7 Baptisms in the Bible

Aug 14, 2022 // By:Dave // No Comment

what is baptism ?

  • water immersion
  • sprinkling of water
  • wet
  • dry
  • what purpose does it serve (does it save us/sanctify us)

the word baptize is a transliteration (not a translation)

a translation is taking a word from one language and writing it’s meaning in the new language

a transliteration is taking a word from one language and making it pronounceable in the new language

examples of this are most proper nouns, names of people and places

bethlehem = house of bread (beth lechem)

jerusalem = city of peace  (ye ru sha lom)

angel = an gel os meaning messenger

apostle = a post ol os  meaning a sent one

Jesus = savior   (went through a double transliteration)

starts with hebrew = ye shu ah  (short for ye ho shu a)

greek is ie sus 

baptizo is the greek word being used

to immerse in, to identify with (used in both active and passive senses)

Eph 4:1-3 says there is one baptism !?

is this saying there is only one baptism in the entire bible ?

that would be a strange conclusion since we can simply look at the passage about john the baptist, Jesus approaches to be baptized, and the context of the conversation

Mark 1:1 ¶ The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.

Mark 1:2 ¶ As it is written in Isaiah the prophet:  (isaiah 40 has some, Mal 3 is literal and prophecies that the Lord shall come to his messenger)






Mark 1:4 John the Baptist appeared in the wilderness preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins.

Mark 1:5 And all the country of Judea was going out to him, and all the people of Jerusalem; and they were being baptized by him in the Jordan River, confessing their sins.

Mark 1:6 John was clothed with camel’s hair and wore a leather belt around his waist, and his diet was locusts and wild honey.

Mark 1:7 And he was preaching, and saying, “After me One is coming who is mightier than I, and I am not fit to stoop down and untie the thong of His sandals.

Mark 1:8 “I baptized (identify, mark, by immersion) you with water; but He will baptize (identify, mark, by immersion)  you with the Holy Spirit.”

Mark 1:9 ¶ In those days Jesus came from Nazareth in Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan.

Mark 1:10 Immediately coming up out of the water, He saw the heavens opening, and the Spirit like a dove descending upon Him;

Mark 1:11 and a voice came out of the heavens: “You are My beloved Son, in You I am well-pleased.”

more of the conversation is recorded in Matt

Matt. 3:13 ¶ Then Jesus *arrived from Galilee at the Jordan coming to John, to be baptized by him.

Matt. 3:14 But John tried to prevent Him, saying, “I have need to be baptized by You, and do You come to me?”

Matt. 3:15 But Jesus answering said to him, “Permit it at this time; for in this way it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness.” Then he *permitted Him.

Matt. 3:16 After being baptized, Jesus came up immediately from the water; and behold, the heavens were opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending as a dove and lighting on Him,

Matt. 3:17 and behold, a voice out of the heavens said, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well-pleased.”

what has John the baptist said about his baptism ?

what is repentance ?

does Jesus have anything to repent of ?

then why does he want to be baptized ?

clearly while Jesus intends to be baptized to fulfill scripture (all righteousness)

repentance is not the motivating reason, and there must be something else going on

I had stated a 3 weeks ago that I was aware of 4 baptisms in scripture

(did anyone check on that, look it up?)

well , I am very glad that I phrased it as “I am aware” rather than saying “there are four”)

As I dove into this topic , I discovered that I was wrong.  There are not four, but seven.

some are quite specific, 

some no longer apply to us, 

two directly apply to all of us,

one applies to only those who are martyred for their faith 

and one remains for us to witness

let’s look at the oldest use of the concept (which clearly excludes any contact with water to start things off

1) The baptism of Moses (1 Corinthians 10:1–3) – when the Israelites were delivered from slavery in Egypt, they were “baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea.” That is, they were identified with Moses and his deliverance by passing through the Red Sea and following God’s presence in the cloud (Exodus 13:21). Paul uses this as a comparison to the way that Christians are identified with Christ and His salvation. Those who followed Moses passed through the water and were thus initiated into a new life of freedom and Law-keeping; those who follow Jesus Christ, who is greater than Moses, pass through the waters of baptism and are thus initiated to a new life of freedom and grace.

