Apostles

Ephesians 4:11-16 (KJV)

11 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;  12 For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:  13 Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:  14 That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;  15 But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ:  16 From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.

Strong’s G652 – apostolos 

ἀπόστολος

  1. a delegate, messenger, one sent forth with orders

    1. specifically applied to the twelve apostles of Christ

    2. in a broader sense applied to other eminent Christian teachers

      1. of Barnabas

      2. of Timothy and Silvanus

The KJV translates Strongs G652 in the following manner: apostle (78x), messenger (2x), he that is sent (1x)

An apostle is one that is sent forth. In this passage, Jesus is sending forth his disciples to the lost sheep of the house of Israel and goes into detail as to what will happen and how they should handle themselves.

Matthew 10 (KJV)

1And when he had called unto him his twelve disciples, he gave them power against unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all manner of sickness and all manner of disease.   Now the names of the twelve apostles are these; The first, Simon, who is called Peter, and Andrew his brother; James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother;  Philip, and Bartholomew; Thomas, and Matthew the publican; James the son of Alphaeus, and Lebbaeus, whose surname was Thaddaeus;  Simon the Canaanite, and Judas Iscariot, who also betrayed him.  These twelve Jesus sent forth, and commanded them, saying, Go not into the way of the Gentiles, and into any city of the Samaritans enter ye not:  But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.  And as ye go, preach, saying, The kingdom of heaven is at hand.  Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils: freely ye have received, freely give.  Provide neither gold, nor silver, nor brass in your purses,  10 Nor scrip for your journey, neither two coats, neither shoes, nor yet staves: for the workman is worthy of his meat.  11 And into whatsoever city or town ye shall enter, enquire who in it is worthy; and there abide till ye go thence.  12 And when ye come into an house, salute it.  13 And if the house be worthy, let your peace come upon it: but if it be not worthy, let your peace return to you.  14 And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear your words, when ye depart out of that house or city, shake off the dust of your feet.  15 Verily I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrha in the day of judgment, than for that city.  16  Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves.  17 But beware of men: for they will deliver you up to the councils, and they will scourge you in their synagogues;  18 And ye shall be brought before governors and kings for my sake, for a testimony against them and the Gentiles.  19 But when they deliver you up, take no thought how or what ye shall speak: for it shall be given you in that same hour what ye shall speak.  20 For it is not ye that speak, but the Spirit of your Father which speaketh in you.   21 And the brother shall deliver up the brother to death, and the father the child: and the children shall rise up against their parents, and cause them to be put to death.  22 And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved.  23 But when they persecute you in this city, flee ye into another: for verily I say unto you, Ye shall not have gone over the cities of Israel, till the Son of man be come.  24 The disciple is not above his master, nor the servant above his lord.  25 It is enough for the disciple that he be as his master, and the servant as his lord. If they have called the master of the house Beelzebub, how much more shall they call them of his household?  26 Fear them not therefore: for there is nothing covered, that shall not be revealed; and hid, that shall not be known.  27  What I tell you in darkness, that speak ye in light: and what ye hear in the ear, that preach ye upon the housetops.  28 And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.   29 Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? and one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father.  30 But the very hairs of your head are all numbered.  31 Fear ye not therefore, ye are of more value than many sparrows.  32  Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven.  33 But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven.   34 Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword.  35 For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law.  36 And a man’s foes shall be they of his own household.  37 He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.  38 And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me.  39 He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it.  40 He that receiveth you receiveth me, and he that receiveth me receiveth him that sent me.  41 He that receiveth a prophet in the name of a prophet shall receive a prophet’s reward; and he that receiveth a righteous man in the name of a righteous man shall receive a righteous man’s reward.  42 And whosoever shall give to drink unto one of these little ones a cup of cold water only in the name of a disciple, verily I say unto you, he shall in no wise lose his reward.

