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All scholars insist that the term “baptize” in Matt. 28:19 means only water baptism.

 

John Calvin comments on “baptize with water” and “with the Spirit and with fire.”

What, then, is the meaning of John’s statement that he baptizes with water but that Christ would come to baptize with the Holy Spirit and with fire (Matt. 3:11; Luke 3:16). This can be explained in few words. John did not mean to distinguish one sort of baptism from another, but he compared his person with that of Christ–that he was a minister of water, but Christ the giver of the Holy Spirit; and that this power would be declared by a visible miracle on the day when he would send the Holy Spirit to the apostles under tongues of fire (Acts 2:3). (John Calvin, IV, 15, 8.)

     Calvin teaches that “baptism with water by John” is not distinct from “the baptism with the Holy Spirit and with fire by Christ”; that is, water baptism is the same as the Spirit’s baptism. But this is from the misinterpretation of Matt. 28:19.

 

John F. Walvoord takes “water baptism” as spiritual baptism.

In all, there are eleven specific references to spiritual baptism in the New Testament (Matt. 3:11; Mark 1:8; Luke 3:16; John 1:33; Acts 1:5; 11:16; Rom. 6:1-4; 1 Cor. 12: 13; Gal. 3:27; Eph. 4:5; Col. 2:12). All references prior to Pentecost are prophetic. All the references after Pentecost treat the baptism of the Holy Spirit as an existing reality. The major passage, which may be taken as the basis of interpretation of the other passages, is 1 Corinthians 12:13. (John F. Walvoord, The Holy Spirit, p.139.)

     Walvoord erroneously teaches that in all, there are eleven specific references to spiritual baptism in the NT (Matt. 3:11; Mark 1:8; Luke 3:16; John 1:33; Acts 1:5; Acts 11:16; Rom. 6:1-4; 1 Cor. 12:13; Gal. 3:27; Eph. 4:5; Col. 2:12). Billy Graham teaches that there are only seven passages of the Holy Spirit’s baptism in the NT (Matt. 3:11; Mark 1:8; Luke 3:16; John 1:33; Acts 1:5; Acts 11:16; 1 Cor. 12:13). Graham’s note is correct. The baptism (Rom. 6:1-4; Gal. 3:27; Col. 2:12) refers to only water baptism. Eph. 4:5 records both baptisms. It can be concluded that Walvoord treats water baptism and the baptism of the Spirit as “spiritual baptism.” Both baptisms are spiritual but quite distinct from each other.

Billy Graham comments on “the baptism of the Spirit.”

There are, incidentally, only seven passages in the New Testament which speak directly of the baptism with the Spirit. Five of these passages refer to the baptism with the Spirit as a future event; four were spoken by John the Baptist (Matt. 3:11; Mark 1:7,8; Luke 3:16; and John 1:33) and one was spoken by Jesus after His resurrection (Acts 1:4,5). A sixth passage looks back to the events and experiences of the day of Pentecost (Acts 11:15-17) as fulfilling the promises spoken by John the Baptist and Jesus. Only one passage–1 Corinthians 12:13–speaks about the wider experience of all believers. (Billy Graham, The Holy Spirit, p.70.)

     Billy Graham’s note “there are only seven passages in the NT” is right, but both Walvoord and Graham incorrectly teach, “You will be baptized with the Holy Spirit” (Acts 1:5) is the same as “We were all baptized by one Spirit into one body” (1 Cor. 12:13). According to the literal records, each verse carries its own distinct meaning. In Acts 1:5 and 1 Cor. 12:13 the Greek preposition “en” should be consistently translated as “with/in/by.” In 1 Cor. 12:13 the Greek preposition “eis” should be “in,” as noted already. Then, 1 Cor. 12:13 can be the same baptism as Acts 1:5. Billy Graham continues:

Their baptism by the Spirit was a clear sign that they too could be part of God’s people by faith in Jesus Christ. (Personally, I believe the Bible teaches there is one baptism in the Spirit–when we come to faith in Christ. I do not personally find anything in Scripture which indicates there must be some later “baptism of the Spirit” into our life after conversion. (Billy Graham, Ibid., p.73,120.)

     All these notes are in error and based upon the mistranslation and misinterpretation of 1 Cor. 12:13. The purpose of the baptism by (of) the Spirit is not to make believers part of the Body of Christ, but to impart the power of the Spirit to God’s people to make them witnesses. The note, “Personally, I believe the Bible teaches there is ‘one baptism in the Spirit’–when we come to faith in Christ,” is quite unbiblical. There is no scriptural reference to indicate that “the baptism in the Spirit” takes place when we come to faith in Christ. The Bible does by no means teach there is only ‘one baptism in the Spirit,’ but instead, the Bible teaches there are two kinds of baptism: water baptism and the baptism of the Spirit, i.e., the baptism of the Spirit’s fire after conversion.

Frederick D. Bruner insists the baptism in the name of Christ is the baptism in the Spirit.

The baptism offered by Peter is “in the name of Jesus Christ” in Acts 10:48, that is, it is to bring men into his fellowship and possession. (Frederick D. Bruner, A Theology of the Holy Spirit, p.166.)

     This note is erroneous because Cornelius was already a believer in God and he was in God’s fellowship. Before he met Peter he lived in a period of transition from OT days to NT days. He was already “in the name of Jesus’ by Peter’s message before being baptized with/in water. Thus, the note, “the baptism offered by Peter is in the name of Jesus in Acts 10:48 is to bring men into his fellowship and possession,” is erroneous. Frederick D. Bruner continues:

For even in Trinitarian language there is one divine name (to onoma; cf. 4:12 and the singular name in Matt. 28:19). There is not a baptism in Jesus Christ followed or preceded by discrete baptisms in the Father, and then again in the Spirit. God is one, his name is one, and there is therefore only one baptism (Eph. 4:5). To be baptized in, into, or as here, literally “upon” the name of Jesus Christ means to become his, and to become his means, by definition, to receive his Spirit (1:8; cf. 1 Cor. 6:17; Rom. 8:9). (Frederick D. Bruner, Ibid., 166-7.)

     Bruner teaches that “baptizing/baptism” in Matt. 28:19 is “one baptism” in Eph. 4:5. The comment, “To be baptized in, into, upon the name of Jesus Christ means to become his, and to become his means, by definition, to receive his Spirit,” is erroneous since “To be baptized in the name of Jesus” is quite distinct from “To be baptized into the name of Jesus.” The note, “To be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ means to receive his Spirit (1:8),” also is erroneous. Acts 1:5,8 say, “You will be baptized with the Holy Spirit. You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you.” Through either passage it is impossible to infer that to be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ means to receive his Spirit.
     To be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ does not mean to receive his Spirit since to receive Jesus is to receive the Spirit. Thus, every Christian receives the Spirit before being baptized with/in water, or with/in the Spirit (and with/in fire) in the name of Jesus Christ. Acts 1:5,8 can be inferred to mean, “to be baptized with/in the Holy Spirit (and with/in fire) is to receive the power of the Holy Spirit when He comes on you.” The note, “to be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ,” should be, “to be baptized with/in water in the name of Jesus Christ” (Acts 10:48), or “to be baptized with/in the Spirit in the name of Jesus Christ” (Acts 1:5; 2:3-4). Frederick D. Bruner continues:

The baptism in the name of Jesus Christ, according to Luke’s account, includes both the forgiveness of sins and the reception of the gift of the Holy Spirit (2:38b) together. (Frederick D. Bruner, Ibid., p.167.)

     This note is from the misinterpretation and conjecture regarding Acts 2:38. The note should be, “water baptism in the name of Jesus Christ, according to Luke’s account, includes the forgiveness of sins but not the reception of the gift of the Spirit (2:38b) because to be baptized with/in water is a symbolic rite of the forgiveness of sins, and to be baptized with/in the Spirit (and with/in fire) is to receive the gift of the Spirit, that is, the power of the Spirit.” There is no scriptural reference to indicate that the reception of the gift of the Spirit occurs at the time of water baptism in the name of Jesus. Frederick D. Bruner continues:

To be baptized and not to have received the Spirit was an abnormality. Baptism in the name of Christ cannot but be baptism in the Spirit; Christian baptism cannot but be accompanied with the gift of the Holy Spirit (2:38-39; 19:1-7). (Baptism and the reception of the Spirit are so synonymous as to be identical. (Frederick D. Bruner, Ibid., p.177-8,190.)

     The note is totally erroneous. The note, “to be baptized and not to have received the Spirit was an abnormality,” is from a mistranslation and misinterpretation. The strict doctrine of the Spirit is, “to be baptized with water is not to have received the Spirit. To receive Jesus is to receive the Holy Spirit. After receiving Jesus as Savior and Lord, everyone must be baptized with/in water, and with/in the Holy Spirit (and with/in fire). That is, everyone must receive Jesus as Savior and Lord before being baptized with/in water in the name of Jesus Christ. The note, “to be baptized and not to have received the Spirit was an abnormality,” is erroneous since before being baptized with/in water, and with/in the Holy Spirit (and with/in fire) believer had already received the Spirit through faith in Jesus, that is, through receiving Jesus. The note, “Baptism and the reception of the Spirit are so synonymous as to be identical,” is quite erroneous because before water baptism, through the reception of Jesus the reception of the Holy Spirit had already occurred. Frederick D. Bruner continues:

John’s baptism was only with water; the baptism into Jesus Christ is nothing less but it is much more; it is baptism with the Spirit (cf. 1:5; 2:38; 19:5-6). (Frederick D. Bruner, Ibid., p.206.)

