Acts 2:38 (“Be baptized, everyone of you,” Part 1)

While the blog was down for the holidays, the crash, and all, I typed up notes on the rest of Acts 2. I’ll be posting these every other day for a couple of weeks, until we get to the end of the chapter. And I’ll be taking Acts 2:38 to the end of the chapter phrase at a time. Some phrases will require more than one post.

These are being written for Bible class teachers at my church, and so will often have a series of question to help the teachers. But this is not your usual Bible class material. We’re delving very deeply into the text.

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(Acts 2:38 ESV) And Peter said to them, “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.”

The necessity of baptism

This is surely one of the most analyzed and dissected passages in the Bible. So before we get too far down the road with this one, let’s start with one elemental point: The New Testament plainly associates baptism with salvation and expects that converts will be baptized.

Ever since the time of Zwingli, who founded the Reformed Churches with Calvin, Protestants have debated whether baptism is a mere symbol that is not necessary for salvation, or both symbol and sacrament, that is, a symbol that is essential for salvation. (It is unquestionably symbolic, you know. The debate is over whether it is more than symbol.)

It’s an interesting question, but the most important question is whether we are going to baptize those we convert, as commanded by Jesus himself in Matthew 28:19. And I don’t see where we have much choice in the matter.

Another question of great importance is whether we should treat an improperly baptized penitent believer as saved, and I think we clearly must. After all, the, 120 disciples in Acts were not water baptized but only Spirit baptized, and yet they were plainly saved. Indeed, John the Baptist is quoted in two gospels as contrasting his baptism with water with Jesus’ baptism with the Spirit.

(John 1:33 ESV) “I myself did not know him, but he who sent me to baptize with water said to me, ‘He on whom you see the Spirit descend and remain, this is he who baptizes with the Holy Spirit.’”

(Mark 1:8 ESV) I have baptized you with water, but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.”

John didn’t say, “I baptize with water, but he will baptize you with water and the Spirit.” The plain emphasis is on the Spirit as both necessary and sufficient.

The Spirit normally is received concurrently with water baptism, but not always. Indeed, Acts offers a number of examples of water and Spirit baptism not being simultaneous, although Acts 2:38 certainly suggests that the simultaneous receipt of water and Spirit would be the normative Christian experience.

Now, before we can take a hard position on what is an effective baptism, we have to inquire as to why God commanded baptism. The 19th Century approach is to treat baptism as a “positive” command, that is, a command that is entirely arbitrary, calculate to test our faith. Baptism was seen as a test of true penitence and faith, and therefore an absolute condition.

Soon, the insistence on baptism (which is nearly universal among Christian denominations) became insistence on baptism done correctly. And soon “correctly” became more and more narrowly defined.

But rarely does anyone in the Churches of Christ take the time to ask, “Why baptism?”

Why baptism?

Is baptism really arbitrary? Or does God have a deeper purpose in wanting his followers to be immersed in water? To answer that question, we must delve deeply into the history and symbolism of the rite.

The Kingdom, the outpouring of the Spirit, and the coming of the Messiah were all anticipated by the prophets in considerable detail. We have to take these as central doctrines, as they even go back to the Torah. But baptism, even though appearing at the climax of Peter’s sermon, seems to be something of an innovation, going back not much earlier the John’s baptism. Why baptism, indeed?

Well, baptism has some vital associations with ancient practices that help explain the story that it tells and perhaps explain why God chose to make water baptism the initiatory rite of Christianity. We’ll dig into those in the next couple of posts in this series.

 

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30 Responses to Acts 2:38 (“Be baptized, everyone of you,” Part 1)

  1. Dan Harris says:

    Jay, I love the video. Makes me want to sing it with the congregation on Sunday.

  2. Jerry says:

    Jay,

    Several times you and others have asserted that the apostles and the 120 were not baptized in water. Yet, I have never seen any proof of that.

    What I was taught growing up in the CoC (1940′s & 50′s) was that the apostles were baptized by John, who taught men to believe on the one who was to come. There is presumptive evidence of this in two things: (1) Peter and Andrew met Jesus at John’s revival and (2) Jesus made and baptized more disciples than John, his chosen 12 doing the actual baptizing.