Mark 3:13-19 (KJV)

13 And he goeth up into a mountain, and calleth unto him whom he would: and they came unto him.  14 And he ordained twelve, that they should be with him, and that he might send them forth to preach,  15 And to have power to heal sicknesses, and to cast out devils:  16 And Simon he surnamed Peter;  17 And James the son of Zebedee, and John the brother of James; and he surnamed them Boanerges, which is, The sons of thunder:  18 And Andrew, and Philip, and Bartholomew, and Matthew, and Thomas, and James the son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus, and Simon the Canaanite,  19 And Judas Iscariot, which also betrayed him: and they went into an house.

Luke 6:13-16 (KJV)

13 And when it was day, he called unto him his disciples: and of them he chose twelve, whom also he named apostles;  14 Simon, (whom he also named Peter,) and Andrew his brother, James and John, Philip and Bartholomew,  15 Matthew and Thomas, James the son of Alphaeus, and Simon called Zelotes,  16 And Judas the brother of James, and Judas Iscariot, which also was the traitor.

  1. Simon(Peter)
  2. Andrew(Brother to Peter)
  3. James(son of Zebedee)(Boanerges-son of thunder)
  4. John(son of Zebedee)(Boanerges-son of thunder)
  5. Philip
  6. Bartholomew
  7. Thomas
  8. Matthew(the publican)
  9. James(son of Alphaeus)
  10. Lebbaeus(Thaddaeus)(Judas)
  11. Simon(the Canaanite)(Zelotes)
  12. Judas Iscariot

Acts 1:21-26 (KJV)

21 Wherefore of these men which have companied with us all the time that the Lord Jesus went in and out among us,  22  Beginning from the baptism of John, unto that same day that he was taken up from us, must one be ordained to be a witness with us of his resurrection.  23 And they appointed two, Joseph called Barsabas, who was surnamed Justus, and Matthias.  24 And they prayed, and said, Thou, Lord, which knowest the hearts of all men, shew whether of these two thou hast chosen,  25  That he may take part of this ministry and apostleship, from which Judas by transgression fell, that he might go to his own place.  26 And they gave forth their lots; and the lot fell upon Matthias; and he was numbered with the eleven apostles.

After Judas died, the apostles felt it necessary to replace him with someone who was with them from the beginning of Jesus’ ministry. They appointed two and prayed to God about it. The lot fell on Matthias who became the new 12th apostle. Of course, there was no way to keep this 12-apostle group going because eventually all witnesses of Jesus would die out.

Acts 2:37-47 (KJV)

37  Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do?  38 Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.  39 For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.  40 And with many other words did he testify and exhort, saying, Save yourselves from this untoward generation.  41  Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls.  42 And they continued stedfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.  43 And fear came upon every soul: and many wonders and signs were done by the apostles.   44 And all that believed were together, and had all things common;  45 And sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all men, as every man had need.  46 And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart,  47 Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.

Here we see the apostles preaching, evangelizing, testifying, exhorting, baptizing, had a true doctrine, performed signs and wonders, and made fellowship with the new believers.

Acts 5:12-32 (KJV)

12 And by the hands of the apostles were many signs and wonders wrought among the people;(and they were all with one accord in Solomon’s porch.  13 And of the rest durst no man join himself to them: but the people magnified them.  14  And believers were the more added to the Lord, multitudes both of men and women.)  15 Insomuch that they brought forth the sick into the streets, and laid them on beds and couches, that at the least the shadow of Peter passing by might overshadow some of them.  16 There came also a multitude out of the cities round about unto Jerusalem, bringing sick folks, and them which were vexed with unclean spirits: and they were healed every one.  17 Then the high priest rose up, and all they that were with him, (which is the sect of the Sadducees,) and were filled with indignation,  18 And laid their hands on the apostles, and put them in the common prison.  19 But the angel of the Lord by night opened the prison doors, and brought them forth, and said,  20 Go, stand and speak in the temple to the people all the words of this life.  21 And when they heard that, they entered into the temple early in the morning, and taught. But the high priest came, and they that were with him, and called the council together, and all the senate of the children of Israel, and sent to the prison to have them brought.  22 But when the officers came, and found them not in the prison, they returned and told,  23 Saying, The prison truly found we shut with all safety, and the keepers standing without before the doors: but when we had opened, we found no man within.  24 Now when the high priest and the captain of the temple and the chief priests heard these things, they doubted of them whereunto this would grow. 25 Then came one and told them, saying, Behold, the men whom ye put in prison are standing in the temple, and teaching the people.  26 Then went the captain with the officers, and brought them without violence: for they feared the people, lest they should have been stoned.  27 And when they had brought them, they set them before the council: and the high priest asked them,  28 Saying, Did not we straitly command you that ye should not teach in this name? and, behold, ye have filled Jerusalem with your doctrine, and intend to bring this man’s blood upon us.  29 Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God rather than men.  30 The God of our fathers raised up Jesus, whom ye slew and hanged on a tree.  31 Him hath God exalted with his right hand to be a Prince and a Saviour, for to give repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins.  32 And we are his witnesses of these things; and so is also the Holy Ghost, whom God hath given to them that obey him.

