Southern Christian University

James A. Turner



1.      Eph. 4:I -6 reads, "I therefore the prisoner ..................................................... ..     

      2.   Note V. 5, "One Lord, one faith, one baptism".

      3.   How could the writer say one when we read about six?

  1. God is not a God of confusion (ICor.14:33).The H.S. does not say something in one reference and contradict it in another reference.

I The Baptism of John

    A. John came to prepare the way for Christ (Isa. 40:3-5; Mal.3:1, 4:5-6).

        1 . He came in the spirit and likeness of Elijah "to make ready for the Lord a people prepared for

              him" (Lu. 1:17, Mal.4:5-6; Mt. 11: 1 -15, 17:9-13; Jn. 1: 19- 23).

2.      John came preaching in the wilderness of Judea, "saying repent ye; for the kingdom of

      heaven is at hand." (Mt. 3-1-9).

3.      Note V 5. There had been a long spiritual famine (Amos 8:1 1).

B.     John's baptism was from heaven, and those who rejected it remained in a lost condition

      (Mt. 21-23-32; Jn.3:1-7; Lu. 7;28-30).

C.     Contrary to what some of Our brethren have said, John's baptism was for (KJV) unto (ASV) remission of sins (Mk. 1:4; Lu. 3:3). The Greek word for or unto is the same as in Acts 2:38.

D.     John's baptism was valid until the baptism of the great commission was given on the first

      Pentecost after the resurrection of Christ (Mt. 28-.18-20; Mk. 16:15-16; Acts 2:36-38).

          1 . There is no reference that teaches that those baptized by John were baptized again, but

                rather the 3,000 on Pentecost were added to the charter members (Acts 2-41, 2:47).

2.      The Ephesians that Paul baptized again had been baptized by Apollos after John's

      baptism was no longer valid (Acts 18:23-19:1-7).

II.  The Baptism Of Christ And His Apostles Under The Limited Commission.

A.     John taught that one greater than he would come (Mt. 3:11-12; Jn. 1:23-37).

      1. Jesus and His apostles baptized more than John (Jn. 4:1-3).

      2. This commission was to Jews only    (Mt. 10:5-15).

B.     This baptism was a continuation of John's baptism, and was valid until Pentecost like John's was.   

III. The Baptism of Suffering

A.     Jesus knew that he would be overwhelmed in suffering on the cross (Jn. 3:14-16, 8:28,

     12:27-38; Lu. 12:49-50).

B.     Jesus asked His apostles if they were willing to be baptized with His baptism (Mt. 20:20-

      23; Mk. 10: 35-4O; Jn. 18:1 0-1 1; Mt. 26:36-46).

             1. Jesus told them that they would be baptized with His baptism.

             2. This baptism was fulfilled when Christ was crucified on Calvary.


IV. Holy Spirit Baptism.

A.     Joel prophesied that in the "Last days" God would "pour out my Spirit upon all flesh" (Joel 2:28-


             1.The first fulfillment of Joel's prophecy was when the apostles were baptized with the Holy 

                Spirit on Pentecost as representatives of the Jewish people (Acts 1:4-5; 1:8,1:46-2:21).

              2. Those at Cornelius' house, several years later, were baptized with the Holy Spirit to fulfill the

                  pouring out on "all flesh" including not only Jews but also the Gentiles.


B.     John had promised that Jesus would baptize with the Holy Spirit (Mt. 3:11)

       1 . Jesus, before his ascension, promised the apostles that they would be baptized "in the

            Holy Spirit not many days hence" (Acts 1:4-5).

2.      He also promised them, "But ye shall receive power when the Holy Spirit is come upon you:

      and ye shall be my witnesses --- (Acts 1: 8 -11 ). "

              3 . The kingdom was to come with power during the life time of the apostles, and it came with

                   power on Pentecost (Mk. 9: 1; Acts 1:8, Acts 11: 1 5-16; Col. 1: 1 3- 14).


       C. Only the apostles were baptized with the Holy Spirit on Pentecost.

1.      They were the ones that Jesus had promised Holy Spirit Baptism (Acts 1:4-5).

2.      "They" of Acts 2:1 refers back to the apostles in Acts 1:46.

3.    Note 2:3-4, 2:6-7, 2:14.


        D.  The primary purpose of his out pouring on the apostles was to aid them in the giving and

        confirming of the New Testament.

