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Particulars of Christianity:
309 Baptisms


Survey 2: Baptism from Romans to Revelation

Preface for Baptisms Article Series
Baptisms: Introduction and Historical Background
Original Proclamations about Baptism
Two Baptisms Occurring Separately
Baptizo: Two Baptisms, One Greek Word
Synonymous Phrases: Baptism in the Holy Spirit
Water Baptism in Jesus' Name
No Record of Paul's Water Baptism
Is Baptism Essential to Salvation?
Acts 1: Parallel Account of the Great Commission
Necessity of Water Baptism: 3 Common Arguments
Survey 1: Baptisms in Acts
The Baptism of Crispus (and Assuming Evidence)
Survey 2: Baptism from Romans to Revelation
Baptism and Hebrews 10:22
Conclusions: When and How Are We Reborn?
Survey 3: Baptism and the Ante-Nicene Authors
Closing: Water Baptism for the Right Reasons



As we said earlier, the King James uses 7 derivatives of the word "baptism" in the entire New Testament (not including references to John the Baptist himself). These 7 derivatives are: baptism, baptisms, baptized, baptize, baptizing, baptizeth, and baptizest.

Of these 7, "baptizeth" occurs only twice. Both times it is found in John. "Baptizing" only occurs 4 times, once in Matthew and 3 times in John. And "baptizest" occurs once. It can also be found in John. Since this portion of our study focuses on post-resurrection baptisms, only the derivatives baptism, baptized, baptize, and baptisms are relevant to this portion of our study.

Altogether, these 4 derivatives occur a total of 18 times (15 verses) in the New Testament after Acts. 2 of these derivatives only occur 1 time each. Since they are the shortest, we'll cover them first.

The terms "baptisms" can be found in Hebrews 6:2.

Hebrews 6:2 Of the doctrine of baptisms, and of laying on of hands, and of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment.

We have covered this verse in depth earlier. At this point we will only recap our previous findings. Since "baptisms" here is plural, what baptisms is the author talking about? We have already demonstrated that there were only two, baptism with water and baptism with the Holy Spirit.

Does the mention of "baptisms" plural indicate that both were considered essential to the life of every believer? No. It simply means that there was teaching regarding both forms of baptism probably including how each should be practiced and their respective level of significance in the life of the believer. For example, this study is attempting to teach about both forms of baptism even though it is concluding that only one form is essential to every believer. And we know from Ephesians 4, which we will cover shortly, that according to scripture only one baptism is essential.

So, Hebrews 6 does not tell us which form of baptism was essential to the life of every believer. Nor does it tell us which baptism was commanded by Christ Jesus in the Great Commission found in Matthew 28 and Mark 16.

Our next word is "baptize." Like "baptisms," "baptize" occurs only one time in the New Testament after the book of Acts. It can be found in 1 Corinthians 1.

1 Corinthians 1:10 Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment. 11 For it hath been declared unto me of you, my brethren, by them which are of the house of Chloe, that there are contentions among you. 12 Now this I say, that every one of you saith, I am of Paul; and I of Apollos; and I of Cephas; and I of Christ. 13 Is Christ divided? was Paul crucified for you? or were ye baptized in the name of Paul?14 I thank God that I baptized none of you, but Crispus and Gaius; 15 Lest any should say that I had baptized in mine own name. 16 And I baptized also the household of Stephanas: besides, I know not whether I baptized any other. 17 For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel: not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of none effect. 18 For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.

Since the New Testament refers at times to both forms of baptism as "baptism in Jesus' name" (Acts 8:16, 1 Corinthians 6:11) there is nothing in the immediate context of this verse that tells us which form of baptism, Paul is talking about. There is no mention of either water or the Holy Spirit. All that this verse tells us is that there was one form of baptism that Paul believes is not essential to preaching the Gospel. While that is a very significant statement, how it applies will remain uncertain until we decide which form of baptism was essential to the Gospel and which one was not.

When we compare this passage to 1 Corinthians 15, we find that people were saved as a result of Paul's preaching ministry despite the fact that baptism was not apart of that ministry.

1 Corinthians 15:1 Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; 2 By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain.

This passage tells us that people were saved as a result of Paul's preaching even though he was not sent to baptize as he preached. This further demonstrates that baptism (of one form) was not necessary to salvation.

