Baptism – in water and in the Holy Spirit

In this study the meaning of the concept of baptism in the New Testament is examined, as a sequel to the study: Baptism – word study.

Water baptism or immersion in water.

Water baptism illustrates conversion and discipleship.
It is the baptismal candidate’s public confession that he/she wishes to live as a disciple and follower of Jesus Christ, under His dominion and authority.

In view of the meaning of the Greek word ‘baptizo’, at his/her baptism the baptismal candidate is:

  • immersed in water,
  • with the underlying thought that he/she remains immersed.

This is the image of complete release from life as it was prior to conversion, by dying with Jesus.

Paul writes about baptism (immersion):

We are those who have died to sin; how can we live in it any longer?

Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into (eis: into) Christ Jesus were baptized into his death?

We were therefore buried with him (Jesus) through baptism (immersion) into (eis) death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.   (Romans 6:2-4)

As someone went to Jesus to receive forgiveness of sins and to lay his/her future in His hands, he/she goes to the water of baptism.

Being immersed is dying to the life led prior to conversion.
The old life has to die completely, and remain immersed in that sense.

Whoever dies with Jesus will also rise with Him (come out of the water) as a new creation, with a different way of life, in accordance with the teaching of Jesus.

Coming up again out of the water also signifies therefore:

… just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.   (Romans 6:4)


Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation.   (2 Corinthians 5:17-18)

…for all of you were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ.   (Galatians 3:27)

Whoever has become a new creation is placed before the tremendous challenge of radiating Jesus Christ in the world in word and deed.
He/she will have to discover what is expected from him/her in the new life, in God’s Kingdom.
The Bible is the only handbook in this respect, to discover what it means to be a disciple of Jesus and how He meant life in fellowship with Him to be.

The baptism in the Spirit or immersion in the Holy Spirit.

Jesus said of immersion in the Holy Spirit:

I am going to send you what my Father has promised; but stay in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high.
(Luke 24:49)

(clothed – literally: to enter into – to sink into a piece of clothing)
(a more literal translation: … until you are sunk, or have entered into the power from heaven)

John baptised with (immersed in) water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit (immersed in the Holy Spirit).   (Acts 1:5)

You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you …   (Acts 1:8)

A disciple of Jesus is clothed with divine power from heaven by immersion in the Holy Spirit, or, expressed otherwise, when the Holy Spirit comes on him/her.

Here too the meaning is that the disciple remains immersed, i.e. that he/she lives in the power of the Holy Spirit and always remains clothed with this power.
A daily point of interest.

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Baptism – in water and in the Holy Spirit.