THE LIVING WORD CENTER, INC.
Rev. Jay Werman, Director
Topic: “Water baptism”; Symbolism of the inner change.
Text base: Acts 8:36-40
Definition: The word used in Greek language for “Baptism” is “baptidzo” and it comes
from the root “bapto” which basically means, “to dip” Luke 16:24; Rev. 19:13; Jn. 13:26.
“To overwhelm with suffering”, Mt. 20:22-23; Lk. 12:50. “To bury into (Rom. 6:3-7;
Col. 2:12) regardless of the element used”.
In the scriptures we found 7 different types of baptism:
a) John’s Baptism in water: Mt. 3; Mk. 1; Lk. 3; 7:29-30; Jn. 1:31-33; 3:23-26;
10:40; acts 1:5; 11:16; 19:3.
b) Christ’s baptism in water: Jn. 3:22; 4:1-2.
c) Baptism in suffering: Lk. 12:50.
d) Baptism in the Cloud and in the Sea: 1 Cor. 10:2.
e) Christian baptism in water: Mt. 28:19; Mk. 16:16; acts 2:38-41; 8:12-16, 36-38;
9:18; 10:47-48; 16:15, 33; 18:8; 19:5; 22:16; 1 Cor. 1:13-17; 1 pet. 3:21.
f) Baptism into Christ and his body: Rom. 6:3-7; 1 Cor. 12:13; Gal. 3:27; Col.
g) Baptism in the Holy Spirit: Mt. 3:11, 14; 20:22-23; Mk. 1:8; 10:38-39; Lk. 3:16;
Jn. 1:33; 7:37-39; acts 1:5; 11:16; 19:2-3.
3 Baptisms for believers:
I. Into Christ or His body at repentance and new birth. 1 Cor. 12:13. It’s also called
“One baptism” in Eph. 4:5 because it is the only baptism that saves the soul and
brings into the body of Christ. Jn. 3:1-13; 2 Cor. 5:17; Gal. 3:27.
II. Water Baptism after one is saved. Acts 8:12-16, 36-38.
III. The Spirit Baptism, which it can be define as “The enduement (ability or
quality) of power for service. It can take place before the water baptism (acts
10:44-48) or after it (acts 1:4-8; 2:1-11; 8:12-21; 19:1-7).
Agents used in each baptism:
- The Holy Spirit is the (Divine) agent to baptize “into Christ and into his body”. 1
- Christ is the (Divine) agent to baptize “In the Holy Spirit”. Mt. 3:11; Jn. 1:31-33.
- The Minister is the (Selected by God) agent to baptize “Into the Water”. Mt.
Infant baptism is not taught in the scriptures and it was not supported by neither of the
apostles nor the early Christians. It becomes a practice in the 5th century by the Catholic
Church. Jews people never baptized infants, they “dedicated” to the lord.
Baptism in Scripture always has the prerequisite of repentance and faith, which are
impossible for an infant, and obviously an Infant cannot outwardly express faith.
The Lord’s Supper and Baptism are both sacraments and ordinances and are the same
sign and seal, since the Lord’s Supper may not be given to unbelievers, neither should
Baptism represents more than just physical washing, but being clean and good standing
before God, and therefore regenerate (Romans 6).
Baptism represents the remission of sins, and infants are not capable of repenting. (Luke
3:3, Mark 1:4, Acts 13:24, Acts 19:4)
Baptism has been part of Christianity from the start, as shown by the many mentions in
the Acts of the Apostles and the Pauline epistles.
1 Peter 3:21 say; (Amplified bible)
“And baptism, which is a figure [of their deliverance], does now also save you [from
inward questionings and fears], not by the removing of outward body filth [bathing], but
by [providing you with] the answer of a good and clear conscience (inward cleanness and
peace) before God [because you are demonstrating what you believe to be yours] through
the resurrection of Jesus Christ”.
Water Baptism is a symbol and does not put away the filth of the flesh. Gal. 5:19-21; 2
cor. 7:1; Col. 2:11. The like figure of the baptism in water also saved us. How does it
save us? Is it the water that saves or the thing that it is a figure of? It was not the water
that saved the 8 persons of verse 20. It was the ark that saved them from drowning in the
flood. So baptism in water does not save the soul, but faith in the death, burial, and
resurrection of Jesus Christ, that which baptism is a figure of, does save the soul. Read
rom. 6:3-5; 1 cor. 15:1-4; Ephesian 1:14; col. 1:20-22. A mere figure can have no power
to save, but the reality of the figure can. What Peter is saying is that “one thing we should
have clear and that is that baptism in water does not save one from the filth or moral
depravity of the flesh. He shows it to be only the answer of a good conscience toward
God, one that has been made clean by faith in the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Verse 21.
It is clear here that at baptism the conscience is already supposed to be good and clean
and baptism merely answer to it. As the waters of the flood could not have saved these 8
persons, had they not made use of the ark, so the water of the baptism does not save the
soul of anyone, but testifies figuratively to the salvation that comes by faith. Rom. 1:16;
3:24-25; 10:9-10. Compare also Acts 22:16
3 types of baptism in the New Testament:
1)- Water Baptism: which is perform by anyone who has been born again, and not only by ministers. Water baptism doesn’t save anyone, since it is a symbolism of our internal experience. In other words, baptism in water is a way or form to exteriorized the experience of being born again. When we do that in from of witnesses, we are saying by that act that we were once death but in Christ we are resurrected. The believer or minister is the instrument of God to do this act.
