Understanding the 40 Parables of Jesus Christ: Learn from the greatest teacher Jesus Christ. The gospel taught in stories.

Christian Baptism


Jesus Christ Messiah-of-God.com

Christian baptism is foundational to Christianity as one of the two primary instructions given by the risen Jesus Christ. These instructions are called the Great Commission:

"Go, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things which I commanded you." (Matthew 28:19-20 WEB)

Christians are instructed to make disciples and baptize them in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit of God. However, there are two kinds of baptism mentioned in scripture: water baptism (performed by humans) and spiritual baptism (performed by God).




Water Baptism and Baptism of the Holy Spirit


John the Baptist is recorded as saying, "I indeed baptize you in water for repentance, but he who comes after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to carry. He shall baptize you in the Holy Spirit." (Matthew 3:11 WEB; also Luke 3:16)

As seen by John's statement, the two types of baptism are water baptism and baptism of the Holy Spirit.

Jesus agrees with this statement when he discusses being born again to Nicodemus, saying, "Most assuredly I tell you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he can't enter into the kingdom of God! That which is born of the flesh is flesh. That which is born of the Spirit is spirit." (John 3:5-6 WEB)

Jesus makes it clear that baptism of the Holy Spirit is required to enter the kingdom of God. This means that water baptism alone does not equal salvation.


Water Baptism and Salvation


According to Luke, water baptism is not the same thing as baptism of the Holy Spirit, nor is it the same as salvation.

"They sent Peter and John to them, who, when they had come down, prayed for them, that they might receive the Holy Spirit; for as yet he had fallen on none of them. They had only been baptized into the name of the Lord Jesus." (Acts 8:14-16 WEB)

These believers had been baptized with water, but had not yet received God's Holy Spirit, which Jesus just explained in John 3 that "unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he can't enter into the kingdom of God." (John 3:5-6 WEB)


Jesus further clarifies these facts when he speaks to the disciples after his resurrection, saying, "For John indeed baptized in water, but you will be baptized in the Holy Spirit not many days from now." (Acts 1:5 WEB)


Baptism of Holy Spirit and Salvation


In order to be saved, we must be baptized by God's Holy Spirit.

Paul calls the Holy Spirit a down payment and seal on the saved, saying, "who also sealed us, and gave us the down payment of the Spirit in our hearts." (2 Corinthians 1:22 WEB)

This kind of event is never a mediocre occurrence. Every example in the Bible of the baptism of the Holy Spirit is a dramatic event, such as in Acts 2 and Acts 8. In addition, Jesus says that God's power comes with the baptism of the Holy Spirit, "But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come on you." (Acts 1:8 WEB)


Purpose of Water Baptism


If water baptism does not equal salvation, then what is the purpose of it?

There are two reasons why water baptism is important. The first reason is because Jesus Christ instructed us to make disciples and baptize them in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. The second reason is explained by Peter, who says, "This is a symbol of baptism, which now saves you - not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ..." (1 Peter 3:21 WEB)

Water baptism is intended to represent our decision of repentance and a good conscience. This was also the reason it was used by John the Baptist, as John stated, "I indeed baptize you in water for repentance..." (Matthew 3:11 WEB)


Believers and Salvation


So, is it possible to be a believer in Jesus Christ and not be saved?

Actually, according to Jesus, it is possible to be a "believer" and not be saved.

In Revelation, Jesus warns believers that they risk having their name removed from the book of life if they do not repent of their sins, saying, "Remember therefore how you have received and heard. Keep it, and repent. If therefore you won't watch, I will come as a thief, and you won't know what hour I will come on you...He who overcomes will be arrayed like this in white garments, and I will in no way blot his name out of the book of life..." (Revelation 3:3-5 WEB)

It is important to realize that Jesus is speaking to believers when he makes this statement, not unbelievers.

For further study, read Can a Christian Lose Salvation? and The Meaning of Repentance and Salvation.


← Back to Christian Questions and Answers

← Back to Christian Sermons

Go to Messiah of God Home


Understanding the 40 Parables of Jesus Christ: Learn from the greatest teacher Jesus Christ. The gospel taught in stories.

Like and Share this Page


YOU MAY ALSO LIKE

  1. Miraculous Physical Healing Explains Salvation: The Truth of Jesus’ Salvation

    If you have stage 4 pancreatic cancer, then with current medical technology you have likely not been given any hope for getting better. Your cancer is terminal. In fact, with many diseases...

    Read More

  2. Does Science Argue For or Against God?

    Probability of the Universe Existing in Coin Flips: Flipping a coin has a 50/50 chance of heads vs tails. How many times do you think you could flip heads in a row with a 50/50 chance?

    Read More

  3. Man Finds Single Ominous Bible Page in Wildfire Aftermath

    Wildfires in Tennessee have temporarily displaced thousands of people fleeing from the destruction. Over 100 homes have been destroyed, as well as hotels and businesses. Thus far, seven people...

    Read More

  4. How to Obey God's Will

    Obeying God's will is actually more simple than it seems. The truth is that some actions are good (holy), some actions are bad (sinful), and the majority of actions are completely neutral...

    Read More

  5. Doubting After God Answers Your Prayers

    Having God answer your prayers can result in overwhelming feelings of joy, relief, and thankfulness. However, sometimes doubt of God's intervention can appear and begin to steal your confidence...

    Read More

  6. How to Prove God Exists

    For unbelievers, there are only a few ways to prove that God exists, depending on how willing they are to accept God's existence. For unbelievers who are...

    Read More

  7. The Lie of Sanctification

    Sanctification is a widely accepted belief that bridges the gap between the biblical mandate for obedience to God and the practical application of living a Christian life as...

    Read More

  8. God's Definition of Perfect

    "Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect." One of the problems with modern Christianity is the mainstream concept that "It is impossible to be perfect."

    Read More

  9. Is it Okay for Christians to Sue Others?

    When someone owes us money or has taken something away from us, often courts of law are necessary to recover what was lost. However, is it okay for Christians to sue others?

    Read More

  10. What Does the Bible Really Say about the Favor of God?

    The favor of God is a good thing to have, but the biblical definition of God's favor is very different from the definition used in the prosperity gospel...

    Read More