John's Baptism vs. "Christian" Baptism

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by wpe3bql, Jun 7, 2015.

  1. wpe3bql

    wpe3bql
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    I haven't seen any recent threads on this, so I'm guessing that there probably aren't any.

    That being said, a Bible study that I occasionally attend is currently taking these two kinds of baptisms as its current topic.

    Hence, I'd love to read any comments that my BB Land friends might care to post.
     
  2. Rolfe

    Rolfe
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    "John's baptism" refers to his baptism of Christ, or is it a doctrine that I have not heard of? Stupid question, I know. Thanks.
     
  3. wpe3bql

    wpe3bql
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    Rolf ---

    According to Acts 19:1-6 (Apollos), there seems to have been some kind of difference (at least among the very early Christians) between the meaning(s)/result(s) of "John's baptism" and the baptisms that we perform today.

    Therefore, I'm asking what you/other BB folks think that these differences might be.

    Hopefully this helps
     
  4. Rolfe

    Rolfe
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    Thanks. I had not thought of that bit.
     
  5. Van

    Van
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    Baptism

    The question you have to ask is what kind of baptism? John's baptism or the Christian baptism with water or Christ's baptism unto death, or Christ’s baptism with the Spirit or Christ’s baptism with fire or the Believer’s baptism by the Spirit?

    Opinions differ but many see that John’s ceremonial baptism with water had its roots in the ceremonial washings practiced in temple worship. Paul indicates that John’s baptism was not only a public declaration of repentance, a recognition that being a Jew did not automatically gain forgiveness of sins (Matthew 3:8-9); it also acknowledged the one (Christ) who would come after John (Acts 19:4).

    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 a sin offering for us (2 Corinthians 5:21) and paid the full penalty (Acts 20:28), such that God by His grace, could accept the blood, the sacrifice, of Jesus as propitiation for our sin (Hebrews 2:17). Mark 10:38-39 indicates that the apostles will share in this baptism. Romans 6:1-7 indicates that all believers share, in some way, in Christ’s baptism unto death. Again, some accept that Paul is referring to water baptism as a symbolic sharing of Christ’s death. An alternate view is that believers share the blessing of the sacrifice of Jesus when we are buried into Him by the Holy Spirit. And hence, the Christian Baptism with water is symbolic of the believer’s baptism into Christ by the Holy Spirit, not Christ’s baptism unto death where He became a sin offering for us for Christ did that alone.

    In order to understand the believer’s baptism, it is necessary to accept that water baptism is ritual, and is symbolic of and should be subsequent to the believer’s spiritual baptism. Therefore, anytime the text appears to indicate that water baptism is necessary for salvation, the actual intent is to symbolically acknowledge the believers baptism. When Peter says (Acts 2:38) that you need to be baptized, even if he had water baptism in view, it carries with it the acknowledgement of the believer’s baptism, which is the actual step following God choosing us individually, our individual election, based on His acceptance of our heart-felt faith in His Son, and then setting us apart by baptizing us into Christ’s body by the Holy Spirit. This spiritual baptism is the gift of God of salvation. The baptism into Christ is the anointing of 1 John 2:20, and the sanctification of 1 Corinthians 6:11.

    Our individual election, being set apart by being baptized into the body of Christ, reflects that we have been granted grace, through faith. 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 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. Persistent prayer unleashes the power of the Holy Spirit, obedience to the Word increases it influence in our lives, and the enabling gifts of the Spirit, the fruit of the Spirit and more, facilitates our service to Christ and our fellow believers. This indwelling of the Spirit is the baptism by Jesus with the Spirit, even if the initial felt influence (also called the baptism with the Holy Spirit) does not occur immediately.

    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 child of God by undergoing the ritual of the Christian water baptism.

    Water Baptism is a work and can therefore only symbolize salvation “not of works.”

    Being saved means, among other things, being saved from the coming wrath of God. Thus it entails being forgiven or gaining mercy and being forgiven because of the blood of Jesus. When, by faith, we place our trust in Jesus, and not in our own works, and we turn from a self-centered life to a Christ centered life, and God accepts our faith, we are baptized into Christ in the spirit. His blood covers us. God grants us, by grace through faith, forgiveness of sin. At this point we are saved. We have not spoken in tongues, nor been baptized in water, but we are saved, and have been baptized into Christ's body by the Spirit.

    Afterwards, we can manifest the Spirit by being filled with the Spirit. This can happen in the next minute (i.e. without delay) or we might not manifest the spirit until we demonstrate obedience such as by being water baptized, or by having others lay on hands. The problem that divides many is that being initially filled with the spirit (feeling the influence of the Spirit) is called in scripture being baptized with the spirit (Acts 1:5), and is seen by some as something other than the manifestation of the indwelt Holy Spirit.

