23. Why does the epistle to the Hebrews speak of “the doctrine of baptisms” (Hebrews 6:2)? Is it not written that there is “one baptism” (Ephesians 4:5)?




The writer of this epistle speaks of “the doctrine of baptisms” (Hebrews 6:2), including this doctrine in the foundation of our faith, because there are several baptisms.

There is a water baptism, ordained by Jesus Christ, which must be administered to all believers by immersion in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit (Matthew 28:19 and Mark 16:16); there is the baptism with the Holy Spirit, of which Jesus spoke to His disciples before His ascension to heaven, which was experienced by His disciples on the day of Pentecost, and which is a baptism administered by Jesus Christ to those who have believed on His name (Matthew 3:19; Acts 1:5; 2:1-4); and there is also the baptism of the Spirit, which is ministered by the Spirit to a man when he is born again and becomes a member of the body of Christ (1 Corinthians 12:13).

According to some words of Jesus, there is also another baptism, which is experienced only by some Christians, that is, those who are killed because of the Word of God. For on one occasion Jesus said: “But I have a baptism to be baptized with, and how distressed I am till it is accomplished!” (Luke 12:50 – NKJV), and on another occasion He said to James and John: “You will indeed drink the cup that I drink, and with the baptism I am baptized with you will be baptized” (Mark 10:39 - NKJV).

Therefore, these are the baptisms which concern us: however there are other two baptisms the Scripture speaks about: the baptism of John the Baptist, which was “a baptism of repentance” (Mark 1:4 – NKJV); and the baptism the Israelites were baptized with after they came out of Egypt, as it is written: “Moreover, brethren, I do not want you to be unaware that all our fathers were under the cloud, all passed through the sea, all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea” (1 Corinthians 10:1-2 – NKJV).

Why then does Paul speak to the Ephesians of one baptism (Ephesians 4:5)? Because in that case he refers to the baptism in water, in other words, it is as if He said that to us there is one water baptism, and this is true because we children of God were buried with Christ into the death of Christ through one baptism, that is, the baptism ordained by Christ before He ascended to heaven.