Really Means to Take the Plunge!
Pastor John Hamel
for "Seven Baptisms of the Bible"
“Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that
like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even
so we should also walk in newness of life.” (Romans 6:4)
We’ll get back to that above verse in a minute. First I want to
remind you that Jesus said, “Except a man be born again he cannot see the Kingdom of God.” (John
What does it mean to be Born Again? Simple.
The first time you were born you entered into the Earth realm
through the person of your Mother.
The second time you are born you enter into God’s Kingdom through
the Person of Jesus. He’s the door.
Say, “Jesus, You’re my choice” and you’re in the Kingdom and
the Family. (John 1:12; Romans 10:13; Colossians 1:13)
Once a person makes Jesus Christ the Lord of their lives, God
requires them to take the plunge – literally.
God calls all Born Again
Believers to be water baptized. Why? I’ll explain. The verse of Scripture
at the top of this page answers that question in two parts.
First, when someone is properly baptized they are wholly
immersed in water, not just sprinkled.
This is why the above verse says we are “buried” with Him in
baptism. To go down into what I call
“The Watery Grave” is to identify with the death and burial of Jesus Christ
on our behalf. It’s actually a way
of saying, “I died to my own sinful self when I gave my life to Jesus.”
Second, to rise up out of the watery grave is a way of
identifying with the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. It’s actually a way of saying, “I’ve been
raised from my former dead life of sin and have risen to a new life in
So, it’s easy to see that Water Baptism is simply an outward
expression of an inward experience.
It’s the Born Again Believer’s way of saying, “I completely identify
with the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ on my behalf.” This is why it is not Biblical or
acceptable to “sprinkle” baptize an infant.
First, infants are unable to identify with the death, burial and
resurrection of Jesus. Their
undeveloped little minds cannot possibly comprehend such a thing.
Second, Biblical Water Baptism is by complete submersion, not
sprinkling. Now you know why.
Water Baptism is powerful, too!
In one Church where I served as Pastor for a number a years, a
drunken man kept showing up in my services.
He sat quietly and paid attention.
He reeked of booze but behaved as a gentleman. The Lord told me, “Allow him to attend
as long as he behaves.” He continued
to behave so I allowed him to sit and hear the Word of God. He came week after week.
One day after hearing me teach on the symbolism and the power
of Water Baptism, this man asked us to baptize him. We went to an area lake and baptized
him. As circumstances had it, I was
to never see this man again.
However, three years later I received a call from him.
This former alcoholic said, “Pastor John, I want to tell you
something. When I began coming to
your services, I had been drinking alcohol every day of my life for
thirteen years. I want you to know
you helped me to understand what Water Baptism really is. I also want you to know that I have not
had one drop of alcohol since the day you baptized me in Lake Thunderbird. I’ve never desired
All I could say was “Glory to God.” There is something powerful about the
true Biblical form of Water Baptism.
When it is fully understood and obediently adhered to, it somehow
releases the delivering power of God.
That’s what obedience to God’s Word always does. Obedience
always sets the stage for the miraculous.
Say, “Jesus, You’re my choice” if you’ve not been Born
Again. That’ll get you into the
Family. (John 1:12)
Then submit to
the watery grave of Biblical Baptism.
By going down into the water you’ll be saying, “My old life is dead
and buried in Christ.” (Colossians 3:3)
By coming up out of the watery grave you’ll be saying, “I’m raising
to newness of life in Him.”
Keep in mind that Water Baptism does not wash away your sins as
The Bible teaches that
only the Blood of Jesus can wash away your
sins. (Hebrews 9:22)
is an outward declaration of an inward experience. It says, “Hey, lookie
here. The old me
is dead. The new me has risen in
power with Jesus.”
Water Baptism. Now you know
what it really means to take the plunge!
people believe it is not possible to be saved unless one has been water
baptized. However, that is not what the Bible teaches. For
further clarity on this subject, JHM has included the following Addendum
with ample additional Scriptures for your personal study.
blessed ... John and Barbara
to Be Born Again (Receive Christ as Your Savior)
to Receive The Holy Spirit & Power
Seven Baptisms of the Bible
is some confusion as to whether or not water baptism saves one's soul.
In some places in Scripture it appears that water baptism is necessary for
one to be saved. In other places it is clear that water baptism is not
necessary to the saving of one's soul.
For example, Jesus said to the
thief on the cross who received His Lordship, "Verily I say unto thee,
today thou shalt be with Me in Paradise." (Luke 23:43) That man
was not water baptized, yet Jesus said he would be in Heaven with Him.
This confusion is easily
cleared up when one realizes that there are actually seven baptisms
mentioned in the Bible, not just one. When one wrongly believes there
is only one baptism referred to in the Bible, it can tend towards tremendous
leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto
perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works,
and of faith toward God, Of the doctrine of baptisms, and of laying on of
hands, and of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment."
the Apostle Paul stresses the importance of going on to maturity and not
remaining in the babyhood stages of Christianity. He said we do this
by becoming established in what many refer to as the
"Foundational Doctrines of Christ" listed in the above
Notice one of the
Foundational Doctrines of Christ to which Paul referred is "the doctrine of
are the plural "baptisms" to which Paul refers here? Once
one understands what they are, the door will close to the confusion of
"Does water baptism save or does it not save?"
we must consider the definition of the Greek word "baptism."
