Baptisms… How many are there?

When we think of baptism, our mind oftentimes goes to the familiar… sprinkling with or immersing in water. But did you know that the New Testament mentions eight different baptisms? Really. Eight.

  1.  The baptism of repentance or the baptism of John (Mt 3:11) John the Baptizer encouraged his followers to repent and be baptized to prepare themselves for the coming Messiah, Jesus. Repentance is turning your life around and coming back to God.
  2. The baptism of fire (Mt 3:10-12, Rev 20:15) Jesus, the one appointed by the Father to judge will baptize us in the fire of judgement.
  3. The baptism of suffering (Mt 20:22-23) The baptism of suffering is what Jesus had to endure for our sins.
  4. The baptism into the cloud of Glory (1 Cor 10:2) The children of Israel followed the Glory Cloud from sun up to sun down. We should also model their example to follow God’s Holy Spirit throughout our walk.
  5. The baptism of Moses (1 Cor 10:2) The Israelites committed to following Moses. When we are baptized, we are committing to following Jesus.
  6. The baptism into the sea (1 Cor 10:2) Just as the children of Israel showed an act of commitment to Yahweh, and crossed the Red Sea to be delivered from the bondage of slavery, we, too, are called to cross from the bondage of sin to the freedom that waits for us in our relationship with Jesus. The baptism of the sea is a picture of God’s redemption.
  7. Water or believer’s baptism (1 Peter 3:21, Acts 22:16, Col 2:12) Water baptism is our outward sign of God’s inward and Spiritual action where we use a common element, water, to represent our being buried and raised with Christ, allowing God to seal us with His Spirit and adopt us into His family.

But perhaps the most important baptism, next to our being sealed with God’s Spirit, (and I’m not trying to devalue our water baptism of regeneration), is the final one:

8. Baptism of the Holy Spirit (Mt 3:11, Acts 1:4-5, Acts 2, 1 Cor 12:13, Acts 19:1-7) This is a second (and subsequent) experience(s) we can receive where we are empowered by the Holy Spirit. The father of Methodist, John Wesley called this subsequent event the “Second Blessing.” This baptism proves that there is always more to God! The baptism of the Holy Spirit empowers us for mission. It also brings about a change in heart, stirs up spiritual gifts, and creates in us an undying love for Jesus.

God wants to share His Spirit with you. Won’t you allow Him to fill you with the “more” of the Holy Spirit? Ask and you shall receive (Matthew 7:7-8). God promises it. Mark my words.

Published by Mark Heckman

Mark Heckman is the Senior Pastor of the Greater Blairsville Cooperative Parish in Blairsville, Pennsylvania. A Spirit-filled follower of Jesus, Mark's passion is to share the Gospel with as many people as God puts before him.

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