Baptism Into Jesus IS For Today

So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith, for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. Gal. 3:26-27 (We are not children of God through water baptism, but through faith. The structure of the sentence reads as saying the same thing multiple times, but in different ways. Being “clothed with Christ” is the same and equal to being “baptized into Christ,” which is also the same and equal to being “children of God through faith.” Therefore, we are baptized into Christ by faith, not by water.)

What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? By no means! We are those who have died to sin; how can we live in it any longer? Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life. Rom. 6:1-4 (It doesn’t say “us who were baptized into water,” but the true spiritual baptism “into” ChristThis verse equates dying to sin with being baptized into Christ. We do not die to sin by being immersed in water. That is what being immersed in water depicts, but it is repentance and the belief in Jesus that brings faith that makes us die to sin and baptizes us into Christ. Being baptized into Christ means we are immersed into Christ, immersed into the gospel and the teachings of Jesus.)

There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope when you were called; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; Eph. 4:4-5 (There is only one baptismThere is not one from Jesus, one from John, one from the Holy Spirit. No, there is only one true baptism, and it isn’t water baptism. It is the baptism into Jesus by the Holy Spirit that comes from faith that comes from belief in the gospel.)

For we were all baptized by one Spirit so as to form one body—whether Jews or Gentiles, slave or free—and we were all given the one Spirit to drink. 1 Cor. 12:13 (One baptism into one Spirit TO DRINK. We drink the living water of Christ when we are immersed into him. Literal water immersion does not accomplish this.)

Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Matt. 28:19-20 (Teaching people about Jesus and making disciples is the same thing as baptizing them into Jesus. These are not different things, but all the same thing. We don’t baptize people by immersing them in water, but by immersing them in Jesus. That’s the great commission.)

Pentecost Baptism

The spiritual baptism into Jesus is what saves us and makes us born again. It’s the same as being baptized into Jesus’s name or saying you are a follower of Jesus. We are immersed into him, into his teachings, into his gospel, into his word, into his death, into his burial, into his resurrection, into his righteousness, into his kingdom. We are fully identified in him. We are a new creation in Christ

Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. Acts 2:38 (Peter is not talking about water baptism or the baptism of the Holy Spirit and fire. Baptism in Jesus name, or into Jesus, for the forgiveness of sins is the spiritual saving baptism.)

Those who accepted his message were baptized, and about three thousand were added to their number that day. Acts 2:41 (Peter had just preached the gospel to everyone, and those that believed, or “accepted the message,” were baptized. We don’t see that there is any water. Once they accepted the message, they were simultaneously baptized into Jesus. And did they really have time to water baptize 3000 people? The connection is clear between belief and baptism. Not water baptism, but the true spiritual baptism into Jesus. It is possible they were all water baptized, assuming there was even enough time for such a task for 3000 people, as it was a customary Jewish ritual, but that’s not what is being referenced.)

WHEN Do You Receive The Holy Spirit?

Did you receive the Spirit by the works of the law, or by believing what you heard? Gal. 3:2 (When do you receive the Holy Spirit? Not at water baptism because that is a work of the law. You receive the Holy Spirit when you believe after hearing the gospel.)

And you also were included in Christ when you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation. When you believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, Eph. 1:13 (When does it say we receive the Holy Spirit? At water baptism? No, it is when we believe, after we have heard the message of truth.)

Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?” They answered, “No, we have not even heard that there is a Holy Spirit.” So Paul asked, “Then what baptism did you receive?” “John’s baptism,” they replied. Paul said, “John’s baptism was a baptism of repentance. He told the people to believe in the one coming after him, that is, in Jesus.” On hearing this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. When Paul placed his hands on them, the Holy Spirit came on them, and they spoke in tongues and prophesied. Acts 19:2-6 (A few points are made here. John’s water baptism is for repentance. Secondly, when they heard and believed, that’s when they were baptized into Jesus. Thirdly, it is expected to receive the Holy Spirit when you believe by faith. Water baptism does not give you the Holy Spirit, only the true spiritual baptism into Jesus.)

But when they believed Philip as he proclaimed the good news of the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women. Simon himself believed and was baptized. Acts 8:12-13 (When were they baptized? It was when they believed, no mention of being dipped in water.)

When the apostles in Jerusalem heard that Samaria had accepted the word of God, they sent Peter and John to Samaria. When they arrived, they prayed for the new believers there that they might receive the Holy Spirit, because the Holy Spirit had not yet come on any of them; they had simply been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. Then Peter and John placed their hands on them, and they received the Holy Spirit. Acts 8:14-17 (At first glance this appears to say they didn’t receive the Holy Spirit when they believed and were baptized into Jesus. However we already know what happens when someone believes and are baptized into Jesus. This story in Acts 8 is centered in the story of Simon the Sorcerer. Simon was interested in the spiritual gifts of the spirit that is given by the laying on of the apostles hands. That is what is being talked about here.)

Are We Saved By Faith Or Baptism?

People get confused when the Bible says that faith in Christ saves us, or rather justifies us. But then we have other verses that say that baptism saves us. So some people will say that you must do both. And so it goes back and forth and we proof text verses that support our position. But the truth is, that faith absolutely saves or justifies us. There are many verses that support this and few people will dispute that. But how do we square the baptism verses? Well we have to realize that when you have faith, you have simultaneously been spiritually baptized into Jesus. It’s all the same thing. You’ve also been born again and received new life in Christ. So it is not one or the other or both. It’s all the same thing being described in different ways.

For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God. Eph. 2:8 (
It is through faith that God saves us by his grace.)