    John’s message was about the coming kingdom – and the coming king. The teaching I received was that those who accepted this message and were baptized were not baptized again post-Pentecost but were “grandfathered in” so to speak. They received the Spirit at Pentecost (though this point was not really made by my early teachers who had very little to say about the Holy Spirit). The difference between those and the disciples in Acts 19 was that John’s baptist post-Pentecost was insufficient since Jesus had already come, was glorified, had already poured out the Spirit, etc.

    Could you please address this at some point, either in a response to this comment or in a blog-posting?

  3. Charles McLean says:

    Jerry, I don’t speak for Jay, but I think the argument that was being made was that there is no biblical reference to the Twelve ever having been water baptized. That is different from our claiming that they were never baptized. I would note that the old CoC line presumes facts not in evidence, while Jay’s statement simply recognizes that lack of evidence and declines to build doctrine on the assumption of such a baptism. The historic CoC position you relate ASSUMES water baptism and then attempts to create a hypothetical scenario which might explain that assumption. This is a logical fallacy called “assuming the consequent”. The entirely extrabiblical “baptismal grandfathering” hypothesis is of the same sort and carries the same flaw.

    We do not presume, “since the Twelve were never baptised” as a basis for any argument. That would be incorrect. Rather, I challenge any conclusion which presumes, “The Twelve obviously must have been baptized…” Because such an assumption does not equate to fact. What kind of conclusion might that be? That one must be baptized in water before he can receive the Holy Spirit would be a good example. Or the reverse, “One receives the Holy Spirit before he is baptized in water,” would be equally flawed. Or “one only becomes a disciple of Jesus after he is baptized”. These statements simply cannot be proven or disproven by the evidence we have about the Twelve.

    Jerry, it is important to differentiate between my challenging the evidence upon which a conclusion is made, and my taking a position which denies that such a conclusion can be true. I suspect that many things are true, but not because the Bible says so. The earth is round, but you couldn’t prove it by the Bible.

  4. Jerry says:

    Charles,

    I reported what I received as teaching as a youth. I have rejected some things I was taught because (a) I did not find any substantiating evidence in Scripture or (b) I found things in Scripture that contradicted it. My questions above ask for evidence to substantiate the assertions made about the baptism of the apostles. Simply to say that they were only baptized in the Holy Spirit, but not in water, overlooks what, to me, is the probability that they were baptized during the ministries of John and Jesus. To insist that those baptized by John and Jesus during those ministries had to do it all over again a la the disciples of Acts 19 seems to me to simply dismiss the work of John and of Jesus prior to His death. In fact, I wonder if any baptized by John and Jesus were re-baptized. I know of no evidence one way or the other. In fact, it is a moot point since there is no one living today who was in that number! It’s only value is in addressing the question I raised above about the baptism of the apostles (whom I concede were probably not baptized in water following the resurrection of Jesus).

    It is my conviction that Christian baptism in water (in contrast to John’s baptism in water) also involves being baptized in the Holy Spirit. At least that seems to be Paul’s argument in 1 Corinthians 12:13 where he states, “For in one Spirit were we all baptized into one body….” (ASV). To say, as the CoC has traditionally said, that none were baptized in the Spirit except the apostles (and maybe Cornelius) and that it was this baptism that conveyed apostolic powers I find to be patently false. Further, to limit what happened at Pentecost to the apostles when the text specifically says that the Holy Spirit was poured out on “all flesh” seems to me to go against what the word actually says.

    The main thing I asked in my comment above is for the evidence that the apostles did not receive baptism in water and received baptism in the Holy Spirit instead. I make no assumptions and draw no conclusions from those unmade assumptions – though some things appear (to me) to be true.

  5. Mark says:

    It seems to me there is many types of baptism. One of repentance, one to enter the kingdom and another to cover those who have died before they were baptized. Luke 12:49 is a interesting passage 49 “I have come to bring fire on the earth, and how I wish it were already kindled! 50 But I have a baptism to undergo, and what constraint I am under until it is completed! 51 Do you think I came to bring peace on earth? No, I tell you, but division. 52 From now on there will be five in one family divided against each other, three against two and two against three. 53 They will be divided, father against son and son against father, mother against daughter and daughter against mother, mother-in-law against daughter-in-law and daughter-in-law against mother-in-law.”

    Now I not sure what this passage is talking about Luke 3 : 21 When all the people were being baptized, Jesus was baptized too. Sequentially it doesn’t make any sense. That is unless Jesus was baptized again to cause division. A baptism of division!

