8.1.2.2 Holy Baptism with water in the New Testament

In the New Testament "baptism" is often understood as having two parts, namely baptism with water and baptism with the Spirit (Acts 8: 14 et seq.; 10: 47; 19: 1-6; Titus 3: 5). Holy Baptism with water and Holy Baptism with the Spirit are therefore interdependent.

Jesus Christ submitted to the baptism of John the Baptist in order to demonstrate how righteousness before God can be attained (Matthew 3: 15). So it was that the baptism of repentance, as practised by John, led to Holy Baptism with water. The Son of God abased Himself and put Himself on the same level as the sinner (Philippians 2: 7). Thereby Jesus Christ set an example for mankind mired in sin.

At the same time, Jesus' true identity as the Son of God was clearly revealed at His baptism. The triune God–Father, Son, and Holy Spirit–was present. The mystery of the Trinity began to reveal itself. The fact that Jesus is the Son of God was proclaimed (Matthew 3: 17; Mark 1: 10-11).

Jesus Christ also described His sacrificial death as "baptism". The sacrifice on the cross and Holy Baptism with water are thereby linked to one another (Luke 12: 50).

The great commission issued by the Risen One makes it clear that baptising–in the form of baptism with water and the Spirit–is one of the tasks assigned to the Apostles: "Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptising them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit" (Matthew 28: 19). Baptism therefore emanates from the triune God. It is not a work of man, but an act of God's salvation upon a human being.

After the Pentecost sermon, the Apostles called on those who had come to believe: "Repent, and let every one of you be baptised in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit" (Acts 2: 38). In this manner, those who believed were incorporated into the congregation (Acts 2: 41).

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