The Berean Expositor
Volume 52 - Page 131 of 207
Index | Zoom
Baptized with the Holy Ghost
(Acts 1: 5)
Part 2.
pp. 66 - 73
Last time we saw how water baptism had been carried out by the Apostles during the
period of our Lord's earthly ministry (John 4: 1, 2). After His resurrection He gave
instructions concerning this rite in Matt. 28: 19 and Mark 16: 16.  Thus Peter's
insistence upon water baptism in Acts 2: 38 is very understandable but what about the
Apostle Paul? Commenting upon the issue of water baptism he wrote:
"Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel" (I Cor. 1: 17).
Earlier in that chapter it is obvious that water baptism was not essential to Paul's
"I thank God that I baptized none of you, but Crispus and Gaius . . . . . I baptized also
the household of Stephanas:  besides, I know not whether I baptized any other'
Any who are perplexed by this difference between these two great men of God should
note that Paul was "the Apostle of the Gentiles" (Rom. 11: 13), whereas Peter was
appointed "to the apostleship of the circumcision (i.e. the Jews)" (Gal. 2: 8). To the Jews
the meaning and implication of baptism was obvious from their (O.T.) Scriptures but to
the Gentiles it would have little or no meaning.
"The gospel of the uncircumcision (Gentiles) was committed unto me (Paul), as the
gospel of the circumcision (Jews) was unto Peter" (Gal. 2: 7).
The foundation of both gospels was Christ's completed work on Calvary's cross but
there were differences in the two sets of "good news", one of which was the place of
water baptism. To Peter it was essential (Mark 16: 16; Acts 2: 38), but to Paul it was
not (I Cor. 1: 14-17). The second half of the Acts of the Apostles highlights many
differences between the Jewish and Gentile believers (e.g. Acts 15: 12-22) but they had
much in common including the need to repent and to have faith in the sin offering of the
Lord Jesus Christ. Also there was the message of eternal life through resurrection but
how could such a resurrection be achieved?
"Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into (eis) Jesus Christ were
baptized into (eis) His death? Therefore we are buried with Him by baptism into (eis)
death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so
we also should walk in newness of life. For if we have been planted together in the
likeness of His death, we shall be also in the likeness of His resurrection" (Rom. 6: 3-5).
The believer's resurrection is assured because he has been planted together with Christ
in His death. This ensures that he shall be united with Him in His resurrection. The
N.I.V. is helpful and clear on these verses:
"We were therefore buried with Him through baptism into (eis) death in order that,
just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a