Again we see the apostles performing many signs and wonders, healing the people, teaching, preaching, and being fully obedient to God.

Acts 15:1-6 (KJV)

1And certain men which came down from Judaea taught the brethren, and said, Except ye be circumcised after the manner of Moses, ye cannot be saved.  When therefore Paul and Barnabas had no small dissension and disputation with them, they determined that Paul and Barnabas, and certain other of them, should go up to Jerusalem unto the apostles and elders about this question.  And being brought on their way by the church, they passed through Phenice and Samaria, declaring the conversion of the Gentiles: and they caused great joy unto all the brethren.  And when they were come to Jerusalem, they were received of the church, and of the apostles and elders, and they declared all things that God had done with them.  But there rose up certain of the sect of the Pharisees which believed, saying, That it was needful to circumcise them, and to command them to keep the law of Moses.  And the apostles and elders came together for to consider of this matter.

The apostles were elders that were sought after for their advice on tough Biblical questions.

We know that Paul was also an apostle, even though he wasn’t among the original 12 who was with Jesus during His 3 1/2 year ministry. We see this referenced in his letters such as Rom 1:1, 11:13, 1 Cor 1:1, 2 Cor 1:1, Gal 1:1, Eph 1:1, Col 1:1, 1 Tim 1:1, 2:7, 2 Tim 1:1,11, and Titus 1:1. Peter also referenced himself as an apostle in his letters in 1 Pet 1:1 and 2 Pet 1:1.

1 Corinthians 4:9-16 (KJV)

For I think that God hath set forth us the apostles last, as it were appointed to death: for we are made a spectacle unto the world, and to angels, and to men.  10 We are fools for Christ’s sake, but ye are wise in Christ; we are weak, but ye are strong; ye are honourable, but we are despised.  11 Even unto this present hour we both hunger, and thirst, and are naked, and are buffeted, and have no certain dwellingplace;  12 And labour, working with our own hands: being reviled, we bless; being persecuted, we suffer it:  13 Being defamed, we intreat: we are made as the filth of the world, and are the offscouring of all things unto this day.  14 I write not these things to shame you, but as my beloved sons I warn you.  15 For though ye have ten thousand instructers in Christ, yet have ye not many fathers: for in Christ Jesus I have begotten you through the gospel.  16  Wherefore I beseech you, be ye followers of me.

Paul says that the apostles were set forth last. This is because before Jesus came along, there were no apostles. These apostles have a unique job that has never been done before. This is why they are a spectacle(or theater) to the worlds, angels, and men. Paul goes out of his way to show how demanding the job of apostleship is. Paul urges the Corinthian saints to be like him and follow his example in Christ.

