Mark 1:4-8 Two Baptisms

John appeared, baptizing in the wilderness and proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. And all the country of Judea and all Jerusalem were going out to him and were being baptized by him in the river Jordan, confessing their sins. Now John was clothed with camel’s hair and wore a leather belt around his waist and ate locusts and wild honey. And he preached, saying, “After me comes he who is mightier than I, the strap of whose sandals I am not worthy to stoop down and untie. I have baptized you with water, but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit. (ESV)

So, who would you rather get baptized by, John the Baptist or Jesus? He says that there is one coming who will baptize you with the Holy Spirit. Do you suppose any of those coming to get baptized may have wanted to wait for Jesus’ baptism? I think I would have wanted to. Maybe it wasn’t clear exactly when this Mighty One would be coming. But, the fact of the matter is that Jesus never did baptize anyone individually. So, John the Baptist would be offering both baptisms. A baptism of repentance and the baptism of the Holy Spirit which would be accomplished by the work of Jesus Christ.

In my theological background, two baptisms would be a reference to salvation and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. I know there is much discussion and debate about the mechanics and innerworkings of these baptisms; however, I will just leave it at that. This is referring to salvation and indwelling. Jesus Christ offers something that John the Baptist couldn’t. Yes, I believe that John the Baptist and his followers were true believers, but it seems clear from this passage that Jesus had another baptism to offer. It would seem to be something that John the Baptist couldn’t give and that his followers didn’t have at this point. It must be something that no one up to this point has had.

Maybe this is what John Cook of Blackberry Cottage was referring to. John the Baptist didn’t have the baptism of the Holy Spirit that Jesus Christ was to offer. But John believes that John the Baptist never did get that baptism, if I understood him correctly. I’m still not sure I’m totally comfortable with this thought, however. I don’t know if we can fully understand the action of the Holy Spirit. I will no doubt be revisiting this post as I understand more about it.

But to the question of speaking in tongues……no, I don’t believe baptism of the Holy Spirit requires speaking in tongues. I think the tongues speaking was a special unction at that particular time in the formation of the early church, and has no real purpose in our lives today with the complete revelation of God already in place.

More later.

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~ by shoesofiron on June 28, 2007.

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