     The comment, “John’s baptism was only with water,” is right. But the note, “the baptism into Jesus Christ is nothing less but it is much more; it is baptism with the Spirit (cf. 1:5; 2:38; 19:5-6),” is quite erroneous. The words “the baptism into Jesus Christ” should be “the baptism in Jesus Christ.” The baptism into Jesus Christ is not the baptism with the Spirit. Baptism in Jesus Christ should include two kinds of baptism: water baptism and the baptism of the Holy Spirit. Bruner continues:

After explaining to the Ephesian disciples that Christian faith is “in Jesus” and therefore Christian baptism is into Jesus, not into John, Paul for the first time baptized the twelve into (eis) “the name of the Lord Jesus,” with the laying on of hands, and the Ephesians received the Holy Spirit. The baptism in the Holy Spirit is simply Christian baptism. (Frederick D. Bruner, Ibid., p.208-9,213.)

     The note, “After explaining to the Ephesian disciples that Christian faith is ‘in Jesus,’” is correct, but “Christian baptism is into Jesus,” is erroneous. Acts 19:5 records that they were baptized in (eis) the name of the Lord Jesus. Acts 10:47-8 explains that to be baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus is water baptism. Thus, after being baptized with/in water, the Ephesian disciples were baptized with/in the Holy Spirit, that is, there were receiving the baptism of the Holy Spirit through the laying on of Paul’s hands. It should be, “both Christian water baptism and baptism of the Holy Spirit are not into Jesus but in Jesus. The note, “with the laying on of hands the Ephesians received the Holy Spirit,” is quite erroneous since they did not receive the Holy Spirit with the laying on of hands. It is from the mistranslation of the Greek verb lambano in Acts 19:2. It should be inferred, “they were filled with the power of the Holy Spirit.” It affirms that they were baptized with/in the Holy Spirit through the laying on of hands. The note, “The baptism in the Holy Spirit is simply Christian baptism,” is quite erroneous. Acts 19:2-7 records that the Ephesian disciples who received Jesus through Paul’s preaching were already “in Jesus” before receiving water baptism. That is, because they were already in Jesus, so they were baptized with/in water in the name of Jesus, and then with/in the Holy Spirit. Thus, the note, “The baptism in the Holy Spirit is simply Christian baptism,” should be amended to read, “both water baptism and the baptism of the Holy Spirit are called Christian baptism.” Frederick D. Bruner continues:

Spiritually a man is born only once and that “of water and the Spirit.” That is why baptism is the baptism of the Holy Spirit. Christian baptism is one (the single “of”), really a baptism (“of water”), and at the same time really spiritual (“and the Spirit”). (Frederick D. Bruner, Ibid., p.258.)

     The note can be concluded, “spiritually a man is born only once and that of water and the Spirit. ‘Water’ means a baptism of water, and the Spirit means the baptism of the Spirit, that is, spiritually a man is born only once by baptism of water and the baptism of the Spirit.” This makes no sense at all. A man is born neither by means of water baptism nor the baptism of the Spirit. The Bible confirms that after being born again of the Spirit one should be baptized with/in water and with/in the Spirit (and with/in fire). Frederick D. Bruner continues:

Christian baptism into Christ is his baptism in the Holy Spirit and is as fully spiritual as the Christ with whom he has been baptized. For it is the one Spirit, according to our text, who baptizes into the body of Christ (v. 12:13a), and in so doing, as we shall exposit momentarily, he gives himself (v. 12:13b). In baptism into Christ the baptism in the Holy Spirit occurs. (Frederick D. Bruner, Ibid., p.262,293.)

     The note, “Christian baptism into Christ is his baptism in the Holy Spirit and in baptism into Christ the baptism in the Holy Spirit occurs,” is quite erroneous. It should read, “Christian baptism in Christ includes two kinds of baptism, that is, water baptism and the baptism of the Holy Spirit, and in Christ (i.e., in the name of Christ) water baptism and the baptism of the Holy Spirit occur.” The note “It is the one Spirit, according to our text, who baptizes into the body of Christ (v. 12:13a)” is quite erroneous. It should read, “It is the one Spirit, according to our text, who baptizes in the body of Christ” (v. 12:13a).

Stanley M. Horton insists that Jesus’ baptism has nothing to do with water.

John baptized in water. Jesus baptizes in the Holy Spirit. The believer must summit or yield to Jesus before he can be baptized. But the contrast between water and Spirit is very strong in all these passages. Emphatically, Jesus’ baptism has nothing to do with water. John’s baptism was only a preparation for the new age of the Spirit, while Jesus’ baptism is actually a part of it. (Stanley M. Horton, What the Bible says about the Holy Spirit, p.137.)

     The note, “John baptized in water. Jesus baptizes in the Holy Spirit,” is incorrect. In “John baptized in water,” water is treated correctly as an element/means of water baptism. But in “Jesus baptizes in the Holy Spirit,” the Holy Spirit is treated incorrectly as an element/means of the Spirit’s baptism. The note, “the contrast between water and Spirit is very strong in all these passages,” should read, “the contrast between water baptism and the baptism of the Spirit is very strong.” The note, “Jesus’ baptism has nothing to do with water. John’s baptism was only a preparation for the new age of the Spirit, while Jesus’ baptism is actually a part of it,” is quite erroneous.
     Acts 10:47-48 confirms that since Cornelius and his family were baptized with Jesus’ baptism with/in water, it must be inferred to mean Jesus’ baptism is two baptisms, that is, water baptism and the baptism of the Holy Spirit. The baptism in (eis, en) the name of Jesus Christ in the book of Acts and also in the Epistles must be inferred to speak of only water baptism. The note, “John’s baptism was only a preparation for the new age of the Spirit, while Jesus’ baptism is actually a part of it,” is a mixture of correct and incorrect elements. Jesus’ baptism is quite distinct from that of John the Baptist. John’s baptism was only water baptism but Jesus’ baptism  includes  the two kinds of baptism, that is, water baptism and the baptism of the Holy Spirit.

John Stott insists that water baptism is the symbol of which Spirit-baptism is the realty.

The very concept of ‘baptism’ is initiatory. Water baptism is the public rite of initiatory into Christ. It signifies visibly both the washing away of sin (Acts 22:16) and the bestowal of the Holy Spirit. See Acts 2:38, where both aspects of salvation are liked to baptism. It is the symbol of which Spirit–baptism is the realty. (John R. W. Stott, Baptism & Fullness, p.36.)

     The note is erroneous. The note “the very concept of ‘baptism’ is initiatory” also is erroneous. The very concept of ‘baptism’ is not initiatory. Before being baptized with/in water in the name of Jesus Christ, one must first receive Him as Savior and Lord, so he is already in Jesus Christ. Thus, the concept of ‘water baptism’ cannot be initiatory. Water baptism is the public rite that testifies that one has embraced Jesus Christ and has already been in Jesus Christ. That is, water baptism is not a public rite of initiation into Jesus Christ. Water baptism takes place after one is in Jesus Christ. The note, “water baptism is the symbol of which Spirit–baptism is the realty,” is thoroughly unbiblical. “Spirit–baptism” must be the Spirit’s baptism. Water baptism is only the symbol for the forgiveness of sins (Acts 2:38), i.e., the forgiveness of sins is the realty of water baptism, and the baptism of the Holy Spirit is to impart the power of the Holy Spirit for witnessing and for service (Acts 1:5,8) after the forgiveness of sin, after conversion. Thus, water baptism is by no means the symbol of the baptism of the Holy Spirit.

Merrill F. Unger insists that water baptism is a visible symbol of the Spirit’s baptism.

Water baptism, which in the new dispensation was to become the symbol of the Spirit baptism, was regularly administered. Water baptism could be viewed as a visible symbol of the Holy Spirit’s work of baptizing the believer into Christ either as the cause or means effecting that glorious union or as the result or effect of that union in the believer’s life. (Merrill M. Unger, The Baptism & Gifts of the Holy Spirit, p.32.)

     The term “the Spirit baptism” in the note is quite unbiblical because the Spirit is not treated as God but as an element like water. It should speak of the Spirit’s baptism or the fire baptism of the Spirit. The note “Water baptism was to become the symbol of the Spirit’s baptism” is quite erroneous and unscriptural.
 

Charles C. Ryrie comments on water baptism and the baptism of the Spirit.

Obviously water baptism could not accomplish this union with Christ in His death and resurrection, but equally obvious is the fact that there must be some connection between the baptism by the Spirit and baptism by water. The connection is simply that water baptism is the outward picturing of what the Spirit does in the heart. The baptism by the Spirit places us in a position in Christ which enables us to receive power, but the act of baptizing does not in itself guarantee that power will be experienced or displayed in the life. The baptism of the Spirit does not necessarily mean a special enduement with power. As far as the occurrences of the baptism with the Spirit in Acts are concerned, the power connected with them is that of bringing men to Christ (Acts 2:41; 10:47; 19:5). (Charles C. Ryrie, The Holy Spirit, p.79.)

     The note, “Obviously water baptism could not accomplish this union with Christ in His death and resurrection,” is unbiblical since water baptism is the outward picturing of the accomplished union with Christ through His death and resurrection. The term, “the baptism by the Spirit and baptism by water,” should be instead, “the baptism by (of) the Spirit and baptism with/in water.” The note, “The connection is simply that water baptism is the outward picturing of what the Spirit does in the heart,” is from the misunderstanding of the meaning of the baptism of the Spirit in Acts 1:5,8. The note, “The baptism by the Spirit places us in a position in Christ which enables us to receive power,” is erroneous since it is from the mistranslation of 1 Cor. 12:13. The baptism by (of) the Spirit takes place after we are placed in Christ. The Holy Spirit imparts the power of the Holy Spirit for preaching and service through the baptism of the Holy Spirit after we are placed in Christ.
     The note, “The baptism of the Spirit does not necessarily mean a special enduement with power,” should speak of the baptism of the Spirit as an enduement with power to be witnesses (Acts 1:5,8). The note, “As far as the occurrences of the baptism with the Spirit in Acts are concerned, the power connected with them is that of bringing men to Christ,” is quite unbiblical. It is from the misunderstanding of the purpose of the baptism of the Spirit. Before they received water baptism and the baptism of the Holy Spirit, the believers in Acts 2:41, Acts 10:47 and Acts 19:5 had already been brought to Christ through the preaching of Peter and Paul.

