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Introduction to Baptisms

“For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence.” Acts 1:5

Christians disagree about baptism. Even Baptists hold knives to each other’s throats on this topic, especially when someone suggests that there might be more than one baptism. Because of the subject’s importance, many hours have been spent studying it. Though much has been learned from others, this article takes a unique approach which will hopefully be helpful to the reader. However, no man’s teaching is without error. As in all doctrinal studies, scripture is the final authority for all truth.

Initially, we will look at baptisms in the plural and later consider the “one baptism” of Ephesians 4:5. Many will disagree with this teaching. Some say that there must be only one baptism because of Ephesians 4:5. Others see multiple baptisms, but disagree as to what they are. However, we have scriptural authority for teaching multiple baptisms. Hebrews 6:2 refers to “the doctrine of baptisms.” Therefore, there must be different kinds of baptisms in scripture.

Some of the disagreements on baptism are just different ways of looking at the same doctrine. But some teachings about these baptisms are absolute heresy. Specifically, we must beware of the false teaching on spirit baptism, a teaching which requires speaking in tongues in order to receive the Holy Ghost. Some differences are minor. Others are very serious deviations from the truth. But there is definitely more than one baptism. What John did was called a baptism. What happened on the day of Pentecost was another baptism. There are baptisms in scripture. We need to be able to understand them.