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.

Baptism Part 1

In the Old Testament, baptism was used on several occasions. There were also times when people would need to wash their hands, wash their feet, or wash their clothes, but this discussion will focus on baptism of the whole body.

The first reference to baptism is a bit obscure at first, but Paul tells us that it was a symbolic form of baptism.

Exodus 13:21-22 (KJV)

21 And the Lord went before them by day in a pillar of a cloud, to lead them the way; and by night in a pillar of fire, to give them light; to go by day and night: 22 He took not away the pillar of the cloud by day, nor the pillar of fire by night, from before the people.

Exodus 14:21-22 (KJV)

21 And Moses stretched out his hand over the sea; and the Lord caused the sea to go back by a strong east wind all that night, and made the sea dry land, and the waters were divided. 22 And the children of Israel went into the midst of the sea upon the dry ground: and the waters were a wall unto them on their right hand, and on their left.

1 Corinthians 10:1-2 (KJV)

1Moreover, brethren, I would not that ye should be ignorant, how that all our fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea; And were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea;

This was basically the first time that we see baptism used. Notice that it happened after the salvation from Egypt which is the land of bondage. Paul is telling us that the children of Israel that YHWH saved were all baptized. The next baptism occurs when the children of Israel make a covenant with YHWH.

Exodus 19:1-11 (KJV)

1 In the third month, when the children of Israel were gone forth out of the land of Egypt, the same day came they into the wilderness of Sinai. For they were departed from Rephidim, and were come to the desert of Sinai, and had pitched in the wilderness; and there Israel camped before the mount. And Moses went up unto God, and the Lord called unto him out of the mountain, saying, Thus shalt thou say to the house of Jacob, and tell the children of Israel; Ye have seen what I did unto the Egyptians, and how I bare you on eagles’ wings, and brought you unto myself. Now therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people: for all the earth is mine: And ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation. These are the words which thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel. And Moses came and called for the elders of the people, and laid before their faces all these words which the Lord commanded him. And all the people answered together, and said, All that the Lord hath spoken we will do. And Moses returned the words of the people unto the Lord. And the Lord said unto Moses, Lo, I come unto thee in a thick cloud, that the people may hear when I speak with thee, and believe thee for ever. And Moses told the words of the people unto the Lord. 10 And the Lord said unto Moses, Go unto the people, and sanctify them to day and to morrow, and let them wash their clothes, 11 And be ready against the third day: for the third day the Lord will come down in the sight of all the people upon mount Sinai.

14 And Moses went down from the mount unto the people, and sanctified the people; and they washed their clothes.

Moses sanctified the people and had their clothes washed in response to the covenant that they made with YHWH. This marked a transition period after their salvation from Egypt.


After this event, there were several times throughout the year when a person would be ceremonially baptized. This type of baptism was used to show that a person was transferring from being unclean to clean. Each of the following baptisms took place when a person was fully immersed under water.

In Leviticus 14, we learn about the laws concerning leprosy. When a leper is declared clean, he must follow several instructions, some of which is to wash his clothes, shave his hair, and wash himself with water.

In Leviticus 15 we learn about the laws concerning a running issue or bodily discharges. A man is declared unclean if he has a running issue and everything he touches is unclean. If you were to touch something that he touched, or even touch him, you were to wash your clothes and wash yourself. This would allow you to be clean that night. If at any time there is an emission of semen, the man is to wash his clothes and himself. If a woman comes in contact with the semen, she will do the same. If a woman is on her monthly period, then she is declared unclean for seven days. If you touch her or the things she sits on, you have to wash your clothes and wash yourself.

In Leviticus 16, we read about the instructions concerning the Day of Atonement. On this day, Aaron will wash his body before putting on his priestly clothes. Then when he is finished performing his duties, he will take off his garments and leave them in the tabernacle of the congregation, and then wash himself and put his clothes back on.

In Leviticus 17, there are instructions concerning the sanctity of blood. If a person eats an animal that dies naturally or is torn by beasts, he is to wash his clothes and himself with water.

In Leviticus 22, God says that if anyone becomes unclean, he is to wash himself with water and will be unclean until the evening. Only then could he eat of the holy offerings.

In Numbers 19, God gives the laws concerning the red heifer of purification. After the priest has performed the instructions, he is to wash his clothes and himself and will be unclean until the evening. If a man becomes unclean because he touched the dead body of a person, he is to wash his clothes and wash himself.

In Deuteronomy 23, if an army goes to war and a man becomes unclean, he will wash himself with water.

So each of these laws concern baptisms after coming into covenant with YHWH. When a person needed to go through a baptism, they entered a mikvah. There are two direct references to a mikvah in the Bible.

Leviticus 11:36 (KJV)

36 Nevertheless a fountain or pit, wherein there is plenty of water, shall be clean: but that which toucheth their carcase shall be unclean.