              1. Jesus had promised the apostles that he would send them the Holy Spirit to

                  guide them into all truth, and to give them the New Testament (Jn. 14:26, 16:7- 15).

2.      Holy Spirit Baptism gave them miraculous power to confirm the word (Acts 2:1--3:19, 4-29-

      30, 5:12-16; Heb. 2:3-4).

3.      The apostles could give gifts of the Holy Spirit to others by the laying on of their hands, but

      those who received gifts could not transfer them to others; and no miracles, signs and

     wonders were done by any one except the apostles until after they had laid their hands on

      those of (Acts 6:1 -6, 6: 8, 6:10, 8:6-8, 8:12-13, 8:14-20, 13:9-12, 14:8-11, 19:11-20).

4.      There were nine miraculous gifts that were given by the laying on of the apostles' hands


5.      Paul referred to this miraculous period as the childhood period of the church, and that all the 

      gifts would cease "when that which is perfect (Jas. 1:25) is come---" (I Cor. 13:8-13; Eph. 4:



E.      Cornelius and those gathered at his house were also baptized with the Holy Spirit (Acts 10:44-

         48, 11:2-4, 11:15-18).

               1 . It took this out pouring to fulfill the promise of God through Joel that His Spirit would be

                    poured on "all flesh" which included the Gentiles.

2.      It looks like another purpose of this outpouring was to convince the Jews that the gospel was to be preached to the Gentiles (Acts 11: 18-26; Isa. 56:4-5- 1 Tim. 3:15; Isa. 62:1-2);


      F.    Holy Spirit Baptism did not directly save anyone.

              1. The apostles were already saved when they were baptized with the Holy Spirit.

2.Those at the house of Cornelius were saved by the words of Peter and water baptism (Acts 10-

      4-5, 10:19-20, 10:30-33, 10:46-48, 11:11-14).

V. Fire Baptism

      A. John promised that Jesus would also baptize with fire (Mt.3-11-12).

B.Some say, "Jesus gave us three baptisms, water, Holy Spirit, and Fire and we believe in all three". 

      We do also but not in the sense they were speaking.

      C. I remember seeing a sign in front of a church building that read, "A Fire Baptism Church".

D.The Bible teaches plainly that fire baptism will be administered at the second advent of Christ (Mt.

   3:12, 13:36-43, 13:47-50; 11 Thess. 1:6-10; Rev. 20:11-15).


VI. The Baptism Of The Great Commission

   A. This commission was given by Jesus after His resurrection (Mt. 28:18-20; Mk. 16:15-16).

              I.Jesus said, "He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that disbelieveth shall be

                 condemned (Mk. 16:16). The conjunction “and” joins two things of about equal rank together.

                 See also Jn. 3:18, 12:48; Acts 13:44-46.

              2.This baptism was first commanded on Pentecost (Acts 2:38). It is for or unto remission of sins.

                 The conjunction “and” joins repentance and baptism as being necessary for salvation. The   

                 Greek word for (KJV) or unto (ASV) is the same Greek word as used in Mt. 26:28. Did Jesus 

                 die because sins were already forgiven?

              3.The Bible teaches that this baptism saves repentant believers from their sins (Acts 2:38,

                   8:12-13, 8:32-39, 10:47-48, 16:27-34, 18:8; 1 Pet. 3:21).

              4. It accomplishes the new birth or regeneration that Jesus talked to Nicodemus about (Jn.3:1-7;

                  Titus 3:5; Rom. 6:4). Anyone who teaches that one is saved by faith only is saying one has 

                  "newness of life" before baptism. The inspired writer says it comes after baptism, and the same

                   writer said, "let God be found true, but every man a liar - -- (Rom.3:4)."

5.      Preceded by faith, repentance and confession this baptism puts one into Christ and His    

      spiritual body the church (Gal.3;26-27; Rom.6:1-7; I Cor. 12.:13; Col. 1;18).Can anyone be  

       saved out of Christ and His church (Jn. 1 4:6)?

6.      Christ's blood was shed in his death and baptism is a likeness of his death, burial and

       resurrection (Jn, 19:31-34; Acts 20:28; Rom. 6:1 - 7). It is at the point of baptism that the

       alien sinner applies the blood which is necessary for salvation (Ex. 1 2:7, 12:13; 1 Pet.1;18-

       23; Eph. 1:7).