Types of Baptisms

There are there types of baptism practiced widely in the Bible, both in the Old and New Testaments. They are Baptism into the body of Christ, Baptism in water and Baptism in the Spirit. 1 Corinthians 10:2; And each one of them [allowed himself also] to be baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea [they were thus brought under obligation to the Law, to Moses, and to the covenant, consecrated and set apart to the service of God]; (AMP). Old Testament (the law) practices are pictures of good things to come -the New Testament says Hebrews 10:1. Our understanding of baptisms in the light of God’s intention and believers’ application becomes clearer when we can grasp a thorough knowledge of their roots as Paul illustrated in 1 Corinthians 1-4.

Like Jesus, Moses was a type of savior who delivered the Israelites from slavery and oppression in Egypt. In order of sequence, the first is the baptism into Moses, a representation of Jesus in the Old Testament. The cloud symbolizes the Spirit of God. 1 Corinthians 10:1 says that the Israelites were led by the cloud. Those who are led by the Spirit are the children of God (Romans 8:14). The second baptism in that text is Baptism in the Spirit. John the Baptist said “I baptize you with water, but He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.” (Mark 1:8). However the most practiced of the three before Christianity is the Baptism in water. The scripture we are expounding said they were also baptized in the sea. Water Baptism is the third type and was made popular in the New Testament by John the Baptist.

Baptism Table

Into the body of ChristSalvationHoly Spirit1 Cor 12:13, Roms 6:3-7, Acts 19:1-7, 1 Peter 3:21, Gal 3:26-28
In the Holy SpiritReceiving the Holy SpiritJesusMk 1:8, Acts 19:1-7, John 1:33, Lk 3:16
In WaterWater BaptismHumanActs 8:36-38, Acts 10:44-48, Acts 16:33


What is Baptism?

Baptize is from the Greek word Baptizo, which means to immerse, to dip, to plunge, to submerge, to make whelmed (fully wet). It connotes the ideas of dipping something into a fluid and pulling it out again. Baptisma (GK) the noun of baptizo implies immersion, submersion or washing.

Water Baptism


The current application of baptisms in the New testament Church finds it’s symbolism in the early time process of salvation of Israelites by God through Moses. 1 Corinthians 10:2; And each one of them [allowed himself also] to be baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea [they were thus brought under obligation to the Law, to Moses, and to the covenant, consecrated and set apart to the service of God]. We know that the events of the Old Testaments are pictures of the good things that are happening in the New Testament, (Hebrews 10:1).  Jesus did not abolish the laws (Old Testament), rather He completed and perfected the Old Testament (Matthew 5:17). The early time process of deliverance revealed three types of baptisms; Baptism into Christ, Baptism in the Spirit and Baptism in water.

Origin of Water Baptism

As a process of sanctification and purity, the Law of Moses required body cleansing before appearing in the presence of God. This was mandatory for the Priests and the Levites. Leviticus 16:23-25; Aaron the Priest was required to wash his body water. The ritual use of water included the washing of people who have become unclean due to infectious disease (2 Kings 5:10-13, Numbers 19:1-22).

In the course of time a form of water baptism was used for admission and confirmation of non-Jews into Judaism (Jewish religion). This baptism is always the last in the three-fold admission ritual that includes circumcision and animal sacrifice. The various practices of water baptism in the Old Testament are different from Water Baptism in the New Testament by application and implication.

What is Water Baptism?

Baptize is from the Greek word Baptizo, which means to immerse, to dip, to plunge, to submerge, to make whelmed (fully wet). It connotes the ideas of dipping something into a fluid and pulling it out again. Baptisma (GK) the noun of baptizo implies immersion, submersion or washing.

