Lynellen Perry
C. T. Exam #2
March 28, 1991

Baptism in the New Testament
a) the baptism of John the Baptist (Mt 3:1-6; Mk 1:2-6; Luke 3:3-16; John 1:19-
b) the baptism of Jesus by John (Mk. 10:38-39)
c) the baptism of water for believers (Mt. 28:19; Lk 24:36-49; Mk 16:14-18 Jn
d) the baptism of the Holy Spirit (Acts 1:5 ff).
Define the meaning of each on in its context.  State how each one relates to a
normal Christian experience today.

	The baptism performed by John the Baptist is what many Christians think of
when they think of a baptism ceremony.  But John's baptism is not the same as a
Christian baptism and was even different from the typical Jewish baptism of 
that day.  A typical Jewish baptism was only for Gentiles who were becoming
proselytes to the Jewish faith.  These proselytes had to go immerse themselves,
the baptism was not administered by anyone else, though it may have been
witnessed to assure that it was done correctly.  So John had two new 
innovations to this baptism--he administered it, and it was for the covenant 
people, the Jews, themselves.  Mark 1:4 says that "John the Baptist appeared in 
the wilderness preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins."    
His immersion baptism was a religious rite showing the confession of sin and a 
commitment to a holy life in the anticipation of the coming Messiah and was a 
pre-figurement of Christ's baptism with the Spirit and with fire.  We must note 
that baptism did not impart forgiveness, but that it was a visible witness that 
you had repented which resulted in God's gracious forgiveness.

	In the Old Testament, being under water is a symbol of being overwhelmed
by calamity (Job 22:11; Ps 69:1, 2,15).  That picture can still be used here in
relation to Christ's baptism as described by Himself in Mk 10:38-39.  Jesus 
asked if the disciples were able to be baptized with the baptism He would be baptized
with.  By this He was asking if they could endure the calamity of the magnitude
that He was going to face.  Certainly, they could not endure the type of 
calamity that God was going to put on Him--the overwhelming calamity and suffering which
lead to death as God's judgement on sin.  So this baptism does not involve water,
but instead is the suffering and death of Christ.

	Jesus' baptism by John is described in Mk 1:9; Mt 3:13-17; Lk 3:21-23 and 
Jn 1:29-34.  Here it is an immersion in water type of baptism performed by John. 
Obviously Jesus did not qualify for this baptism since it was a confession of 
sins and Jesus never sinned.  So why did Jesus ask for this baptism?  At least three
reasons have been offered by scholars:  1) It was an act of obedience to God's 
plan 2) Through it Jesus identified Himself with the Israelites  and 3) It was a
dedication to His Messianic mission and an official, public acceptance and
entrance into that ministry.

	The water baptism for believers is commanded by Jesus in Mt 28:19 where
Jesus says to baptize into the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.
This water baptism is an outward sign of confession of sins and of faith in 
Jesus, and is meant to associate the believer with the person of Jesus and with the
Triune God.  Finally, the baptism of the Holy Spirit is also not a water baptism, but is
meant to unite all believers into one body under Christ and to put the believer
under the life-giving and life-changing power of the Spirit.  This baptism 
occurs only once for each believer, at the moment of salvation.

	Each of these types of baptism can be directly related to a normal Christian
experience of today.  When a person realizes that they are a sinner in God's 
eyes and they decide to confess this sin and begin to live a holy life, they are at 
the stage that is similar to John the Baptist's baptism.  When this person then 
asks God to come into their life and give them salvation, they are baptized with the
Holy Spirit who will then help them to grow and lead a Christian life.  When a
person becomes a Christian, they are baptized into Christ's death and 
resurrection, but also into His suffering, for to have a place of honor in His glory 
means that we must share in His suffering.  Thus we are baptized as Jesus was baptized 
by God. Finally, we need to give an outward sign of our commitment so that we can be a
witness and so that we can be held accountable by our Christian family, and 
this is the water baptism for believers.

	I used The Bible Knowledge Commentary edited by John F. Walvoord and Roy
B. Zuck as my research source for these verses.