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Then Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to be baptized by John. But John tried to deter him, saying, “I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?”

Jesus replied, “Let it be so now; it is proper for us to do this to fulfill all righteousness.”  Then John consented. As soon as Jesus was baptized, he went up out of the water. At that moment heaven was opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting on him. 17 And a voice from heaven said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.” Matthew 3:13-17

Baptism in water

The baptism in water began with the calling of John the Baptist. This was called a baptism of repentance. In Matthew 3:2 John says, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near.” 


This baptism is widely misunderstood because the definition of the English word "repentance" takes on so many variations in it's definition. One regularly used is:" to turn from sin and dedicate oneself to the amendment of one's life." This definition leaves us with the responsibility to stop all sinning. As most human beings will tell you, this is quite impossible. The result of this kind of thinking leaves us in constant conflict and turmoil believing God is happy with us one day and upset  the next. Then we have to deal with guilt and shame. In other words, this wrong thinking has ushered in a life of sin management. That is a religious, works oriented mindset that binds you into captivity. Jesus came to set the captives free. 


The word used in the original greek text by John the baptist, Jesus, Paul and Peter, et al, was "Metanoia." This word is critical for us to understand. It actually produces the exact opposite result of the scenario I just mentioned.  The word Metanoia means that we are going to have to change how we think. In other words, when used in context, we will have to change from an old testament way of trying to be restored to God by following all the laws of God and begin relying fully and completely on the work of Jesus Christ as our means of compliance. We cannot clean ourselves up enough, we cannot "not" have sinned previously, and we will sin again in the future. So the only way to be restored to God and be a temple of the Holy Spirit is going to require "changing our mind" on how we obtain righteousness. This cannot be earned. It can only be given by Jesus Christ as a gift. Our New Identity Discipleship program goes into great detail on these critical issues. 

baptism in the holy spirit

Baptism of love

Matthew 3:17, And a voice from heaven said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.” Jesus' Father affirmed publicly and in the Bible for us of His love toward His Son. If the baptism of the Love of the Father was important for Jesus, then it is greatly important for you and I. God wants us to know of His immeasurable love for us.

When we receive Jesus as our Lord and Savior and believe that He died, was buried and rose from the dead and ascended into Heaven. Then we are sons and daughters of God. In fact, When you come up out of the water of baptism, it is possible and common to the hear the voice of God repeat this words..."This is now my Son/Daughter, whom I love; with him/her I am well pleased." 

Water baptism is symbolic of the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ. 

Ephesians 3:3-10

Like the rest, we were by nature deserving of wrath. But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

As soon as Jesus came up out of the water, He was baptized in the Holy Spirit. In Matthew 3:16 the Bible says: "At that moment heaven was opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting on him. "

Jesus very clearly commanded the disciples to go to Jerusalem and wait for the baptism of the Holy Spirit promised by the Father. He did not allow them to begin their ministry (serving Jesus) until they had the power of God in them. 

Acts 2:1-4

1When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. 2 Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. 3 They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. 4 All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues[a] as the Spirit enabled them.

It is possible that when we choose to be baptized in water that at the moment we come up a changed new person before God, we can receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit as well.

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