Acts 2 – Have we defaulted to a so-called modern day view of baptism(s)?
There is much debate per baptisms; water be it sprinkle or submersion, Holy Spirit (with evidence of tongues, ect.
- Water Baptism Matthew 3:5-6
- Baptism of Jesus Matthew 3:13-17
- Baptism of Fire Matthew 3:11
- Baptism of suffering Matthew 20:22
- Baptism with the Holy Spirit Acts 1:4-5
- Baptism of Moses (O.T.) I Corinthians 10:2
- Baptism in water commanded of all nations; the only one that is a stated COMMAND!
- *Matthew 28:19
- Interesting side note: If the tomb guards were sleeping, as recorded, then how would they know who it was that rolled the huge stone away and stole the body of Jesus? Sleeping?
- Acts 1:8; 8:36-38
A fascinating scripture per baptism(s) is found in Acts 19. The Apostle Paul is traveling by land to and comes through, Ephesus. There are disciples (*new believers/learners) there: “And he said to them, ‘Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?’ And they said, ‘No, we have not even heard that there is a Holy Spirit’” (ESV). The obvious question that few theologians wish to tackle is could they be saved without the “receiving the Holy Spirit?”
JIV NOTE: At this point theological preferences or prejudices will rule the day. What is said from this point on will be taken as either heresy or actuality. To seminarians it is a matter of which “Doctrine of Faith s/he signed at seminary.” I heard of one minister who stated: “if it is in the bible then it is functional or okay to be practiced today.” HMMMM? Under the Law not grace? Sacrifice alters? Stoning of a disobedient son? Even child sacrifices are discussed in the bible. Do these mean each should still be practiced today? Where is “let us reason together” (Isaiah 1:18) come into play? The Old Testament only ends at the cross and all things are made new. If it is in the bible it is simply a discussion point from the bible! Such a statement can only be excused as ignorance or self-serving.
In Ephesians 4:3-6 Paul specifically states that there is but ONE BAPTISM. We need to keep this in context to understand it. Beginning with verse 3: (ESV)
Eph 4:3 …eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.
Eph 4:4 There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call—
Eph 4:5 one Lord, one faith, one baptism,
Eph 4:6 one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.
So which baptism is the ONE BAPTISM… the baptism in water or the baptism of the Holy Spirit? Let’s look at I Peter 3:21; Colossians 2:9-14; Galatians 3:26-27 (God’s DNA?).
The word baptize always means “to submerge or immerse.” So, when baptism is discussed, it involves a person being totally submerged into something else. Baptism implies being “all in.” (GotQuestions.org)
One commentator states: “there are two types of (one?)baptism: a physical (water)
baptism and a spiritual baptism. One is literal, done in water; the other is figurative, accomplished in the Spirit.” This however seems to skirt the “one baptism” as stated in Ephesian 4:5.
There are three basic opinions among theologians regarding the baptism of the Holy Spirit.
- The Holy Spirit baptism is to be baptized into Christ. That happens at the time of one’s initial prayer of belief and salvation.
- The Holy Spirit baptism occurs after salvation when one is filled with or immersed in the worship of God. This can be immediate or sometime later when one becomes an acting Be-Liver (believer); immersed in worship with his or her whole heart, mind and soul.
- The baptism of the Spirit is evidenced by signs (such as speaking in tongues), and others believe that such signs are unnecessary.
Let’s consider a 4th option. Might the speaking in tongues be, as stated in scripture, the connection of the Holy Spirit with our prayer life and worship of our Father in heaven; i.e. a prayer and praise that we did not have prior to our salvation prayer; a worship language (speaking) we cannot express in our human language?
We do know that immediately following Pentecost the disciples spoke and the many foreign visitors to Jerusalem heard their message in their own language. This is simple…they “heard” the gospel message in their own language!
However, there is another possibility. It is the word “evidenced.” What does evidenced as stated in Acts 2:28 “And Peter said unto them, Repent ye, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ unto the remission of your sins; and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.”
So, what is the Gift of the Holy Spirit? Tongues of witness and preaching; i.e. testimonies, prophesying, wisdom, knowledge; i.e. the ability to begin understanding scripture, respect of God…
We could discuss this subject for a long time and still not bring understanding to all. Let the above be information for each to digest. We Teach – You Decide. Note the word or gift “fortitude.” This means one now has the courage to stand up for Jesus as a testimony from his or her own lips. Some will understand the intended message. Others will not.
Let’s look at one other scripture using the Greek words in the scripture itself. Acts 19:6 says… “And when Paul had laid hands upon them, the Holy Ghost (KJV) came on them; and they spake (laleō) with tongues (glōssa) and prophesied.”
Laleo means to utter, speak out, use the tongue to articulate a sound…
Glossa means a language enunciated by the tongue, an organ of speech…
Basically it means to speak out using the tongue to pronounce words. Words of what? If not a known language then probably a testimony of one’s new life in Christ with boldness; something that only some will understand; evidence of one’s new life in Christ.
We Teach – You Decide
Acts 2 “You shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit”: The idea of being baptized is to be immersed or covered over in something; even as John baptized people in water, so these disciples would 10 days later be “immersed” in the Holy Spirit.
JIV: The baptism of the Holy Spirit is more of a condition of living than it is an experience. Our “experience” comes from re-conditioned living.
This was a time of Pentecost in Jerusalem. Men (those of Judaism) from many other lands who had long forgotten the Hebrew language were in town; see verse 9 – 11. Most spoke the Aramaic as it was the common language used in business. Pentecost is only one of three different names; all are Jewish festivals:
- Feast of Harvest
- Feast of Weeks
- Feast of Pentecost
Why didn’t the Holy Spirit baptism happened immediately instead of waiting ten days for it “came upon those who witnessed the ascension of Jesus on the Mount of Olives?”
JIV: It is a test of time and the genuineness of one’s faith and belief. Many who claim salvation are “here today; gone tomorrow. “ That is called RELIGION. Their waiting ten days was a test of genuineness. Sometimes a new believer must wait to become a true Be – Liver of their salvation and growth in Christ.
James 4:3 “We ask forgiveness with the wrong motives.” Similar to Fake News, one gets Fake repentance. Once the crisis is over, many return to their old ways. There was a confession but not a baptism of or indwelling of the Holy Spirit. Gain: Fake Commitment.
Yes there is one baptism and that is the indwelling and fulfillment of the Holy Spirit in one’s life. Water baptism is symbolic of one’s baptism and commitment to God through Jesus Christ by now living a life guided by the Holy Spirit