Rene Pache insists that water baptism is the symbol of the baptism of the Spirit.

Is there any connection between baptism by water and the baptism of the Spirit? Yes, indeed there is! Just as the baptism of the Spirit is the act of immersion in Christ, of death and spiritual resurrection with Him to become a member of His body, even so baptism by water is symbol, the outward demonstration of the Spirit’s action in the believer’s heart. But no claim can be made asserting the impossibility of receiving the baptism of the Spirit without first undergoing baptism by water through immersion. (Rene Pache, The Person and Work of the Holy Spirit, p.78-79.)

     “The baptism of the Spirit is the act of immersion in Christ, of death and spiritual resurrection with Him to become a member of His body,” is inaccurate. The baptism with/in water is the symbolic act of being immersed in Christ, of His death and resurrection. The baptism of the Spirit is given to impart the power of the Spirit to witness and to preach the gospel subsequent to becoming a member of His body. So water baptism is by no means the symbol of the baptism of the Spirit.

John F. MacArthur comments on the baptism in Matt. 28:19.

Through the book of Acts, baptism is shown in the closest possible association with conversion. When Cornelius and his household were saved, Peter ordered them to be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ (10:48). As unbelievers in Corinth were being won to Jesus Christ, they were also being baptized (Acts 18:8). In the context of the Great Commission, baptism is synonymous with becoming a disciple. (John F. MacArthur, The MacArthur New Testament Commentary Matthew p.24-28, 344.)

     The note, “Through the book of Acts, baptism is shown in the closest possible association with conversion,” is erroneous. The term “baptism” in the book of Acts refers to two kinds of baptism: water baptism and the baptism of the Holy Spirit. The baptism of the Holy Spirit is not associated with conversion but it takes place subsequent to conversion. The statement, “When Cornelius and his household were saved, Peter ordered them to be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ (10: 48),” is quite erroneous. The note, “In the context of the Great Commission, baptism (Matt. 28:19) is synonymous with becoming a disciple,” also is erroneous. Water baptism is by no means synonymous with becoming a disciple. To receive Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord is to become a disciple. That is, when one receives Jesus Christ, he becomes a disciple. This is before being baptized with/in water. After becoming a Christian, i.e., after becoming a disciple one must be baptized with/in water in the name of Jesus, and with/in the Holy Spirit (and with/in fire).

The NIV Matthew Henry Commentary insists “baptism in Matt. 28 is water baptism.”

Matthew 28:19. What is the principle intention of this commission; They must make disciples by the sacred rite of baptism; Go into all nations, preach the gospel to them, work miracles among them, and persuade them to come in themselves, and bring their children with them, into the church of Christ, and then admit them and theirs into the church, by washing them with water. This baptism must be administered in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. (The NIV Matthew Henry Commentary, p.163.)

     The note, “They must make disciples by the sacred rite of baptism; Go into all nations, preach the gospel to them...and then admit them and theirs into the church…by washing them with water,” is quite erroneous. Matt. 28:19 records as follows: “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” (NIV).
     Jesus commanded, “First, ‘go into all nations,’ and Second, ‘make disciples.’ Third, ‘baptize them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,’ and Fourth, ‘teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.’” The phrase, “make disciples,” must be understood to mean that when one preaches the gospel of Jesus to the nations, people hearing that message will receive Him and become Christians, that is, the disciples of Christ through faith in Christ. Many Christians think that to receive Christ is to be a disciple of Christ even though the new believer was not yet baptized with/in water in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. One does not become a disciple of Christ through water baptism in the name of Christ. Before receiving water baptism one becomes a disciple of Christ through faith in the finished work of Christ.
     The note, “persuade them to come in themselves, and bring their children with them, into the church of Christ, and then admit them and theirs into the church, by washing them with water,” should rather read, “before washing them with/in water they must come into the church. They must stay in the church to hear the gospel of Jesus.” The note, “admit them and theirs into the church, by washing them with water,” should acknowledge that new believers have already been in God’s church through faith in Christ before they are washed with water, that is, water baptism. The public rite of water baptism, that is, the rite of washing with/in water, takes place after one is in Jesus Christ and in the church.
     By water baptism one is not brought into Jesus Christ, that is, not into the name of Jesus Christ. Water baptism takes place because one is in Jesus Christ, that is, in the name of Jesus Christ. It means that new believers first accept Christ before they are baptized with/in water. To accept Christ is to be a disciple of Christ. They must become the disciples of Christ before being baptized with/in water. Thus, “They must make disciples by the sacred rite of baptism,” is quite incorrect. It should be concluded, “They must make disciples not by the sacred rite of water baptism but by accepting Jesus as Savior and Lord.”

“One baptism” in Eph. 4:5 must be examined to understand the “baptism” in Matt. 28:19.

Eph. 4:4-6  There is one body and one Spirit–just as you were called to one hope when you were called–one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all. (NIV)

Robert Gromacki insists “one baptism in Eph. 4:5 must be the baptism in the Spirit.”

The words “one baptism” must be refer to the baptism in the Holy Spirit. It cannot refer to water baptism because not all Christians have been baptized in water (Robert Gromacki, The Holy Spirit, 493.)

Merrill F. Unger comments on “one baptism” in Eph. 4:5.

I. M. Haldeman comments thus on Ephesians 4:5; if it be Holy Ghost baptism, water baptism is excluded. There is no authority, no place for it. No minister has a right to perform; no one is under obligation to submit to it. To perform it, or submit to it, would be not only without authority, but useless utterly meaningless. If it be water baptism, Holy Ghost baptism is no longer operative. Baptism must be either the one or the other, Holy Ghost or water. It cannot be both. Two are no longer permissible. (I. M. Haldeman, cited from Merrill F. Unger, The Baptism & Gifts of the Holy Spirit, p.30.)
 
     The note, “Baptism must be either the one or the other, Holy Ghost or water. It cannot be both,” is quite erroneous. The “one baptism” of Eph. 4:5 includes both water baptism and the baptism of the Holy Spirit. Merrill F. Unger continues:

The “one baptism” of Ephesians 4:5 is also asserted to be water baptism alone. Others adopting the opposite extreme position, while rightly insisting that Ephesians 4:5 refers to Spirit baptism, drastically rule out any practice of water baptism for the church age...Water baptism, which in the new dispensation was to become the symbol of Spirit baptism. It is fitting, too, that water baptism should become a visible portrayal of that all-important invisible operation of the Holy Spirit that places the believer in union with Christ (Ro 6:3,4) and with His body, the church (1 Co 12:13). (Merrill F. Unger, The Baptism & Gifts of the Holy Spirit, p.30,31-32.)

     The argument “the one baptism in Ephesians 4:5 is asserted to be water baptism alone” is quite erroneous. The one baptism in Ephesians 4:5 refers to both water baptism and the baptism of the Spirit. The note, “all-important invisible operation of the Holy Spirit that places the believer in union with Christ” (Rom. 6:3,4), is correct.  
     But the argument “all-important invisible operation of the baptism of the Holy Spirit that places the believer in union with Christ and with His body, the church” (1 Cor. 12:13) is quite incorrect. It is based on the mistranslation of 1 Cor. 12:13. It should read, “We were baptized with/in/by one Spirit in (eis) one body.” It should be inferred that the baptism of the Holy Spirit takes place on condition that the believer has already been in union with Christ and with His body, the church. The Bible confirms that both water baptism and the baptism of the Holy Spirit occur after one has already been in the body of Christ through faith in Jesus. Merrill F. Unger continues:
 
The apostle, in speaking of the “one baptism” in Ephesians 4:5, is speaking of Spirit baptism, which is like the case in Romans 6:3,4; Colossians 2:12; and Galatians 3: 27...He is merely saying, “There is only one [spiritual] baptism.”...Valid Christian baptism (the water ceremony) performed upon a true believer can and does portray Spirit baptism, which has already taken place in the believer’s life. (Merrill F. Unger, Ibid., p.33-34.)

     The comment, “The apostle, in speaking of the ‘one baptism’ in Ephesians 4:5, is speaking of Spirit baptism, which is like the case in Romans 6:3,4, Colossians 2:12 and Galatians 3:27,” is erroneous. It is from the misinterpretation of Eph. 4:5. The apostle Paul does by no means present the “one baptism” to the Ephesians as “Spirit baptism.” The baptism mentioned in Romans 6:3,4, Colossians 2:12 and Galatians 3:27 is not “the Spirit’s baptism” but only water baptism. The note, “Valid Christian baptism (the water ceremony) performed upon a true believer can and does portray Spirit baptism, which has already taken place in the believer’s life,” also is erroneous. Water baptism is quite distinct from the baptism of the Holy Spirit. Christian baptism must include both water baptism and the baptism of the Holy Spirit.  

Chuck Smith comments on “one baptism” in Eph. 4:5.