1 Corinthians 9:1-14 (KJV)

1Am I am not an apostle? am I not free? have I not seen Jesus Christ our Lord? are not ye my work in the Lord?  If I be not an apostle unto others, yet doubtless I am to you: for the seal of mine apostleship are ye in the Lord.  Mine answer to them that do examine me is this,  Have we not power to eat and to drink?   Have we not power to lead about a sister, a wife, as well as other apostles,and as the brethren of the Lord, and Cephas?  Or I only and Barnabas, have not we power to forbear working?  Who goeth a warfare any time at his own charges? who planteth a vineyard, and eateth not of the fruit thereof? or who feedeth a flock, and eateth not of the milk of the flock?  Say I these things as a man? or saith not the law the same also?  For it is written in the law of Moses, thou shalt not muzzle the mouth of the ox that treadeth out the corn. Doth God take care for oxen?  10 Or saith he it altogether for our sakes? For our sakes, no doubt, this is written: that he that ploweth should plow in hope; and that he that thresheth in hope should be partaker of his hope.  11  If we have sown unto you spiritual things, is it a great thing if we shall reap your carnal things?  12 If others be partakers of this power over you, are not we rather? Nevertheless we have not used this power; but suffer all things, lest we should hinder the gospel of Christ.  13 Do ye not know that they which minister about holy things live of the things of the temple? and they which wait at the altar are partakers with the altar?  14 Even so hath the Lord ordained that they which preach the gospel should live of the gospel.

Paul says that to seal his apostleship, he must make apostles. These apostles even include women. Also, he tells us that apostles who minister in spiritual things should be compensated with physical things.

1 Corinthians 12:27-31 (KJV)

27 Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular.  28 And God hath set some in the church, first apostles,secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues.  29  Are all apostles?are all prophets? are all teachers? are all workers of miracles?  30 Have all the gifts of healing? do all speak with tongues? do all interpret?  31  But covet earnestly the best gifts:and yet shew I unto you a more excellent way.

It is God who sets apostles in a church but not everyone is an apostle.

2 Corinthians 11:4-15 (KJV)

For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with him.  For I suppose I was not a whit behind the very chiefest apostles.  But though I be rude in speech, yet not in knowledge; but we have been throughly made manifest among you in all things.  Have I committed an offence in abasing myself that ye might be exalted, because I have preached to you the gospel of God freely?  I robbed other churches, taking wages of them, to do you service.  And when I was present with you, and wanted, I was chargeable to no man: for that which was lacking to me the brethren which came from Macedonia supplied: and in all things I have kept myself from being burdensome unto you, and so will I keep myself.  10 As the truth of Christ is in me, no man shall stop me of this boasting in the regions of Achaia.  11 Wherefore? because I love you not? God knoweth.  12 But what I do, that I will do, that I may cut off occasion from them which desire occasion; that wherein they glory, they may be found even as we.  13 For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ.   14 And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.  15 Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.

Paul considers himself less than the other apostles. He also tells us that there are false apostles. If there were only 12 original apostles and then Paul, there would be no reason to warn about false apostles because everybody knows who these 13 are. But since there were more than 13 apostles, Paul warns us to test them to make sure they are true apostles of Christ.

2 Corinthians 12:11-12 (KJV)

11 I am become a fool in glorying; ye have compelled me: for I ought to have been commended of you: for in nothing am I behind the very chiefest apostles, though I be nothing.  12 Truly the signs of an apostle were wrought among you in all patience, in signs, and wonders, and mighty deeds.

Paul again considers himself less than the other apostles which is nothing to brag about. He also says that there are signs of an apostle which include patience, signs, wonders, and mighty deeds.

Ephesians 2:18-22 (KJV)

18 For through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father.  19  Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God;  20 And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone;  21 In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord:   22 In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.

Paul says that once we become a Christian, we have become grafted in to be spiritual Jews. Jesus was the chief corner stone and the apostles and prophets were the foundation. We as Christians are the building that rests on this foundation.

Ephesians 3:2-6 (KJV)

If ye have heard of the dispensation of the grace of God which is given me to you-ward:  How that by revelation he made known unto me the mystery; (as I wrote afore in few words,  Whereby, when ye read, ye may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ)   Which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed unto his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit;  That the Gentiles should be fellowheirs, and of the same body, and partakers of his promise in Christ by the gospel:

Paul confirms that it wasn’t until the present day that God revealed through the apostles and prophets that the Gentiles can be grafted in to the body of Christ.

Hebrews 3:1 (KJV)

3 Wherefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our profession, Christ Jesus;

The only time apostle is capitalized is when it is referring to Jesus, not the original 12 apostles. He is the Apostle that sends apostles.

