Comments 11

Baptism: The triple portion


I heard the story about a bunch of guys who used to gather together to read their bible every day on their lunch break. They were all from different denominations, so they agreed that they will not make it the goal to change each other’s theological point of view, but will allow the Word of God to do the speaking.

One day while reading, they stumbled across a very controversial subject and each man found himself drawn into a deep discussion. But there was one guy in the group who was not an active participant in the discussions. So, he was asked to share his opinion. He sat up , cleared his thought and said, “I really don’t care about what is written in there, I am going to stick with what I’ve been told.”
Could it be, that what you have been told about the Holy Spirit does not measure up with what is written about Him in God’s book? In this study post, I encourage you open the book for yourself and explore.
Did you know there are three baptisms in the bible that everyone has to go through? Yes there is! We find them in the bible. Let’s discover them together:
1. The Holy Spirit baptizes us in Jesus

“For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body-Jews or Greeks, slaves or free-and all were made to drink of one Spirit.” 1 Cor. 12:13

At conversion, the Spirit comes to live in us. We are saved at conversion and at that time we receive His presence.
2. The baptism in water
“Now when all the people were baptized, and when Jesus also had been baptized and was praying, the heavens were opened” Luke 3:21

Jesus was water baptized setting the example for us. The disciples performed many water baptisms. In this baptism the old man is cut off.
3. The baptism in the Holy Spirit
“I baptize you with water for repentance, but he who is coming after me is mightier than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.” Matthew 3:11

Notice that in this baptism, Jesus is the one doing the baptism. In the first baptism it is the Holy Spirit doing the baptism. The Holy Spirit baptizes us into the body, and Jesus baptizes us in the Spirit. In the second it is his disciples doing the baptism. The baptism in the Holy Spirit happens when we are filled to overflowing in order to walk in the newness of life and witness in the Spirit’s power about Jesus.
Examples of the three baptism
Check out the pattern in this verse…

“And Peter said to them, “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit” acts 2:37-39

Repent, be baptized, receive the Holy Spirit
But when they believed Philip as he preached good news about the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women.
“Even Simon himself believed, and after being baptized he continued with Philip. And seeing signs and great miracles performed, he was amazed. Now when the apostles at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent to them Peter and John, who came down and prayed for them that they might receive the Holy Spirit, for he had not yet fallen on any of them, but they had only been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. Then they laid their hands on them and they received the Holy Spirit”
They believed, they were baptized in water, they were baptized in the Holy Spirit. Acts 8:12-17
And it happened that while Apollos was at Corinth, Paul passed through the inland country and came to Ephesus. There he found some disciples.
And he said to them, “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?” And they said, “No, we have not even heard that there is a Holy Spirit.” And he said, “Into what then were you baptized?” They said, “Into John’s baptism.” And Paul said, “John baptized with the baptism of repentance, telling the people to believe in the one who was to come after him, that is, Jesus.” On hearing this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. And when Paul had laid his hands on them, the Holy Spirit came on them, and they began speaking in tongues and prophesying.
They were baptized unto repentance, They were baptized in water, they were baptized in the Spirit. Acts 19:1-6
For there are three that testify: the Spirit and the water and the blood; and these three agree. 1 John 5:7-8
The Spirit – Spirit baptism
The water – water baptism
The blood – Jesus, Salvation… Baptism unto repentance
“For I want you to know, brothers, that our fathers were all under the cloud, and all passed through the sea, and all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea” 1 Cor. 10:1, 2
The cloud – the presence of God symbol of the Holy Spirit – Spirit baptism
The sea – water baptism
Into Moses – a deliverer, a type of Christ, a savior – baptism unto salvation
In the old testament tabernacle there were three stops the worshipper/priest had to make on his way into the Holy Place or past the Holy Place into the Holy of Holies.
The first was at the Altar – place where blood was shared – salvation
The second was at a laver where one had to wash – water
The third was at a flask where one had or be anointed with oil – oil the symbol of the Holy Spirit.
Without these you could not enter the holy place or the holy of Holies where God dwelt. See Genesis chapters – 12, 15, 17
The baptism in the Holy Spirit is for all believers to experience.

“For the promise is for you and for your children and for all who are far off, everyone whom the Lord our God calls to himself.” Acts 2:39 this verse speaks of the baptism in the Holy Spirit. Notice it is a promise for all.


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  2. Didn’t you skip Ephesians 4:5 “there is one Lord, one faith, one baptism…” I used to think as you have said and was part of the charismatic movement and so on, but as I studied the Bible I became convinced that was a mis-interpretation. Sorry. I realize not all who accept what you have said are the same, but the churches I was in used this doctrine as a thin excuse to judge other Christians and separate themselves. The gifts of the Spirit are meant to unify and edify the Body, and what we have sometimes made of them can’t help but be a grief to the Spirit.


