One of the difficulties in discussing the topic of baptism springs from the use of the term for several different but related actions. Baptism means more than just immersion. Literally it conveys the idea of wool being dipped into dye and hence being changed to a uniform color with all the other pieces of wool dipped into the same dye. When the wool is dipped, not only does the wool go into the dye, but also the dye goes into the wool. Jesus describes a very similar process in John 15:20. The wool that was buried in the dye comes out a new creation, 2 Corinthians 5:17 Ritual or ceremonial water baptisms symbolize spiritual baptisms, and demonstrate obedience. Two ceremonial water baptisms mentioned in the Bible are John’s water baptism, a public demonstration of an inner commitment to repent from wickedness and follow God, and the Christian water baptism, an act of obedience to the command of Christ, symbolic of the spiritual believer’s baptism. Jesus was baptized by John (Matthew 3:13-17) but He spoke of a second baptism, referring to His ordeal of the cross, unto death (Luke 12:50). He became sin (or a sin offering) for us (2 Corinthians 5:21) and purchased the church with His blood (Acts 20:28), such that God by His grace, could accept the blood, the sacrifice of Jesus, as propitiation for the sins of the people (Hebrews 2:17). Romans 6:1-7 indicates that all born again believers share, in some way, Christ’s baptism unto death. Believers share the blessing of the sacrifice of Jesus when the Holy Spirit buries them into Him, Romans 6:4. Following conversion (Matthew 18:3), in accordance with the command of Christ (Matthew 28:19) we demonstrate our eager obedience to Christ and our understanding that now we have died to sin, been buried with Christ and have with Christ been made alive, a new creature, a spiritual child of God by undergoing the ritual of the Christian water baptism. Romans 6:3 says, “Or do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus have been baptized into His death?” When we are spiritually baptized into Christ, we are not baptized into a group of fellow believers apart from Christ, termed the body of Christ, but rather into Christ’s spiritual body along with all other believers. The individual believer’s spiritual baptism is the result of God crediting our faith as righteousness and as a result, choosing us individually, our specific individual election, to be set apart by being spiritually placed in Christ and sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit, Ephesians 1:13. 1 Corinthians 12:13 says, “For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body, whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free, and we were all made to drink of one Spirit.” Paul teaches the unity in Christ; we were baptized into one body and one Spirit indwells us all. This verse describes the process of salvation, God accepts our heart-felt faith and sets us apart (choosing us) with the baptism by the Holy Spirit into Christ and then God baptizes us with the Holy Spirit representing both the Father (Spirit of God) and the Son (Spirit of Christ). God chose us in Him before the foundation of the world corporately, for you do not choose a Redeemer without the purpose of redemption, and chooses us individually, after accepting our faith, by spiritually baptizing us individually into Christ. The baptism into Christ is the anointing of 1 John 2:20, and the sanctification of 1 Corinthians 6:11. 2 Corinthians 1:21-22 says, “Now He who establishes us with you in Christ and anointed us is God, who also sealed us and gave the Spirit in our hearts as a pledge.” Here we see the two-step process: He, who spiritually baptizes us into Christ, establishes us and anoints us in Christ, then also indwells us as a seal and pledge. This two-step process is Christ’s “baptism with the Spirit” referred to in Matthew 3:11. Ephesians 1:13-14 says, “In Him, you also, after listening to the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation, having also believed, you were sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit of Promise, who is given as a pledge of our inheritance, with a view to the redemption of God’s own possession, to the praise of His glory.” In this passage Paul clarifies the process of salvation, we are established in Christ after, having listened to the gospel and having believed the gospel, and then we are sealed with the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. If you drop the anointing mentioned in 2 Corinthians 1:21, into the sequence between “having also believed” and prior to “you were sealed” our anointing via the believer’s spiritual baptism is revealed. In Colossians 2:11-12, Paul reiterates that believers are set apart (the circumcision made without hands) by the circumcision of Christ. Using the metaphor of circumcision, the body of flesh, sin, is removed having been buried with Christ in baptism. But the conversion is more than circumcision, for in verse 12 Paul makes clear that in the believer’s baptism, believers are also raised up with Christ. In 1 Peter 3:20-21, Peter teaches that just as the ark saved some in the days of Noah, baptism into the body of Christ now saves us, not by the removal of dirt from the flesh but by forgiveness of sins, and a fresh start with a good conscience, through our faith in the resurrection of Jesus. This view mirrors the thoughts given in Hebrews 9:8-14. This believer’s baptism is also in view when the washing of regeneration is mentioned. Figuratively when we are immersed into Christ’s body, Christ’s blood washes away our sin, the removal of the “body of flesh” mentioned in Colossians 2:11. 1 Corinthians 6:11 says, “And such were some of you; but you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord and in the Spirit of God.” After being chosen by God based on our belief in the truth (2 Thessalonians 2:13), the Holy Spirit sets us apart (sanctifies) believers by baptizing them into Christ. After being set apart by being baptized into the body of Christ, we are granted the grace of justification. God accepts the blood of the lamb as full payment for our sins; we are washed white as snow (Isaiah 1:18), by the washing of regeneration (Titus 3:5). The core of our being is transformed, we are given a good conscious (1 Peter 3:20-21) so that when we follow the will of God we feel joy (Romans 14:17) and when we error, we feel sorrow that leads to repentance (2 Corinthians 7:10). We are reborn a new creature (2 Corinthians 5:17). We are indwelt with the Holy Spirit, sealed with a pledge of eternal life. Our protected heart-felt commitment to Christ leads us to a life-long commitment to follow the leading of the Holy Spirit, to renew our minds with the Word of God, and to battle every day with the desires of the flesh in order to walk with Christ to the end of days. John 14:15-21 reinforces the picture of spiritual intermeshing. After someone has placed their love on Christ which is another way of saying they place their faith and devotion on Christ making a commitment to follow His commandments from their heart, God spiritually places them in Christ and the Father will give the Helper, which is the indwelling and influence of the Holy Spirit. So the baptism by Jesus of the chosen with the Holy Spirit is clarified a little, the Holy Spirit comes from the Father. Further, the world cannot receive the Helper, indicating that only those chosen out of the world and placed spiritually in Christ where they are born again can receive the Helper. And if we love Jesus, both Jesus and the Father will come to us and make their abode with us, which suggests that the Spirit of God and the Spirit of Christ are the Holy Spirit. In summary, the believer’s baptism is Christ’s baptism with the Holy Spirit. It is a two step process, first the Holy Spirit (acting as the instrument of the Father and the Son) baptizes or places us spiritually into Christ and then we are sealed in Christ with the Holy Spirit. This results in the washing of regeneration, the removal of the “flesh” (sin) by the grace of God. The believer’s baptism is the result of our individual election whereby we are set apart by God and anointed based on accepting our faith in His Chosen One, Christ Jesus (Isaiah 42:1).