The word plenty is translated from the word mikvah. The second is

Jeremiah 17:13 (KJV)

13 O Lord, the hope of Israel, all that forsake thee shall be ashamed, and they that depart from me shall be written in the earth, because they have forsaken the Lord, the fountain of living waters.

The word translated hope is mikvah which gives us the understanding that Messiah is the cleansing mikvah, or hope, of Israel. This gives Christ a direct correlation with the baptisms of the Old Testament.

YHWH talks about a spiritual washing through the prophets. In Isaiah 1, God talks about how sinful the people were. He tells them

Isaiah 1:16-20 (KJV)

16 Wash you, make you clean; put away the evil of your doings from before mine eyes; cease to do evil; 17 Learn to do well; seek judgment, relieve the oppressed, judge the fatherless, plead for the widow. 18 Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool. 19 If ye be willing and obedient, ye shall eat the good of the land: 20 But if ye refuse and rebel, ye shall be devoured with the sword: for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it.

It’s clear that the baptisms of the Old Testament were not meant to physically cleanse someone, but to rather take them from an unclean state to a clean state. The spiritual washing that YHWH speaks of here takes us from a spiritual state of uncleanness to a spiritual state of cleanness. This is what He wants anyways. If you’re dipping into a mikvah just to fulfill the law, you’ve missed the point.

So now let’s fast-forward to the New Testament with John’s Baptism. Let’s look at it through a chronological way using all four gospel accounts.

Luke 3:1-21 Now in the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar, Pontius Pilate being governor of Judaea, and Herod being tetrarch of Galilee, and his brother Philip tetrarch of Ituraea and of the region of Trachonitis, and Lysanias the tetrarch of Abilene, Annas and Caiaphas being the high priests, the word of God came unto John the son of Zacharias in the wilderness.
Mark 1:11 The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God;
Matthew 3:11 In those days came John the Baptist, preaching in the wilderness of Judaea, Mark 1:4John did baptize in the wilderness, and preach the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins. Luke 3:3And he came into all the country about Jordan, preaching the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins;
Matthew 3:2And saying, Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.
John 1:19-2219 And this is the record of John, when the Jews sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, Who art thou? 20 And he confessed, and denied not; but confessed, I am not the Christ. 21 And they asked him, What then? Art thou Elias? And he saith, I am not. Art thou that prophet? And he answered, No. 22 Then said they unto him, Who art thou? that we may give an answer to them that sent us. What sayest thou of thyself?
Matthew 3:3For this is he that was spoken of by the prophet Esaias, saying, The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight. Mark 1:2-3As it is written in the prophets, Behold, I send my messenger before thy face, which shall prepare thy way before thee. The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight. Luke 3:4As it is written in the book of the words of Esaias the prophet, saying, The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight. John 1:2323 He said, I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness, Make straight the way of the Lord, as said the prophet Esaias.
Luke 3:5-6Every valley shall be filled, and every mountain and hill shall be brought low; and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough ways shall be made smooth; And all flesh shall see the salvation of God.
Matthew 3:4And the same John had his raiment of camel’s hair, and a leathern girdle about his loins; and his meat was locusts and wild honey. Mark 1:6And John was clothed with camel’s hair, and with a girdle of a skin about his loins; and he did eat locusts and wild honey;
Matthew 3:5-6Then went out to him Jerusalem, and all Judaea, and all the region round about Jordan, And were baptized of him in Jordan, confessing their sins. Mark 1:5And there went out unto him all the land of Judaea, and they of Jerusalem, and were all baptized of him in the river of Jordan, confessing their sins.
Matthew 3:7But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees come to his baptism, he said unto them, O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Luke 3:7Then said he to the multitude that came forth to be baptized of him, O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come?
Matthew 3:8-9Bring forth therefore fruits meet for repentance: And think not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to our father: for I say unto you, that God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham. Luke 3:8Bring forth therefore fruits worthy of repentance, and begin not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to our father: for I say unto you, That God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham.
Matthew 3:1010 And now also the axe is laid unto the root of the trees: therefore every tree which bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. Luke 3:9And now also the axe is laid unto the root of the trees: every tree therefore which bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.
Luke 3:10-1510 And the people asked him, saying, What shall we do then? 11 He answereth and saith unto them, He that hath two coats, let him impart to him that hath none; and he that hath meat, let him do likewise. 12 Then came also publicans to be baptized, and said unto him, Master, what shall we do? 13 And he said unto them, Exact no more than that which is appointed you. 14 And the soldiers likewise demanded of him, saying, And what shall we do? And he said unto them, Do violence to no man, neither accuse any falsely; and be content with your wages. 15 And as the people were in expectation, and all men mused in their hearts of John, whether he were the Christ, or not;
John 1:24-2524 And they which were sent were of the Pharisees. 25 And they asked him, and said unto him, Why baptizest thou then, if thou be not that Christ, nor Elias, neither that prophet?
Matthew 3:11 11 I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance. but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire: Mark 1:7-8And preached, saying, There cometh one mightier than I after me, the latchet of whose shoes I am not worthy to stoop down and unloose. I indeed have baptized you with water: but he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost. Luke 3:1616 John answered, saying unto them all, I indeed baptize you with water; but one mightier than I cometh, the latchet of whose shoes I am not worthy to unloose: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost and with fire: John 1:26-2726 John answered them, saying, I baptize with water: but there standeth one among you, whom ye know not; 27 He it is, who coming after me is preferred before me, whose shoe’s latchet I am not worthy to unloose.
Matthew 3:1212 Whose fan is in his hand, and he will throughly purge his floor, and gather his wheat into the garner; but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire. Luke 3:1717 Whose fan is in his hand, and he will throughly purge his floor, and will gather the wheat into his garner; but the chaff he will burn with fire unquenchable.
Luke 3:1818 And many other things in his exhortation preached he unto the people.
John 1:2828 These things were done in Bethabara beyond Jordan, where John was baptizing.
Matthew 3:1313 Then cometh Jesus from Galilee to Jordan unto John, to be baptized of him. Mark 1:9And it came to pass in those days, that Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee, and was baptized of John in Jordan.
John 1:29-3129 The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world. 30 This is he of whom I said, After me cometh a man which is preferred before me: for he was before me. 31 And I knew him not: but that he should be made manifest to Israel, therefore am I come baptizing with water.
Matthew 3:14-1514 But John forbad him, saying, I have need to be baptized of thee, and comest thou to me? 15 And Jesus answering said unto him, Suffer it to be so now: for thus it becometh us to fulfil all righteousness. Then he suffered him.
Matthew 3:16-1716 And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him: 17 And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. Mark 1:10-1110 And straightway coming up out of the water, he saw the heavens opened, and the Spirit like a dove descending upon him: 11 And there came a voice from heaven, saying, Thou art my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. Luke 3:21-2221 Now when all the people were baptized, it came to pass, that Jesus also being baptized, and praying, the heaven was opened, 22 And the Holy Ghost descended in a bodily shape like a dove upon him, and a voice came from heaven, which said, Thou art my beloved Son; in thee I am well pleased.
John 1:32-3432 And John bare record, saying, I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and it abode upon him. 33 And I knew him not: but he that sent me to baptize with water, the same said unto me, Upon whom thou shalt see the Spirit descending, and remaining on him, the same is he which baptizeth with the Holy Ghost. 34 And I saw, and bare record that this is the Son of God.
Luke 3:2323 And Jesus himself began to be about thirty years of age…
           

