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Baptism

The Greek verb baptizo means "to baptize" - which is to immerse or to surround the person with something, to dip or immerse something into something else such as bread in vinegar in Ruth 2:14, feet in water in Joshua 3:15, a coat in blood in Genesis 37:31. This word was used for cleaning literally as in I Samuel 14:7, and also for the washings under the law in Leviticus that a person would do to/for himself.

The following are references to some relevant verses with links to the Bible chapters, plus a short explanation for each:

In Matthew 3:11 and John 1:29-34 - John the baptizer, who baptized other people with physical water (they didn't do it to/for themselves), explains that the only reason he was told by God to do this was so that the Christ should be made manifest to Israel. Jesus himself had to be baptized by John in accordance with God's will because God told John that on whomever he would see the holy spirit descending and staying upon him that he would baptize others with holy spirit (not water). That person was of course Jesus the Christ, and today he is the resurrected Lord Jesus Christ who baptizes with holy spirit (not water). The Lord Jesus Christ baptizes others with holy spirit; a person cannot do it to/for himself/herself.

Acts 1:5-8 - the resurrected Christ tells his disciples that in the past John did indeed baptize with water - but that the promise of the Father is coming which is that they will be baptized in holy spirit not many days from then. They won't baptize each other nor will they baptize themselves but they will be baptized in holy spirit. It would be the Lord Jesus Christ who would do the baptizing in holy spirit on the day of Pentecost recorded in Acts chapter 2.

Acts 2:1-4 - the gift of holy spirit is poured out for the first time to those who believed regarding the Lord Jesus Christ; they believed that God raised him up from the rest of the dead-people and that he is Lord and Christ. Peter explains all of this in Acts chapters 2-4.

Acts 2:33 - tells us that God gave the promised holy spirit to the resurrected Christ and then it was Christ who shed it forth on the day of Pentecost.

Acts 2:38 - Peter says: "You must repent and each of you must be baptized on the name of Jesus Christ into (the) dismissal of your sins and you will receive the free-gift of the holy spirit." The people to whom Peter spoke that day were probably already baptized with water by John the baptizer as they were all of the Judean lifestyle even though many were from other areas outside of Jerusalem.

Peter did not tell them to be baptized with water again, nor to be baptized with water while someone else or they themselves would say 'on the name of Jesus Christ' because this would not have been in their thinking as John did not ever do that, nor did John say he was baptizing 'in the name of God' (refer to Matthew chapter 3, and to Acts 19:4 where Paul explains what John did). Peter told them to be immersed (surrounded) in everything that the name of Jesus represents and stands for.

Acts 2:41 - these were the people who accepted the words regarding the Lord Jesus Christ that Peter was speaking to them. They were baptized in everything he is which means that they received holy spirit-life, for this is what the Lord Jesus Christ made available to all on that day of Pentecost. This is the same as what Paul wrote in Romans 10:8-10 regarding what a person must believe in order to be saved. No-one is in the standing and state of having been saved today unless they have received holy spirit-life.

Acts 9:17 - Ananias tells Saul (Paul) that the Lord Jesus apostled Ananias so that Saul would receive his sight and be filled with holy spirit. Acts 9:18 tells us that he received his sight and he got up and was baptized in holy spirit.

Acts 10:44 - this shows very clearly that even the Gentiles (people descended from other nations, other ethnic groups, not Judean/Israeli) were able to receive the gift of holy spirit and manifest it forth without any water baptism.

As soon as they heard what Peter told them about the resurrected Christ Jesus the Lord they received and manifested speaking in tongues just the same as the Judeans who believed regarding the Christ did on the day of Pentecost (Acts 2). In fact, this truth shocked the believers who were with Peter at that time and Peter had to explain to them that it was God who arranged this to come to pass. I know that some say that Peter later baptized these new believers with water but that would be the "wrong way round", plus that was not the case (and even if it were it clearly says that they received and manifested speaking with tongues before any water could have been poured on them). Regarding Acts 10:47 and 48 you can see my study for what I understand these verses to mean.

Acts 11:16 - Peter clearly makes the distinction so that all gathered at that meeting would understand that John baptized with water - that's finished, ended - but now the Lord is baptizing in holy spirit.