2) The baptism of John (Mark 1:4) – as John the Baptist preached repentance of sins in preparation for the coming of the Messiah, he baptized people in the Jordan. Those who were baptized by John were showing their faith in John’s message and their need to confess their sin. In Acts 18:24–25, a disciple of John’s named Apollos preaches in Ephesus; however, only knowing the baptism of John and the need for repentance, he needed to be further instructed in the death and resurrection of Christ. Later in the same city, Acts 19:1–7, Paul encounters some more followers of John. These disciples had been baptized for repentance, but they had not heard of the new birth or the Holy Spirit. Paul taught them the whole message of salvation in Christ, and they received the message and were subsequently baptized in Jesus’ name.

3) The baptism of Jesus (Matthew 3:13–17) – this was Jesus’ act of identifying with sinful humanity. Although Jesus did not need to repent of sin, He came to John to be baptized. John balked at performing the baptism, saying that Jesus should be the one baptizing him (Matthew 3:13–14). But Jesus told John to proceed with the baptism: “Let it be so now; it is proper for us to do this to fulfill all righteousness” (verse 15). In this baptism, Jesus put His stamp of approval on John’s ministry and also began His own. As Jesus came up from the water, the Father spoke from heaven, and the Holy Spirit descended in bodily form upon Jesus (verses 16–17).

Alternative interpretation is The baptism of Priesthood   

Lev 16 shows bathing before each offering

Num 4:34-37 starting age was 30


4) The baptism of fire (Matthew 3:11–12) – John prophesied that Jesus would baptize men “with fire.” This speaks of Jesus’ judging the world for its sin (see John 5:22). Immediately after mentioning the baptism by fire, John describes Jesus as overseeing a harvest to come: “His winnowing fork is in his hand, and he will clear his threshing floor, gathering his wheat into the barn and burning up the chaff with unquenchable fire” (verse 12; cf. Matthew 13:24–30, 36–43). Those who are judged by Christ in the last day will be cast into the lake of fire (Revelation 20:15).

Matt. 3:10 “The aaxe is already laid at the root of the trees; therefore bevery tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.

Matt. 3:11 ¶ “As for me, aI baptize you 1with water for repentance, but He who is coming after me is mightier than I, and I am not fit to remove His sandals; bHe will baptize you 1with the Holy Spirit and fire.

Matt. 3:12 “His awinnowing fork is in His hand, and He will thoroughly clear His threshing floor; and He will bgather His wheat into the barn, but He will burn up the cchaff with dunquenchable fire.”

5) The baptism of the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 1:13–14; 1 Corinthians 12:13) – John also predicted that Jesus would baptize men with the Holy Spirit (Matthew 3:11). This is a spiritual baptism, and it is the baptism that saves us. At salvation, we are “immersed” in the Holy Spirit. The Spirit covers us, indwells us, fills us, and makes us a part of the spiritual body of Christ. The baptism of the Spirit is what initiates us into new life in Christ. The first people to experience the baptism of the Spirit were the believers in Acts 2 on the Day of Pentecost. The spiritual entity known as the body of Christ is formed by this baptism: “We were all baptized by one Spirit so as to form one body” (1 Corinthians 12:13).

6) The baptism of the cross (Mark 10:35–39) – Jesus used the language of baptism to refer to His sufferings (and those of His disciples). James and John, the Boanerges, had come to Jesus asking for a place of honor in the kingdom. Jesus asked them, “Can you . . . be baptized with the baptism I am baptized with?” (Mark 10:38). They replied that they could, and Jesus confirmed it: “You will . . . be baptized with the baptism I am baptized with” (verse 39). The “baptism” Jesus speaks of here is the suffering He was to endure. James and John would suffer, as well.

7) The baptism of believers (Matthew 28:19) – this is a washing in water to symbolize the action of the Holy Spirit in a believer’s heart. Believer’s baptism is one of the two ordinances given to the church. Different churches practice different modes of baptism, but all who follow Christ should be baptized, since it is commanded by our Lord. Water baptism pictures some wonderful spiritual truths. When we are saved, we are “buried” with Christ and “rise” to newness of life; our sins are “washed away,” and we are cleansed. It is Spirit baptism that saves us, but water baptism is our outward expression of that event. “All of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death[.] We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life” (Romans 6:3–4).

Of the seven baptisms found in Scripture, only two are of personal significance to the Christian today:

  • baptism of the Holy Spirit (that saves us)
  • believer’s water baptism (that identifies us with the church). 

The other baptisms were uniquely for other times, limited to certain people, or (in the case of the baptism of fire) still future.


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