Thursday, August 1, 2013

Is The Baptism In The Holy Spirit Different From Water Baptism and Baptism By The Holy Spirit?

Are There Three Distinct Baptisms In The Life Of All Christians?

Question : A friend I was speaking with told me that there are three distinct Baptisms in the life of all Christians, all these days I know about only one Baptism that they usually give in the Church for all new believers. Is it Biblical? Please can you explain what it is and how we can receive it all.

Answer: Greetings to you in Jesus name! Yes what your friend said is absolutely true. There are three "baptisms" mentioned in the New Testament: The baptism by the Holy Spirit into the body of Christ at salvation, water baptism and the baptism with the Holy Spirit.

1) The Baptism that the Holy Spirit gives is when we first believe the Lord Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior and ourselves as a sinner in need of the Savior
(Rom 10:9-10). The Holy Spirit baptizes the new believers in to that one universal Body of Christ which is the Church in heaven and the earth (1 Cor 12:13; Heb 12:22-23; Eph 3:14-15). Once we are saved we will be able to drink from the Spirit in a fountain measure for eternity ahead (1 Cor 12:13; John 4:13-14). This is faithfully and automatically fulfilled by the Holy Spirit without us ever knowing it physically. The evidence of this Baptism will be a changed life and values within the heart of a believer (2 Cor 5:17).

2) When we know we are saved by grace through faith and are convinced about it through the Holy Spirit who will confirm it within us
(Eph 2:8-9; Rom 8:16, 1 John 3:24; 4:13), we usually are Baptized in water by the elders in the Lord who are in the business of making disciples as commanded by the Lord (Matt 28:18-20). This Baptism in water needs to be asked for from the elders of the Church who will do it as faith confession and a testimony before all people. The evidence of this Baptism is by getting wet in the water (Acts 8:36-38).

3) The third and the most important Baptism is the one which is done by Jesus. John the baptist proclaimed this greatest message that all who ask the Father God sincerely and honestly, will be baptized with the Holy Spirit and fire by Jesus
(Matt 3:11; Luke 3:16). Jesus Himself told all believers to ask the Father for the Holy Spirit (Luke 11:9-13). The apostles commanded all believers to be filled with the Spirit (Eph 5:18; Acts 2:38-39). Jesus baptizes all believers in the Holy Spirit, after which they will be able to drink from the river measure of the Holy Spirit which will bless not only them and their families, but all those who will come to drink of it through them (John 7:37-39). The external evidence of the internal baptism we receive from Jesus is speaking in tongues (Acts 10:44-48; 11:15-17; 2:4). This baptism from Jesus will be received only when a believer thirsts for more of God after salvation and is not satisfied with the fountain measure of the Spirit which he drinks after salvation (John 7:37).

So all these are three different unique experience in our spiritual lives. If a person is hungry enough for God, he may be able to receive all these baptisms in any order by believing in the name of Jesus. We see in the Bible, believing apostles receiving the gift of the Holy Spirit 50 days after their salvation experience, these same apostles must have received baptism even before they were saved and sealed with the Holy Spirit
(John 3:26; 4:1-2; 20:22; Eph 1:13-14). We see the non-Jewish seekers in the house of Cornelius, get baptized in the Holy Spirit at the moment they started to believe in the gospel, and then they were given water baptism by Peter and his apostolic company (Acts 10:34-48). Some weak believers who did not understand about these three unique Baptisms in the Church of Ephesus, were denied these spiritual benefits because of lack of knowledge (Hos 4:6). Then Paul the apostle clearly instructed them about it and the importance to seek for it, immediately they took water Baptism from Paul after which he laid his hands on them and prayed to God for the Baptism of the Holy Spirit and they received it immediately with the external evidence of speaking in tongues though Jesus (Acts 19:1-7).

So no one can deny these three different unique experience which happens with unique external evidences. But it can happen in any order to a person according to his sincere desire, thirst and understanding about it.

In the following presentation of the table, we will see : (1) Who is doing the baptizing, (2) the element the baptizer is using to perform the baptism and (3) the physical evidence of the baptism having been completed. It will give you a clear understanding about the three distinct Baptisms in the life of all Christians.

Water Baptism
  Holy Spirit Baptism
    Holy Spirit 
   1 Cor 12:13

Acts 8:35-38

    Jesus Christ
   John 1:32-34

 Body of Christ
   1 Cor 12:13
  Water (H2O)
   Acts 8:35-38

  Holy Spirit
  John 1:32-34
  Changed Life
    2 Cor 5:17
    Getting Wet
    Acts 8:35-38
  Speaking In Tongues
       Acts 2:4

When the specifics of the Scriptures are considered, it becomes easily understandable that the baptism of the Holy Spirit is not the baptism which the Holy Spirit gives or the one given by the Church after a person's salvation. The baptism of the Holy Spirit is as distinct and different an event in a believer's life as salvation and water baptism are. The distinctness of these three occurrences must be understood and clearly described and practiced.

Much Blessings.....


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