Acts 19:2-6 - Paul's question shows that he expected them to have already received holy spirit when they believed. For further details you may read my study on this chapter.

Acts 22:16 - it was Paul's free-will decision whether he would call upon the name of the Lord Jesus Christ to himself or not. If he did - then by his believing God's Word his sins would be washed-away; but if he did not believe God's Word as spoken by Ananias - then his sins would not be washed-away!

By Paul's believing of God's Word as he called upon the name of the Lord Jesus Christ to himself he received God's gift of holy spirit by means of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Note: there was no mention of physical water because physical water bathing, washing or immersion was not and still is not needed or required, because it does not wash-away any sins since the moment that baptism in holy spirit was established on the day of Pentecost. You may also like to read I Corinthians 6:11.

Romans 6:4 - shows that true baptism today has nothing to do with water baptism but that it has everything to do with the Lord Jesus Christ and what he accomplished by his death and by his resurrection, etc.

I Corinthians 1:13-17 - To understand this passage you may like to first read Acts 18:8 and Acts 19:1-7 - and then read what Paul wrote about these events when he placed his hands on these individuals to help them to manifest holy spirit in I Corinthians 1:13-17. You may also like to read I Corinthians 16:15-18 and Ephesians 4:5.

I Corinthians 10:2 - shows that baptism may have nothing to do with water even in the time of Moses.

I Corinthians 12:11-14 - says: “….11but the one and the same spirit in-works all these, diverging to each-person according as it deliberately-determines, .12for fully-as the body is one (body) and it has many limbs, but all the limbs of the body, being many, it is one body – thus also (is) Christ, .13for also in one spirit we all were baptized into one body, whether Judeans or Greeks or slaves or freemen, and we were all given one spirit to drink, .14for also the body is not one limb but many.”

Galatians 3:27 and 28 - Holy-people (true Christians) are all God's sons by means of (through) belief of Christ Jesus, for you have already been baptized into Christ and therefore you have clothed yourselves with Christ (you have put-on the spirit of Christ as a garment by going inside of it, enveloped yourselves with Christ). You were baptized into Christ, not into physical water (H20). This baptism is the baptism in holy spirit which is not 'with' nor is it 'by' anything like the water baptism which is only temporary because once a person comes out of the water and the water dries off of him/her then the water is gone.

This baptism in holy spirit is permanent. It gives you holy spirit-life within you, which is the spirit of Christ in you, and you are now limbs of the one spiritual body of Christ, similar to arms or legs or lungs, etc, being in the physical body. You may also like to refer to Colossians 1:27 and Hebrews 2:11 and 12.

Ephesians 4:5 - there is only one baptism because we who are holy-people (true Christians) have all been immersed, surrounded in/within holy spirit and we remain that way. We have been washed clean permanently in holy spirit-life.

The following is a list of the occurrences of the Greek word based on the root bapt in the Bible (the Septuagint version was included for the old covenant writings):

Exod. 12:22; Lev. 4:6, 17; 9:9; 11:32; 14:6, 16, 51; Num. 19:18; Deut. 33:24; Jos. 3:15; Ruth 2:14; 1 Sam. 14:27; 2 Ki. 5:14; 8:15; Ps. 67:24; Job 9:31; Isa. 21:4; Ezek. 23:15; Matt. 3:1, 6f, 11, 13f, 16; 11:11f; 14:2, 8; 16:14; 17:13; 21:25; 28:19; Mk. 1:4f, 8f; 6:14, 24f; 7:4; 8:28; 10:38f; 11:30; 16:16; Lk. 3:3, 7, 12, 16, 21; 7:20, 29f, 33; 9:19; 11:38; 12:50; 16:24; 20:4; Jn. 1:25f, 28, 31, 33; 3:22f, 26; 4:1f; 10:40; 13:26; Acts 1:5, 22; 2:38, 41; 8:12f, 16, 36, 38; 9:18; 10:37, 47f; 11:16; 13:24; 16:15, 33; 18:8, 25; 19:3ff; 22:16; Rom. 6:3f; 1 Co. 1:13ff; 10:2; 12:13; 15:29; Gal. 3:27; Eph. 4:5; Col. 2:12; Heb. 6:2; 9:10; 1 Pet. 3:21; Rev. 19:13.