Baptisms of the New Testament

Baptisms of the New Testament

Text: Ephesians 4:1-6


I.         How is it that Paul talks of one baptism in Ephesians 4:5 when the New Testament speaks of more than one?

            A.        Baptism means immersion

                        1.         You can have different baptisms depending on what medium something is being immersed into, who administers the baptism, or who is being baptized

II.        The types of baptism

            A.        Who administered or authorized it

                        1.         The baptism of John - Matthew 21:25

                        2.         The baptism of Jesus - John 3:22,26; 4:1-2

                        3.         A baptism into Moses - I Corinthians 10:1-2

            B.        The medium baptized into

                        1.         A baptism of water - Acts 8:36

                        2.         A baptism of fire - Matthew 3:11

                        3.         A baptism with the Holy Spirit - Mark 1:8

                        4.         A baptism of suffering - Mark 10:38-39; Luke 12:50

III.       Who were these baptisms for?

            A.        John’s baptism was for Israel

                        1.         He came to prepare Israel for the Lord’s coming - Isaiah 40:3

                        2.         No all the people (Israel) accepted it - Luke 7:29-30

                        3.         Yet, it would not be correct to say that a Roman, like Pontius Pilate, rejected John’s baptism because it wasn’t for the Romans

            B.        Moses’ baptism was for Israel, but it was only for those escaping from Egypt via the Red Sea - I Corinthians 10:1-2; Exodus 14:29-31

                        1.         Later generations, though Israelites, could not receive the baptism into Moses because it was a one time event

                        2.         But later generations of Israelites did receive the benefits of that baptism because they were no longer slaves

            C.        The baptism of suffering referred to Christ’s death - Luke 10:35-39

                        1.         It was a one time event, though the apostles James and John were told they would share in that suffering

                        2.         But this doesn’t say every disciple is baptized into that same suffering

            D.        The baptism of fire refers to hell - Matthew 3:11-12

                        1.         Notice the phrase “unquenchable fire” - Mark 9:43

                        2.         This baptism is for sinners

            E.        We read the prophecy of the baptism with the Holy Spirit

                        1.         It was to happen to the apostles soon after Jesus’ resurrection - Acts 1:5

                        2.         Peter refers to it as having happened twice - Acts 11:15-16

            F.        The baptism in water is for believers - Acts 8:36-37

            G.        Each baptism is important for its time and for its audience, but we return to the question: Which baptism is the one baptism referred to by Paul

                        1.         Only the baptism in water is universally available

                        2.         But you find that some claim that the verses about baptism that are more generic, must all refer to baptism in the Holy Spirit

IV.      Which is the one baptism?

            A.        John’s Baptism - Matthew 3:1-17

                        1.         Medium: Water - Matthew 3:11,16 (also Mark 1:5, 8-9)

                        2.         Administrator: John by the will of God - Matthew 3:6,11,13 (also Matthew 21:25; Mark 1:4-5,8-9; Luke 7:29-30)

                        3.         Who? All Israel - Matthew 3:5; Mark 1:5; Acts 13:24

                                    a.         It was the choice of the people - Luke:7:29-30

                        4.         Command of God: Luke 7:29-30; Matthew 21:25-27

                        5.         Prerequisites:

                                    a.         Heard John’s preaching - Matthew 3:1-2 (also Mark 1:4; Luke 3:3; 8-14)

                                    b.         Believe on Him who would come after John

                                    c.         Repent - Matthew 3:2 (also Mark 1:4)

                                    d.         Confessed their sins - Matthew 3:6 (also Mark 1:5)

                        6.         Purpose:

                                    a.         Preparation for Jesus - Matthew 3:3; John 1:7-8 (also Mark 1:2-3; John 1:15,19-28)

                                    b.         Preparation for the Kingdom - Matthew 3:2

                                    c.         Remission of sins - Mark 1:4 (also Luke 3:3-6)

                        7.         Duration: Ended - Acts 19:4-5

            B.        Jesus’ Baptism

                        1.         At the start

                                    a.         Medium: Water - John 3:22-23

                                    b.         Administrator: Disciples by the will of Jesus and heaven- John 3:27; 4:1-2

                                    c.         Command of God: John 3:34-36

                                    d.         Who? All - John 3:26

                                                (1)       A choice of the people - John 3:36

                                    e.         Prerequistes:

                                                (1)       Hear - John 3:34

                                                (2)       Faith in the Son - John 3:36

                        2.         The Great Commission - Matthew 28:18-20; Mark 16:15-16; Luke 24:46-47

                                    a.         Medium: not mentioned

                                    b.         Administered: Disciples by the will of Jesus - Matthew 28:18-19

                                    c.         Who? All nations - Matthew 28:19 (also Mark 16:15; Luke 24:26)

                                                (1)       Choice of the people

                                    d.         Command of God: Matthew 28:18-20

                                    e.         Prerequisites:

                                                (1)       Hear - Mark 16:15

                                                (2)       Believe - Mark 16:16

                                                (3)       Repent - Luke 24:47

                                    f.         Purpose: Salvation - Mark 16:16 (also Luke 24:47)

