Skip to content Skip to navigation

Baptisms

Overview

There are at least seven different kinds of baptism mentioned in the Bible. Three are wet baptisms and four are dry baptisms.

 

  • Baptism is a word used many times in the New Testament and is often misunderstood. The Greek word “to baptize” is baptizw, which means to dip, immerse, plunge, overwhelm, and so to identify with something.
  • There are at least seven different kinds of baptism mentioned in the Bible. Three are wet baptisms and four are dry baptisms.
  • The three wet baptisms use water:
    • The baptism of John meant that one believed John’s message that the kingdom promises were about to be fulfilled through Jesus, the promised Messiah (Mark 1:1-8; John 1:19-28).
    • The baptism of Jesus by John was a one-time only baptism. This baptism identified Jesus with God the Father’s plan that Jesus was the Son of God, the Messiah, the savior of the world, and the king of Israel (Matthew 3:13-17; Luke 3:21-22).
    • Church age water baptism emphasized a believer’s relationship with Christ in Christ’s death to sin and resurrection to new life (Matthew 28:19; Acts 8:12 and Acts 8:16; Acts 16:33; 1 Corinthians 1:13-17).
  • The following four baptisms are dry baptisms:
    • The baptism of the Holy Spirit began after Pentecost and is unique to the church age; each believer is indwelt by the Holy Spirit and made a member of Christ’s spiritual body, the church (1 Corinthians 12:12-14).
    • The baptism of Moses occurred during the Exodus. Israel was baptized into Moses when the nation went through the Red Sea and was led by the cloud during the day; the nation was identified with Moses, their leader (1 Corinthians 10:2).
    • The baptism of the cup is a figure of speech which Jesus used to identify himself with his suffering and death on the cross. Jesus said that both James and John would also drink his cup, by which Jesus meant that they would suffer severely for him (Mark 10:38-39; Mark 14:36; Matthew 20:22-23; Luke 12:50).
    • The baptism of fire is a reference to some kind of judgment upon those who reject Christ as Messiah. It will probably be fulfilled at his second coming to earth (Matthew 3:10-12; Luke 3:16-17). Mark 1:8 and John 1:33 are parallel passages and omit the baptism of fire because they also omit the judgment material that Matthew and Luke contain.

Last Update

Tuesday, August 29, 2000