  6. brenda says:

    Do you think that it would be very unlikely that the disciples would command believers to participate in water baptism if they themselves had not done so as an example. Just the way Jesus submitted to John for His own baptism….Jesus Himself said one would not enter the kingdom without being born (out) of water and of Spirit. Therefore, the disciples were certainly water baptized. They need to receive the Spirit. What do you think Jesus was doing when He “breathed upon them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit” in John 20:22? Could it be that He was, in effect, bestowing the Spirit upon them at that point? Or was He only telling them to be ready to receive it later?

  7. Todd Collier says:

    Just to add a log to the fire- John 3:22 and following reports that Jesus was baptizing during His ministry and John 4:1-2 explain that the disciples were the ones doing the actual baptizing. Mat.28:18-20 sets out the process for discipling and includes baptism. I agree that there is no set passage that records the baptism of any of the apostles, but these passages do establish that baptism was “normative” for the disciples of Jesus during His ministry and afterwards, and since the twelve were selected from among His disciples it is more likely than not that they themselves were indeed baptized. So often in our discussions of baptism we jump straight from John’sbaptism to Acts 2:38 and neglect that Jesus disciples were being baptized all along.

  8. Adam Legler says:

    Andy Stanley has a sermon on baptism where he explains how big of a cultural statement baptism was in the 1st century. It was a very visible sign to others that you were changing your allegiance to the religion you were being baptized in. It’s an outward statement that isn’t as big in our culture but should be emphasized more in my opinion in addition to the C of C view on baptism.

  9. Robert says:

    Mark if understand things correctly the baptism mentioned here is referring to death on the cross that Christ was going to have to endure. What did fire mean to those listening to John the baptist? What could the fire mentioned in this passage be referring too? Can I get some thoughts on this baptism of the Holy Spirit and fire that occurred on the day of Pentecost.

  10. Mark says:

    Robert
    I not sure what this passage means. And I’m not sure it is connected with being baptized with fire. What is strange to me is the negative context. Jesus said , vs 51 Do you think I came to bring peace on earth? No, I tell you, but division.

    I would ask why be baptized if it turned my family against me? Or why would Jesus do this?

  11. Robert says:

    Mark, I got baptized so that I would be reconciled to God. Not everyone in my family agrees with my actions. Should I follow Jesus and have my family against me? I inherited a new family. Jesus tells us that we must pick up our cross daily and follow him. Who do you Love more? Is Jesus sufficient? Who is your true family?
    Following Christ requires total surrender. Christ does not tell us that if we follow him that life will be pleasurable. I think he said that he did not have a place in which to lay his head down. The apostles gave up everything to follow him. We might even have to lay down our life. Whoever loses his life for me gains eternal life with the Father.

  12. Wendy says:

    Jay, DOES Acts 2:38 “certainly suggest that the simultaneous receipt of water and Spirit would be the normative Christian experience”? Or is it a record of the conversion experience of some first generation Christians in the first century? What about the record of Acts 2:38 suggests that this will be the pattern for all time? Why the differing accounts of conversions in Acts (Cornelius et al) if Acts 2:38 is the “normative Christian experience”? Where in the Scriptures does it tell us that children of first generation converts or thirty-third generation converts or converts born into an already “Christianised” culture will have the same conversion experience as those on the day of Pentecost?

  13. aBasnar says:

    Joh 3:22 After this Jesus and his disciples went into the Judean countryside, and he remained there with them and was baptizing.
    Joh 3:23 John also was baptizing at Aenon near Salim, because water was plentiful there, and people were coming and being baptized
    Joh 3:24 (for John had not yet been put in prison).
    Joh 3:25 Now a discussion arose between some of John’s disciples and a Jew over purification. (i.e. baptism – interstingthat baptism is called a purification …)

    Joh 4:1 Now when Jesus learned that the Pharisees had heard that Jesus was making and baptizing more disciples than John
    Joh 4:2 (although Jesus himself did not baptize, but only his disciples),
    Joh 4:3 he left Judea and departed again for Galilee.

    Omitted by the synoptics, John reports that baptism was part of Jesus’ ministry. In what way did this baptism differ from John’s baptism? And have the 12 or 120 been “rebaptized” when Jesus offered baptism? What do you think?

    Alexander

  14. aBasnar says:

    Where in the Scriptures does it tell us that children of first generation converts or thirty-third generation converts or converts born into an already “Christianised” culture will have the same conversion experience as those on the day of Pentecost?

