrament marked by ritual use.
With the above definition it is easy to see how man has continued a worldly practice aside from what scripture teaches for us to do. There is also another reason why water baptism is wrong and that is the water baptizing of babies, which brings the question “WHAT SIN HAS A BABY COMMITTED TO HAVE TO BE BAPTIZED FOR?” or WHY WOULD A BABY NEED TO BE BORN AGAIN SINCE THEY WERE JUST BORN?” Surely they do not have to be purged from their sins, or need to be purified or cleansed spiritually. This practice makes it clear why Jesus told the Sadducces and Pharissees of His day and certainly some pastor’s and priest’s of today….. “You hold to your tradition‘s more than the laws of God, making the word of God void”!
In Jesus’ own words He tells us to baptize in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, and water is not once mentioned! (Matthew 28:18-20).
The holy spirit guides us into all truth (John 16:7-15).
8 thoughts on “Water baptism or Spirit baptism? Which did Jesus teach?”
I’m sorry but I disagree with your assessment of this verse. There are two baptisms spoken of, not one. This baptism of fire is unquenchable and that is the eternal damnation John was bringing home to those “brood of vipers.” John was telling them to repent. Or be like the chaff… On the day of Pentecost that was tongues like as fire. It was a spiritual phenomenon, not a baptism. The Holy Spirit refines us with sanctification, not fire. In its context the baptism of fire is shown to be the lake of fire and not a purifying “fire.” It burns up the chaff, of which Christians are far from being. Hope you don’t mind me saying this because I used to believe as you did until I was shown what it meant in its context. And that it had no relation to the tongues as of fire on Pentecost.
Here is the article I found on the subject when I wanted to make sure I was interpreting this verse correctly:
The other site where I first read it has long been gone, but this explanation is a much better one.
Have a blessed night, sis! \o/
I have not once said there is only one baptism…. in fact this post is about the two baptisms…. The title itself tells of two baptisms (Water & Spirit) The first being that of John who baptized with water in the Jordan…. and the second which John himself tells of Jesus who is coming after him who will be baptizing with the Holy Spirit and with fire. (Matthew 3:11).
You are putting the cart before the horse here in saying John was telling the brood of vipers to repent or be like the chaff. The passage when John tells the brood of vipers to repent is at his water baptism in the Jordan and he sees the Pharisees & sadducees coming. (Matthew 3:5-7) Then went out to him Jerusalem, and all Judaea, and all the region round about Jordan, And were baptized of him in Jordan, confessing their sins. But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees come to his baptism, he said unto them, O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come?
In a later verse is when in Johns own words does he tell of how he baptized with water BUT there is one coming after him who will be baptizing with the holy spirit and with fire. (Matthew 3:11,12) 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: Whose fan is in his hand, and he will throughly purge his floor, and gather his wheat into the garner; but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.
You write: In its context the baptism of fire is shown to be the lake of fire and not a purifying “fire.” I have not read this in scripture anywhere, but have read of what the “Lake of fire” is in Revelation which is the second death of where those who are not written in the Lambs book of life will be cast into. (Revelation 20:14,15). Hope this helps to clear this up for you. Blessings.
Jesus baptizes with the Holy Spirit (the baptism for the repentant) and with unquenchable fire (the baptism of the unrepentant). Jesus has two baptisms. That is how I read the verse. I find no connection with the baptism of fire with the tongues as of (meaning, like) fire. Perhaps I misunderstood and you were not meaning that the baptism of fire was for Christ’s followers? Anyway, the article I posted is my stand on the baptisms. Many misunderstand the verse to mean the baptism of fire is for the purging of the saints-it is not.
Have a blessed Lord’s Day, amen! \o/
There is much symbolism in scripture and the fire spoken of in Acts on the day of Pentecost the “Cloven Tongues” Cloven meaning split ….. meaning their language was separate from the worlds language and IN THE SPIRIT they had all things common and could understand one another’s language, because of the holy spirit descending upon them as cloven tongues. Even us when we are born again of the spirit our language is no longer as the worlds and our conversation is then from above and we do not speak as we once did.
YOU WROTE:Many misunderstand the verse to mean the baptism of fire is for the purging of the saints-it is not.
I completely agree with you on this, it is not at all about the purging of the saints…… the fire is the word of God as it is written “Our God is a consuming fire” just as the whole armour we are given in Ephesians tells us The word of God is a sword (Symbolism).
Be Blessed in Him Always.
Julia, everyone is born a sinner. We don’t have to commit a sin to become a sinner. We sin because we are sinners already. This is not an argument for infant baptism. Water baptisms were practiced by the early church as seen in Philip’s baptism of the eunuch after explaining the scriptures to him. Acts 8:36-38. Archeology shows the early churches, even the oldest one in Jerusalem, had baptismal founts in them.
Peter was speaking of a water baptism and the receiving of the gift of the Holy Spirit.
While your definition from MW is a right one, it can’t be used for the baptism of fire in Matthew 3, which is unquenchable, never ending. Just as water engulfs us in the one baptism, so fire engulfs the chaff, or the unrepentant, in the other baptism.
1 Peter 3:21 and this water symbolizes baptism that now saves you also—not the removal of dirt from the body but the pledge of a clear conscience toward God. It saves you by the resurrection of Jesus Christ,
I fully believe you that there were baptismal founts in the early churches, which is why in this post shows there are many things and rituals churches even of today continue to do and is why Jesus said to the Sadducces and Pharissees of His day and certainly some pastor’s and priest’s of today….. “You hold to your tradition‘s more than the laws of God, making the word of God void”! Take Care.
In Mark chapter 1 verse 8 John the Baptist says ” I indeed baptized you with water, but HE will baptize you with the HOLY SPIRIT
Thank you Chuck….. This is a clear explanation that Our Lord Jesus came to baptize with the Holy Spirit which was different from Johns ministry who baptized with water. Thank you for your comment. be Blessed.