The New Testament Water Baptism is therefore the dipping of a person inside water and pulling out the person. The person would be immersed in and submerged by water to make sure they are fully wet. This is the Water Baptism ordinance;

  • Instituted by God, the Father (John 1:6, 33)
  • Commanded by Jesus, the Son (matt 28:19)
  • Attested by the Holy Spirit (Matt 3:16)
  • Instructed by the Apostles (Acts 2:38, 10:48)
  • Practiced by the Early Church (Acts 2:41; 8:12; 9:18)

Water Baptism: What it is NOT

Water baptism is NOT salvation. It will not take anyone to heaven and it will not stop anyone from going to hell. It is not a guarantee for salvation. There are testimonies of people who received Christ into their hearts at their dying moment and never had a chance to be baptized in water, e.g. the thief on the cross with Jesus, (Luke 24:39-43).

God did NOT ordain it as a ritual for admission, adoption or confirmation of anyone into the Church. And in terms of proper parlance, what is in focus is NOT Baptism of Water. There is no such thing as baptism of water because water cannot baptize a person, but a person can baptize another person in water. So in the right use of language it is Baptism in Water or Water Baptism.

Purpose and Benefits of Water Baptism

  1. It is an outward expression of Believer’s identification with the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ, (Colossians 2:11-13). Our salvation was obtained through a substitutionary sacrifice. Christ took our place and died on the cross to pay the penalty of high treason on our behalves. Water baptism is a physical expression of our identification with the process of death, burial and resurrection which happened spiritually when we received salvation. When a person surrenders himself/herself to the baptizer that typifies death, when the person is dipped in and covered by water that symbolizes burial, a dead and buried person cannot breathe so is someone under water. And the pulling out of the person from under water represents resurrection.
  2. It is a demonstration of our commitment to live out the meaning of salvation; a life of no sin (Colossians 2:13-14), a life of good conscience to God (1 Peter 3:21) and a life of victory over Satan and its angels (Colossians 2:15). It is a physical display of our faith in the salvation that we received, (2 Corinthians 5:17).
  3. To fulfill all righteousness (Matthew 3:15). English dictionary defined righteousness as the quality of being morally right or justifiable. By application righteousness is ‘right standing’. The Law of Moses required Priests to be washed before going into God’s presence, so Jesus the High Priest who came not abolish the law but to fulfill the law complied with requirement of the office of a Priest. 1 Peter 2:5, 9 confirmed that we are Holy Priests and Royal Priests, Revelation 5:10 says we are Kings and Priests. Water Baptism is a demonstration of our fulfilling all righteousness.

Who can be baptized?

First, let us consider some examples of water baptism in the bible; Baptism of Jesus (Mark 1:8-10), Baptism of the Ethiopian Eunuch (Acts 8:36-38), Baptism of Cornelius (Acts 10:44-48) and the Baptism of the Jailor (Acts 16:30-33).

Anyone who meets the requirement, which is salvation, can be baptized. In all of the cases above the only pre-requisite as emphasized with the case of the Ethiopian Eunuch is that water baptism cannot precede salvation, to be meaningful and fulfill its purpose it is an event that must only take place after salvation.

What is the Mode of Water Baptism?

As evident by the examples, the New Testament baptism in water is NOT sprinkling of water; it is by immersion in water. The person must be dipped in and pulled out of water in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.

Should an Infant be baptized?

There is only one condition for water baptism, which is being born-again. Infant do not have the faith to be born again and are not required to be until they attained the age of accountability. Baptizing infants in water is therefore a wasted activity that has not significance.

When can water baptism be done?

It may be done any time after salvation. Bible did not specify any time range or limit. Remember, it cannot be before salvation. The baptism of a sinner in water is only an action of someone going into water as a dry sinner and coming out as a wet sinner. Water Baptism is not salvation and it does not take anyone to heaven, what does is salvation.

Who is the Baptizer? (Agent of Water Baptism)

A person, either a female or male who is a follower of Jesus Christ!