    In Acts 2:39

    Act 2:39 For the promise is for you and for your children and for all who are far off, everyone whom the Lord our God calls to himself.”

    Alexander

  15. Robert says:

    Lets remember why Christ and his disciples participated in this baptism. It is explained in Luke 7 that all the people, even the tax collectors, when the heard Jesus’ words, acknowledged that God’s way was right because they had been baptized. Christ and his disciples participated because they wanted all to hear and acknowledge Jesus words.

    There is only two in this picture who had a Spirit filled body. Christ had not been Glorified ascended to the right hand of the Father. What was promised could not occur until this had been accomplished. The outpouring of the Holy Spirit marks the beginning of a new age called the Last Days. We know were in the last days by the appearance of the Spirit. The baptism that occurs one the day of Pentecost marks the beginning on the outpouring of the Holy Spirit and fire and a new baptism, a baptism where your instructed to be baptized in the name of someone. Through this baptism you are promised the Gift of the Holy Spirit and your sins removed. God’s veil has been torn or removed (signifying that we all obtain access to God) and that the tabernacle has been changed. God now longer dwells in a tent or in a room that only on chosen High priest can access. God now dwell in those who take part in this new baptism in the name of Jesus.

    The outpouring of the Holy Spirit or also known as the Day of the Lord was prophesied by Joel and is mention by Peter as being fulfilled in Acts 2 is quoted by both “I will pour out my Spirit on all people your sons and daughters will prophesy, and your old men will dream dreams, and your young men will see visions. Even on my servants, both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days.

    The differences I see are:
    Its a baptism in the name of our Lord Jesus.
    Your promised the gift of the Holy Ghost. (indwelling of the Spirit Seal)
    That this Spirit remains forever. (as long as you don’t blaspheme the Holy Spirit)
    Marks the beginning to new day.
    They empowerment promised to the Apostles occurs.
    The Gospels and New Covenant is being proclaimed and the words of the Lord are being revealed through the empowerment of the Apostles.

    Robert Take what you like and leave the rest!

  16. Wendy says:

    Alexander, I repeat “Where in the Scriptures does it tell us that children of first generation converts or thirty-third generation converts or converts born into an already “Christianised” culture will have the same conversion experience as those on the day of Pentecost?” We have the same promise. We too need to repent and be baptised. But where in Scripture does it tell us that all conversions will be identical to those on the day of Pentecost? Cornelius had a different experience. The Ethiopian eunuch had a different experience. Those in Acts 19 have a different experience. Why are these accounts included by Luke if all subsequent conversion experiences were to mirror that of the day of Pentecost? And these were all conversions within a generation of the death of Jesus…

  17. aBasnar says:

    I see, what you mean: I talked about the same promise, but you referred to the same experience of the same promise. I agree, the experiences often differ greatly from one another.

    Alexander

  18. aBasnar says:

    @ Robert

    I liked everything you wrote, and I can take it ;-)

    My question was concerning the baptism of the apostles and the 120 Jay started to discuss separtely bove. My observation is that when Christ started baptizing it was different from the baptism of John.

    Interesting: First John said that Christ baptized.
    Then he clarified: Not Christ, but His disciples baptized.
    What does that mean?
    I think the disciples baptized in the name and authority of Christ.
    So – in effect – Christ Himself is baptizing through His disciples (the same as today)!
    This seemingly littler “error” John immediately “corrected” was nor error at all but is of highest significance!
    These baptism therfore were not anticipating the coming of Christ as John’s baptism but already in the name of the Christ that has come.
    John himself acknowledges this: The Bridegroom has come. Therefore it is time for him to leave the scene.

    Who were baptized in John 3 and 4 by Christ through His disciples?
    Disciples of Christ, not disciples of John!

    So we can – I think – safely say that Christian Water Baptism preceded the cross and the great commission and pentecost in the same way that Christian discipleship preceded each of those. When we question whether the apostles were baptized because we see no mention of this in Acts two, we mut consistently say they had not been disciples before pentecost either.

    So I think we see a “dispensational overlap” in Christ’s ministry. He taught His disciples to call God Father lthough they had not yet been born from God (which occutred at Pentecost), or better: They only experienced the first stage ofthe new birth: Water baptism. He taught them to supercede the demands of the letter of the Law by far, although they had not yet received the Spirit – but they had Christ with them. Since the Spirit came to be Christ’s vicar, the personal presence of Christ had a similar effect for the disciples with the exception of the indwelling.

