Three Baptisms

Duane Vander Klok

Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to Me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Matthew 28:18-20.

There is a pattern of three baptisms in a believer’s life. However, when the Bible references “baptism,” we tend to only think about water baptism. It brings up the image of being dunked under water. To be “baptized” means to be submerged, immersed, or dipped repeatedly. What we need to realize is that when the Bible uses the term “baptism,” it also uses it in the plural: “baptisms,” (See Hebrews 6:2, NKJV).

The first is a baptism into the body of Christ. It occurs when we repent, believe, and receive Jesus Christ into our lives. 1 Corinthians 12:13 says, “For we were all baptized by one Spirit so as to form one body, whether Jews or Gentiles, slave or free, and we were all given the one Spirit to drink.”

The second is the baptism in water. Jesus lived as an example for all of us when He was baptized by John the Baptist in Matthew 3. Water baptism is not just a ritual. It is a powerful action that separates us from the world. It is a personal identification with Christ in His death, burial, and resurrection.

The third is a baptism in the Holy Spirit. Every believer has the Holy Spirit living inside of them, but Jesus wants to do more. He wants to literally immerse and fill you with the power of the Holy Spirit. Now, it is possible to be saved and water baptized, but not be filled with the Holy Spirit. It is a gift that we are not forced to receive and is not automatic, but instead we must ask and receive Him by faith.

When we are baptized into the body of Christ, are baptized in water, and then receive the baptism in the Holy Spirit, we are better prepared to go into the world with our greatest power and potential for the Gospel.

This week, let’s ask God to reveal our next step within this pattern so that we may more intimately connect and serve Him in our lives.