Let’s explain Mat. 3:13-17;
“Then cometh Jesus from Galilee to Jordan unto John, to be baptized of him. But John forbad him, saying, I have need to be baptized of thee, and comest thou to me? 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. 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: And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.”
Few things involved in these passages:
“Then cometh Jesus from Galilee to Jordan unto John, to be baptized of him.” verse 13. Jesus came to John as a confirmation of a word given to him by God. Observe what John 1:33 says;
“And I knew him not: but he (The Father) 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.”
– Jesus baptism was just a symbolic expression of his sacrifice upon the cross and his resurrection.
– The baptism was performed by “immersion in water”, and NOT BY SPRINKLING WATER, as many do today.
Observe what Mat. 3:16.
“And Jesus, when he was baptized, WENT UP STRAIGHTAWAY OUT of the water”. The water baptism was done by submersion, or being submerged inside the water.
In Mark 1:10 confirmed the same meaning:
“And SRTRIGHTAWAY COMING UP OUT of the water, he saw the heavens opened, and the Spirit like a dove descending upon him”
In Acts 8:38-39 expressed the same position:
“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. 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.”
The Scriptures DOES NOT SUPPORT the water baptism by sprinkling water, or by pouring a cup of water into a person. If we are going to do what the Scriptures says, we should do it right!
You are saved not by what you do or you don’t do, but by the grace of God!
“In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace;” Ephesians 1:7
“That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus. For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.” Ephesians 2:7-9
When we get submerged into the water, we are testifying that: “We are dead to the old lifestyle and we have a new life, through the experience of being born again”; “We are identified with Jesus in his death and in his resurrection”.
Water baptism without the experience of being born again is useless. Why is that? Because the act of being baptized into the waters it’s just a “symbolic act”, which is done in obedience to The Word of God. Observe what the scriptures says:
“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.” Acts 8:12
once more the Scriptures used the sequence and the appropriate or correct orden, which is “Believes” first and then after that “Baptized” also en Acts 8
“Then Philip opened his mouth, and began at the same scripture, and preached unto him Jesus.” V. 35
“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?” V. 36
“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.” V. 37
This eunuch experience what is written in Rom. 10:9-10 and he was saved, not by the water baptism by instead by faith in the sacrifice of Jesus upon the cross.
“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.” V. 38
– Two different baptisms in Acts 8:12-18:
“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.” V. 12
They BELIEVED before getting BAPTIZED, which is the correct order and lineup with the Scriptures.
“Then Simon himself BELIEVED also: and when he was BAPTIZED, he continued with Philip, and wondered, beholding the miracles and signs which were done.” V. 13
That’s the order expressed by the Scriptures.
“Now when the apostles which were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had RECEIVED THE WORD OF GOD, they sent unto them Peter and John.” v. 14
Meaning they received the Word and were SAVED.
“Who, when they were come down, prayed for them, that they might RECEIVE THE HOLY GHOST.” V. 15
(For as yet he was fallen upon none of them: only they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.) V. 16
Proving that the baptism of water is DIFFERENT from the baptism into the Holy Spirit.
“Then laid they their hands on them, and THEY RECEIVED THE HOLY GHOST. V. 17
“And when Simon SAW (The visible evident) that through laying on of the apostles’ hands the Holy Ghost was given, he offered them money.” V. 18
The Scriptures expressed that there’s a external manifestation through which people can notice the evidence of receiving the Holy Spirit.
Another passages that expressed the differences between receiving The baptism of the Holy Spirit and baptism into water. Acts 9:17-18.
“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. V. 17
“And immediately there fell from his eyes as it had been scales: and he received sight forthwith, and arose, and was BAPTIZED.” V. 18
– Two different experiences; “He was FILLED with The Holy Spirit” and “He was BAPTIZED in water”.
Nowadays many people are struggling to follow the principles and divine directions from God, because they’re relying on the own strength and abilities, instead of relying on God’s power. Why is the reason for it? Because many are teaching that the manifestation of The Holy Spirit is not for this time but it was over in the apostle’s era. Which is something that had caused damage to many. This kinda of teaching doesn’t come from the Scriptures but rather from demonic inspiration. The Scriptures are very clear on this subject, that without the help and guidance of The Holy Spirit, we are doomed. These deceiving teachings have been infiltrated into the body of Christ by satan’s agents, which purpose is to diminished the effectiveness of the work of every born again against the works of Satan. Compare Eph. 4:14.
Jesus spoke about the effectiveness of every believer through the person of The Holy Spirit:
“And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you ANOTHER COMFORTER, that HE may abide with you for ever; Even the Spirit of truth; whom the WORLD CONNOT RECEIVE, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.” John 14:16-17
Why the World cannot receive the Holy Spirit? Because of their sinful nature, they need to born again and then, they would be able to receive him. Jesus said it very clear:
“Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” John 3:3
“Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.” John 3:5
No religion can provide you with salvation but Jesus Christ. John 14:6.