The Doctrine Of Baptisms
There are seven (7) baptisms in the scripture for the people of God:
Genesis 7:1 – 9:17, Hebrews 11:7, 1 Peter 3:20,21
Through the water the world was destroyed,
Noah and his family were saved,
and God established a new covenant with him and his seed. (Genesis 9:9)
2. The Red Sea
Exodus 14:13-30, Psalm 106:8-12, 1 Corinthians 10:1,2
Through the water the Egyptians were destroyed,
Israel was saved, and God established a new covenant with them through Moses at Mount Sinai.
3. The Jordan River (Joshua)
Joshua 3:7 – 5:9
Through the water the wilderness was left behind, Israel entered into ( a type of ) the rest, or promised land, and, being circumcised at Gilgal, their reproach was rolled away (Joshua 5:9).
4. The Baptism of John
Isaiah 40:3, Malachi 4:5,6, Matthew 3:1-12
In the same (Jordan) river, God’s circumcised, covenant people were baptized unto repentance for the remission of sins (Mark 1:4), so they could know their Messiah.
(Luke 7:29,30, John 1:31)
5. The Baptism Of Jesus In The Jordan River
Matthew 3:13-17, Mark 1:9-11, Luke 3:21,22, John 1:29-34
In the same (Jordan) river, Jesus of Nazareth, the Son of God, was baptized; not unto repentance, for he did no sin (1 Peter 2:22), and there was no sin in him (1 John 3:5); but rather “to fulfill all righteousness” (Matthew 3:15). Being the last Adam (1 Corinthians 15:45-49), and the only righteous man who ever lived since the first Adam (Romans 3:10-18, Isaiah 63:5), he became the forerunner (Hebrews 6:20) of all the Israel of God, and the first (and only) to be born of water and Spirit based on his own righteousness; thereby beginning his ministry, being a man and being “in the Father” (John 14:11), and, at the same time God himself in the flesh, “…and the Father in me” (John 14:11); “God was in Christ” (2 Corinthians 5:19).
It was through this baptism (of water and Spirit-John 3:5) that God’s righteous servant (Isaiah 53:11), the man Christ Jesus (1 Timothy 2:5) came to be “in the Father”, thereby making it possible for “whosoever believeth in him” (John 3:16), and “them that believe on his name” (John 1:12), to be in the Father as well by coming to be in him through the New Testament way of salvation (Acts 2:38).
6. The Baptism Of The Cross
Luke 12:50, Matthew 20:22, Mark 10:38
As surely as the Lord Jesus was baptized in Jordan and became the first man since Adam to be “in the Father”, he also, “being found in fashion as a man” (Philippians 2:8), of necessity to fulfill the scripture, had “to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day” (Luke 24:46) in order to
“…destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil; and to deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.”
By this baptism, the Son of God was literally plunged, or immersed, into every facet of death caused by sin and brought into existence by the disobedience of the first Adam (Romans 5:12, James 1:15).
This included :
- physical suffering (Isaiah 53:4,5, 1 Peter 4:1),
- physical death (Isaiah 53:9, Romans 5:8), and
- spiritual death (Matthew 12:40, Ephesians 4:9, Revelation 1:18),
- literal burial (1 Corinthians 15:4, Luke 23:53), and
- real bodily resurrection (1 Corinthians 15:4, Luke 24:6,7, Revelation 1:18, Luke 24:39);
…all of which was voluntarily entered into (Philippians 2:5-8) because of the great love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord (Romans 8:39) , and was necessary to fully redeem fallen man from the curse of sin and the law’s penalty (Galatians 3:13, Romans 5:12-21) that the elect of God might walk in “newness of life” (Romans 6:4), and bring forth “fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life.” (Romans 6:22).
Now, being a man, and being “in the Father” by baptism in the Jordan river, our Lord Jesus Christ became fully baptized into every facet of the penalty of sin, which is death in its fullest form and absolute entirety; and, as the Christ of God, overcame death, hell, and the grave by his own righteousness, and “became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him” (Hebrews 5:9), thus fulfilling his own words in John 14:6,
“I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.”.