There is one last thing to note while we're here in 1 Corinthians 1. Here we find 5 occurrences of the term "baptized" in this passage (verse 13, 14, 15, 16.) As we have said, the context of this passage itself does not tell us which form of baptism was meant by Paul. So, we'll have to judge based on the rest of our examination of the New Testament. (For more on which form of baptism was meant by Paul in 1 Corinthians 1, please visit our previous section, entitled "The Baptism of Crispus.") For now, we'll remember to scratch these 5 off our list of "baptized" when we come to it so we can avoid covering this passage twice.

The term "baptism" occurs only 4 times in the New Testament after Acts. The first occurrence is in Romans 6:4.

Romans 6:1 What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? 2 God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein? 3 Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? 4 Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead.

Once again, we see that the term "baptized" also occurs twice in this text. Since we will discuss this passage now, we should remember to remove it from our list of "baptized" occurrences when we come to it.

When we examine this passage in Romans 6, we see that like 1 Corinthians 1, there is nothing in the immediate context that would tell us which baptism Paul was intending. At this point we should remember that the same Greek word for baptism was used in regard to both water baptism and baptism in the Holy Spirit. So, it is entirely possible that Paul has a different form of baptism in mind here than he does in 1 Corinthians.

And, of course, that must be the case since here he equates baptism with our joining with Christ in his burial while in 1 Corinthians 1 he is clearly referring to a form of baptism is not essential to salvation. Therefore, given the essential nature of being baptized with Christ into his death, we have no choice but to conclude Paul is talking about a different form of baptism in this passage than he was in 1 Corinthians.

The fact that Paul must be talking about two different forms of baptism in these two passages (Romans 6 and 1 Corinthians 1) while simply using the term "baptized" in both cases also proves once again that the apostles used the term baptism to apply to either form of baptism. Both water baptism and baptism in the Holy Spirit were often referred to by just the term "baptize" without the accompaniment of further descriptions such as "water" or "the Holy Spirit."

Since the context of Romans 6 still does not tell us which form of baptism is meant, we must move on to the next occurrence of "baptism." It can be found in Ephesians 4.

Ephesians 4:4 There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; 5 One Lord, one faith, one baptism, 6 One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.

In Ephesians 4 we have a list of singular items that are essential to Christianity. There is one body, one Spirit, one hope of our calling, one Lord, one faith, one baptism, and one God and Father of all. The significance of placing "one baptism" (singular) in the midst of these other items makes an unequivocal statement concerning the importance of one of these two forms of baptism but not both. Only one of the two forms of baptism was considered essential enough to Christianity to be listed side by side with one Lord and one faith. And this is how we know that Hebrews 6 cannot be indicating both forms of baptism were equally significant to the Church or that they were both essential to the Church. Ephesians 4 clearly indicates there is "one baptism," not two, which is essential.

As helpful as Ephesians 4 is, the context still does not tell us which form of baptism Paul is talking about here. So, we must move on.

Colossians 2:11 In whom also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ: 12 Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead. 13 And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses;

Now, Colossians does not directly indicate which baptism is meant in verse 12 either. However, there are some significant things to mention here. The term "baptism" occurs within the phrase "Buried with him in baptism." This is parallel with Romans 6, and it tells us that Paul has the same baptism in mind here as he does there.

There is another important point. In verse 11, Paul clearly indicates that it is the circumcision "made without hands" with which we are circumcised. This clearly indicates that Paul is talking about a spiritual circumcision, not an external circumcision of the flesh. It also hints that Paul does not have in mind external rituals when he makes this statement, which in turn hints that Paul may be speaking of a baptism that is not external and does not involve external ritual. For now, we will say this is inconclusive until we can compare it to other passages.

Because of the reference to circumcision and particularly circumcision "made without hands" we can compare Colossians 2 to are Romans 2 and Hebrews 9, which speak similarly. (Later on in our survey of the Ante-Nicene writers, we will see that Justin Martyr also spoke on this comparison of baptism and circumcision.)

Romans 2:28 For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh: 29 But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God.

Hebrews 9:9 Which was a figure for the time then present, in which were offered both gifts and sacrifices, that could not make him that did the service perfect, as pertaining to the conscience; 10 Which stood only in meats and drinks, and divers washings, and carnal ordinances, imposed on them until the time of reformation.