Revelation 2:1-2 (KJV)

1Unto the angel of the church of Ephesus write; These things saith he that holdeth the seven stars in his right hand, who walketh in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks;  I know thy works, and thy labour, and thy patience, and how thou canst not bear them which are evil: and thou hast tried them which say they are apostles, and are not, and hast found them liars:

Jesus says that the church of Ephesus has tried them which say they are apostles and are not. This means that there are true and false apostles. If the apostleship ended with the original 12 + Paul, then we wouldn’t have to test apostles, we would discard them altogether. But since it didn’t end, we must test each apostle to see if they are true or not.

Revelation 18:16-20 (KJV)

16 And saying, Alas, alas that great city,that was clothed in fine linen, and purple, and scarlet, and decked with gold, and precious stones, and pearls!  17  For in one hour so great riches is come to nought. And every shipmaster, and all the company in ships, and sailors, and as many as trade by sea, stood afar off,  18 And cried when they saw the smoke of her burning, saying, What city is like unto this great city!  19 And they cast dust on their heads, and cried, weeping and wailing, saying, Alas, alas that great city, wherein were made rich all that had ships in the sea by reason of her costliness! for in one hour is she made desolate.  20 Rejoice over her, thou heaven, and ye holy apostles and prophets; for God hath avenged you on her. 

This apostate city that is destroyed in the end times will bring rejoicing to the apostles and prophets that exist during that day because it will finally come to an end.

Revelation 21:14 (KJV)

14 And the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and in them the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.

Paul mentioned in Ephesians 2:20 that the apostles were the foundation of the church. Here in Revelation we see that the original 12 apostles have the great honor of having their names in the foundation of the New Jerusalem.

In summary, apostles are people who are sent by God to do His work. This includes performing signs and wonders, teaching, preaching, evangelizing, and healing people. They give of themselves selflessly and take great joy in increasing the kingdom of God. An apostle is used for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, and for the edifying of the body of Christ. Paul warns us about false apostles. This means that it is possible for someone to become an apostle and abuse their position. In that case, we should always hold those in leadership positions to a high standards.

What did you think about this study on apostles? Send me a comment here or post a comment below.

Baptism Part 2

Matthew 28:18-20 (KJV)

18 And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. 19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: 20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.

Mark 16:15-16 (KJV)

15 And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. 16 He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.

Jesus tells His disciples that they are to teach and preach to the nations, then baptize them, followed by additional teaching which includes obeying YHWH’s commandments. He says that if you believe and are baptized you will be saved, but if you don’t believe you won’t be saved. So there are basically three situations involved here. Jesus mentions the first and third situation and the second situation is implied. The second situation still results in salvation. This can be seen in situations like the thief on the cross who believed but wasn’t baptized.

 
Believe
Baptised
1.
No
No
2.
Yes
No
3.
Yes
Yes

Acts 1:4-5 (KJV)

And, being assembled together with them, commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father, which, saith he, ye have heard of me. For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence.

Jesus talks about John’s baptism which was with water and the Holy Spirit’s baptism which John referred to as with fire. These baptisms are the same but different. Same in that they both take you from one state of being to the next, and different in that one is physically and one is spiritual. This baptism that Jesus spoke of literally occurred on the Day of Pentecost in the next chapter.

Acts 2:1-11 (KJV)

1 And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance. And there were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout men, out of every nation under heaven. Now when this was noised abroad, the multitude came together, and were confounded, because that every man heard them speak in his own language. And they were all amazed and marvelled, saying one to another, Behold, are not all these which speak Galilaeans? And how hear we every man in our own tongue, wherein we were born? Parthians, and Medes, and Elamites, and the dwellers in Mesopotamia, and in Judaea, and Cappadocia, in Pontus, and Asia, 10 Phrygia, and Pamphylia, in Egypt, and in the parts of Libya about Cyrene, and strangers of Rome, Jews and proselytes, 11 Cretes and Arabians, we do hear them speak in our tongues the wonderful works of God.

