What is the difference between John’s baptism and Christ’s baptism?

“For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost” (Acts 1:5).

The baptism of John was a call for repentance by confessing the sins. It includes not only a change of mind but a new direction of the will, an altered purpose and attitude. The old life style is gone and a new way of life begins when a person decides to follow the Lord and walk in His steps.

The baptism of Christ, on the other hand, was for fulfilling all righteous which goes beyond just repentance. “Then cometh Jesus from Galilee to Jordan unto John, to be baptized of him.  But John forbad him, saying, I have need to be baptized of thee, and comest thou to me?  And Jesus answering said unto him, suffer it to be so now: for thus it becometh us to fulfil all righteousness” (Matthew 3:13-15). After repentance, the Lord calls the believer to fulfill all righteousness.

“Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost” (Acts 2:38). The Lord promises to give the Holy Spirit as the mighty power of God to all believers. Thus, we see the progressive experience with God: (1) repentance, (2) baptism, (3) remission of sin, (4) reception of the Holy Spirit.

But what is the purpose of the gift of the Holy Spirit in the life? Jesus give us the answer, “But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth” (Acts 1:8). This power is for witnessing: it gives (1) power within, (2) power to proclaim the gospel, (3) power to lead others to God.

The Holy Spirit will enable the believer to spread God’s message to all the world. By the Holy Spirit, the believer would do even “greater works” (John 14:12). As witnesses, the disciples were the visible evidence of God’s grace to the world (John 1:12). And through the Holy Spirit’s power, they were able to fulfill the God’s great commission “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit” (Matthew 28:19).

Check out our Bible Answers page for more information on a variety of topics.

In His service,

BibleAsk Team

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