    That’s my proposal anyway to solve the puzzle: “Were the 12 and the 120 baptized in water or not?” They were baptized because Christian discipleship included Christian baptism even prior to pentecost.

    Alexander

    P.S. I’ll repost it in the other thread where this is being discussed in more detail

  19. Robert says:

    I am not of the opinion that John the baptist baptism and the baptism in the name of Christ can be used to say that Christian water baptism proceeded the cross. Here is why John baptism was a means to prepare the way. As I had mention earlier Johns baptism was a baptism of repentance, it removed sins and enabled the many who participated in it to have ears opened so they can hear the of hidden message found within the words spoken or taught by Jesus. I don’t find any scripture declaring that it provided you access that the baptism in the name of Jesus offers. That access being “access to the Father through the New Covenant” being brought into existence after the glorification of the Son. Your reference to the Pharisees named Nicodemus , a ruler of the Jews show the the problem in a vivid way. Though Nicodemus is a teacher of Israel he did not understand the message the baptism that Jesus is instructing him to participate in in the near future so he could have access to the Father. in Verse 11 Truly, truly, I say to you, we speak of what we know, and bear witness to what we have seen, but you [6] do not receive our testimony. 12 If I have told you earthly things and you do not believe, how can you believe if I tell you heavenly things? 13 No one has ascended into heaven except he who descended from heaven, the Son of Man. The blood of Christ had not yet been shed. Christianity can not exist without the shedding of the blood of Christ. Therefore Johns baptism cannot in be considered an access into the new covenant that Christ would bring forth on the Day of the Lord or Pentecost. John was man filled with the Spirit to make known to Jews that the Messiah has arrived and to prepare the way. John cannot offer access because he is not the Son of God. Did the 12 or the 120 partake in the baptism of John I believe is self evident. Did they hear the message of Jesus? Did the believe that Jesus was the Son of God? The answer is provided, I believe by there actions. The Pharisees did not partake in Johns baptism and could not fathom the hidden message and therefore rejected Jesus. I don’t assume that all Pharisees continued to reject the message of Jesus. Saul a Pharisee rejected his message for a while but he “Saw the Light”. In John 4 right after Jesus had spoken to Nicodemus he travels to Jacobs well and talks to a woman a woman rejected by the Jews and rejected by here own because of her lifestyle she listened to Jesus and believed. Do you think she took part in Johns baptism? Nowhere that I know of does it state that she partook, but her ears heard the message Jesus was offering and she took action seen by her telling her townsfolk the message and it says that they believed also. Actions speak louder than words. The actions of the 12 and the 120 in the upper room should confirm that they heard the message of Jesus and I believe that this confirms there ability to follow the instruction presented by John, Jesus, and the disciples, soon to be Apostles. Without participation in what is being offered I don’t think they would have listen to the directions of Jesus. They listened and obeyed and were where Jesus wanted them to be(in the upper room.) Bible shows us indisputable evidence that these people followed instructions and are rewarded.

    As always these are my prophetic insights and perceived understandings of the hidden messages of scripture revealed to me through the gift of the Holy Spirit that I received when I gained access to God by participating in the watery baptism the Jesus offered to all. Please take what you like. If your understanding differs from mine please remember that these word are given with Love and I pray that the eyes of my heart be softened and open to the instructions of others revealing mysteries that I have been blinded too.

    Robert

  20. Avatar of Jay Guin Jay Guin says:

    Wendy,

    I have two posts coming in response in to your question. I think they start tomorrow.

  21. Charles McLean says:

    Jerry said of the apostles: “Simply to say that they were only baptized in the Holy Spirit, but not in water, overlooks what, to me, is the probability that they were baptized during the ministries of John and Jesus.”
    >>
    Expressing this as a “probability” without any evidence of such a thing being the case appears to me to be an example of how we hold to untenable positions by sheer inertia. Jerry, I do not know whether or not the Twelve were water-baptized. I can’t assert that this is either probable or improbable based on what I read in scripture. You say it is probable, so could you tell me upon what basis you have established that “probability To hold such a thing as probable without any sort of biblical evidence would suggest holding the idea purely on the basis of tradition.

    I wonder if this is more often the case than even we suspect.

  22. Jerry says:

    Charles,

    I base that probability on three texts (at least).

