Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Water Baptism

More teaching on Baptism...

Peter commanded it. Can any man forbid water, that these should not be baptized, which have received the Holy Ghost as well as we? And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord. Then prayed they him to tarry certain days.
Acts 10:47-48

Paul baptized believers. In the following passage, Paul found people (disciples), who had placed their faith in Jesus Christ.

And it came to pass, that, while Apollos was at Corinth, Paul having passed through the upper coasts came to Ephesus: and finding certain disciples, He said unto them, Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed? And they said unto him, We have not so much as heard whether there be any Holy Ghost. And he said unto them, Unto what then were ye baptized? And they said, Unto John's baptism. Then said Paul, John verily baptized with the baptism of repentance, saying unto the people, that they should believe on him which should come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus. When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Ghost came on them; and they spake with tongues, and prophesied. And all the men were about twelve.
Acts 19:1-7

Matthew Henry's commentary puts it very well:

"Paul enquired how they came to be baptized, if they knew nothing of the Holy Ghost; for, if they were baptized by any of Christ's ministers, they were instructed concerning the Holy Ghost, and were baptized in his name. 'Know you not that Jesus being glorified, consequently the Holy Ghost is given? unto what then were you baptized?

This is strange and unaccountable. What! baptized, and yet know nothing of the Holy Ghost? Surely your baptism was a nullity, if you know nothing of the Holy Ghost; for it is the receiving of the Holy Ghost that is signified and sealed by that washing of regeneration.

Ignorance of the Holy Ghost is as inconsistent with a sincere profession of Christianity as ignorance of Christ is.' ... They own that they were baptized unto John's baptism ... that is, as I take it, they were baptized in the name of John, not by John himself (he was far enough from any such thought), but by some weak, well-meaning disciple of his, that ignorantly kept up his name as the head of a party, retaining the spirit and notion of those disciples of his that were jealous of the growth of Christ's interest, and complained to him of it, (John 3:26).

Some one or more of these, that found themselves much edified by John's baptism of repentance for the remission of sins, not thinking that the kingdom of heaven, which he spoke of as at hand, was so very near as it proved, ran away with that notion, rested in what they had, and thought they could not do better than to persuade others to do so too; and so, ignorantly, in a blind zeal for John's doctrine, they baptized here and there ... in John's name, or, as it is here expressed, unto John's baptism, looking no further themselves, nor directing those that they baptized any further."

In short, the believers that Paul came across, although believing in Christ (as a soon coming Messiah), were baptized by persons and into a faith that did NOT have the full revelation of Jesus Christ.

That was my case. And that is why I chose to be baptized again; into Christ.