If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be savedFor it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved. As Scripture says, “Anyone who believes in him will never be put to shame.” For there is no difference between Jew and Gentile—the same Lord is Lord of all and richly blesses all who call on him, for, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” Rom. 10:9-13 (Here we see the slight difference between belief and faith. Belief is in your heart. Faith takes belief one step further and puts that belief into action by declaring with your mouth that Jesus is Lord.)

How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? And how can anyone preach unless they are sent? As it is written: “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!” But not all the Israelites accepted the good news. For Isaiah says, “Lord, who has believed our message?” Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word about Christ. Rom. 10:14-17 (Saving faith comes by hearing the gospel from preachers sent by God.)

Jesus said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you; go in peace.” Luke 7:50 (We are saved by faith.)

There is no shortage of scripture that clearly teaches we are saved by faith in Christ. Below are many more. Paul goes on extensively about this in Romans and Galatians. God sends messengers to preach the gospel, people hear it, they believe it, they confess it in faith. This is the process. The same process is described of being born again. And this is the spiritual baptism into Jesus that saves. You are immersed into the word and teachings of Jesus. This is when we receive the Holy Spirit. Water baptism makes us wet, and that’s all it does. Yes we can learn from the shadows to teach us for our understanding of the spiritual realities. But we should not treat these shadows as if they have any power.

Additional scripture to support saved by faith alone:
Romans 1:16-17 / 3:22-30 / 4:3,5,11,16 / 5:1,9 / 9:30,33 / 10:4
Galatians 2:16,21 / 3:2,5-6,8,14,22,24
Philippians 3:9
1 Timothy 1:16
John 3:16

Is Baptism A Salvation Issue?

The devil is in the details of that question. In one sense it absolutely is. That’s like asking is Jesus the only way to eternal life? Of course, and baptism, at least the true spiritual baptism into Jesus is the only way to be “in Christ.” You must be born again, and the true spiritual baptism into Jesus  is the only way to be in Christ. You must repent and die to sin. You must believe by hearing the gospel to produce faith to be raised in new life in Christ. Water doesn’t do any of these things. There is no magical water and there never has been magical water. So water baptism does nothing. It is a shadow of the future reality of the saving spiritual baptism into Jesus. This is how you are born again and made alive in Christ. So new covenant Christians should have no use for water baptism other than to learn the spiritual truths from it. But it is no longer a needed ceremonial rite that we must do. Old covenant Jews in the 1st century was another story. They still followed the ceremonial laws from the law of Moses. This is what we are seeing in some scriptures. They are simply following the purification rituals of the ceremonial law. By following these ceremonial laws, they are saved and forgiven of their sins, but it is still by their faith, belief, and obedience. 

...to those who were disobedient long ago when God waited patiently in the days of Noah while the ark was being built. In it only a few people, eight in all, were saved through water, and this water symbolizes baptism that now saves you also—not the removal of dirt from the body but the pledge of a clear conscience toward God. It saves you by the resurrection of Jesus Christ, 1 Pet. 3:20-22 (What baptism saves you? It is not water baptism, but the spiritual baptism into Jesus that saves you. The water is said to symbolize baptism. Which baptism does it symbolize? It is the one that clears the conscience. As opposed to the one in Heb. 9:9 that doesn’t clear the conscience.)

And now what are you waiting for? Get up, be baptized and wash your sins awaycalling on his name.’ Acts 22:16 (Ananias tells Paul at his conversion to call on the name of Jesus. This means to believe and accept the gospel told to him. And what happens when you do that? You are simultaneously spiritually baptized into Jesus and your sins are washed away. No water, it is spiritual baptism.)

Now, brothers and sisters, I want to remind you of the gospel I preached to you, which you received and on which you have taken your stand. By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain. 1 Cor. 15:1-2 (Believing in the gospel saves us, and this is the spiritual saving baptism into Jesus.)

He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned. Mark 16:15-16 (While this verse is apart of the ending of Mark that is suspect and not apart of early manuscripts, it still fits the narrative. To believe IS to be baptized. And if it’s the spiritual baptism into Jesus, you will be saved. Water baptism doesn’t save.)

And so John the Baptist appeared in the wilderness, preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. Mark 1:4 (At first glance, this may appear to say that water baptism forgives sins. But remember that John is said in the previous verses that he is preparing the way for the Lord. He was preparing the people to cleans their bodies in preparation to the one who will cleans their souls. Repentance leads to forgiveness of sins after you believe.)

Baptism Into Jesus = Born Again

There is a circular connection between 3 requirements for salvation which is really only 1 requirement when we break down that they are the same thing. First we must believe the gospel and declare in faith that Jesus is Lord. Second we must be “in Christ,” or baptized into Jesus. Third we must be born again. The following scripture will tie these all together as the same thing, only described 3 different ways.

Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again. “How can someone be born when they are old?” Nicodemus asked. “Surely they cannot enter a second time into their mother’s womb to be born!” Jesus answered, “Very truly I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are born of water and the Spirit. Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit. You should not be surprised at my saying, ‘You must be born again.’ The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.” John 3:3-8 (Being born of water is not a reference to water baptism. The context is being born in your “mother’s womb” and “flesh gives birth to flesh.”  Being born again, a clear requirement to salvation, is spiritual birth.)

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 1 Pet. 1:3 (The new birth is through the resurrection which is a connection to baptism as we die to sin and raised in faith.)

For you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God. 1 Pet. 1:23 (Born again through what? The gospel message and belief in that is what gives us spiritual birth. And we’ve also seen how baptism into Jesus is through the gospel as well. So it is all the same thing described in different ways.)

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! 2 Cor. 5:17 (The new creation is being born again. You must be in Christ to be born again. And to be in Christ we must be baptized into Christ. This is all the same thing and connected perfectly.)

Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God—children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God. John 1:12-13 (Children of God and born of God is to be born again spiritually. And it says it is those who believe. And those that believe the gospel are baptized into Christ.) 
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