Those who deny that the baptism of the Holy Spirit is separate from regeneration usually quote from Ephesians 4…After pointing out that there is only one baptism, the argument is made that the one baptism is the baptism of the Spirit into the body of Christ. But this interpretation misses the point of the Ephesian passage. Paul’s thrust is that there is only a single body of Christ–there are not many such bodies. Paul was warning us about the type of factionalism that we see so often today between warring denominations. Paul was saying, “No, no. there is only one body, the body of Christ. There is only one baptism.” There isn’t a Lutheran baptism and a Presbyterian baptism and a Methodist baptism and a Baptist baptism; you can’t divide the body of Christ like that. There is only one Lord and only one baptism. (Chuck Smith, Living Water, p.261.)

     The statement of Smith, “There isn’t a Lutheran baptism and a Presbyterian baptism and a Methodist baptism and a Baptist baptism; you can’t divide the body of Christ like that. There is only one Lord and only one baptism,” is right and biblical. But Presbyterian, Methodist, Lutheran and Baptist churches baptize their believers only with/in water.
     This is thoroughly unbiblical since it is based on the misunderstanding of “baptizing them” in Matt. 28:19. All churches need to accept that there are two kinds of baptism, that is, water baptism and the baptism of the Holy Spirit. This means that “two baptisms are one baptism. Two baptisms are to be one baptism. One baptism is to be two baptisms.” This is the meaning of “one baptism” in Ephesians 4:5.

Nicene Creed says, “We acknowledge one baptism for the forgiveness of sins.”

We believe in one God,
    the Father, the Almighty,
    maker of heaven and earth,
    of all that is, seen and unseen.
We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ,
    the only Son of Go,
    eternally begotten of the Father,
    God from God, Light from Light,
    true God from true God,
    begotten, not made,
    of one Being with the Father,   
    Through him all things were made.
    For us and for our salvation
    he came down from Heaven;
    by the power of the Holy Spirit
    he became incarnate from the virgin Mary, and was made man.
    For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate;
    he suffered death and was buried.
    On the third day he rose again
    in accordance with the Scriptures:   
he ascended into heaven
    and is seated at the right hand of the Father.
    He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead,
    and his kingdom will have no end.
We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life,
    who proceeds from the Father and the Son.
    With the Father and the Son he is worshiped and glorified.
    He has spoken through the prophets.
    We believe in one holy catholic and apostolic Church.
    We acknowledge one baptism for the forgiveness of sins.
    We look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come.
    Amen.

     The statement “We acknowledge one baptism for the forgiveness of sins” in the Nicene Creed is from the misinterpretation of Matt. 28:19. We must acknowledge that there are two kinds of baptism, water baptism for the forgiveness of sins and the baptism of the Holy Spirit for the power of the Holy Spirit for preaching the gospel and for service.

“One baptism for the forgiveness of sins” in the Nicene Creed means only water baptism.

Luke 3:2-3   during the high priesthood of Annas and Caiaphas, the word of God came to John son of Zechariah in the desert. He went into all the country around the Jordan, preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. (NIV)

Acts 19:3-7  Paul asked, “Then what baptism did you receive?” “John’s baptism,”  they replied. Paul said, “John’s baptism was a baptism of repentance. He told the people to believe in the one coming after him, that is, in Jesus.” On hearing this, they were baptized into the name of the Lord Jesus. When Paul placed his hands on them, the Holy Spirit came on them, and they spoke in tongues and prophesied. There were about twelve men in all. (NIV)

     Both Luke 3 and Acts 19 teach, “John’s baptism was a baptism of repentance.” John’s baptism was a baptism with/in water that signified a baptism of repentance, that is, the baptism for the forgiveness of sins. So the Scripture confirms that, “We acknowledge one baptism for the forgiveness of sins,” in Nicene Creed speaks specifically of water baptism. The “one baptism” in Eph. 4:5 should be inferred to mean that it contains two kinds of baptism: water baptism and the Spirit’s baptism.

The Lutheran Book of Worship accepts “baptism” as only water baptism.

In Holy Baptism our gracious heavenly Father liberates us from sin and death by joining us to the death and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ. We are born children of a fallen humanity; in the waters of Baptism we are reborn children of God and inheritors of eternal life. By water and the Holy Spirit we are made members of the Church which is the body of Christ. He made water a sign of the kingdom and of cleansing and rebirth. In obedience his command, we make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Pour out your Holy Spirit, so that those who are here baptized may be given new life. Wash away the sin of all those who are cleaned by this water and bring them forth as inheritors of your glorious kingdom. (The Lutheran Church in America, Lutheran Book of Worship, p.121,122.)

     The Lutheran Book of Worship accepts the Nicene Creed (“We acknowledge one baptism for the forgiveness of sins”) as biblical truth and applies it to the interpretation of Matt. 28:19. This is quite erroneous since the baptism in Matt. 28:19 must speak of two kinds of baptism: water baptism and the baptism of the Holy Spirit. In the statement, the term “baptize” is inferred to mean that it is to wash away and clean sins. It is right and biblical. But it should be applied to only water baptism since the “baptism of the Holy Spirit” does not apply to the washing away of sins. The note, “Pour out your Holy Spirit, so that those who are here baptized may be given new life,” is quite erroneous since it is based on the mistranslation of Acts 2:17.
    

The Scripture affirms “the baptism” in Matt. 28:19 does not mean only water baptism.  

     Throughout church history all Christians have been taught that “baptizing them” in Matt. 28:19 refers to only water baptism. Through this interpretation, John Calvin insists that water baptism and the Lord’s Supper are the only sacraments. Thus the church has accepted these as NT biblical sacraments. Does the term “baptism” in Matt. 28:19 mean only water baptism? First, we must examine the kinds of baptism written in Matthew’s Gospel because Matthew wrote Matt. 28:19.

Matt. 3:11   I baptize you with water for repentance. But after me will come one who is more powerful than I, whose sandals I am not fit to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire. (NIV)
 
     Matthew indicates that there are two kinds of baptism: the water baptism of repentance administered by John the Baptist and the Holy Spirit’s baptism with/in fire administered by Jesus Christ. Thus, it is illogical to claim the baptism in Matt. 28:19 refers to only water baptism. Instead, it must speak of two kinds of baptism. Likewise, all four Gospels testify two kinds of baptism. And what did Jesus Christ say of the kinds of baptism? If this question is answered, the baptism in Matt. 28:19 can be understood.

Jesus Christ speaks of two kinds of baptism, “Water baptism and the Spirit’s baptism.”

Acts 1:5   for John truly baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now. (NKJ)

     After His crucifixion and resurrection and before ascending into heaven, Jesus spoke of two kinds of baptism in Acts 1:5. Thus, it is illogical to claim the term “baptism” in Matt. 28:19 refers to only water baptism. It must refer to both kinds of baptism. To understand the kinds of baptism in Matt. 28:19 it must be examined how Jesus baptized His followers when He preached the gospel in Israel before His crucifixion.

Jesus who commanded “baptizing them” in Matt. 28:19 received two kinds of baptism.

Luke 3:21-22  When all the people were being baptized, Jesus was baptized too. And as he was praying, heaven was opened and the Holy Spirit descended on him in bodily form like a dove. (NIV)
Matt. 3:16      As soon as Jesus was baptized, he went up out of the water. At that moment heaven was opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and lighting on him. (NIV)
Luke 4:1,14   Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit in the desert….Jesus returned to Galilee in the power of the Spirit. (NIV)

     The text says Jesus was full of the Holy Spirit, that is, full of the power of the Holy Spirit. He was filled with the power of the Holy Spirit when the Holy Spirit came on Him after He received water baptism by John. To be filled with the power of the Holy Spirit is to be baptized with/in the Holy Spirit (and with/in fire), as noted above. So “Jesus was full of the power of the Holy Spirit” means that Jesus was baptized with/in the Holy Spirit, that is, the baptism of the Holy Spirit. The text confirms that Jesus, who commanded “baptizing them” in Matt. 28:19, received two kinds of baptism, i.e., water baptism and the baptism of the Holy Spirit.
    

Rene Pache insists that Jesus was not baptized of the Spirit but filled with the Spirit.

From 1 Cor. 12:13 we can infer that the Spirit’s baptism is the act whereby God makes us members of Christ Body. The baptism of the Holy Spirit is the act whereby God gives to the believer his position in Jesus Christ. It has already been pointed out that the baptism of the Spirit is not mentioned as affecting Jesus Christ. When He was baptized in the River Jordan, He was filled with the Holy Spirit, invested with the power of the Spirit, anointed by the Holy Spirit, according to the expressions used by Luke 3:22; 4:1,14,18; but nowhere is it said that He was baptized of the Holy Spirit, though many of the Spirit’s workings are mentioned in connection with Christ. Since the baptism of the Spirit is linked with the believer’s position in Christ, how could the Savior have been immersed in Him or united to His own Body? The Spirit’s baptism places us in Jesus Christ and enfolds us in His Grace, while the presence and fullness of the Spirit put Christ within us. (Rene Pache, The Person and Work of the Holy Spirit, p.71,72.)

     The statement, “From 1 Cor. 12:13 we can infer that the Spirit’s baptism is the act whereby God makes us members of Christ Body. The baptism of the Holy Spirit is the act whereby God gives to the believer his position in Jesus Christ,” is thoroughly unbiblical since it is based on the mistranslation of 1 Cor. 12:13. The note “Since the baptism of the Spirit is linked with the believer’s position in Christ, how could the Savior have been immersed in Himself or united to His own Body” is quite erroneous because it is from the mistranslation of 1 Cor. 12:13.
     The note, “nowhere is it said that Jesus was baptized of the Holy Spirit,” is from the misunderstanding of the relation between the baptism of the Holy Spirit and the filling of the power of the Holy Spirit. Both are synonymous. According to this doctrine of the Holy Spirit, Jesus was baptized of the Holy Spirit, i.e., filled with the power of the Holy Spirit after being baptized with/in water by John the Baptist in the River Jordan. So it should be inferred that Jesus was baptized with/in water, and then with/in the Holy Spirit (and with/in fire). He received two different kinds of baptism, water baptism and the baptism of the Holy Spirit.