                                    g.         Duration: End of the Age - Matthew 28:20

                        3.         Ethiopian Eunuch

                                    a.         Medium: water - Acts 8:35,38-39

                                    b.         Administered: Philip, a disciple of Jesus - Acts 8:38

                                    c.         Who? A man of Ethiopia - Acts 8:27

                                                (1)       Choice - The Eunuch’s decision - Acts 8:36-38

                                    d.         Prerequisites:                          

                                                (1)       Heard - Acts 8:35

                                                (2)       Believe in Jesus - Acts 8:37

                                                (3)       Confessed Jesus - Acts 8:37

            C.        Baptism in the Holy Spirit

                        1.         John’s prophecy - Matthew 3:11 (also Mark 1:8; Luke 3:16; John 1:33)

                                    a.         Medium: Holy Spirit

                                    b.         Administered: Jesus

                                    c.         A promise from God

                        2.         Jesus’ promise - Acts 1:3-8

                                    a.         Who? The apostles - Acts 1:2,4-5

                                    b.         A promise from God - Acts 1:4

                                                (1)       Choice of God

                                    c.         Prerequisites: Had to stay in Jerusalem - Acts 1:4

                                    d.         Purpose: To be witnesses of Jesus - Acts 1:8

                        3.         Receiving of the Promise - Acts 2:1-21,33

                                    a.         Medium: Holy Spirit - Acts 11:15-17; Acts 2:4,

                                    b.         Administered by God - Acts 2:1-4,33

                                                (1)       Choice of God - notice the disciples were sitting - Acts 2:2

                                    c.         Who? The apostles - Acts 1:26-2:1

                                                (1)       All Galileans - Acts 2:7; 1:11; 13:31

                                    d.         Promise of God - Acts 2:17,33

                                    e.         Purpose:

                                                (1)       Witness of Jesus - Acts 2:14,32,37

                                                (2)       Ability to speak in other languages - Acts 2:7-11

                                                (3)       Ability to prophecy (speak God’s words ) - Acts 2:18

                        4.         Conversion of Cornelius

                                    a.         Medium: Holy Spirit - Acts 10:44; 11:15-16

                                    b.         Administered by God - Acts 11:17

                                    c.         Who? Cornelius and his household, the first Gentiles to be converted

                                    d.         Fulfilled a promise - Acts 11:16

                                                (1)       A choice of God, no man asked for it or expected it - Acts 11:17

                                    e.         Purpose:

                                                (1)       Power to speak in other languages - Acts 10:46

                                                (2)       Convinced the Jews - Acts 10:45; 11:17

                        5.         Show chart of summary




Holy Spirit




Holy Spirit






All Israel

All Nations


Cornelius and household

Command or Promise





hear, believe, repent, confess sins

hear, believe, repent, confess Jesus







Prepare for Kingdom

Prepare for Christ

Remission of sin

Salvation from sin

Remission of sin

Spiritual gifts

To give witness



Continues to the End

Two Events


V.        Note there were two baptism in Acts 2, 10, and 19

            A.        After the apostles were baptized in the Holy Spirit we find a second baptism

                        1.         Medium is not mentioned      

                        2.         Doesn’t say who administered

                                    a.         Choice by the people - Acts 2:41

                        3.         Who? As many as God calls (near and far)- Acts 2:39

                        4.         Commanded by Peter - Acts 2:38,40

                        5.         Prerequisites

                                    a.         Heard - Peter’s sermon - Acts 2:37,40

                                    b.         Believed - Acts 2:37,41

                                    c.         Repent - Acts 2:38

                        6.         Purpose:

                                    a.         For remission of sin - Acts 2:38

                                    b.         To receive the gift (singular) of the Holy Spirit - Acts 2:39

                                    c.         Added to the church - Acts 2:47

                        7.         Duration: As many as God calls through the generations - Acts 2:39

            B.        After Cornelius and his household were baptized in the Holy Spirit we find a second baptism

                        1.         Medium: Water - Acts 10:47

                        2.         Doesn’t say who administered but by the authority of Jesus - Acts 10:48

                                    a.         None apparently refused

                        3.         Who? Cornelius and his household

            C.        In the two events where the Holy Spirit occurred, the baptism of Jesus also occurred!

                        1.         Why?

                                    a.         If the Holy Spirit baptism was all that was needed

                                    b.         If the Holy Spirit baptism was the one baptism that Paul mentioned

            D.        In Acts 19, Paul runs into twelve men who only knew of the baptism of John - Acts 19:3-5

                        1.         John’s baptism was in preparation for Jesus. Now that Jesus was here, that baptism no long served a purpose.

                        2.         But they still needed to be baptized in the one baptism

                        3.         Medium is not mentioned, but it wasn’t the Holy Spirit because that was given later - Acts 19:6

                                    a.         Safe to assume it was water

                        4.         Who did the baptism isn’t said, but it was authorized by Jesus

                        5.         Prerequisites:

                                    a.         Heard Paul’s teaching

                                    b.         Belief in Jesus

VI.      Which is the one baptism?

            A.        Moses’ baptism was a one time event

            B.        The baptism of suffering was limited to Jesus and the apostles

            C.        The baptism of fire is yet to take place (not that any should desire it)

            D.        The baptism of the Holy Spirit took place twice that we are told

            E.        The baptism of Jesus continues to the end of the age.

                        1.         Every believer, including those who received the Holy Spirit baptism received this

                        2.         This is the only logical answer for the one baptism.