    (When all the people heard this, and the tax collectors too, they declared God just, having been baptized with the baptism of John, but the Pharisees and the lawyers rejected the purpose of God for themselves, not having been baptized by him.) Luke 7:29-30.

    If the twelve had NOT been baptized at John’s baptism, thus rejecting the purpose of God for themselves, would Jesus have selected them to be with Him and to represent Him as He did?

    The next day again John was standing with two of his disciples, and he looked at Jesus as he walked by and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God!” The two disciples heard him say this, and they followed Jesus. Jesus turned and saw them following and said to them, “What are you seeking?” And they said to him, “Rabbi” (which means Teacher), “where are you staying?” He said to them, “Come and you will see.” So they came and saw where he was staying, and they stayed with him that day, for it was about the tenth hour. One of the two who heard John speak and followed Jesus was Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother. He first found his own brother Simon and said to him, “We have found the Messiah” (which means Christ). He brought him to Jesus. Jesus looked at him and said, “So you are Simon the son of John? You shall be called Cephas” (which means Peter). John 1:35-42.

    Jesus first met at least two of the twelve, Andrew and Simon (whom He renamed Cephas or Peter), when they were with John at the river where multitudes had come to be baptized. Andrew at least was there in sympathy with John’s work (and followed Jesus when John identified Him as the one of whom he had earlier spoken); hence, it is reasonable to presume that he (unlike the Pharisees) had confessed sins and been baptized.

    I consider it unlikely that Simon was in opposition to his brother’s interest in John’s preaching. John 1:43ff also suggests that Jesus first met two others of those He called, Philip and Nathaniel, at the scene of, or at least very near, John’s baptizing activities. Plus, in the text quoted, there was an unnamed other disciple of John. I would not presume to assume that this was John the son of Zebedee (though some have so assumed), but I at least recognize that as a possibility. Hence, it is possible (I do not say probable) that Jesus first met at least five of his chosen twelve at the location where John was baptizing. Meeting them in such circumstances would suggest that they had also been baptized by John.

    Now when Jesus learned that the Pharisees had heard that Jesus was making and baptizing more disciples than John (although Jesus himself did not baptize, but only his disciples)…. John 4:1-2.

    Is it likely that Jesus would have used His disciples as surrogate baptizers had they not themselves first have been baptized?
    To me, any one of these would suggest the twelve had been baptized prior to Pentecost. The evidence is circumstantial. However, when three independent lines of circumstantial evidence suggest the same conclusion, I feel justified in saying there is at least a probability that the conclusion is valid. This is a probability only. I asked my original question, to which Jay has responded, for evidence that they were not baptized. I drew no firm conclusions on the probability that they were; I merely wanted evidence to back up the assertions by Jay (and some others) that they were not immersed in water. Some of those making that assertion have been drawing conclusions and inferences from that assertion.

    If we are unable to make even reasonable estimates of Biblical evidence such as this, and ask questions of those who assert the opposite of what the evidence seems to suggest, we are indeed fated never to be able to say anything, except to quote the text of the Scripture itself. And even the jury that declared Casey Anthony “not guilty” would be justified.

    Respectfully,

    Jerry

  23. Robert says:

    I like your response, I thought it important to mention some of the things I am wrestling with. One thing is I am wandering if it is reasonable for me to consider the notion that the twelve whether they were even require to participate in the baptism in the name of Jesus. Eleven of them received the Spirit by Jesus breathing it into there nostrils mirroring the very act recorded in Genesis when God breathed his Spirit into Adam and we became living being of flesh and Spirit in the Image of God. One of the twelve was not present so this leaves. If they received the indwelling of the the Spirit of Christ in this manner one could reason that it would not be necessary for them to be baptized the the method described to us after his death on the cross. The new Covenant was not in present. They were clearly Jews under the Law and the prophets. The ceremonial cleansing were different as Jay is describing in his last post. The disciple not present at Jesus departure creates an issue yet one could say that Jesus acceptance of #12 was made known in his recorded testimony recorded by Luke. The death occurs the accession happens Christ glorification is complete. The Day of the Lord or Pentecost occurs and the 12 receive their Apostleship calling and are empowered and the outpouring of the Holy Ghost that was prophesied by Joel, Isaiah, and other prophet of old is fulfilled. Peter and the eleven proclaim the new baptism in the name of Jesus that we are to participate in in order to receive the indwelling of the Spirit. This would explain why it is recorded by Paul that is birth into his Apostleship was abnormal. He was required and it is recorded that he participated in the baptism the Jesus had instituted on Pentecost. It leaves me considering the lesson of the thief on the cross. He was promised that he would see Jesus in paradise yet he had been baptized into Christ. We say how could he have been it had not been made known. Jesus gives Nicodemus an insight into the new access process. Can we use this very argument with the 12 disciples? Does this make since?