From Romans 2, we learn that it is not the external ritual of circumcision that makes a man "circumcised." Rather, there is a spiritual circumcision of the inward man that God accepts. Proponents of water baptism insist this does not apply to baptism, but only to circumcision. There are two points we want to make here.

First, Hebrews 9:9-10 tells us that, in fact, the carnal, external ordinances of the Old Testament, which cannot make a man perfect in conscience, included different ordinances on washing. So, the New Testament does discount the necessity of more external acts beyond just circumcision. It discounts ordinances regarding food and drink found in the Old Testament. And more significantly to our study, external ceremonial washing rituals are included in among the practices that do not perfect a man's conscience. And, as we have already established from John 2:6 and John 3:23 as well as our historic review of water baptism, water baptism was considered by the Jews to be part of the category of ritual purification, a practice that was done in accordance with the Old Testament.

So, there are two ways to interpret these passages found in Colossians 2, Romans 2, and Hebrews 9.

1. Men are not saved by external rituals such as circumcision, food and drink ordinances of the Old Testament, or diverse kinds of washing rituals. Instead, it is those men who are inwardly circumcised and inwardly baptized in the spirit, which are approved by God.

2. Men are not saved by the external ritual of circumcision. Instead, men are now saved by the new external ritual of water baptism.

Proponents of water baptism want us to accept the second option, that God has removed salvation by one external ritual (circumcision) and replaced it with salvation by another ritual (water baptism.) Instead, we believe that the first option is more consistent, not only with Colossians 2, Romans 2, and Hebrews 9, but with the message of the entire New Testament. External rituals do not save us. While living faith will produce living works, we are not saved or condemned according to our performance or failure to perform any ritual deed.

But, before we get ahead of ourselves, let's continue our survey. The next occurrence of the term "baptism" in the New Testament can be found in I Peter 3. Remember, way back near the beginning we first came across this controversial verse. At that time, we simply pointed out that this passage proves one form of baptism is essential to salvation. And at that time we also promised to cover this passage more in depth later on. Now, we'll do just that.

1 Peter 3:20 Which sometime were disobedient, when 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. 21 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 toward God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ:

Proponents of the necessity of water baptism believe this verse is a proof text that water baptism is the form of baptism essential to every believer. But let's be clear. There is only one thing in this passage that even hints at that. And that hint is not exclusively applicable to water baptism.

Proponents of water baptism quickly point out the mention of "water" in verse 20. But does that really indicate anything? Not really. First of all, the mention of "saved by water" in verse 20 is a clear reference to Noah's family passing through the water of the Flood. Water is not mentioned in regard to baptism, only in regard to Noah's experience. And Peter himself tells us that Noah's salvation by water is itself the "figure" (or symbolic metaphor), which represents the baptism that now saves us.

Proponents of water baptism want us to believe that Noah's passage through the water of the flood only works as a symbol for water baptism. What is unclear is why Noah's experience could not just as easily be a figure of baptism in the Holy Spirit. In fact, we would suggest that the symbolism goes even farther.

The comparison given by John the Baptist, Jesus Christ, and Peter all clearly indicate the symbolic relationship that water baptism had as a precursor of the true baptism Jesus Christ would bring, baptism in the Holy Spirit. And not once in the Gospels do we find any prophecy or expectation that Jesus would bring a better water baptism than the water baptism of John. Instead, we find John the Baptist in all four Gospels (Matthew 3:11, Mark 1:8, Luke 3:16, John 1:26, 33) prophesying that Jesus would bring the much-anticipated baptism of the Holy Spirit. Clearly from John's words (as well as Jesus' and Peter's), baptism in the Holy Spirit was the ultimate form of baptism. Water baptism was simply a precursor.

So, it is likely that not only was Noah's passage through the flood a figure of baptism in the Holy Spirit, but water baptism was itself a figure of this as well. We say all this only to point out how weak the opposing arguments are. 1 Peter 3 only indicates water baptism if we accept the assumption that Noah's journey cannot represent baptism in the Holy Spirit. There is no reason to make this assumption.


However, 1 Peter 3:21 is clearly speaking of a form of baptism that does include a good conscience. Since Hebrews 9:9-10 plainly states that external washings cannot fix the conscience, it is all the more unlikely that Peter is describing a baptism of external washing, such as water baptism. This suggests that 1 Peter 3 favors baptism in the Holy Spirit.

