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Baptism


Baptism word is the most controversial word among people. People have different opinion about baptism and the method of baptism. Let us look from the Bible that what is the opinion of the Bible:



Apostle Paul talks about three types of baptism in Acts 19:1-6. Paul was on his journey and went to Ephesus where he found few disciples. Paul asked them, "Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?" So they said to him, "We have not so much as heard whether there is a Holy Spirit." Paul asked them, "Into what then were you baptized?" So they said, "Into John's baptism." Paul answers in Acts 19:4 that, "John indeed baptized with a baptism of repentance, saying to the people that they should believe on Him who would come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus."



Here we see that John the Baptist preached about the "Baptism of Repentance" and to believe on Jesus Christ. Bible says in Matthew 3:5-6 when John was baptizing people, "Then Jerusalem, all Judea, and all the region around the Jordan went out to him and were baptized by him in the Jordan, confessing their sins." Jesus also started His ministry preaching the repentance from their sins as we read in Matthew 4:17, "From that time Jesus began to preach and to say, "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand."



So Bible tells us about a baptism of repentance through which a person confesses his sins and repents from it. And believes on Jesus and gets the salvation or forgiveness of their sins.



Further Acts chapter 19 says that when those disciples heard that, "they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus." Jesus said in Mark 16:16 "He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned." When we read every passage that talks about the baptism, it first talks about believing on Jesus or repenting from sins then taking the water baptism. Water baptism is only a outward significance of burying with Christ and resurrecting for new life with Christ. This is a significance of our confession that we repent from our old sins and are ready to live a new life with Christ. Water baptism cannot save us nor give us forgiveness of our sins but only Jesus Christ who died for our sins on the cruel cross.



The third type of baptism we see in these verses is the "Baptism of the Holy Spirit". The Bible tells us about the disciples of Ephesus in Acts 19:6, "And when Paul had laid hands on them, the Holy Spirit came upon them, and they spoke in tongues and prophesied."



The believers of Ephesus took the baptism of repentance, believed on Jesus Christ, baptized and when Paul laid his hands on them they got filled with the Holy Spirit. Many believe that, we get baptism of Holy Spirit or filling of Holy Spirit when we get salvation or when we repent from our sins. But no, it is not reality. Baptism of Holy Spirit is totally different experience just like the experience of "forgiveness of sin" Paul specifically asked those believers that whether they got the baptism of Holy Spirit or not when they believed? If the baptism of the Holy Spirit is not a different experience then, Paul did not need to ask at all because they were already disciples or believers.



John the Baptist said in Mark 1:8, "I indeed baptized you with water, but He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit." And Bible tells us in Acts 2nd chapter that when disciples and others were gathered and praying with one accord, the Holy Spirit came and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utteranceActs 19:6 say the same thing that when they got filled with the Holy Spirit they spoke with tongues and prophesied. But it is very sad that many Churches have forgotten the gift of God - the baptism of the Holy Spirit. And they teach a new doctrine that people gets filled with the Holy Spirit when they get salvation.



But I want to tell you that there is a baptism of Holy Spirit, there is filling of Holy Spirit and there are gifts of Holy Spirit that God wants to give to every believer. The only thing you have to do is to ask God and receive His wonderful gift. The only eligibility to get the baptism of Holy Spirit is, your sins must be forgiven, your sins must be washed away by the blood of Jesus. God filled the disciples of Ephesus almost 2000 years ago and He has not changed. He is the same yesterday, today and forever. He is ready to fill you with His Holy Spirit if you ask. Do you want this wonderful gift of God, just ask!



 
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