    Matthew 3:11, Luke 3:16 and John 1:29-34 illustrate how the Biblical authors used the term translated “baptize” for several different but at times closely related activities. John the Baptist is of course noted for two things, his water baptism of repentance, and his proclamation that Jesus, the One who baptizes with Spirit and Fire, is the Son of God. Because of the subsequent verses describing Jesus as the Judge with His winnowing fork, the fire baptism appears to be the destruction of the damned, Christ as the Judge immersing the lost into the lake of fire.

    After John the Baptist water baptized Jesus, John saw the Holy Spirit descend and come upon Jesus. After hearing the voice and seeing the visible manifestation of the Holy Spirit, John knew for sure that Jesus was the One who would baptize with the Spirit and Fire.

    The Father poured out the Holy Spirit upon His Son; anointing Jesus with the Holy Spirit and with power to carry out God’s purpose (Acts 10:38). So three types of baptism (water baptism, baptism with fire and baptism of Jesus with the Holy Spirit to equip for service) are in view in these related passages. The first baptism was by John of Jesus with water. The second will be by Jesus of the damned with fire. The third was by God of Jesus with the Holy Spirit.

    But none of the above addresses the main proclamation, the baptism by Jesus of the elect with the Holy Spirit. On Pentecost, Jesus poured out the Holy Spirit upon his chosen disciples to equip them for service (Acts 1:5-8), to establish the foundation of the church, Christ being the corner stone. Therefore, if the pattern is consistent, then after being chosen, Jesus will pour out the Holy Spirit upon the saved, to indwell them as a seal and a pledge of an inheritance, and as an influence (to be filled with the Holy Spirit) to enable the saved to serve God. For example, Acts 1:8 says the Holy Spirit would enable the apostles to be witnesses for Christ. Acts 2:4 documents that the Holy Spirit enabled a powerful witness that Jesus was the Christ, through the Apostles, not only by what they said but also by how they acted.

    In Luke 11:13, Jesus teaches that praying persistently to the Father for more influence from the Holy Spirit will result in the Father who knows how to give good gifts, giving more of the Holy Spirit. Some see a parallel teaching in Matthew 5:6 where Jesus says, “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst after righteousness for they shall be satisfied.”
    Acts 4:31 demonstrates that prayer is a key to unleashing the power of the Holy Spirit. Paul prays that believers will be strengthened by the power of the Holy Spirit to enable them to grow up in Christ (Ephesians 3:14-19).


    The fourth baptism, the believer’s baptism,(described in 1 Corinthians 12:13) is introduced in John 3:5-8, which says, “Jesus answered, Truly, truly, I say unto you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter into the Kingdom of God. That which is born of flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not marvel at what I said to you, “You must be born again.” The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it, but do not know where it comes from and where it is going; so is everyone who is born of the Spirit.” To be born of the Spirit is to be born again into a new life in the Spirit. But mystery surrounds this new birth, this entry into a new life in the Spirit. Based on the pattern of the initial baptisms (Jesus and the Apostles) the baptism with the Holy Spirit occurs after being chosen.
    (continued on next post)
     
    #5 Van, Jun 9, 2015
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 9, 2015
  6. Van

    Van
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    (continued from prior post)

    When the term baptism is used to describe a spiritual interaction, it seems to convey the idea of connection with God and a relationship with God. After being chosen by God, people are set apart for service, sanctified by the baptism of the Holy Spirit. Therefore, it seems consistent that after God accepts the heartfelt faith of a believer, He sets apart (chooses) them by baptizing them into the body of Christ. This establishes the relationship; the believer is now “in Christ” figuratively covered with His blood. Being baptized into Christ results in God granting grace through faith for the forgiveness of sin. When we are baptized into Christ, we become a new creature, washed by His blood. The Holy Spirit of God invades our being, our baptism with the Holy Spirit, then we are indwelt, sealed with a pledge and predestined to be conformed to the image of Christ by the renewing of our mind under the influence of the Holy Spirit and our love of Jesus. The believer’s baptism by the Holy Spirit into Christ, based on God’s acceptance of their faith is the anointing of God. Sometimes this influence is felt immediately (Acts 10:47) and sometimes it is felt subsequently such as in response to obedience and prayer surrounding water baptism (Acts 2:38 and Acts 19:6). Water baptism symbolizes our spiritual baptism into Christ, not the baptism of the Holy Spirit for equipping for service and as a pledge of eternal life.

    John 14:15-21 reinforces the picture of spiritual intermeshing. After someone has placed their love on Christ (made a lifelong commitment to follow His commandments), Jesus will ask the Father 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 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.