    • Thank you so much Carroll for the comment,

      One baptism?
      A lot of people think that because Paul says there is one baptism that the idea of the baptism of the Holy Spirit as a subsequent experience is invalid.

      I didn’t skip Eph. 4:5, in fact Eph. 4:5 proves my point in the article. Rule # 1 – never take a passage out of context. It leads to error and misinterpretation.

      In this passage, Paul is only speaking here of the baptism by water, which, according to the context, is the visible token of God’s common work in every believer, and thus a basis of unity. In other words, there aren’t separate baptisms for Jew and Gentile. Hence – One baptism!

      The concept of the baptism in the Holy Spirit is spoken of clearly in Matthew 3:11, Acts 1:5; Act 11:16. This may be considered an initial (and sometimes dramatic) experience one has with the fullness of the Holy Spirit, a filling that God wants to continue through a person’s Christian life.

      In any event, I could be wrong in my interpretation. Whom am I – I don’t have all the answers.


      • I was so grateful and relieved at your gracious response. I admit I felt very nervous disagreeing. There are too many blogs that would not have continued to make me feel welcome, but I see that you are “bearing with me in love” and are “eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace”, as Ephesians 4 says. Oddly, baptism is quite an emotional point of doctrine for many people, one that can make them go ballistic, as I have experienced. Thank you and God bless you.
        I still do not see the context of Ephesians 4 the way you do, but who knows what new wisdom will come tomorrow for either of us.


        • Carroll, I know how you feel. So don’t stress over it. We can agree to disagree, but we can not afford to be disagreable. After all, we have one Father, one Lord and On baptism, one faith. We have something more in common than we think. Stay blessed, you are welcome here any time. And you don’t have to apologize to disagree. Share your convictions and leave them in the master’s hands. Have a great day!


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  5. When a person is baptized in water for the remission of sins according to the direction of God’s Spirit they are born again. That’s where the birth from the water and the Spirit come from in John 3:5 (also 1 Peter 1:23; Ephesians 5:26).

    The baptism of the Holy Spirit is a different issue from water baptism. Holy Spirit baptism is only recorded to have happened twice in the scriptures. Once to usher in the Covenant to the Jews in Acts 2; the other to usher in the Covenant to the Gentiles in Acts 10. These are the only two times in the scriptures that such is recorded.

    In Acts 2, not all received the miraculous measure of the Spirit. Go back and read the last several verses and a person can see this. The apostles were baptized in the Holy Spirit on Pentecost, not the crowd. They were all added to that one body (the church) by the Spirit through water baptism (Acts 2:47; Colossians 1:18), but not all receieved the baptismal measure of God’s Spirit.

    Other baptism’s that are mentioned are the baptism of fire (speaking of Hell and the Holy Spirit) and the baptism that Jesus spoke of before His crucifixion. There may be one more but it slips my mind at this moment.

    I agree that baptism can be a controversial topic, but such doesn’t have to be. It’s a shame really.

    Take care, Walter.


    • Hey brother thanks for the comment

      John 3:5; Eph. 5:23 both speak of the work of regeneration by the Spirit in the life of the believer when he/she repents. At that time they are born again. And the Spirit of regeneration becomes active in their lives. 1 Cor. 12:13 tell us at this time we we are baptized into the body. This is not water baptism. The point here is – every believer receives the Spirit at conversion…at the time he is born again. Water baptism happens after conversion. This is when the born again believer becomes obedient to the command from Jesus to be baptized in water.

      The baptism in the Spirit is of course different from the born again experience and water baptism. It is mentioned more than two times in the scripture. In the post I mentioned a few. Let me submit these scriptures facts our consideration: Acts 2:1-4; 8:15-17; 9:17-19; 10:44-48; 11:14-16; 15:7-9; 19:1-6. Jesus himself said he would baptize his people in/with the Holy Spirit: (Matthew 3:11, Mark 1:8, Luke 3:16, John 1:33).

      All believers are entitled to and should ardently expect and earnestly seek the promise of the Father, the baptism in the Holy Spirit and fire, according to the command of our Lord Jesus Christ. This was the normal experience of all in the early Christian Church. With it comes the enduement of power for life and service, the bestowment of the gifts and their uses in the work of the ministry.

      We get an overflowing fullness of the Spirit, John 7:37-39; Acts 4:8
      We get a deepened reverence for God, Acts 2:43; Hebrews 12:28
      We get an intensified consecration to God and dedication to His work, Acts 2:42
      We get and a more active love for Christ, for His Word and for the lost, Mark 16:20

      Finally, the bible says the gift of the Spirit is a promise for all:

      “And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh; your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, and your young men shall see visions. Joel 2:28

      “For the promise is for you and for your children and for all who are far off, everyone whom the Lord our God calls to himself.” Acts 2:39

      Blessings Brother!


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