These men were celebrating the Feast of Weeks when the Holy Spirit did descend upon them with fire. They became filled with the Holy Spirit and began speaking with other languages. This is evident by the various Jews who came from other countries who spoke with their native tongues. These men began speaking in other people’s native tongue without having been taught it. As we enter into the rest of the acts of the apostles, we’ll notice that there are times when the Holy Spirit indwells into individuals and they will begin speaking in tongues, or other languages. There are other times when they will not. It really just depends on the situation. The point that needs to be made here is that speaking in tongues is equivalent to speaking another language. Now let’s look at a series of Scriptures in the acts of the apostles.

Acts 2:38-41 (KJV)

38 Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. 39 For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call. 40 And with many other words did he testify and exhort, saying, Save yourselves from this untoward generation. 41 Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls. 42 And they continued stedfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers. 43 And fear came upon every soul: and many wonders and signs were done by the apostles. 44 And all that believed were together, and had all things common;

So Peter preaches the same form of baptism that John preached. The person is to repent from their current lifestyle, believe in Jesus Christ, and begin walking with God. That transition period is marked by the outward expression of baptism. So the prerequisites for baptism are as follows:

  • Repent of your current sinful lifestyle
  • Believe in Jesus Christ

We see this practiced in the next passage.

Acts 8:12-17 (KJV)

12 But when they believed Philip preaching the things concerning the kingdom of God, and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women. 13 Then Simon himself believed also: and when he was baptized, he continued with Philip, and wondered, beholding the miracles and signs which were done. 14 Now when the apostles which were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent unto them Peter and John: 15 Who, when they were come down, prayed for them, that they might receive the Holy Ghost: 16 (For as yet he was fallen upon none of them: only they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.) 17 Then laid they their hands on them, and they received the Holy Ghost.

Here we see Philip preaching and baptizing people. Again, we see Philip preaching the same as John who said, “Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” It’s interesting that these people did not receive the Holy Spirit at baptism. It happened later when the disciples laid their hands on them.

Acts 8:26-40 (KJV)

26 And the angel of the Lord spake unto Philip, saying, Arise, and go toward the south unto the way that goeth down from Jerusalem unto Gaza, which is desert. 27 And he arose and went: and, behold, a man of Ethiopia, an eunuch of great authority under Candace queen of the Ethiopians, who had the charge of all her treasure, and had come to Jerusalem for to worship, 28 Was returning, and sitting in his chariot read Esaias the prophet. 29 Then the Spirit said unto Philip, Go near, and join thyself to this chariot. 30 And Philip ran thither to him, and heard him read the prophet Esaias, and said, Understandest thou what thou readest? 31 And he said, How can I, except some man should guide me? And he desired Philip that he would come up and sit with him. 32 The place of the scripture which he read was this, He was led as a sheep to the slaughter; and like a lamb dumb before his shearer, so opened he not his mouth: 33 In his humiliation his judgment was taken away: and who shall declare his generation? for his life is taken from the earth. 34 And the eunuch answered Philip, and said, I pray thee, of whom speaketh the prophet this? of himself, or of some other man? 35 Then Philip opened his mouth, and began at the same scripture, and preached unto him Jesus. 36 And as they went on their way, they came unto a certain water: and the eunuch said, See, here is water; what doth hinder me to be baptized? 37 And Philip said, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. 38 And he commanded the chariot to stand still: and they went down both into the water, both Philip and the eunuch; and he baptized him. 39 And when they were come up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord caught away Philip, that the eunuch saw him no more: and he went on his way rejoicing. 40 But Philip was found at Azotus: and passing through he preached in all the cities, till he came to Caesarea.

Here Philip uses the Old Testament to preach Jesus to the Ethiopian eunuch. This is the only text that they had to go by. We can actually do the same. Philip told him how important baptism was before telling him how to get saved. When prompted, Philip told him that he must believe and when the eunuch did, he was fully immersed in the water that was nearby.

