RD 101 - What About Baptism?

By Jack Eberle

One of the subjects which Bible scholars have questions and discussions about is baptisms. The Hebrew root word indicates some form of “washings”. We find in Job 9:31 a form of the Hebrew word translated “plunge”. Again in Deuteronomy 33:24, it speaks of “dip in oil’. The Septuagint uses “baptize”. John was a Baptizer of “repentance”. Repentance means change. John speaks of his own ministry in 1:31, and the passage speaks of Jesus’ baptism in 1:29-32. Thus, we have two distinct baptisms spoken of in the same passage: Jesus’ baptism which is certainly not a baptism of repentance, and John’s baptism which was the “baptism of repentance”.

Folks speak of following Christ in baptism, yet they don’t specify which baptism. They won’t be able to call down a dove to attend their baptisms, and even if they could, the dove would not represent the person of The Holy Spirit. Christ did speak of another baptism in Luke 12:50.

The Lord did not look forward to this baptism. He talked about being straitened until He experienced it. We know that he was referring to his death. Some asked to follow Him in it. He said they would. Mark 10:38-39. Romans 6:3-6 speaks of our true baptism in Him.

There is also the baptism of the kingdom, Matthew 28:18-20. He sent his apostles to “teach” all nations. Power was given with this commission to the apostles. This commission was never fully carried out. It began at Jerusalem but didn’t get very far. In Mark 16, we see the sign and wonders which accompanied this commission.

During the Acts period, this baptism was in effect. God’s chosen people had not been set aside. See Acts 2:38, and Mark 6:15. Peter tells His people that they must be baptized for the remission of sins. They were promised gift of holy spirit if they followed this command. The promise was to them and their children and even to those who were afar off.

We have spoken of Hebrew washings as a result of the law, Israel’s baptism unto repentance, Spirit baptism along with gifts to accompany preaching the kingdom, and Christ’s baptism on Calvary.

There IS one remaining. The emphasis is on time. In God’s plan for our age, the “one” baptism of Ephesians 4:1-6 IS in effect. This baptism is OUR baptism; that is, the baptism of those who wish to acknowledge the Headship of Christ over His body.

This IS God’s baptism for His body people today. These people have a different destiny from those people looking for the kingdom. These people are not seeking to become Jewish or to inherit the earth. They receive the only baptism in God’s plan for today. There is no mention of water because this baptism is “spirit”. His Spirit will seal you with this baptism. Ephesians 1:13. There is much more. We will speak again of baptisms.