1 Peter 3:21 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 toward God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Hebrews 9:9 Which was a figure for the time then present, in which were offered both gifts and sacrifices, that could not make him that did the service perfect, as pertaining to the conscience; 10 Which stood only in meats and drinks, and divers washings, and carnal ordinances, imposed on them until the time of reformation.

Let's pause to recap. We started out with 4 terms related to baptism found in the New Testament after Acts. Those terms were baptism, baptized, baptize, and baptisms, and they occurred a total of 18 times (in 15 verses) altogether. We have covered the single occurrences of "baptisms" (Hebrews 6:2) and "baptize" (1 Corinthians 1:17) and have found that neither passage indicated which form of baptism was meant in that passage. Nor do they indicate which form of baptism was essential to salvation.

That left us with just two other terms, baptism and baptized. In our examinations of Romans 6:1-4 and 1 Corinthians 1:12-18, we have already covered 7 out of 12 occurrences of "baptized" (in 5 verses), and all 4 occurrences of "baptism" (in 4 verses). Our examination revealed that the context of none of these verses indicated which form of baptism was meant. Nor did they indicate which form of baptism was considered essential to salvation.

The closest we have come to any indication has been a hint from Colossians 2, Romans 2, and Hebrews 9, that external rituals have nothing to do with our being accepted by God. And, of course, we have shown that 1 Peter 3 does not favor either form of baptism, despite the claims of water baptism proponents.

This leaves us with only 5 occurrences of the term "baptized." These 5 occurrences occur in 4 verses. The first occurrence can be found in 1 Corinthians 10.

1 Corinthians 10:1 Moreover, brethren, I would not that ye should be ignorant, how that all our fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea; 2 And were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea; 3 And did all eat the same spiritual meat; 4 And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ. 5 But with many of them God was not well pleased: for they were overthrown in the wilderness. 6 Now these things were our examples, to the intent we should not lust after evil things, as they also lusted.

Unfortunately, 1 Corinthians 10 does not shed any light on our study for three reasons. First, its reference to baptism entirely employs figurative language. Second, this figurative language lends itself to representations of both forms of baptism. Baptism in the cloud represents baptism in the Holy Spirit, while baptism in the sea represents water baptism. Third, this passage does not make any statements regarding which baptism was considered essential to salvation.

And, as we have already shown, Ephesians 4:4-6, 1 Peter 3:20-21, Acts 10:44-48, and Acts 8:12-17 prevent us from accepting both forms of baptism as equally essential to salvation. First, Ephesians 4 declares for us that there is only "one baptism" as far as the primary truths are concerned. And second, Act 8 and 10 demonstrate that the two forms of baptism do not automatically happen simultaneously. We also established thoroughly earlier on in our study that the two forms of baptism were never understood to automatically occur simultaneously but were from the beginning separated in occurrence. Since they did not happen simultaneously, we must assume they are fundamentally two different phenomena. So, we must continue our study to decipher which form was considered essential to salvation as Peter teaches in 1 Peter 3.

For reasons that will become clear in a moment, we are going to skip ahead and cover 1 Corinthians 15 next.

1 Corinthians 15:29 Else what shall they do which are baptized for the dead, if the dead rise not at all? why are they then baptized for the dead?

The reason we have covered this verse ahead of schedule is because it deals with baptism in terms of an entirely different issue. Here Paul is using the notion of baptism of the dead to prove the resurrection. While we do not believe that baptizing for the dead is scriptural, that is a subject for perhaps another article. For now, it is only important to note that the mention of "baptized" in 1 Corinthians 15 is not definitively relevant to our current study. It is a controversial statement on its own.

However, it is perhaps unlikely that Paul means to convey that people were somehow baptized in the Holy Spirit for the dead. It’s much easier to think of people being baptized in water for the dead. And, if that is true, it would mean one of two things. First, if we assume that Paul always means the same form of baptism whenever he uses the term “baptism” in an unqualified way, then any reference to water baptism in chapter 15 would mean that chapter 1 is also referencing water baptism. And as we have seen, in 1 Corinthians 1 Paul states that he was not sent by Christ to baptize, which we would have to conclude was water baptism. On the other hand, since the Greek word for “baptize” is applied equally to water and the Holy Spirit by John the Baptist, Jesus, and Peter, it could be that Paul uses the same unqualified term to refer alternately to either form of baptism. In fact, if we want to identify 1 Corinthians 15 as a reference to water baptism and yet disconnect water baptism from the form of baptism that Paul was not commission by Christ to perform in chapter 1, we must conclude that Paul uses the term “baptism” to refer to either form of baptism even in the same epistle.