Acts 9:17-20 (KJV)

17 And Ananias went his way, and entered into the house; and putting his hands on him said, Brother Saul, the Lord, even Jesus, that appeared unto thee in the way as thou camest, hath sent me, that thou mightest receive thy sight, and be filled with the Holy Ghost. 18 And immediately there fell from his eyes as it had been scales: and he received sight forthwith, and arose, and was baptized. 19 And when he had received meat, he was strengthened. Then was Saul certain days with the disciples which were at Damascus. 20 And straightway he preached Christ in the synagogues, that he is the Son of God.

This is the story of how Paul was converted. Jesus Himself came to him and told him what to do. Once he met Ananias, he received his sight, was baptized, and received the Holy Spirit. He then began preaching to others that Jesus was the Son of God.

Acts 10:34-48 (KJV)

34 Then Peter opened his mouth, and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons: 35 But in every nation he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with him. 36 The word which God sent unto the children of Israel, preaching peace by Jesus Christ: (he is Lord of all: ) 37 That word, I say, ye know, which was published throughout all Judaea, and began from Galilee, after the baptism which John preached; 38 How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him. 39 And we are witnesses of all things which he did both in the land of the Jews, and in Jerusalem; whom they slew and hanged on a tree: 40 Him God raised up the third day, and shewed him openly; 41 Not to all the people, but unto witnesses chosen before God, even to us, who did eat and drink with him after he rose from the dead. 42 And he commanded us to preach unto the people, and to testify that it is he which was ordained of God to be the Judge of quick and dead. 43 To him give all the prophets witness, that through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins. 44 While Peter yet spake these words, the Holy Ghost fell on all them which heard the word. 45 And they of the circumcision which believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because that on the Gentiles also was poured out the gift of the Holy Ghost. 46 For they heard them speak with tongues, and magnify God. Then answered Peter, 47 Can any man forbid water, that these should not be baptized, which have received the Holy Ghost as well as we? 48 And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord. Then prayed they him to tarry certain days.

YHWH teaches Peter a lesson concerning people who may be unclean. Just because they are, doesn’t mean that you can’t associate with them at all. Also, just because someone is unclean, doesn’t mean that it is impossible for them to be saved. Once Peter learns this, he begins preaching about how God saves us through Jesus Christ. Everyone who was there received the Holy Spirit. These Gentiles began speaking in other languages and Peter commanded that they be baptized.

Acts 16:13-15 (KJV)

13 And on the sabbath we went out of the city by a river side, where prayer was wont to be made; and we sat down, and spake unto the women which resorted thither. 14 And a certain woman named Lydia, a seller of purple, of the city of Thyatira, which worshipped God, heard us: whose heart the Lord opened, that she attended unto the things which were spoken of Paul. 15 And when she was baptized, and her household, she besought us, saying, If ye have judged me to be faithful to the Lord, come into my house, and abide there. And she constrained us.

Paul was sent to Macedonia through a vision and when he was there for a few days, he decided to go to a river. There he met Lydia who already worshipped God, but probably hadn’t heard about Jesus. Paul spoke to her and she and her household were compelled to be baptized. We need to remember that the prerequisites to baptism are repentance and belief in Jesus. When it says that her whole household was baptized, this would exclude anyone who couldn’t repent and believe, like babies and small children. Later on, Paul and Silas were put in prison.

Acts 16:23-34 (KJV)

23 And when they had laid many stripes upon them, they cast them into prison, charging the jailor to keep them safely: 24 Who, having received such a charge, thrust them into the inner prison, and made their feet fast in the stocks. 25 And at midnight Paul and Silas prayed, and sang praises unto God: and the prisoners heard them. 26 And suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken: and immediately all the doors were opened, and every one’s bands were loosed. 27 And the keeper of the prison awaking out of his sleep, and seeing the prison doors open, he drew out his sword, and would have killed himself, supposing that the prisoners had been fled. 28 But Paul cried with a loud voice, saying, Do thyself no harm: for we are all here. 29 Then he called for a light, and sprang in, and came trembling, and fell down before Paul and Silas, 30 And brought them out, and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved? 31 And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house. 32 And they spake unto him the word of the Lord, and to all that were in his house. 33 And he took them the same hour of the night, and washed their stripes; and was baptized, he and all his, straightway. 34 And when he had brought them into his house, he set meat before them, and rejoiced, believing in God with all his house.