Baptism in the Holy Spirit


The subjects of Salvation (Baptism into Christ) and Water Baptism are clear enough to many people, and are not shrouded with lots controversy and resistance like the Baptism in the Holy Spirit. The understanding of this baptism becomes a lot easier when the Holy Spirit is known.

Who is the Holy Spirit?

Starting with who the Holy Spirit is not will enable an effective transitioning to the right identity. The Holy Spirit is not a concept, not a thing or “it”, not a shadow, not oil, and not a fleece. The Holy Spirit is a person. He is co-equal, co-eternal and a co-creator with God. He is the third person in the Godhead. He is God. 2 Corinthians 3:17 says “For the Lord is the Spirit, and wherever the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.” He is a part of Trinity; God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit.

The Attributes of His personality by Function

The Counselor – John 14:26; 15:26

The Comforter – John 14:16,26

The Helper – John 14:26

The Standby – John 15:26

The strengthener – Acts 9:31

The Teacher – John 14:26

The Intercessor – Rom 8:26

The Author of the Bible – 2 Peter 1:20-21

John 14:26 (AMP)

But the Comforter (Counselor, Helper, Intercessor, Advocate, Strengthener, Standby), the Holy Spirit, Whom the Father will send in My name [in My place, to represent Me and act on My behalf], He will teach you all things. And He will cause you to recall (will remind you of, bring to your remembrance) everything I have told you.

The word translated Comforter in John 14:26 is the Greek word Parakletos that is used as Comforter, Counselor, Helper, Intercessor, Advocate, Strengthener, Standby.

Stand·by (The Free Dictionary) means;

1. One that can always be relied on, as in an emergency.

2. A favorite or frequent choice.

3. One kept in readiness to serve as a substitute.

The Attributes of His personality by Productivity

He is the impersonal, exerted energy of God. He is the power house of God that produces. (Jesus said you shall receive power after the Holy Ghost has come upon you). God’s production model consists of three factors of production; The Manufacturer, The Machinery, The Raw Material.

In the beginning, God created the heaven and the earth and the earth was without form and void, and darkness was upon the face of the deep and the Spirit of God hovers upon the face of the waters. Then God said…

If you have worked in manufacturing, you know that your machine must be up and running first before you pour in your raw materials. The Holy Spirit is the machine that converts the raw material into the finished product. The Word is the raw material. This is the concept that produced you and me. This is how we were born-again, and this is how Jesus was conceived. After she heard the Word of God, Mary received and believed the Word by her confession of faith. She said let it be to your handmaiden according to your word and immediately the Spirit of God covered her to convert the Spoken Word into Jesus (The Word that become flesh and lived amongst us).

The Attributes of His personality by Ministry

Conviction – John 16:7-11

Leads and guides to all truth – John 16:13

Testifies of Jesus – John 15:26-27

The Physical Composition

As God like God the Father, the Holy Spirit has body Soul and Spirit.


There are many symbols in the Bible referencing the Holy Spirit. These symbols are mere representation of His manifestation they are not His body. The symbols include;

Dove (Matt 3:16, Luke 3:22). Like a dove He is gentle and peaceful, and He would like to rest on you.

Rain (Joel 2:23-29, Acts 2:17). Rain brings refreshing to dryness and barrenness. It also brings restoration (Isaiah 28:11-12)

Oil (Psalm 133:2, 1 Samuel 16:13; So Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him in the presence of his brothers, and from that day on the Spirit of the Lord came powerfully upon David. Samuel then went to Ramah. – NLT, James 5:14). It confers the anointing of the Holy Spirit, which empowers a person for a specific purpose, breaks yokes and removes burdens.

Rivers (John 7:37-39). In addition to manifesting as rain which is for your personal benefits, He makes you a channel that flows and overflows His life, fullness and love to other people.

Fire (Acts 2:3, Luke 3:16). The heat of His fire is for purification to make us holy. This is a refining process that advances the quality of Godliness in us. God said be you holy for I am Holy. His fire also provides flame that enables you shine the light so that the world may see your good work and glorify your Father who is in heaven.

