Step 08 Introduction to Baptisms

08 Introduction to Baptisms

Introduction to

Instruction about Baptisms


The Third of Six

“Elementary Teachings about Christ”

from Hebrews 6:1,2


We are studying Hebrews 6:1-2:

Therefore let us leave the elementary teachings about Christ and go on to maturity, not laying again

     the foundation  

          of repentance from acts that lead to death, and  

          of faith in God,

 2  instruction about


          the laying on of hands,

          the resurrection of the dead, and

          eternal judgment.


In the verse two above did you notice that the word “baptisms is plural!  Is there more than one kind of baptism in the New Testament?

Consider the following verse:

[John the Baptist said:]  “I baptize you with water for repentance. But after me will come one who is more powerful than I, whose sandals I am not fit to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire.” (Matthew 3:11)

John seems to be talking about at three kinds of baptism.

Obviously, John is making a distinction between the baptism that he is administering and the baptism that Jesus would administer.  However, someone may object that in this verse baptism with the Holy Spirit and baptism with fire are the same thing.   The Greek wording can be understood that way.  Even if it does mean that in this passage, other passages of the New Testament teach that there are at least three ways to use the concept of ‘baptism.’

Consider these verses:

On one occasion, while He [Jesus] was eating with them [His apostles], He gave them this command: “Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard Me speak about. 5 For John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.” (Acts 1:4,5)

Again, we see two distinct baptizings, a baptizing with water and a baptizing with the Holy Spirit.

Here’s a third kind of baptizing:

38 “You don’t know what you are asking,” Jesus said. “Can you drink the cup I drink or be baptized with the baptism I am baptized with?”

39 “We can,” they [James and John] answered.

     Jesus said to them, “You will drink the cup I drink and be baptized with the baptism I am baptized with, . . .”

Here is a cup or baptizing that is different from the other two.  This author sees it as the same as the baptizing with fire that John the Baptist mentioned.  Later I’ll share why.  If you see no connection, it’s OK.  No matter what, Christians would do well to learn about this cup or baptizing also.

So, the following three teachings will be about:

1) Baptism with water

2) Baptism with the Holy Spirit

3) Baptism with fire

(Please note:  Although these three baptisms share a similar title, they are categorically different from each other.)

© copyright 2011

Lyra Publications

Preston, Minnesota

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