The next verse on our list is 1 Corinthians 12, a verse we have already partially examined earlier in our study.

1 Corinthians 12:12 For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ. 13 For by {1722] one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit. 14 For the body is not one member, but many. The Greek word for "by" in verse 13 is "en." It is defined as follows.

As we mentioned previously, the Greek word translated "by" in verse 13 is the word "en," which is defined below.

1722 en {en}
a primary preposition denoting (fixed) position (in place, time or state), and (by implication) instrumentality (medially or constructively), i.e. a relation of rest (intermediate between 1519 and 1537); TDNT - 2:537,233; prep
AV - in 1902, by 163, with 140, among 117, at 113, on 62, through 39, misc 264; 2800
1) in, by, with etc.

Therefore, in the Greek this verse reads "in the Spirit" or "with the Spirit" just as much as "by the Spirit." In fact, it is the exact same word that appears in the phrase "baptized with [1722] the Holy Ghost" spoken by John the Baptist, Jesus Christ, and Peter in Matthew 3:11, Mark 1:8, Luke 3:16, John, 1:33, Act 1:5, and Acts 11: 16.

Matthew 3:11 he shall baptize you with [1722] the Holy Ghost, and with fire:

Mark 1:8 he shall baptize you with [1722] the Holy Ghost.

Luke 3:16 he shall baptize you with [1722] the Holy Ghost and with fire:

John 1:33 he which baptizeth with [1722] the Holy Ghost.

Acts 1:5 but ye shall be baptized with [1722] the Holy Ghost not many days hence.

Acts 11:16 but ye shall be baptized with [1722] the Holy Ghost.

1 Corinthians 12:13 For by [1722] one Spirit are we all baptized [907] into one body...

The only difference between the phrasing in these 6 passages and the phrasing in 1 Corinthians 12 is that 1 Corinthians 12 does not include the word "Holy" in front of the word "Spirit" (in both the English and the Greek.) But given that there is no debate that it is the same Holy Spirit in all 7 cases, there can be no doubt that 1 Corinthians 12 is telling us that "with one Holy Spirit are we all baptized into one body." This proves in absolute terms that it is by baptism with the Holy Spirit (which John, Jesus, and Peter all spoke of) that we are baptized into the body of Christ.

And, this same phrase also occurs in 1 Corinthians 6:11 where it says that we are "washed in [1722] the Spirit." Consequently, this further proves our theory concerning the two New Testament uses of this Greek word "washed" and which baptism Paul received. He received the baptism with the Holy Spirit, not with water.

In 1 Corinthians 12, we finally find the clear indication we have been looking for. Verse 13 clearly states that we are baptized into one body by the Holy Spirit. Baptism in the Holy Spirit is how we become members of Christ's body. And this also solves our remaining questions from Romans 6 and Colossians 2. Both of those verses said that it is by baptism that we are buried with Christ. But neither of those verses told us which form of baptism they meant.

Here in 1 Corinthians we see that we become members of Christ's body by baptism with the Holy Spirit, the very same form of baptism associated with Christ by John the Baptist, Jesus, and Peter in Matthew 3:11, Mark 1:8, Luke 3:16, John, 1:33, Act 1:5, and Acts 11: 16. So, it seems logically inescapable to conclude that if we are united to the body of Christ, which is the Church, through baptism in the Holy Spirit, it is likely that by baptism in the Holy Spirit we are also buried with his literal body in the tomb. On its own, this is not definitive evidence, but it does seem to makes sense.

The real proof is the parallel between 1 Corinthians 12 and our proof text of Ephesians 4. In Ephesians 4, we found in verse 5 that only "one baptism" ranks among the important truths of Christianity, not two baptisms.

Ephesians 4:3 Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. 4 There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; 5 One Lord, one faith, one baptism, 6 One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.