Wind (John 3:8, Acts 2:3). Wind blows away dirt, filth, and provides fresh breath. But more importantly it is the power of the wind of the Holy Spirit the leads us in the direction He wants us to follow. “The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear its sound, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.” John 3:8, and Romans 8:14

Wine. He manifests the spirit of joy and rejoicing. A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones (Proverb 17:22).

Bodily, like God the Father, He is omnipresent (Psalm 139:7-8, Joel 2:28). Because He is present everywhere He does not reside in us bodily but by his unction or anointing.


The soul consists of the Mind, Will and Emotion.

Mind: Romans 8:27 refers to the mind of the Spirit. The mind is for reasoning, thinking for making judgment, He makes judgments/decision (Acts 15:28). Our intellect is in the mind and so is it with Him. The Holy Spirit knows all things and can teach because He is omniscient (1 Corinthians 12:10, John 14:26).

Will: The Holy Spirit makes choices and gives gifts as He wills, (1 Corinthians 12:11).

Emotion: The Holy Spirit groans (Roman 8:26). He can be grieved (Ephesians 4:30).


He lives in us by His Spirit not by His body. “But you have an anointing from the Holy One, and all of you know the truth” (1 John 2:20 NIV). “But you are not like that, for the Holy One has given you his Spirit, and all of you know the truth” (1 John 2:20 NLT). It is His Spirit that is the dynamic power. He is omnipotent (Job 33:4, Psalm 104:27-30, Matthew 12:28, Romans 15:18-19)

Conclusion: The Holy Spirit is a person. He can speak (Acts 8:2911:1213:2), you can speak to Him, listen to Him, sin against Him (Matt 12:32), lie to Him (Acts 5:3-4). He is NOT a man; He is God who is all-knowing, all-powerful and present everywhere.

The Advent of the Holy Spirit

The Holy Spirit is eternal (Hebrews 9:14), and has always been with God the Father. As long as there is God the Father there is the Holy Spirit, however, His full time earthly ministry did not start until the public baptism of Jesus at river Jordan (John 1:33, Matt 3:16-17). In Jesus Christ all the fullness of Godhead lives in body form, (Colossians 2:9). To the believers in Christ, the advent of the Holy Spirit was generally accepted to be on the day of Pentecost (Acts 2:1-4).

What is Baptism in the Holy Spirit?

Going back to our definition of Baptism, baptize is from the Greek word Baptizo, which means to immerse, to dip, to plunge, to submerge, to make whelmed (fully wet). It connotes the ideas of dipping something into a fluid and pulling it out again. Baptisma (GK) the noun of baptizo implies immersion, or submersion.

Baptism in the Holy Spirit means to be filled and fully covered by the Holy Spirit.

The difference between the Indwelling of the Holy Spirit and Baptism in the Holy Spirit

Those who are led by the Spirit are the sons of God.  There is a whole world of difference between the Spirit coming inside a believer (receiving the Spirit) and the Spirit coming upon a believer (baptized with the Spirit). The former happens at salvation when the Spirit of God comes to live inside with the spirit of man.  This action confers on us the liberty to follow the leading of the Holy Spirit, but when the Spirit comes upon a believer like on the day of Pentecost and like in Jesus’ case at baptism (Mark 1:10-12), the Spirit compels, impels, and drives the believer to actions.  The Spirit becomes the Driver. Jesus was driven to the wilderness, Peter was driven to preach to thousands, and all the people in the upper room were driven to speak in other tongues.  Speaking in tongues is the first evidence that Spirit has taken over and He impels those on whom He has descended upon to great actions.

Genesis 2:7, John 20:21-22, Ezekiel 37:5-15, Luke 24:49, Acts 1:8, Acts 2:4, Mark 1:10-12

God breathed on man, Ezekiel breathed on dry bones, Jesus breathed on the disciples and they all received the life of God to live by the leading of the Spirit of God. Giving you a cup of water to drink can revive you like it did Ishmael, but the experience of pouring water on you after drinking a cup, when you are dehydrated and dying of no food and water, is completely different.

