I was at least 30 before I realized I wasn’t as spiritually mature as I thought. After you read this you’ll have a good grasp on some of the basics I’d missed. When I read this Scripture my eyes were opened to some of what I didn’t know:
“Therefore, leaving the discussion of the elementary principles of Christ, let us go on to perfection, not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works and of faith toward God, of the doctrine of baptisms, of laying on of hands, of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment.”
I was practically born in the church nursery, but could not clearly explain the basics or “elementary principles” of Christianity. Let’s just start with this: Did you notice the “s” in the word “baptisms”? There are at least 3 baptisms identified in Scripture. Stop for a moment and see if you can name them before you go on.
1. Holy Spirit baptizes us into the Body of Christ
When we surrender to Holy Spirit speaking to us or moving us to be born again, it is He who baptizes us into Christ’s body. We are born again and become a part of the Kingdom of Light. This is the initial baptism and must be first, although someone can receive all 3 baptisms at once! This is the baptism by which we receive salvation, or “ask Jesus into our hearts,” “are saved,” or “born again.”
- 1 Corinthians 12:13
- 1 John 5:6-8
2. We follow Jesus’s example in Water Baptism
Water Baptism is an act of obedience to what Jesus told us to do. He gave the example by being immersed in water Himself. We also are commanded to be baptized ourselves and to baptize others as they are born again. Water Baptism alone does not save us, but is an outward picture of what has happened within us.
- Matthew 28:19
- Acts 8:12
3. Jesus Himself baptizes us in the Holy Spirit
John the Baptist (or Baptizer) said that he only baptized with water, but Jesus Himself would baptize them with fire and power. We must have the empowerment from Heaven to accomplish what Jesus commissioned us to do. There’s no way we can do it on our own. That’s why He instructed the disciples to go and wait for “The Helper.”
- Matthew 3:11
- John 1:33
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