Baptism is no new concept in the circles if Christendom. It has been a big part of our religion from its very beginning and though it isn’t a ticket to Heaven, it is a major requisite under the normal circumstances except in rare cases. Peter tells the people at the Jerusalem feast after the Pentecost experience, ” 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. It is something every believer who professes faith in CHRIST JESUS, must go through. Christ began His ministry with baptism,
13 Then Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to be baptized by John. 14 But John tried to deter him, saying, “I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?”
15 Jesus replied, “Let it be so now; it is proper for us to do this to fulfill all righteousness.”Then John consented. (Matthew 3), and ended it with baptism; Mark 10:38: “You don’t know what you are asking,” Jesus said. “Can you drink the cup I drink or be baptized with the baptism I am baptized with?”. As a matter of fact, it was that last baptism of His that sealed our redemption. It is upon that baptism that we as His followers have a relationship with the Father today: his baptism on the Cross of Calvary. Jesus refers to His death on the Cross and the ordeal he had to go through prior to that as baptism. Baptism is of great importance to every believer of Christ and it must be a priority in our Walk with the LORD. Jesus says in Matthew 28:19; “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: (KJV). The NIV renders it, “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, It is a command of Christ Himself that his followers be baptised.
TYPES OF BAPTISM
Against this backdrop, let us now proceed to the types of baptism. There are four(4) main types of Baptism and all these types are ‘profitable’ unto the believer.
- Water Baptism: This is the first type of baptism and the most widely known amongst many believers. This where a believer, usually a New Convert is immersed into water, river, pond or stream- some do sprinkling though. It has two main significance:
- It fulfill all righteousness, Matthew 3:15;
- It is a symbol of Christ’s burial and resurrection. Our entrance into the water during baptism identifies us with Christ’s death on the cross, His burial in the tomb, and His resurrection from the dead. Colosians 2:12.
2. Baptism of Suffering: This is when the believer is made to pass through afflictions, tribulations, persecutions etc. This occurs daily in the life and walk of a believer. It affects the flesh and its emotions, whereas the Water Baptism affect the totality of a persons being. It tests our faithfulness and our readiness to walk with the Lord. It instills in us perseverance and endurance and boosts our Faith in the Lord. The more we face and overcome these challenges, the more mature we become, fitting for every good work. Matthew 20:20-23, Galatians 6:17, 2 Corinthians 6:3-10, 4:10.
3. Baptism of Death: This type of baptism affects the Soul of a person. It has to do with putting off the ‘old man’ and putting on the new man made in the image of Christ, after one has converted. It is a process and continues in a believers life time. In this type of baptism, we put to death the flesh and its desires, so that the believer, now a new man, lives through the Spirit. It molds the heart, transforms the mind and conforms the will; Romans 12:2. In the end, the believer’s character is purified, refined and molded. The desires , passions, and emotions of the believer is silenced. “Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.” Romans 6:3-4. The baptism of suffering and death can together be termed as baptism of fire owing to their refining nature.
4. Baptism of the Spirit: This is one of the most important aspects of a Christian’s life, and most of our discussion will be centered on this.. It is a spiritual occurrence which affects the spirit man. Acts 1:5, Luke 3:16. This type of baptism is performed by the Holy Spirit Himself and its purpose is to rekindle and quicken the spirit man with fire. It transforms the whole totality of the believer, endows him with grace and power to live anew. The ‘excited’ spirit is then enabled through grace to dominate the soul and the flesh. Its initial signs is the SPEAKING IN DIVERSE TONGUES. Acts 2:1-4, Acts 10:44-48, Acts 11:2, Acts 19:1-17, Acts 8:14-20. This speaking of tongues will be our focal point for the Holy Ghost Baptism. To be cont.d………..