The scriptural evidence of Baptism in The Holy Spirit

Acts 2:4; Speaking in tongues is the evidence of Baptism in the Holy Spirit. Mark 16:17; Speaking in tongues is a sign that every believer in Jesus should have.

Isaiah 28:11; God promised speaking with stammering lips and another tongue. This is the language of the spirit that people may not understand and devil does not understand, but God does.

We must come to terms with the truth that the Man created by God is a spirit who has a soul and lives in a body. Man is a spirit period! Man, the spirit is the real man and must be in relationship with the Spirit of God to fulfill the purpose of his creation. (Psalm 8:1-6).

Speaking in Tongues (in the Spirit)

If man is a spirit then he needs to speak his language, known as tongues or speaking in the Spirit. Speaking in tongues does not only edify the Spirit, but leads the mind to pray the perfect WILL of God.

(1 Corinthians 2:11, 1 Corinthians 14: 2, 14-15, 18, Prov. 20:27)

Who can be baptized with the Holy Spirit?

Everyone who believes in Jesus (Mark 16:17). This baptism does not precede rebirth, it only follows the born again experience. (Acts 2:37-39, Acts 8:14-15)


Jesus experienced it (Matthew 3:16-17, Mark 1:10-12)

Jesus commanded it (Luke 24:49, Acts 1:8)

The Disciples and Followers were baptized (Acts 1:13-14, Acts 2:1-4)

Devout People were baptized (Acts 2:5, 38-39)

All Believers were baptized (Acts 8:14-17)

Paul was baptized (Acts 9:17-18)

Purpose and Benefits

He is the Agent for our rebirth and regeneration (John 3:5-8; Titus 3:5).

He reveals Christ to us (John 16:14-15).

He leads us (Rom. 8:14; Gal. 5:18; Matt. 4:1; Luke 4:1).

He sanctifies us (2 Thess. 2:13; 1 Pet. 1:2; Rom. 5:16).

He empowers us (Luke 4:14; 24:49; Rom. 15:19; Acts 1:8).

He fills us with blessings from heaven (Eph. 5:18; Acts 2:4; 4:8, 31; 9:17).

He helps us to pray the perfect will of God (Rom. 8:26-27; Jude 1:20).

He bears witness in us that we are children of God (Rom. 8:16).

He produces spiritual fruits in us (Gal. 5:22-23).

He builds us up when we pray in the Spirit (Jude 1:20, 1 Corinthians 14:2-4)

He distributes different spiritual gifts to us as He wills (1 Cor. 12:4, 8-10; Heb. 2:4).

He anoints and enables us to fulfill our call and ministry (Luke 4:18; Acts 10:38)

He reveals the deep things of God to us (1 Corinthians. 2:10)

He transforms us into the image of Christ (2 Corinthians. 3:18).

How to Receive the Holy Spirit Baptism

Heaven’s direct impartation;

This is a direct release of the Holy Spirit to baptize without the involvement of any human. Jesus was the first to experience this type of Holy Spirit baptism and then the followers of Jesus who were in the upper room on the day of Pentecost. (Matthew 3:16-17, Acts 2:1-4).

Heaven’s indirect impartation;

  1. Laying of hands: There are many examples where through prayers and laying of hands of another Christian the baptism in the Holy Spirit is received. This is the still the most common method. (Acts 8:14-17, Acts 9:17, Acts 19: 1-7)
  2. Through the prayer or preaching of God’s Word by a Christian, others who believe may receive the baptism in the Holy Spirit. (Acts 10:44-46)
  3. Through the direct prayer of a believer herself or himself.

Who is the Baptizer?

Jesus Christ is the One that baptizes with the Holy Spirit and fire (Luke 3:16).