Which Baptism is the Ground for your Growth in Christ- Water Baptism or Spirit Baptism?

Which Baptism is the Ground for your Growth in Christ-
Water Baptism or Spirit Baptism?


There is so much confusion over the doctrine of baptism. There are whole denominations that teach that you must be baptized in water in order to be saved. Satan has blinded the minds of millions of people concerning the Biblical doctrine of baptism. Even believers in Christ that do not believe in baptismal regeneration think that water baptism is found in Romans chapter 6. This has caused much confusion in the body of Christ. The purpose of Satan to confound believers on the correct Scriptural interpretation concerning baptism in Romans 6 is to misdirect believers minds away from the work of the Holy Spirit alone with reference to being the only Person that could identify us with the death, burial and resurrection of Christ so that we have been permanently separated from the power of our sinful natures and have been permanently united with Christ in His resurrected life through Spirit baptism.

Purpose: To demonstrate from Scripture alone that the word baptism in Romans 6 does not refer to water baptism and to give a brief overview of the 7 baptisms found in Scripture.

  1. 5 Reasons why the baptism found in Romans 6 cannot possibly be a reference to water baptism.
    1. The Greek pronoun “we” is a classification pronoun referring to all believers.

"Such ones as we" = "hoitines", relative pronoun of characterization which has in view all believers with an emphatic force because of it’s primary position at the beginning of the phrase. [William R. Newell states, "ROMANS VERSE ~ BY ~ VERSE" Kregel Classics, Grand Rapids, Mi, 1994, p. 201]:

”’Here we have… "such ones as we" (hoitines). This is more than a relative pronoun: it is a pronoun of characterization, ‘placing those referred to in a class’ (Lightfoot). Paul thus has before his mind all Christians, and he places this pronoun at the very beginning: ‘such ones as we!’ ”’      

Rom 6:1  What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound?

Rom 6:2  Certainly not! How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it?

Rom 6:3  Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death?

Rom 6:4  Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so wealso should walk in newness of life.

    1. Water baptism does not place us in Christ only the Holy Spirit does that and He is the only One that has the power to do that.

1Co 12:13  For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free—and have all been made to drink into one Spirit.

Gal 3:27  For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ.Eph 1:13  In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise,

Joh 7:37  On the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, "If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink.

Joh 7:38 He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water."

Joh 7:39  But this He spoke concerning the Spirit, whom those believing in Him would receive; for the Holy Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.

Act 10:43  To Him all the prophets witness that, through His name, whoever believes in Him will receive remission of sins."

Act 10:44  While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit fell upon all those who heard the word.

Act 10:45  And those of the circumcision who believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out on the Gentiles also.

Act 10:46  For they heard them speak with tongues and magnify God. Then Peter answered,

Act 10:47  "Can anyone forbid water, that these should not be baptized who have received the Holy Spirit just as we have?"

c. The aorist tense of the Greek word baptize speaks of a past, completed, permanent act and the only thing this can refer to is the past act of the Holy Spirit placing you permanently into Christ when you believed. Moreover, the indicative mood refers to the reality of this permanent work of the Holy Spirit alone. In addition, the passive voice speaks of the believer in Christ by the sovereign grace of the Holy Spirit doing all of the work of placing the believer in Christ and the believer passively receiving the sovereign work of the Holy Spirit

βαπτίζω baptizō

Tense: Aorist  Past completed action- permanent.
Voice: Passive. The subject receives the action from the verb.
Mood: Indicative  The mood of reality. This is a permanent, eternal reality.

                 d. Water baptism cannot permanently remove(separation) the power of our sinful natures over us ,however, that is what the text says that this baptism accomplishes in and of itself. Only Holy Spirit baptism can accomplish this. Rom 6:4  Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.

Rom 6:11  Likewise you also, reckon yourselves to be dead indeed to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

                e. Water baptism cannot make us new creatures in Christ where there are no personal distinctions.

Gal 3:25  But after faith has come, we are no longer under a tutor. Gal 3:26  For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus.

Gal 3:27  For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ.

Gal 3:28  There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.