Robert G. Gromacki comments on the reason Jesus was baptized with/in water by John.

Since Jesus had no sin, He had no need to be baptized by John...Why was He baptized by John? Several biblical reasons are given. First, Jesus was baptized to be made known to John the Baptist (John 1:30-34). Second, Jesus was baptized to be known to Israel (1:31). Third, Jesus was baptized to identify Himself with John and his converts. Fourth, Jesus was baptized to be identified as the Son of God who would baptize believers in the Holy Spirit (John 1:33-34). Fifth, Jesus was baptized to be anointed with the Holy Spirit. (Robert G. Gromacki, The Holy Spirit, p.466.)

     The reason Robert G. Gromacki mentions Jesus was baptized with/in water by John seems to be correct, but his explanation is unclear because of the misunderstanding of the nature of Jesus, and the relation between the Son of God and the Son of Man, that is, the two natures of Jesus.

Robert G. Gromacki comments on the nature of Jesus.

The Bible elsewhere states that Christ “knew no sin” (2 Cor. 5:21), that He was “without sin” (Heb. 4:15), that He “committed no sin” (1 Pet. 2:22), that “in Him there is no sin” (1 John 3:5). Jesus Himself challenged His critics, “Which of you convicts Me of sin?” (John 8:46). Jesus never admitted wrongdoing. He never apologized, never confessed sin, and never offered a sacrifice at the temple. He was holiness personified. (Robert G. Gromacki, Ibid., p.467.)

Stanley M. Horton comments on the nature of Jesus.

What happened to Jesus was necessary, not because He was God, but because He was also man. As a man He must minister in the power of the Spirit. As a man He must suffer and die. He was the God-Man, but not in the sense of being half God and half man. He was fully God, 100 percent God. He was also fully man, 100 percent man. (Stanley M. Horton, What the Bible says about the Holy Spirit, p.92-93.)

Guy P. Duffield/N.M. Van Cleave comment on the nature of Jesus.

The Westminster Catechism defines the doctrine of the Virgin Birth as follows: “Christ the Son of God became man, by taking to Himself a true body and a reasonable soul, being conceived by the power of the Holy Ghost, in the womb of the Virgin Mary, and born of her yet without sin.” If Jesus had a human father, He could not have been the “only begotten” of the Father, the unique Infinite Son of God…In Hebrews chap- ter ten we read: “For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and goats should take away sins…we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Christ once for all” (vv. 4,10). A Christ of completely human parenthood, could not be God’s Lamb. Jesus had a Divine Nature and a human nature, yet He was one Person not two. He was the Son of God and the Son of Man…and as the Lamb of God, He was “without spot or blemish.” (Guy P. Duffield/N.M. Van Cleave, Foundations of Pentecostal Theology, p.92-95.)

     The statements mentioned above, “Christ knew no sin and was without sin, He was fully God and was also fully man…in the womb of the Virgin Mary, and born of her yet without sin. And Jesus had a Divine Nature and a human nature, He was the Son of God and the Son of Man,” must be understood through the Scripture  if we are to understand the reason Jesus received water baptism and the baptism of the Spirit. The note, “Christ knew no sin and was without sin, He was fully God,” is right since God has no sin. But the note “….in the womb of the Virgin Mary, and born of her yet without sin” is quite erroneous. It is from a misunderstanding.


The Scripture indicates that the Lord’s Passover lamb should be without blemish.

Ex. 12:5,11-13   Your lamb shall be without blemish, a male of the first year: ye shall take it out from the sheep, or from the goats…And thus shall ye eat it; with your loins girded, your shoes on your feet, and your staff in your hand; and ye shall eat it in haste: it is the Lord’s Passover. For I will pass through the land of Egypt this night, and will smite all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both man and beast; and against all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgment: I am the Lord. And the blood shall be to you for a token upon the houses where ye are: and when I see the blood, I will pass over you, and the plague shall not be upon you to destroy you, when I smite the land of Egypt. (KJV)

Lev. 4:32-35    If he brings a lamb as his sin offering, he is to bring a female without defect. He is to lay his hand on its head and slaughter it for a sin offering at the place where the burnt offering is slaughtered…In this way the priest will make atonement for him for the sin he has committed, and he will be forgiven. (NIV)
Lev. 5:5-6       When anyone is guilty in any of these ways, he must confess in what way he has sinned and, as a penalty for the sin he has committed, he must bring to the Lord a female lamb or goat from the flock as a sin offering; and the priest shall make atonement for him for his sin. (NIV)
Lev. 16:20-21   When Aaron has finished making atonement for the Most Holy Place, the Tent of Meeting and the altar, he shall bring forward the live goat. He is to lay both hands on the head of the live goat and confess over it all the wickedness and rebellion of the Israelites–all their sins–and put them on the goat’s head. (NIV)

 

     The texts indicate that one who brings a lamb or goat as his sin offering, must bring a lamb or goat without defect. Aaron was to lay his hand or both hands on its head and slaughter it for a sin offering…then he will be forgiven. The text, “Aaron is to lay both hands on the head of the live goat or lamb and confess over it all the wickedness and rebellion of the Israelites–all their sins–and put them on the goat’s or lamb’s head,” should be understood. It implies that through the laying on of Aaron’s hands, all their sins will be put on the lamb or the goat as a sin offering.
     The lamb without sins before the laying of one’s hand or Aaron’s both hands was to take away all their sins through the laying on of hands. Now, it can be inferred that before the sin offering this lamb had no sin, but it became sinful for a sin offering. Although it bore the sin, it had no sin. Likewise, this lamb for a sin offering had two kinds of nature before the laying on of hands and after the laying on of hands. If this implication is not understood, it is impossible to understand the phrase, “Jesus is the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world” (John 1: 29).

John 1:29       The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, “Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!” (NIV)
Luke 22:7      Then came the day of Unleavened Bread on which the Passover lamb had to be sacrificed. (NIV)
I John 3:4-5   Everyone who sins breaks the law; in fact, sin is lawlessness. But you know that he appeared so that he might take away our sins. And in him is no sin. (NIV)
Heb. 9:26,28  But now he has appeared once for all at the end of the ages to do away with sin by the sacrifice of himself…Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many people. (NIV)
Heb. 10:10,12 And by that will, we have been made holy through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. But when this priest had offered for all time one sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God. (NIV)
Rom. 8:3       God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful man to be a sin offering. (NIV)
2 Cor. 8:9      For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor, that you through His poverty might become rich. (NIV)  
2 Cor. 5:21    God made him who had no sin to be sin for us. (NIV)
Gal. 3:13       Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us (for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree”). (NIV)
Eph. 5:2         And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling aroma. (NIV)
Ps. 51:2-5      Wash away all my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin. For I know my transgressions, and my sin is always before me. Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight, so that you are proved right when you speak and justified when you judge. Surely I was sinful at birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me. (NIV)

     Jesus, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world, the Passover lamb, had to be sacrificed. Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many. The sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ was required as God made him who had no sin to be sin for us. Here, the Lamb of God, the Passover Lamb was without defect or blemish. The nature of God’s Passover lamb had no sin. But OT lamb for a sin offering became sin through the laying on of hands. Thereby the sins of many were put on the lamb (Jesus). Before the laying on of hands the lamb had no sin, but afterwards the lamb became sin for a sin offering. So the lamb as a sin offering typifies two kinds of nature, that is, it has no sin and also has sin. It seems illogical and contradictory outside the Bible but it is right and biblically supportable. Now the phrase can be understood, “God made Jesus who had no sin to be sin for us” in 1 Cor. 5:21. Also the phrase, “God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful man to be a sin offering” in Rom. 8:3, should be understood. It means that God made Jesus who had no sin to be a sin offering for us. It indicates that Jesus has two kinds of nature, that is, He had no sin and also had sin because He was the Lamb of God, the Passover lamb who takes away the sin of the world. The phrase, “For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor, that you through His poverty might become rich” (2 Cor. 8:9), could be rewritten as: “For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He has no sin, yet for your sakes He became a sinner, that through His sin offering you might become holy.” The statements mentioned above by Robert G. Gromacki, Stanley M. Horton, and Guy P. Duffield/N. M. Van Cleave have mixed with right and erroneous elements. The statement of Guy P. Duffield/N.M. Van Cleave, “Jesus was born of the womb of the Virgin Mary, and born of her yet without sin. Jesus had a Divine Nature and a human nature, yet He was one Person not two. He was the Son of God and the Son of Man…and as the Lamb of God, He was without spot or blemish,” is not a clear explanation because of the misunderstanding of the two kinds of nature of the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.  The noted, “Jesus was born of the womb of the Virgin Mary, and born of her yet without sin,” is quite erroneous. It should be inferred that Jesus who came as the Passover Lamb of God to take away the sin of the world has sin because He was born of the Virgin Mary who had sin. To teach the Virgin Mary had no sin from birth is thoroughly unbiblical.
     The Bible confirms that every human who is a child of Adam and Eve has sin from birth. Jesus has no sin before He was born of the Son of the Virgin Mary because He was in heaven. Jesus who is the Son of God has a Divine nature and has no sin. But Jesus who is the Son of Man has a human nature and has sin because He was born of the womb of the Virgin Mary who had sin. The king David confession, “Surely I was sinful at birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me,” should be understood that every son and daughter of Adam and Eve has original sin from the time his and her mother conceived him and her. The Virgin Mary had original sin because she was born of her mother who had original sin as a daughter of Adam and Eve who had committed sin before God. Jesus Christ had original sin from the time His mother, the Virgin Mary conceived Him, but He did not have original sin from the time He was born of God the Father who has no sin. Therefore, it is affirmed that Jesus Christ has two kinds of nature, a Divine and a human nature. Stanley M. Horton’s note, “He was fully God, 100 percent God. He was also fully man, 100 percent man,” should be inferred to mean that Jesus Christ has two kinds of nature.
     The statement mentioned above by Robert Gromacki, “The Bible elsewhere states that Christ ‘knew no sin’ (2 Cor. 5:21), that He was ‘without sin’ (Heb. 4:15), that He ‘committed no sin’ (1 Pet. 2:22), that ‘in Him there is no sin’ (1 John 3:5). Jesus Himself challenged His critics, ‘Which of you convicts Me of sin?’(John 8:46). Jesus never admitted wrongdoing. He never apologized, never confessed sin, and never offered a sacrifice at the temple. He was holiness personified,” speaks of only the Divine nature of Christ who had no original sin since He was the Son of God. But Jesus had original sin from the conception of His natural mother, the Virgin Mary. These facts imply that Jesus Christ has two kinds of nature as the Passover Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world. Jesus has two kinds of nature just like OT Passover Lamb, which had no defect or sin and then became a sin offering.
     The statement, “He was the Son of God and the Son of Man,” should be inferred to mean that He had no sin because He was the Son of God, and He also had sin because He was the Son of Man. The statement, “He was fully God. He also was fully man,” means that He had no sin because He was fully God, and He also had sin because He also was fully Man. The Nicene Creed says that Jesus became incarnate from the Virgin Mary, and was made man. It means that before becoming incarnate from the Virgin Mary, and before being made man Jesus had no sin, but through becoming incarnate from the Virgin Mary, and through being made man, Jesus had sin. Jesus was baptized with/in water by John because He who came as the Passover Lamb of God for sin offering to take away the sin of the world had sin, and because He also was fully man who had sin. He also was baptized with/in the fire of the Holy Spirit by God the Father so that He might preach the good news of the kingdom of God just as Moses did.