I’d like for you to notice a few things about this passage.

  • John is preaching the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins.
  • He does this in the same way the baptisms in the Torah are performed, by immersion in water.
  • When the priests and Levites came to John, they didn’t accuse him of doing something that was against the Torah, but asked him if he was the Christ who would baptize.
  • John claims to baptize with water but says that Jesus will baptize with the Holy Spirit and with fire.
  • When Jesus came, John asked to be baptized by Him. But Jesus said that He must be baptized with water in order to fulfill all righteousness. Why? Hebrews 2:17 (KJV) 17 Wherefore in all things it behoved him to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people.

Jesus was baptized by immersion not for remission of sins, but in order to be like us. Also, we visually see what happens spiritually with us when we are baptized. The Father is pleased and the Holy Spirit descends. Another reason Jesus was baptized was to show His transition from a private life to a public work of ministry. This happened when He was 30 years old which is the time when a man could become a priest according to Numbers 4.

After this experience, Jesus had his disciples start baptizing people for repentance.

John 3:22-26 (KJV)

22 After these things came Jesus and his disciples into the land of Judaea; and there he tarried with them, and baptized. 23 And John also was baptizing in Aenon near to Salim, because there was much water there: and they came, and were baptized. 24 For John was not yet cast into prison. 25 Then there arose a question between some of John’s disciples and the Jews about purifying. 26 And they came unto John, and said unto him, Rabbi, he that was with thee beyond Jordan, to whom thou barest witness, behold, the same baptizeth, and all men come to him.

John 4:1-3 (KJV)

1 When therefore the Lord knew how the Pharisees had heard that Jesus made and baptized more disciples than John, (Though Jesus himself baptized not, but his disciples,) He left Judaea, and departed again into Galilee.

Of course, John knew that he was not the Christ but was the one who prepared the way for Christ. So it didn’t bother him that Jesus’ disciples were baptizing more people. In fact, this is what he wants. In John 4, it tells us clearly that Jesus Himself never baptized anyone, but allowed His disciples to. Please continue with me in Part 2 of this teaching and we’ll begin looking at what Jesus says about baptism.