Remember that Paul wrote both of these passages and notice the similarities between Ephesians 4 and 1 Corinthians 12.

1 Corinthians 12:13 For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.

Both passages have three things in common. They both use the phrase "one Spirit." They both use the phrase "one body." And they both mention baptism. Ephesians says there is one baptism, but which one? 1 Corinthians 12 answers using the same terms found in Ephesians 4, telling us that it is by baptism in the "one Spirit" that become members of the "one body" of Christ.

In Ephesians, the mention of "one Spirit" and "one body" are coupled with the statement that there is "one baptism." And so we asked the question, which baptism, water or the Holy Spirit? 1 Corinthians 12 answers that question for us unequivocally when it says "by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body." 1 Corinthians 12 tells us that it is by baptism in the one Holy Spirit that we enter the one body. Clearly, Paul, who wrote both Ephesians 4 and 1 Corinthians 12, had the same "one baptism" in mind in both cases. That baptism was baptism in the Holy Spirit as 1 Corinthians 12 clearly spells out.

And when we apply this theory to 1 Peter 3:21, we ask a similar question. Peter states that "baptism doth also now save us." By doing so, he unequivocally equates baptism with the salvation experience. But again, which one? Can there be any doubt that the baptism by which we enter the one body of Christ is the baptism that now saves us? No. Since it is by the Holy Spirit that we are baptized into the body of Christ, we must assume that baptism in the Holy Spirit is that baptism that saves us.

And so when we go back and read 1 Peter 3:20-21 we find that Peter's clarification makes perfect sense. When he writes "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 toward God,)" he is stating that it is not an outward washing that he has in mind, but the same washing spoken of by Paul in 1 Corinthians 6:11. In 1 Corinthians 6:11, Paul writes "but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God." The Greek word translated as "by" in the phrase "by the Spirit" is the same Greek word translated as "in" in the phrase "in the name of the Lord Jesus." So in the Greek this verse reads "ye are washed...in the name of the Lord Jesus, and in the Spirit of our God."

It is the washing in God's Spirit that Peter and Paul both had in mind. Not an external baptism, but an internal baptism, just as Colossians 2:12 and Romans 2:28-29 tell us that it is not external circumcision which God desires, but spiritual circumcision not done with human hands. And this is perfectly consistent with Hebrews 9:9-10, which tells us that it is not by external washings that the CONSCIENCE is perfected. And, as we have shown, the Jews of Jesus' day considered water baptism to be part of the category of Old Testament purification rituals.

There is one other occurrence of the term "baptized" in the New Testament. This will conclude our list of 18 occurrences of baptism derivatives after the book of Acts. Our last verse is Galatians 3.

Galatians 3:26 For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. 27 For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ. 28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.

Like many of our other verses, Galatians 3 does not indicate which form of baptism is meant in that text. Nor does it indicate which form of baptism was essential to salvation. It only indicates that through one form of baptism we are baptized into Christ and we put on Christ. This is similar to our summation of Romans 6 and Colossians 2.

Since 1 Corinthians 12 tells us that we are baptized with one Spirit into the one body of Christ, it would seem very logical to assume it is by that same baptism in the Holy Spirit that we are baptized into Christ and put on Christ. It does not seem logical to think that we enter the one body of Christ by one form of baptism (baptism in the Holy Spirit - 1 Corinthians 12:13) and are baptized into Christ and into his burial by another form of baptism (water baptism.) Rather, since Ephesians 4 testifies to "one baptism" it seems simple and logical that the same baptism would accomplish both of these tasks.

So, here we are at the end of our New Testament survey of the term "baptism" after the book of Acts. What have we found? We have found that the vast majority of verses mentioning baptism from Romans to Revelation do not indicate in the immediate context which baptism they are speaking of. We have also found that 1 Corinthians 12 tells us quite clearly that it is by baptism of the Holy Spirit that we are baptized into the body of Christ. This, in turn, unequivocally tells us which form of baptism was essential to our salvation and which baptism Paul was referring to when he wrote Ephesians 4:4-6. The baptism necessary for salvation is the one baptism by which we enter the body of Christ, baptism in the Holy Spirit. Therefore, the other baptism, which was not necessary for salvation is the same one that Paul did not consider essential to his preaching of the Gospel in 1 Corinthians 1.