The disciples who were commanded “baptizing them” also received two kinds of baptism.

Acts 1:4-5   On one occasion, while he was eating with them, he gave them this command: “Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about. For John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.” (NIV)
Acts 2:3-4   They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them. (NIV)

     These texts say the 120 disciples were baptized with/in water and they were filled with (the power) of the Holy Spirit, that is, baptized with/in the Holy Spirit (and wit/in fire) on the day of Pentecost. The disciples who were commanded regarding the “baptizing them” of Matt. 28:19, were baptized with two kinds of baptism, water baptism and the baptism of the Holy Spirit at different times and places. The Bible confirms that the disciples of Jesus Christ also received two different kinds of baptism.

Jesus baptized His followers with/in water before His crucifixion.

John  3:22-23  After this, Jesus and his disciples went out into the Judean countryside, where he spent some time with them, and baptized. Now John also was baptizing at Aenon near Salim, because there was plenty of water, and people were constantly coming to be baptized.

John  4:1-2   The Pharisees heard that Jesus was gaining and baptizing more disciples than John, although in fact it was not Jesus who baptized, but his disciples. (NIV)

     The text indicates that Jesus Christ baptized His followers with/in water just as did John the Baptist. But Jesus baptized them through His disciples. Did Jesus baptize with/in fire of the Spirit before His crucifixion and before the Pentecost? This is a difficult question because it has never been an issue in Christian history. But if the question is answered thoroughly by the Scripture, the kinds of baptism of Matt. 28: 19 can be found.

Did Jesus baptize with/in fire of the Holy Spirit before His crucifixion and Pentecost?

     Acts 1:5,8 and 2:3-4 record the meaning/purpose of the baptism of the Spirit, as noted already. These passages reveal that to be baptized with/in the Holy Spirit (and with/in fire) is to receive the power of the Holy Spirit to preach the gospel. To be baptized with/in the Holy Spirit is to be filled with the power of the Holy Spirit. To receive the power of the Holy Spirit is to be filled with the power of the Holy Spirit, as noted already. The book of Acts confirms that the 120 disciples of Christ were surely baptized with/in the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost. At that time they began to preach the gospel of Jesus to all nations, including Jews and the Gentiles, with the power given by Jesus Christ through the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost.

Matt. 10:1        He called his twelve disciples to him and gave them authority to drive out evil spirits and to heal every disease and sickness. (NIV)
Matt. 10:5-7    These twelve Jesus sent out with the following instructions: Do not go among the Gentiles or enter any town of the Samaritans. Go rather to the lost sheep of Israel. As you go, preach this message: ‘The kingdom of heaven is near.’ Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy, drive out demons. Freely you have received, freely give. (NIV)
Luke 9:1-2       When Jesus had called the Twelve together, he gave them power and authority to drive out all demons and to cure diseases, and he sent them out to preach the kingdom of God and to heal the sick. (NIV)   
Luke 10:1        After this the Lord appointed seventy-two others and sent them two by two ahead of him to every town and place where he was about to go. (NIV)
Luke 10:17-20  The seventy-two returned with joy and said, “Lord, even the demons submit to us in your name.” He replied, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven. I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you. However, do not rejoice that the spirits submit to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.” (NIV)

     Obviously these texts indicate both the twelve and the seventy-two disciples received the power and authority of Jesus to preach the gospel and heal the sick before His crucifixion, resurrection and Pentecost. Luke 4:1,14 records that Jesus Christ was filled with power of the Holy Spirit. Luke 4:36 records that Jesus Christ preached the gospel and healed the sick with authority and power. Likewise, the twelve and seventy-two disciples preached the gospel and healed the sick with the power of the Holy Spirit. So it can be said that the disciples were already baptized with/in the Holy Spirit given by Jesus Christ before Pentecost because to receive the power of the Holy Spirit is to be baptized with/in the Holy Spirit.
     Before His crucifixion and Pentecost they received the power of Holy Spirit for a short time as they were trained to preach the gospel. But on the day of Pentecost they received the fullness of the power of Holy Spirit to preach the gospel until the finish of their ministries. It can be concluded that Jesus baptized with/in water through His disciples and temporarily baptized His disciples with/in the Holy Spirit before His crucifixion and Pentecost. Christ baptized them with/in the Spirit through the Holy Spirit sent by Him on the day of Pentecost. Christ baptized both with/in water and with/in the Spirit as well. This ministry of Christ was regularly and directly committed to His disciples from the day of Pentecost after His ascension into heaven. Thus, the disciples began to baptize their followers with/in water and with/in the Spirit in obedience to the command to “baptize” in Matt. 28:19. All these facts affirm that if the baptism of Matt. 28:19 is claimed to be only water baptism, it is illogical and unbiblical. The baptism in Matt. 28:19 must speak of both water baptism and the baptism of the Holy Spirit.  

How did the disciples of Jesus obey the command “baptize them” in Matt. 28:19?

Acts 8:14-19  Now when the apostles who were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent Peter and John to them, who, when they had come down, prayed for them that they might receive the Holy Spirit. For as yet He had fallen upon none of them. They had only been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. Then they laid hands on them, and they received the Holy Spirit. And when Simon saw that through the laying on of the apostles' hands the Holy Spirit was given, he offered them money, saying, “Give me this power also, that anyone on whom I lay hands may receive the Holy Spirit.” (NKJ)

     Did the disciples baptize their followers only with/in water without the baptism of the Holy Spirit? If this question is answered by only the Scripture, it is positively possible to understand the kinds of baptism in Matt. 28:19. If Acts 8 is thoroughly and carefully examined, the answer will be found simply and clearly. The Greek lambano in Acts 8:15-19 must be accepted as a mistranslation, as noted already. If not, it is absolutely impossible to interpret and build a correct doctrine of the Holy Spirit. [The Greek lambano  +  the Holy Spirit] in Acts 8:15-19 must be translated as “to be filled with (the power) of the Holy Spirit.” And the formula, “to be filled with (the power) of the Holy Spirit is to be baptized with/in the Holy Spirit,” must be accepted as a strict principle and doctrine to understand the Holy Spirit. If not, it is absolutely impossible to interpret the Holy Spirit in either the OT or the NT. Acts 10:47-48 confirms that “to be baptized in (en, eis) the name of Jesus Christ,” in the book of Acts and the Epistles means to be baptized with/in water in (en, eis) the name of Jesus Christ. The phrase, “The Holy Spirit had not yet come upon any of them” in Acts 8:16, must be inferred to understand the baptism of the Holy Spirit. It should be consistent with Acts 1:5-8 (“to be baptized with/in the Holy Spirit is to receive the power when the Holy Spirit comes on you”). Thus, in Acts 8:16 means that they were not yet filled with (the power) of the Holy Spirit because the Holy Spirit had not yet come on them. That is, they were not yet baptized with/in the Holy Spirit because the Holy Spirit had not yet come on them. And “the Spirit was given at the laying on of the apostles’ hands” in v. 18 carries the same meaning “the power of the Spirit was given at the laying on of the apostles’ hands,” that is, “they were filled with (the power) of the Holy Spirit at the laying of on the apostles’ hands.” All these explanations are prerequisite to understand the baptism and the kinds of baptism in Matt. 28:19 and all Scripture. In conclusion, the Samaritans received Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord, then they were baptized with/in water by Phillip in the name of Jesus Christ, but they were not yet baptized with/in the Holy Spirit because the Holy Spirit had not yet come on them. Thus, Peter and John were sent by the apostles in Jerusalem. They were baptized with/in the Holy Spirit as these two apostles laid hands on them. Acts 8 confirms two kinds of baptism, that is, water baptism and the Spirit’s baptism. How did the disciples obey the command to baptize (Matt. 28:19)? Did the disciples baptize only with/in water and not with the baptism of the Spirit? What does the Bible say? Acts 8 shows the obvious answer.
     Acts 8 confirms that the apostles did not consider the baptism in Matt. 28:19 as only water baptism but two baptisms: water baptism and the Spirit’s baptism. If the apostles accepted the baptism in Matt. 28:19 as only water baptism, Peter and John in Jerusalem would never have been sent to the Samaritans. Phillip had already baptized them with/in water. To obey Jesus’ command in Matt. 28:19 the disciples went out and preached the gospel of Christ, made the disciples of Christ, and baptized them with/in water and with/in the Holy Spirit in the name of Christ.
     Then, the baptism in Matt. 28:19 must be inferred as two baptisms, i.e., water baptism and the baptism of the Holy Spirit. Many scholars interpret “one baptism” in Eph. 4:5 unclearly and ambiguously. But Acts 8 confirms that the baptism in Matt. 28:19 contains two baptisms. These two baptisms are made one baptism, and one made two. To obey the command of Christ in Matt. 28:19 every Christian must be baptized with/in water and with/in the Holy Spirit (and with/in fire) as one baptism. If any Christian was baptized only with/in water, he has not yet received “baptism” in Matt. 28:19, that is, “one baptism” in Eph. 4:5.

