Mark 1:8 (KJV)
I indeed have baptized you with water: but he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost.
One time, when I was in Bible College, my pastor brought a message on a Wednesday night on the one baptism in the Bible (he referred to water baptism). The next day, as I remember it, I stepped into the first class of the day, Life of Christ, where the professor gave us the three baptisms found in the Bible. I kid you not, the very next class, Personal Evangelism, the teacher gave us a printed handout of the seven baptisms found in the Bible. I was flabbergasted. I blurted out before the whole class, “I have learned something since coming to this college; I don’t know anything about the Bible.” Teacher responded, “Great that’s the first thing we wanted to teach you.” I then said, “I have also learned that none of you know anything about the Bible either!”
He offered me a job on staff at his church.
I am of the position that there is only one Scriptural baptism in the Bible, water baptism:
- Of a saved person
- By immersion
- As a memorial of the gospel
- Under authority of a duly established Baptist church
I do however recognize that the term is found in the Bible referencing something other than water baptism and I believe each of those references must be understood in light of this passage. John the Baptist was sent from God with unquestioned authority to baptize. Every one of the twelve was baptized of Him. Jesus Himself submitted to John’s baptism. Later we learn that God is glorified through submission to the same.
So what is the baptism with the Holy Ghost John mentions here? John the Baptist simply took his audience from where they were to where Jesus is. Scriptural baptism is water baptism. He uses that baptism (the word means immersion) to point to the work of Jesus to immerse or envelop and seal the saved with the Holy Spirit until the day of our presentation before God in heaven. It is not a contrast, the baptism of John versus the baptism of Jesus, it is a not even a comparison of the one alongside the other, it is an object lesson meant to capture the minds of the hearer to one subject and then to take them from that subject to another the teacher wants them to learn.
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Mark 1:8 What Is Baptism with the Holy Ghost?
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