Even though Paul and Silas were in prison, they prayed and sang to YHWH. YHWH responded by setting them free from their cells and shackles. The jailor was about to commit suicide when Paul interrupted him. The jailor wanted to know what he must do in order to be saved. He was told just to believe and he did. Then they went to his family and they were saved too. His whole household was baptized, but again, only those who were able to repent and believe in Jesus Christ were saved and baptized.

Acts 18:7-8 (KJV)

And he departed thence, and entered into a certain man’s house, named Justus, one that worshipped God, whose house joined hard to the synagogue. And Crispus, the chief ruler of the synagogue, believed on the Lord with all his house; and many of the Corinthians hearing believed, and were baptized.

Paul later is compelled to preach to the Gentiles. He stayed at a man’s house that lived next to the local synagogue. The chief ruler of the synagogue, his household, and many other Corinthians believed Paul’s message of repentance and were baptized.

Acts 19:1-7 (KJV)

1 And it came to pass, that, while Apollos was at Corinth, Paul having passed through the upper coasts came to Ephesus: and finding certain disciples, He said unto them, Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed? And they said unto him, We have not so much as heard whether there be any Holy Ghost. And he said unto them, Unto what then were ye baptized? And they said, Unto John’s baptism. Then said Paul, John verily baptized with the baptism of repentance, saying unto the people, that they should believe on him which should come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus. When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Ghost came on them; and they spake with tongues, and prophesied. And all the men were about twelve.

Paul comes to Ephesus and finds 12 disciples of John the Baptist. He asked them if they had received the Holy Spirit to which they told him that they had not. Paul explained that when John was preaching and baptizing, that he spoke of Jesus Christ who would come after him and that they should follow Him. They understood and agreed, were baptized, received the Holy Spirit, and spoke in other languages while prophesying.

So to recap, there are several baptisms mentioned in the book of Acts. The people who are ready to be baptized must first repent and then believe in the Lord Jesus Christ. There are times when people received the Holy Spirit before, during, and after baptism. Sometimes people even began speaking in other languages. What needs to be noted here is that there were no babies or small children baptized, there were no instances of baptism by pouring or sprinkling, and there were no baptisms by any other means but by water. This is why Paul says in Ephesians 4:5 One Lord, one faith, one baptism.” The reason that the writer of Hebrews 6:2 can say that there is a doctrine of baptisms is because of what happens physically and what happens spiritually. Let’s now transition into Paul’s teachings on baptism.

Romans 6:1-7 (KJV)

1 What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein? Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection: Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin. For he that is dead is freed from sin.

Paul takes the physical form of baptism and explains it in a spiritual sense. He says that when we were baptized into Jesus Christ, that we were actually baptized into his death. This makes sense because when we are fully immersed under water, we have to hold our breath. Also, it seems as if we are ‘buried’ under the water which is similar to being buried in a grave. Then when we rise up again, it seems like a resurrection has occurred and we can breathe again. This outward expression is a kind of evidence that there has been an inward change. It means that we used to be sinners and are now set free from the hold sin has on us. The curse has been broken and like Paul says, ‘henceforth we should not serve sin.’ If a person is sprinkled or poured upon, how can this analogy make sense?

Colossians 2:10-13 (KJV)

10 And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power: 11 In whom also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ: 12 Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead. 13 And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses;

Again, Paul likens baptism to the death and resurrection of Christ. When we become fully immersed in the water, we too die to ourselves and rise up with newness of life in service to Him.

So there you have it. This study on baptisms has been insightful and amazing. Depending on your background, you may have had a different view on baptism than what was presented in these two blogs. That’s okay though. This is why we as astute Bereans must look at Sola Scriptura in order to come to our doctrinal conclusions.

Did you enjoy this study? Do you have further questions? You can send me a message using the form here or post comments to the group below. Thank you for studying the Bible with me verse by verse on the topic of baptism.