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Ephesians 4:5 states that there is "one baptism." However, in the New Testament there are at least seven baptisms mentioned. Hebrews 6:2 mentions the "doctrine of baptisms." How many baptisms are there?


Name Scripture Administrator Purpose For Whom
Baptism of John

Matthew 3:11-12

Acts 19:1-5

Mark 1:4; Luke 3:3

John Prepare for Jesus Israel
Holy Spirit

Luke 24:49

Acts 2:1-ff

Holy Spirit Confirm the Word Apostles
Fire Matthew 3:11-12 Jesus Punishment Lost
Moses 1 Corinthians 10:1-4 God Deliver from Egypt Israel
Suffering Mark 10:35-39 God Atonement Jesus
For the dead 1 Corinthians 15:29 Man Change destiny Dead
Great Commission

Mark 16:16

Acts 2:38

Man Forgiveness All seeking salvation

Which baptism (or baptisms) are valid for us today?

How many baptisms are there?

What are the differences in these baptisms?

Could one be baptized in several of these ways and still NOT be "baptized?"

What about the "doctrine of baptisms" of Hebrews 6:2?

Which ONE is the "one baptism" of Ephesians 4:5?

"Baptism" - The word is of Greek origin. The Greek word is "baptidzo." It means to "dip, plunge, immerse, bury, submerge." In general usage, the word was used of anything dipped or submerged (dying cloth, washing dishes).

Keep in mind - the word "Baptism" means to dip. It does not include the thing to be dipped nor the element in which it is to be submurged.


John's Baptism

A. Administrator John

B. For whom Israel

C. Purpose Prepare the way for Jeus

D. Commanded Yes, for the Jew

E. Duration Till Jesus died on cross

F. Element Water

NOTE: John's baptism is not for us because it expired at the death of Christ. It was a baptism that required faith in the future death of Christ. Our faith is in the accomplished fact of his death on the cross.


Holy Spirit Baptism

A. Administrator God

B. For whom Apostles

C. Purpose Confirm the Word

D. Commanded No

E. Duration During their lifetime

F. Element Power of Holy Spirit

NOTE: Holy Spirit baptism was never commanded. It is always a promise. All the apostles had to do was wait for it to arrive.

NOTE: This is not the same as miracles. This is not the "gift of the Holy Spirit" of Acts 2:38. This is not what happened at the household of Cornelius. Only the apostles received this baptism.



A. Administrator God

B. For whom Lost, sinners, disobedient

C. Purpose Punishment of wicked

D. Commanded No

E. Duration Eternity

F. Element Fire

NOTE: Many today confuse this with the baptism of the Holy Spirit. Two reasons: [1] Matt. 3:11 mentions both in the same verse. [2] On the day of Pentecost, there appeared cloven tongues "like as of fire." This was not the baptism of fire.

John explains that fire is for the chaff. It is to be swept out and burned with "unquenchable fire."



A. Administrator God

B. For whom Israel leaving Egypt

C. Purpose Freedom from slavery

D. Commanded No

E. Duration One time act

F. Element Water (cloud and sea)

NOTE: This is a symbolic reference to baptism. Lost slaves in Egypt were delivered to the promised land through a baptism (completely surrounded by the walls of water and the cloud) in the Red Sea.



A. Administrator God

B. For whom Jesus

C. Purpose Atonement for our sins

D. Commanded No

E. Duration One time event

F. Element Pain and suffering

NOTE: Only Jesus could endure what had to be done here. Peter thought he could take it. He could not. He denied Jesus.

NOTE: Remember that the element is not included in the word "Baptism." Here the element is pain and suffering. Jesus would be surrounded, submerged and buried in suffering.


For the dead

A. Administrator    Men

B. For whom   Dead out of Christ

C. Purpose  Change their destiny

D. Commanded  No

E. Duration  Never God's will

F. Element  Water

NOTE: This is not a teaching of the New Testament. Paul was pointing out the total inconsistency of some at Corinth who denied the resurrection and yet were baptizing people now alive with a view to changing the destiny of those who are dead.

NOTE: Paul changes from "we" and "us" and "our" to talk about what "THEY" are doing. Paul was not endorsing this practice. He was showing the inconsistency in those who were doing this.

NOTE: There are three reasons for totally rejecting this practice.

[1] Great gulf fixed. Luke 16:26

[2] Judged by deeds done in this body. I Cor. 5:10

[3] Baptism alone does not save anyone. Faith, repentance, confession are also essentials.


Great Commission

A. Administrator Men

B. For whom All nations, all creatures

C. Purpose For the forgiveness of sins

D. Commanded Yes

E. Duration During Christian Age

F. Element Water

NOTE: This is the "one baptism" for us today. All others never applied to us. They were never commanded for us to obey or practice.


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