Acts 9 confirms that Paul was baptized with/in the Holy Spirit and with/in water.

Acts 9:17-20  Then Ananias went to the house and entered it. Placing his hands on Saul, he said, “Brother Saul, the Lord–Jesus, who appeared to you on the road as you were coming here–has sent me so that you may see again and be filled with the Holy Spirit.” Immediately, something like scales fell from Saul’s eyes, and he could see again. He got up and was baptized, and after taking some food, he regained his strength. Saul spent several days with the disciples in Damascus. At once he began to preach in the synagogues that Jesus is the Son of God. (NIV)

     The wording of this text, “be filled with the Holy Spirit,” is from a mistranslation. It must read, “be filled with of the Holy Spirit,” or “be filled with (the power) of the Holy Spirit,” as noted above. The text confirms that Paul was filled with the power of the Holy Spirit in the name of the Lord Jesus as Ananias placed his hands on him. The doctrine, “to be filled with the power of the Holy Spirit is to be baptized with/in the Holy Spirit,” must be applied to the case of Paul. That is, Paul was baptized with/in the Holy Spirit through the hands of Ananias. After being baptizing with/in the Holy Spirit he was baptized with/in water. This fact confirms that the disciple Ananias sent by Christ baptized Paul with/in the Holy Spirit in the name of Jesus, and then baptized him with/in water. Acts 9 confirms that the baptism in Matt. 28:19 speaks not of only water baptism but also the baptism of the Holy Spirit. Secondly, how did the disciples obey the command to baptize new converts in light of Matt. 28:19? Did the disciples baptize only with/in water without the baptism of the Spirit? To obey the command “baptize them” of Matt. 28:19 Ananias baptized Paul with/in the Holy Spirit and with/in water. Thus, Paul received two baptisms, that is, water baptism and the baptism of the Holy Spirit, as the “one baptism” mentioned in Matt. 28:19 and Eph. 4:5. The Samaritans experienced this same thing. The text of Acts 9:17-20 clearly confirms that in the one baptism of Eph. 4:5 there are two kinds of baptism, and two baptisms are one baptism. It can be concluded here that every Christian believer must be baptized with/in water and with/in the Holy Spirit just as Paul was.

Acts 10 confirms that Cornelius and his family were baptized with/in the Spirit and with/in water.

Acts 10:44-48   While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit came on all who heard the message. The circumcised believers who had come with Peter were astonished that the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out even on the Gentiles. For they heard them speaking in tongues and praising God. Then Peter said, “Can anyone keep these people from being baptized with water? They have received the Holy Spirit just as we have.” So he ordered that they be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. Then they asked Peter to stay with them for a few days. (NIV)

     The text says that the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out even on the Gentiles when the Holy Spirit came on all. It can be summarized that they received the gift of the Holy Spirit, that is, the gift of tongues, when He came on them. This is just the same as the record of Acts 2:3-4. They were filled with (the power) of the Holy Spirit, that is, the gift of tongues, when He came on them. Every English version translates Acts 10:47 as “They have received the Holy Spirit just as we have.” Bu this is from the mistranslation of the Greek lambano, as noted already. It must read instead, “They have been filled with (the power) of the Holy Spirit just as we have.” The doctrine, “to be filled with the power of the Holy Spirit is to be baptized with/in the Holy Spirit” must be applied to the case of Cornelius and his family. They were baptized with/in the Holy Spirit when He came on them just as the 120 disciples were without the laying on of human being’s hands but directly by the Holy Spirit Himself. It is evident that Cornelius and his family received two kinds of baptism just as Peter did. Thus, the baptism in Matt. 28:19 and Eph. 4:5 must mean that one baptism is two baptisms and two baptisms are one baptism: water baptism and the baptism of the Holy Spirit.

Acts 19 confirms the 12 at Ephesus were baptized with/in water and with/in the Spirit.

     Every English version has a mixture of the correct and incorrect translations of the Greek text. Acts 19:1-7 must be consistent with Acts 1:5,8 and 2:3-4 because these passages were written by the same writer Luke. The 12 believers had already accepted the God of the OT by the preaching of the disciples of John the Baptist with the expectation of the coming of the Christ sent by God. They had already received the water baptism of John. Thus, Paul preached the gospel of Jesus to them, and baptized them with/in water in the name of the Lord Jesus. Then Paul placed his hands on them to be filled with (the power) of the Holy Spirit, that is, to be baptized with/in the Holy Spirit because they had not yet received it. Paul baptized them with two kinds of baptism according to their need. If the baptism in Matt. 28:19 was seen as referring to only water baptism, they did not need another baptism, but Paul placed his hands on them that they might be baptized with/in the Holy Spirit. All these facts confirm that the baptism in Matt. 28:19 is not only water baptism but also the baptism of the Holy Spirit: water baptism and the baptism of the Holy Spirit.
     Acts 9 says that Ananias baptized Paul with/in water and with/in the Holy Spirit. Likewise, Paul baptized the 12 believers with/in water and with/in the Holy Spirit. Paul baptized them with two baptisms because he also received two baptisms. Acts 19:1-7 records that the 12 spoke in tongues and prophesied when the Holy Spirit came on them. Acts 2:3-4 records that the 120 disciples were filled with the power of the Holy Spirit, that is, were baptized with/in the Holy Spirit when He came on them. Likewise, the 12 disciples were filled with the power of the Holy Spirit, that is, were baptized with/in the Holy Spirit when He came on them. The difference between two occasions is found only in the phrases, “directly by the Holy  Spirit sent by Jesus,” and “by placing the hands of the disciple sent by Jesus.” It should be inferred that Paul baptized the 12 at Ephesus with two baptisms in the name of Jesus in obedience to the command found in Matt. 28:19 (“baptizing them”). Acts 19 confirms that the baptism in Matt. 28:19 is not only water baptism but also the baptism of the Holy Spirit. The one baptism of Eph. 4:5 should speak of two baptisms, that is, two make one and one makes two. The book of Acts indicates that to obey the command to “baptize them” in Matt. 28:19, the disciples did not only baptize with/in water but also with the baptism of the Spirit. According to the command in Matt. 28:19, the disciples, including Paul, baptized with two kinds of baptism. The apostle Paul received two kinds of baptism, and then he baptized the 12 believers at Ephesus with two kinds of baptism. He wanted to go to the believers in Rome to impart some spiritual gift, that is, the gifts of the Holy Spirit. Paul wanted to baptize them with the baptism of the Holy Spirit (Rom. 1:11) like the 12 disciples at Ephesus.

John Calvin insists that Paul did not re-baptize the 12 disciples at Ephesus with/in water.

I admit, for my part, that it was the true baptism of John, and one and the same as the baptism of Christ, but I deny that they were re-baptized. What, then, do the words, “They were baptized in the name of Jesus,” mean? Some interpret it to mean that they were only instructed with genuine doctrine by Paul; but I prefer to understand it more simply, that it is the baptism of the Holy Spirit, that is, the visible graces of the Spirit given through the laying on of hands. (John Calvin, IV, 15, 18.)

     Calvin accepted the literal wording of Acts 19:1-7 as the exact word of God written by the writer Luke. The Bible records that first, the 12 disciples received the water baptism of John the Baptist, and then they were again baptized with/in water in the name of Jesus by Paul, but Calvin denied that they were re-baptized with/in water by Paul. It makes no sense at all because the Bible says that they were re-baptized with/in water by Paul. Why, then, did Calvin make that mistake? The reason is simple. He did not understand that the 12 were living in a period of transition from John the Baptist days to the grace of Christ. Paul knew this fact very well. Thus, he baptized again them with/in water in the name of Christ.
     John Calvin made his mistake because he did not understand the phrase, “When Paul placed his hands on them, the Holy Spirit came on them, and they spoke in tongues and prophesied.” It means that they received the power of the Holy Spirit, i.e., the baptism of the Holy Spirit when the Holy Spirit came on them just as did the 120 (Acts 1:5,8; 2:3-4). The coming of the Holy Spirit is to receive the power of the Holy Spirit, that is, the gifts of the Holy Spirit. The 12 received the gifts of tongues and prophesy when the Holy Spirit came on them by the laying on of Paul’s hands. To be baptized with/in the Holy Spirit is to receive the gifts of the Holy Spirit. It can be concluded that the 12 believers at Ephesus were baptized with/in water in the name of Christ, and then they were baptized with/in the Holy Spirit through the laying on of Paul’s hands.
     John Calvin’s argument, “They were baptized in the name of Jesus means the baptism of the Holy Spirit, that is, the visible graces of the Holy Spirit given through the laying on of hands,” makes no sense at all because the phrase, “They were baptized in the name of Jesus,” does not refer to the baptism of the Holy Spirit but only water baptism, and it is quite distinct from the baptism of the Holy Spirit. In conclusion, the 12 disciples were baptized with/in the water baptism of John by the disciples of John the Baptist. Then, they were again baptized with/in water in the name of Jesus Christ by Paul. After water baptism, they were baptized with/in the Holy Spirit (and with/in fire) when He came on them through placing Paul’s hands just as the Samaritan believers were through Peter and John.