7. New Testament Baptism In Jesus’ Name
Matthew 28:19, Acts 2:38, 8:16, 19:5, Romans 6:3
This is the final baptism given by God in the realm of time and literal history. It is a baptism of water and Spirit, typed out and foreshadowed by all the previous baptisms beginning with the flood in Genesis 7-9, and it is, in the realm of time and literal history, the culmination of the plan of God for his chosen people to come into personal covenant relationship and fellowship with him in a way equal to, and even surpassing, that which he had with Adam in the beginning.
Those who are ordained to eternal life (Acts 13:48), whom the Lord calls his own sheep (John 10:4) know his voice, and become “converted” (Acts 3:19) through this baptism by the power of the name of the Lord Jesus Christ.
As the Lord himself became the way of salvation, and, being the forerunner, entering into death, burial, and resurrection; and being victorious therein made a perfect and effectual atonement for the sins of all mankind with his own blood (Hebrews 9:12, Leviticus 17:11);
so those who believe in him receive:
- remission of sins,
- the power of his resurrection,
- and full adoption into the household of God with all the rights and privileges thereof,
…through his name by obeying the New Testament gospel he gave to his holy apostles (Hebrews 2:3,4, John 17:20, Ephesians 2:20), which was first preached by Simon Peter in Jerusalem at the feast of Pentecost in the year of our Lord 33 A.D. (Acts 2:14-42).
By the power of the name of Jesus Christ (Acts 4:12, John 20:31, etc…), the actual death, burial, and resurrection he accomplished for all mankind is literally imputed to, and made effectual in, the life of whosoever will obey this New Testament gospel command by:
- believing on the name of the only begotten Son of God,
- repentance from sin,
- and water baptism by immersion in the name of Jesus Christ,
…wherein his blood is made effectual upon the individual’s life, justification occurs, and resurrection (the gift of the Holy Ghost) shall ensue, according to the promise of the scripture (Isaiah 44:3, Luke 24:49, Acts 2:39,etc…).
It is by this baptism that a believer comes to be “in Christ”, and a member of the body of Christ (Ephesians 4:5, Galatians 3:27, 1 Corinthians 12:13, Romans 6:3, Colossians 2:11,12).
This is why Jesus said to his disciples in John 14:20,
“At that day ye shall know that I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you.”
“I AM IN MY FATHER”
As we saw earlier, Jesus, the Son of God, came to be “in the Father” by his baptism in the Jordan river, when by his own righteousness he went down into the water, came up, was anointed with the Holy Ghost (Acts 10:38), and received public confirmation of his being the Son of God by a voice from heaven (1 John 5:7). He became the first to be literally “born of water and of the Spirit”, and from this point forward (not from his physical birth), he was openly called the Son of God (Romans 1:4, Matthew 3:17, Luke 1:32, 3:22, Mark 5:7, etc…).
“AND YE IN ME”
And, as the scripture declares, the only way to be “in” Jesus Christ the Lord is by baptism in his name.
(Romans 6:3, Galatians 3:27, Colossians 2:11,12)
“AND I IN YOU”
Finally, as the scripture declares, the hope of eternal life is, “Christ in you, the hope of glory” (Colossians 1:27). This is the gift of the Holy Ghost (Acts 2:38), the Spirit of Jesus Christ (Philippians 1:19).
This gift is paid for in full (John 19:30), received by faith in the name of Jesus Christ (Galatians 3:14), and is a necessary element of the baptism, although it may be received and manifested before (Acts 10:44-48) or after (Acts 19:5,6) water baptism. It is the resurrection imputed to the believer (Romans 8:11), and the Spirit of adoption (Romans 8:15); and is always manifestly evidenced by the believer speaking in other tongues (real languages he has never learned) (Mark 16:17, Acts 2:4, 10:45,46, 19:6, etc…). It is Jesus Christ himself in us (John 14:21-23), the Father and the Son, the fullness of the Godhead indwelling the obedient believer.
This is the gospel of Christ, which is the power of God unto salvation.