    With Love Robert

  24. Robert says:

    I found this information on a site:
    Question:
    Were the apostles baptized in the name of Jesus?
    Answer:

    Right after telling Nicodemus that no one can enter the kingdom unless they are born of water and the Spirit (John 3:5), we read in John 3:22, “After these things Jesus and His disciples came into the land of Judea, and there He remained with them and baptized.”

    John’s followers became upset by Jesus’ baptisms. “And they came to John and said to him, ‘Rabbi, He who was with you beyond the Jordan, to whom you have testified — behold, He is baptizing, and all are coming to Him!’” (John 3:26). John explain that this was what was supposed to happen.

    The Jews also took note of the baptisms. “Therefore, when the Lord knew that the Pharisees had heard that Jesus made and baptized more disciples than John (though Jesus Himself did not baptize, but His disciples), He left Judea and departed again to Galilee” (John 4:1-3).

    So not only was Jesus baptizing disciples, he actually baptized more than John, all prior to His death. Since His disciples were performing the baptisms, it is safe to assume that they had been baptized in the name of Jesus, since it was Jesus who authorized this baptism. Twelve of these early disciples became the apostles.

  25. aBasnar says:

    That’s exactly what I meant, Robert! Based on John 3:22 and John 4:1-3 there was a baptism in the name of Christ and in His presence that was distinct from the baptism of John. We can conclude from this that all disciples of Christ had been baptized. This is not to be confused with the baptism of John who hmself saw clearly the difference.

    But then we can safely say that the apostles had been baptized in the name of Christ prior to pentecost. Their relationship with Christ as his disciples made them citizens of the Kindom even before Christ was seated at the Right hand of God, because in Christ the Kingdom and the New Covenant were present in person, even before the cross and His resurrection. So these baptisms are no less valid than our baptisms; ’twas only that the Spirit came later, at the time when Christ was glorified.

    While those who only had the baptism of John needed to be rebaptized, the disciples who had been baptized by the disciples of Christ (and in His presence) needed no rebaptism. The basic confession: “You are the Messiah, the Son of the Living God”, was the same back then as it was after pentecost.

    This shows yet another thing: Christian discipleship always started with baptism. That’s part of the concept. Therefore we cannot say that because we don’t read anything of the apostles (or the 120) being baptized at pentecost that the Spirit can come to us without water baptism preceeding (or at least immediately following as in Acts 10). We cannot make baptism a “non-essential”. It was essential enough that Christ during His earthly ministry baptized even more people than John!

    It is also noteworthy that immediately after the conversation between Christ and Nikodemus on being born of water and of Spirit John goes on to write about baptism, followed by the conversation with the woman at the well, talking about the Spirit. This confirms the understanding that being born of water refers to water baptism.

    Alexander

  26. Robert says:

    Yes I see what you mean!

    Thanks

  27. Robert says:

    I found it coincidental or “not” that John is baptizing on one side of the Jordan river and Jesus appears on the other side of the Jordan offering a picture of a new baptism offered now to the disciples but soon to be offered to the rest of us after Jesus is glorified. This would have a very distinct message to those those Jews who find themselves believing in the Messiah vs them on the other side of the Jordan lost in the wilderness due to there stiff-necked approach to God! Oh yes I believe I have heard someone say that with God there is nothing that happens coincidentally!! How could this prophecy viewed so clearly to my eyes on this day have not been noticed by me in the past. This is the very reason that Paul is requesting us to pray for the gift of prophesy. Without the gifts given freely by the Holy Spirit when we ask appropriately. Praise the Lord and I praise all of you! Thanks So Much!!

    Robert

  28. Avatar of Jay Guin Jay Guin says:

    Robert,

    Thanks. John baptized at Bethany beyond the Jordan, that is, a Bethany east of the Jordan. John 1:28. Jesus baptized at Aenon. John 3:23. Aenon is west of the Jordan. I think you make a lot of sense.

  29. Robert says:

    Thanks so much Jay!

  30. Pingback: Acts 2: What Does Acts 2 Say About Baptism for Later Generations? | One In Jesus

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