Clearing up the Confusion on Biblical Baptism

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

http://www.timothyministry.com/2010/02/parallels-between-galatians-and-romans.html   Eli Brayley
These two verses, Galatians 3:27 and Romans 6:4, say the same thing: that we are baptized into Christ (union with Him in His death and resurrection). The mistaken assumption is that this refers to water baptism, which it does not say.
In the ancient world the word baptism never automatically referred to water baptism like it tends to today. It had a wide variety of usages. Strictly defined, it means to dip, to immerse, or to be overwhelmed in, and it was commonly used to refer to dipping cloth in dye. Jesus used the word baptism to refer to Himself being immersed in His passion: “But I have a baptism to be baptized with; and how am I straitened till it be accomplished!” (Luke 12:50). This is clearly not referring to water. John spoke of Jesus baptizing believers in the Holy Spirit and fire (Matt. 3:11). Again, this is clearly not water. So we cannot immediately assume a reference to baptism is referring to water baptism whenever mentioned in Scripture. Thus, here in Romans and Galatians, more inquiry is needed. Water is not mentioned, nor is such an inference necessary. The word here plainly refers to the believer being united with Christ by faith, or brought into Christ through faith (see the Greek on John 3:16 for example). Paul is speaking of that spiritual baptism into the body of Christ, not water.
“For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been made to drink into one Spirit.” (1 Cor. 12:13)
It is clearly taught in both Romans and Galatians that we are justified by faith apart from any work or ritual (for if one work is required, all work is required). Faith is not a work, nor is it like work, because faith is a rest (non-work), a resting, or trusting, in the work of another: Jesus Christ. Any interpretation is therefore false that interferes with this clear teaching. When an interpretation seems unclear and seems that it could go two ways, we can know the correct way to go by the clear teachings of Scripture elsewhere.

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

The word "baptize" (from the Greek baptidzo) means "to identify" or "to be made one with". In early Greek, the word had both religious and secular meanings. In general, it refers to the act of identifying one thing with another thing in such a way that its nature or character is changed, or it represents the idea that a real change has already taken place.
As a reference to identification, "baptize" means to place a person (or thing) into a new environment, or into union with some one or something else, so as to alter his (its) condition or relationship to the previous environment.
There are seven types of baptism mentioned in the Bible. Four of these are real baptisms and three are ritual baptisms.
4 Real Baptisms

A baptism is called "real" if it involves actually identifying a person with something or someone.
The Baptism of Moses

The baptism of Moses was a double identification, the children of Israel are identified both with Moses and with the cloud (Jesus Christ) as they passed through the Red Sea. There was no water involved (remember, they went through the sea on dry land when the waters were parted). 1 Cor. 10:1,2.
The Baptism of the Cross (or Cup)

Jesus Christ "drank" the Cup filled with our sins. Another way of expressing it is that all the sins of the world (i.e. God’s elect) were put into one cup and poured out on Christ while He was on the Cross. God the Father judged our sins while they were on Christ. Christ was identified with our sin and He bore our sins on the cross. He was made sin for us. 2 Cor. 5:21; 1 Pet. 2:24.
In Matt. 20:22 Jesus speaks of the cup he is to drink as he makes a reply to the mother of Zebedee’s children. In Matt. 26:39, He prays to the Father to "let this cup pass from me". Nevertheless, He determined to drink from the cup, as seen in John 18:11, "the cup which my Father has given me, shall I not drink from it?"
The Baptism of the Holy Spirit

The Baptism of the Holy Spirit is a real baptism. When a person accepts Christ as Saviour, he is placed into the body of Christ. He is identified as a believer. The mechanics are given in 1 Cor. 12:13.
The baptism of the Holy Spirit did not occur in Old Testament times. The first occurrence was on the day of Pentecost when the Holy Spirit placed the new believers into the body of Christ.
The baptism of the Holy Spirit is the basis for Positional Truth. Believers are place "in Christ", and in this position have access to many kinds of privileges and blessings. Ephesians 1 has a good description of what it means to have "all blessings in heavenly places in Him."
The baptism of the Holy Spirit was prophesied by John the Baptist, Matt. 3:11; Mark 1:8; Luke 3:16. And it was prophesied by Jesus Christ, John 14:16,17; Acts 1:5.
The implications of the baptism of the Holy Spirit, for all believers in the family of God, are given in Gal. 3:26-28.
The principle of retroactive identification with Christ is brought out in Rom. 6:3,4 and Col. 2:12.
The baptism of the Holy Spirit is not an experience. It is notaccompanied by speaking in tongues or any other kind of feeling or behavior. The things that happen to believers at the moment of salvation are accomplished by the Holy Spirit, not by us, and these things are not experiences.
– The Baptism of Fire