John Calvin insists that the baptism of John is not different from that of the Apostles.

John’s baptism and Christian baptism. By this also we are assured that John’s ministry was exactly the same as that afterward committed to the apostles. For the different hands that administer baptism do not make it different; but the same doctrine shows it to be the same baptism. John and the apostles agreed on one doctrine: both baptized to repentance, both to forgiveness of sins, both into the name of Christ, from whom repentance and forgiveness of sins came...Therefore, let no one be troubled by the attempt of ancient writer to differentiate the one thing from the other. We ought not so to value their authority as to let it shake the certainty of Scripture. I admit, for my part, that was the true baptism of John, and once and the same as the baptism of Christ. (John Calvin, IV, 15, 7,18.)

     John Calvin insists that John’s baptism is the same as Christian baptism (the baptism of Christ) administered by the apostles. This is thoroughly erroneous since John’s baptism is quite distinct from Christian baptism (the baptism of Christ). John’s baptism is only water baptism. But Christian baptism administered by the disciples of Jesus includes two kinds of baptism: water baptism and the baptism of the Holy Spirit. John Calvin teaches that the baptism applies only to repentance and forgiveness of sins. The following passages will reveal how Calvin greatly misunderstands.

The Scripture confirms that John’s baptism is only water baptism.

     The text in Luke 3:3  and 3:16 makes it obvious John’s baptism is the baptism with/in water of repentance for the forgiveness of sins, but Jesus’ baptism is the baptism with/in fire of the Holy Spirit. John 3:22-23 and 4:1 say that John bap- tized with/in water, and Jesus baptized also with/in water through His disciples. The text confirms that John’s baptism with/in water was the same as Jesus’ baptism with/in water. Acts 1:5,8: “For John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you” (NIV). The text confirms that there are two kinds of baptism, that is, John’s baptism with/in water, and Jesus’ baptism with/in the Holy Spirit for receiving the power of the Holy Spirit. The 120 disciples were baptized with two kinds of baptism, that is, water baptism and the baptism of the Holy Spirit. The text confirms that Calvin’s argument “the baptism of John is the same as the baptism of Christ” is thoroughly unsupported by the Bible.

Acts 2:38,41 Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” Those who accepted his message were baptized, and about three thousand were added to their number that day. (NIV)

     Peter was baptized with/in water by John, and then with/in the Holy Spirit (and with/in fire) on the day of Pentecost by the Holy Spirit sent by Jesus. Peter preached, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins.” Acts 10:47-48 confirms that to be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ is to be baptized with/in water. Thus, the baptism in Acts 2: 38,41 refers to only water baptism administered by the apostles. Both John’s water baptism and Christian water baptism are for the forgiveness of sins. The text confirms that Christian baptism with/in water is the same as John’s baptism with/ in water. The baptism of John does by no means include the baptism of the Holy Spirit. Instead, Christian baptism includes both water baptism and the baptism of the Holy Spirit. The Bible confirms that John’s baptism with/in water is the same as Christian baptism with/in water administered by the apostles. Acts 8, 10 and 19 confirm that the Samaritans and Cornelius and his family, and the 12 disciples at Ephesus were baptized with/in water and with/in the Holy Spirit in one Christian baptism. That is, they received two kinds of baptism. Acts 2 and Acts 9 confirm that the 120 disciples and Paul also were baptized with/in water and with/in the Holy Spirit in one Christian baptism.   
     Thus, the Bible indicates that John’s baptism was only water baptism but Christian baptism (the baptism of Jesus, the baptism administered by the disciples sent by Jesus) is not only water baptism but also the baptism of the Holy Spirit. The NT confirms here that the baptism written in Matthew 28:19 is not only water bap- tism but also the baptism of the Holy Spirit.

John Calvin comments on two sacraments: Water baptism and the Lord’s Supper.

There were the sacraments of Jews until the coming of Jesus. When at his coming these were abrogated, two sacraments were instituted which the Christian church now uses, Baptism and the Lord’s Supper [28:19; 26:26-28]. For baptism attests to us that we have been cleansed and washed; the Eucharistic Super, that we have been redeemed. Baptism is a sign of our forgiveness, of our participation in Christ’s death and resurrection and also in his blessing. Baptism is the sign of initiation by which we are received into the society of the church, in order that, engrafted in Christ, we may be reckoned among God’s children. Now baptism was given to us by God for these ends (which I have taught to be common to all sacraments)...For he wills that all who believe be baptized for the remission of sins [Matt. 28:19; Acts 2:38]. (John Calvin, IV, 14, 20,7,15,1.)

     John Calvin teaches that water baptism was for the remission of sins, because “Baptism is a sign of our forgiveness” must refer to water baptism. He insisted that the “baptism” of Matt. 28:19 is only water baptism and that Jesus instituted two sacraments which the Christian church now uses: Baptism and the Lord’s Supper. John Calvin continues:

Paul, in speaking to believers, so deals with the sacraments as to include in them the communicating of Christ. For example, he says, “All of you who have been baptized have put on Christ” [Gal. 3:27, cf. Vg]. Again: “All of us who have been baptized in Christ are one body and one spirit” [1 Cor. 12:12-13]. From his statement elsewhere that we have been engrafted into the body of Christ through baptism [1 Cor. 12:13]. (John Calvin, Ibid., IV, 14, 7,16,22.)

     John Calvin interpreted 1 Cor. 12:13 to mean that believers are engrafted into the body of Christ Jesus through baptism. He accepted the baptism mentioned in Gal. 3:27 and 1 Cor. 12:13 as the same water baptism in Matt. 28:19. He mistakenly insisted that water baptism is the same as the baptism of the Holy Spirit in 1 Cor. 12:13.

John Calvin insists “Water baptism and the Lord’s Supper” are the only Sacraments.

Baptism and the Lord’s Supper are the only sacraments...baptism should be, as it were, an entry into church, and an initiation into faith; but the Supper should be a sort of continual food on which Christ spiritually feeds the household on his believers. Therefore, as there is but one [Eph. 4:4-6], and is not a thing oft-repeated. But the Supper is repeatedly distributed. Apart from these two, no other sacrament has been instituted by God, so the church of believers ought to recognize no other; for erecting and establishing new Sacraments is not matter of human choice. (John Calvin, Ibid., IV, 18, 19.)

     As noted above, John Calvin claimed that the baptism in Matt. 28:19 refers to only water baptism. He also claimed, “Baptism and the Lord’s Supper are the only sacraments.” This is quite erroneous and unbiblical because the baptism in Matt. 28:19 is two kinds of baptism: water baptism and the baptism of the Holy Spirit. The disciples of Jesus went out, preached the gospel of Jesus and baptized. But when they baptized they not only baptized with/in water but also baptized with/in the Holy Spirit (and with/in fire).
     So John Calvin’s argument, “Water baptism and the Lord’s Supper are the only sacraments,” is thoroughly incorrect. It must be, “Water baptism and the Holy Spirit’s baptism and the Lord’s Supper are the only sacraments.” Calvin’s note, “baptism should be, as it were, an entry into church, and an initiation into faith” is inaccurate because baptism is not for entry into the church or an initiation into faith. The believers who enter the church and accept Christ as Savior and Lord, have faith in Christ before they are baptized with/in water. Thus, they are already in the church through faith in Christ before they are baptized with/in water. That is, believers are baptized with/in water because they have come into the church, i.e., in Jesus. Water baptism is a visible rite testifying of the invisible forgiveness of sins. One must repent for the forgiveness of sins before being baptized with/in water.
     John Calvin’s note, “erecting and establishing new Sacraments is not matter of human choice,” is right. But his note, “Water baptism and the Lord’s Supper are the only sacraments,” is erroneous since it is based on the misinterpretation of Matt. 28:19. Jesus Christ was baptized with two kinds of baptism, with/in water and with/in the Holy Spirit without the laying of on human hands just as in the case of the 120 disciples and Cornelius. The Samaritans were baptized with/in water by Philip, but baptized with/in the Holy Spirit through the laying on of the hands of Peter and John. Paul and the 12 at Ephesus were baptized with/in water and with/in the Spirit through the laying on of the hands of Ananias and Paul respectively. Likewise, every Christian must receive two baptisms: water baptism and the baptism of the Holy Spirit by the Holy Spirit or by the laying on of human hands. The Bible confirms that two kinds of baptism must be accepted as the Sacraments with the Lord’s Supper.
     The baptism in Matt. 28:19 must be inferred to mean, both “water baptism and the baptism of the Holy Spirit.” Through Christian tradition, all churches have observed only the two ceremonies of water baptism and Lord’s Supper. Now, it is confirmed that it is from an unbiblical tradition based on a mistranslation and misinterpretation. The NT confirms that the biblical sacraments instituted by Jesus must be “water baptism, the baptism of the Holy Spirit, and Lord’s Supper.”