The Greek word is "baptizo." It means "to overwhelm, to
bury, to dip or immerse regardless of the element used."
element of water
is not always necessary for a baptism. For example, a letter can be
immersed or baptized into an envelope. An individual can be
overwhelmed by, immersed or baptized in suffering or even joy. So we
must not limit ourselves as to our understanding of the word
As we will see from the Word of God, baptism does
not always and only refer to water baptism.
is vitally important that the student of God's Word always understand the
context in which "baptism" is being used when they come across the
word in their study. It is vital that the reader understand which of the
seven baptisms is being referred to as they are reading the Scriptures.
will list the seven baptisms of Scripture below with ample Scriptural
evidence so that you may look up the verses at your convenience.
the Baptist baptized in water unto repentance.
those days came John the Baptist preaching in the wilderness of Judea, and
saying, Repent ye: for the kingdom of Heaven is at hand. ...Then went out to
him Jerusalem, and all Judea and all the region round about Jordan, and were
baptized of him in Jordan, confessing their sins." (Matthew
an individual submitted to John's baptism, they were repenting for a
lifestyle of sin. (Matthew 3:1-6; Mark 1:1-5; Luke 3:2-4; 7:29-30; John
1:31-33; 3:23-26; 10:40; Acts 1:5; 11:16; 19:3)
submitted to John's baptism, but not to repent for a lifestyle of sin, of
course. He was sinless. He said He did it to set an example to
all other human beings of the importance of obeying God and fulfilling His
plan and purpose for their lives. (Matthew 3:13-17)
oversaw His disciples as they baptized those who came to Him for salvation.
these things came Jesus and His disciples into the land of Judea; and there
He tarried with them, and baptized." (John 3:22)
too, was a baptism where individuals were repenting for a lifestyle of sin.
(John 3:22; 4:1)
The Old Covenant and the New Covenant overlapped during the
time of both John the Baptist's and Jesus' Ministries and Jesus oversaw His
disciples baptizing individuals for the same reasons John
baptized. However, later under the New Covenant, as we will see, the
practice of water baptism had a change of purpose.
made it clear to Nicodemus, "Verily, verily, I saw unto thee, except a
man be born again he cannot see the kingdom of God." (John 3:3)
He did not say, "Except a man be water baptized he cannot see the
kingdom of God."
Jesus literally meant there must be a
transformation from God by
acceptance of Christ in order to both gain access
to and understand the Kingdom of Heaven and all its realities. This
transformation occurs only at the New Birth and not at water
baptism is now a symbol of what occurs at the New Birth, as we will see.
baptism of suffering for the sin of
said to His disciples, "But I have a baptism to be baptized with; and
how I am straitened till it be accomplished." (Luke 12:50)
Jesus refers to fulfilling the many prophecies of His needing to be immersed in
suffering in order to save fallen humanity.
The very first prophecy of the Bible refers to Christ's
coming immersion in suffering and His struggles with Satan on behalf of humanity. (Genesis
chapters of the Bible are devoted to Christ being immersed in suffering for
humanity. (Psalm 22; Isaiah 53; Exodus 12, etc.)
individual passages speak of Christ being immersed in suffering. (Isaiah
50:4-7; 52:14; Daniel 9:26; Zechariah 13:6-7)
sacrifice and offering, beginning with Abel, through Moses and all the
Prophets, ending with His own death on the cross, spoke of His
being immersed in suffering in order to redeem fallen humanity and to be
restored to His former Glory. (Luke 24:25-37; Acts 3:18; 1 Peter 3:18)
baptism in the cloud, the fire and the Red Sea.
brethren, I would not that ye should be ignorant, how that all our fathers
were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea; And were all baptized
unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea;" (1 Corinthians 10:1-2)
baptisms refer to when the Israelites were completely overwhelmed by and
immersed in the Divine Presence of the Most High God as they traveled
through the wilderness under the cloud by day, the fire by night and through the
parted Red Sea. (Exodus chapters 13-14; 1 Corinthians
Christian's water baptism.
ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the
Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit;" (Matthew 28:19)
the Christian, water
baptism is an outward expression of
something that has occurred inwardly - specifically the New
The Christian is identifying
with the death, burial and resurrection of Christ when submitting to water
baptism by immersion. The Christian goes down into a watery grave,
identifying with Christ's death and burial for them. The Christian
comes up out of a watery grave, identifying with Christ's raising for them
unto newness of life.
baptizing babies is not Scriptural for two reasons. First, baptism
means to immerse, not to sprinkle. Christ was not sprinkled in death
and suffering for
us. He was wholly immersed in death and suffering for us. Second, babies do
not yet possess the mental capacity to understand what water baptism
symbolizes. Therefore, according to the Bible, it is impractical to
baptism does not save, it is simply a figure of that which does save -
acceptance of the death, burial and resurrection of the Lord Jesus
once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was
a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water.