There is a judgment coming at the 2nd Coming of Christ when all nonbelievers are taken from the earth. They will join the rest of the unbelievers in Torments (Sheol-Hades-Hell) to wait for the Last Judgment (The Great White Throne Judgment of Rev. 20) at the end of the Millenium. This removal of unbelievers for judgment is the baptism of fire.
Fire is a symbol for judgment all throughout the Bible. Examples are the fire which burned the sacrifice on the Hebrew altar, and the fire from God which burned the watered down sacrifices of Elijah and the prophets of Baal.
The doctrine of the baptism of fire is stated in Matt. 3:11,12; Luke 3:16,17; and 2 Thess. 1:7-9.
The Lord Jesus taught several parables regarding the end times when believers and unbelievers will be separated. The believers are to go into the millenium, the unbelievers are "cast off" into fire. These parables are analogies to the baptism of fire.
Wheat and tares – Matt. 13:24-30, 36-43.
Good and bad fish – Matt. 13:47-50.
The wise and foolish virgins – Matt. 25:1-13
The sheep and the goats – Matt. 25:31-46
3 Ritual Baptisms

A baptism is called a ritual baptism, or a ceremonial baptism, when water is used as a symbol for something else. It is a representative identification. The individual is placed in the water, which means, symbolically, that he is identified with that which the water represents.
The Baptism of John Matt. 3:6-11.
Here the water is symbolic of the Kingdom of God which John was preaching. When a person was baptized by John, he was testifying to his faith in the Messiah and his identification with Christ’s kingdom. The new believer was "identified" with the water, but the water represented a spiritual identification.
– The Baptism of Jesus Matt. 3:13-17

When Jesus was baptized in the Jordan by John the Baptist, the water was symbolic of God’s will in salvation, namely that Jesus would go to the Cross.
– The Baptism of the Christian Believer Matt. 28:19

In believer’s baptism the water represented the Lord Jesus Christ and symbolizes positional truth. The real baptism of the Holy Spirit places a believer into Christ. Water baptism is a ceremonial representation of that face, a picture of Spirit baptism.
Christians have a real identification with Christ in his death, burial, and resurrection. See Romans 6. Water baptism issymbolic identification with the person and work of Christ.   Martin Lloyd Jones strongly advocates that this is spiritual baptism. He says;

"Indeed I go further and suggest that to argue that the Apostle as water baptism in his mind in any shape or form here is to give a prominence to baptism that the Apostle Paul never gives to it. . . .The conclusion therefore at which I arrive is that baptism by water is not in the mind of the Apostle at all in these two verses; instead it is the baptism wrought by the Spirit. It is the plain, explicit teaching of I Corinthians 12:13, and indeed in the whole of the chapter, as it is in other places where the Apostle treats of this particular aspect of truth. And I argue further that the use of this term ‘planted together’, in verse 5, supports what I am saying. All are agreed that the idea of planting has nothing to do with baptism at all; it is rather the idea of grafting a shoot into a tree. ‘Planted together’ – in unity, identification – that is the meaning of the term. Paul is not using the figure of baptism in any shape or form there, but is still emphasizing this unity. That also is the work of the Spirit.13

13 An Exposition of the Epistle of Romans, Ian R. K. Paisley, Marshall, Morgan & Scott, London, 1968, p87.

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One Response to “Which Baptism is the Ground for your Growth in Christ- Water Baptism or Spirit Baptism?”

  1. Ian Ridgway says:

    Dear Eli,

    Thank you for this article. I have gradually come to a similar view on the above matter after reading again Lloyd-Jones’ exposition of Romans 6 only yesterday! Just a few niggling points you might like to note: the above quote you give is from Lloyd-Jones, I think,and not from Ian Paisley (although Paisley’s views are similar if not identical with those of Lloyd-Jones). I don’t have Paisley’s book so maybe he quotes L-J’s and that’s what you’re doing above. If that is the case, a standard way exists to show that this is the case.

    Secondly, on at least two occasions on the site you use ‘it’s’ when it should be ‘its’. For example, see above when you are talking about “Such ones as we”,

    “Such ones as we” = “hoitines”, relative pronoun of characterization which has in view all believers with an emphatic force because of it’s primary position at the beginning of the phrase. [William R. Newell states, “ROMANS VERSE ~ BY ~ VERSE” Kregel Classics, Grand Rapids, Mi, 1994, p. 201]:

    The ‘it’s’ in this passage should be ‘its’.

    Thank you for your website which I’ve just found and if you find any errors in mine please let me know!!

    In Christ the Lord,


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