    Acts 2:33-41 conveys the close of Peter’s sermon on the Day of Pentecost. The Jews were convicted by the words of Peter and the behavior of the other Apostles, and rather than rationalize their past behavior, they repented and asked “What shall we do?”
    Peter reveals a big chuck of the mystery in what he says next. “Repent, and let each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. The newborn believers were probably water baptized at this point, the text does not say but the implication is clear. Note that the text does say their heart was involved (cut to the heart) not just intellectual assent, and those that accepted the message were baptized. The onset of the felt influence of the Holy Spirit is not recorded in this passage.

    Acts 10:46-47 if carefully considered, presents a similar sequence of salvation. Unbelievers were listening to the words of Peter; he was still speaking, and so they had not been water baptized. But the gift of the Holy Spirit was poured out on them. Therefore, between the conviction brought by Peter presenting the gospel of Christ, and the baptism with the Holy Spirit, a change occurred in the unbelievers. They had repented and became believers. They placed their faith in Jesus for the forgiveness of sins. This passage does demonstrate that water baptism was not necessary for forgiveness of sins. Even if Peter’s words addressed water baptism in Acts 2:38, we still have a consistent pattern of salvation. Receptive unbelievers are presented the gospel of Christ, they are convicted and repent of their sins, they place their faith and love upon Jesus, and subsequently they experience the influence of the Holy Spirit.

    Romans 6:3-4 describes the believer’s baptism into Christ indicating it symbolizing the shared death, and concludes that if we share the likeness of death, so shall we share in the resurrection.

    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 indwelt us all. This verse describes the process of salvation, God accepts our heart-felt faith and sets us apart (chooses us) with the baptism by the Holy Spirit into Christ and then Christ baptizes us with the Holy Spirit representing both the Father (Spirit of God) and the Son (Spirit of Christ). The double election doctrine accepts the believer’s baptism into Christ, the anointing, and positional sanctification as the second election. God chose us in Him before the foundation of the world corporately and chooses us, after accepting our faith, individually by baptizing us into Christ.

    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 gave us the gospel, establishes and anoints us in Christ, then also indwells us as a seal and pledge.

    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 the subsequent “you were sealed” which is consistent with the sequence given in Corinthians, the second election is revealed.

    Ephesians 4:30-31; 5:18 and 1 Thessalonians 5:19 teach that if we sin we will grieve the Spirit and quench the Spirit, reducing the Spirits influence in our lives. But, through prayer and obedience, and examination of God’s Word, we can be filled with the Holy Spirit. But if, indeed, we have been established in Christ, anointed and sealed in Him, we will only grieve and quench the Spirit but the Helper will never leave us, never abandon the pledge. Those, who think the indwelt Holy Spirit influenced them, then subsequently abandon their faith, present a problem to the doctrine of Eternal Security, but not to the doctrine of Uncertain Security. For at any time during our walk with the Lord, “believers” can look back at works, and accept it as evidence of their spiritual condition. No faith means no salvation, we were mistaken; God did not accept our sincere offer of faith because it did not reach our heart, the core of our being. They were deluded or disingenuous when they attributed their actions to the influence of the Holy Spirit. Jesus taught, in John 14:11 that we can trust the miracle works of God as a basis for confidence in our salvation and my commentary is that we can trust the lack of sustained works as a basis of no confidence of being saved. Only the Lord knows who is saved and someone could stumble for quite some time, if in his or her heart they still trust in Jesus and still desire to please God. But falling away, especially when faced with difficulty in the first few years clearly indicates a lack of salvation. Falling away later could be a symptom of a cultural Christianity where the person just followed the crowd because it was the lifestyle of his or her acquaintances.

    The baptism mentioned in Ephesians 4:5 is the believer’s baptism by the Holy Spirit into the body of Christ. In Colossians 2:11-12, Paul reiterates that believers are set apart (the circumcision made without hands) by the circumcision of Christ. When we are baptized into the Chosen One, we become set apart. Paul then explains that we have been buried with Christ when we were baptized into the body of Christ; then raised up with Christ, raised up alive in the spirit, just as God raised up Jesus from the dead. This was accomplished through faith by the workings of God. 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 “flesh” from the body mentioned in Colossians 2:11.

    In summary, the believer’s baptism is the baptism by the Holy Spirit of believers whose faith in Christ has been accepted by God, into the body of Christ. This results in the washing of regeneration, the removal of the “flesh” (sin) by the grace of God. The believer’s baptism is the second election whereby we are set apart by God, chosen by God and anointed based in part on accepting our faith in His Chosen One, Christ Jesus (Isaiah 42:1).
     

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