The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us (not the
putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience
towards God) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ." (1 Peter
are confused by this verse. It appears to be saying, "Water
baptism doth also now save us." However, upon closer examination,
it is clear that water baptism does not save.
It was not the water
that saved Noah's family. It was the ark that saved them from drowning
in the water. So, too, water baptism does not save the soul, but faith
in the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ - that which water
baptism symbolizes - saves the soul. (1 Corinthians 15:1-4; Colossians
mere figure, or symbol, has no power to save. Only that which it
symbolizes has power to save.
he realized that some might trust in water baptism to save them, Peter makes
it very clear that
baptism does not save one from the filth or the moral depravity of the
flesh. He makes it very clear that only a good conscience towards God,
because one has been made clean by faith in the resurrection of Jesus,
results in salvation.
uses Noah and his family as an illustration
to make the following point.
as the waters of the flood could not have saved Noah and his family had they
not made use of an ark, so, too, the water of baptism cannot save the soul of
anyone who does not make use of faith in the Blood of Jesus.
in the Blood of Jesus is to the Christian what the ark was to Noah.
Apostle Paul was fully saved, filled with the Holy Spirit and only later
water baptized as a symbol, or a figure, of his New Birth experience. (Acts
Paul makes it perfectly clear in his Epistles that the
sinner is justified by faith in the Blood of Jesus and faith in the Blood of
Jesus alone, not by water baptism. (Romans 3:24-25; 5:1; Ephesians 1:7)
are many examples of Christians being water baptized in the Scripture, none
of them indicating that salvation occurs at that time. Water baptism
occurs only after salvation in Christ. (Matthew 18:19; Mark 16:16; Acts 2:38-41;
8:12-16, 36-38; 9:18; 10:47-48; 16:15, 33; 18:8; 19:5; 22:16; 1 Corinthians
1:13-17; 1 Peter 3:21)
into Jesus Christ and into His Body.
by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or
Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have all been made to drink into
one Spirit." (1 Corinthians 12:13)
is the only one of the seven baptisms that saves a human being from the
penalty and punishment of their sins.
the time of the New Birth, or when one is Born
Again, they are baptized or immersed into the Body of Christ. This
is not a reference to water baptism.
Remember, the Greek word
means "to overwhelm, to bury, to dip or immerse regardless of the
"element" the Christian is immersed into at the time of the New
Birth is Christ's Body, not water. (Romans 6:3-7; 1 Corinthians 12:13; Galatians 3:27)
Earlier we used the illustration of a letter being immersed or baptized into
an envelope. In the same way a Believer is immersed or baptized into
the Body of Christ the moment they are Born Again.
is baptized into the Body of Christ, not through immersion in water, but by
accepting the sacrificial death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ for
When one confesses with the mouth and believes with the
heart that God rose Jesus from the dead, they are saved from the penalty and
punishment of their sins and baptized into Christ's Body. (Romans
it is clear, baptism into the Body, not baptism in water, is the only one of
seven baptisms that saves.
Baptism with the Holy Spirit.
the Baptist said, "I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but
He that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not
worthy to bear: He shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with
fire:" (Matthew 3:11)
is a baptizing with empowerment for service. This is why Jesus told
His disciples, "You shall receive power when the Holy Ghost has come
upon you." (Acts 1:8)
Baptism with the Holy Spirit is an experience that can only come after the
New Birth, because the Holy Spirit will not go where the Blood of Jesus has
not cleansed. (Matthew 3:11, 14; 20:22-23; Mark 1:8; 10:38-39; Luke 3:16;
John 1:33; 7:37-39; Acts 1:5; 8:14-17; 10:44-48; 11:16; 19:2-3)
after Cornelius' household received the word of salvation, were Born Again
and baptized with the Holy Spirit, did Peter say the following, "Can any
man forbid water, that these should not be baptized which have received the
Holy Ghost as well as we?" (Acts 10:47)
is a clear indication that water baptism does not save.
household was already saved and Spirit-filled when Peter stood up and said,
"It's time for a water baptism service so they can identify outwardly
with that which has already occurred inwardly."
of the Seven Baptisms Are for Believers
Baptism into the Body of Christ at the New Birth. Paul called it
"one baptism" because it is the only baptism that saves and
immerses one into the Body of Christ. (Ephesians
who experience salvation in Christ experience this baptism.
Holy Spirit baptizes individuals into Christ's Body. (1 Corinthians 12:13)
Two. The Baptism with the Holy Spirit, an endowment with power for service. (Acts
This can only occur after one is Born Again. However, it
can take place before, during or after water baptism. (Acts 1:4-8; 2:1-11;
8:12-21; 10:44-48; 19:1-7)
baptizes the individual with the Holy Spirit. (Matthew 3:11; John 1:31-33)
Water Baptism which can only come after one is saved, as we have clearly
Gospel Minister baptizes the Christian into water. (Matthew 28:19)
to Be Born Again (Receive Christ as Your Savior)
to Receive The Holy Spirit & Power