Foundational Faith - The Doctrine of Baptisms

Hebrews 6:1-2 (NKJV)

… the foundation of repentance from dead works and of faith toward God, of the doctrine of baptisms…

The doctrine of baptisms, water and Spirit, is foundational to experiencing true conversion. There are many passages that proclaim the essentiality of both experiences. I’ve limited the passages in this post to those in which they are discussed in conjunction with one another. My goal is to show that a life of faith in the Apostolic church included water baptism and Spirit baptism.

1. John the Baptist instituted the practice of water baptism for the remission of sins and promised the coming baptism of the Spirit.

Mark 1:8 (NKJV)

I indeed baptized you with water, but He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.”

2. Jesus told Nicodemus that the only way to enter the kingdom of God is to be born of water and Spirit.

John 3:5 (NKJV)

Jesus answered, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God

3. Jesus stated that we must believe and be baptized for salvation. He also said that believers should receive power and speak in tongues.

Mark 16:16-17 (NKJV)

He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned. And these signs will follow those who believe: In My name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues;

3. Before His ascension Jesus preached repentance and remission of sins in His name (baptism). He also told His disciples to wait for the promise of the Holy Ghost.

Luke 24:47-49 (NKJV)

and that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. And you are witnesses of these things. Behold, I send the Promise of My Father upon you; but tarry in the city of Jerusalem until you are endued with power from on high.”

4. When asked by the crowd what they should do, Peter preached this exact same message of repentance, remission of sins by baptism in His name, and the promise of the Holy Ghost.

Acts 2:38 (NKJV)

Then Peter said to them, “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.

5. The Samaritans were baptized upon belief. The disciples prayed for them until they received the Spirit.

Acts 8:14-17 (NKJV)

Now when the apostles who were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent Peter and John to them, who, when they had come down, prayed for them that they might receive the Holy Spirit. For as yet He had fallen upon none of them. They had only been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. Then they laid hands on them, and they received the Holy Spirit.

6. Paul was baptized and filled with the Spirit upon conversion.

Acts 9:17-18 (NKJV)

And Ananias went his way and entered the house; and laying his hands on him he said, “Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus, who appeared to you on the road as you came, has sent me that you may receive your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit.” Immediately there fell from his eyes something like scales, and he received his sight at once; and he arose and was baptized.

7. Cornelius was instructed to send for Peter to receive the word of salvation. After the Holy Ghost was poured out, Peter commanded them to be baptized in the name of Jesus.

Acts 10:44-48 (NKJV)

While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit fell upon all those who heard the word. And those of the circumcision who believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out on the Gentiles also. For they heard them speak with tongues and magnify God. Then Peter answered, “Can anyone forbid water, that these should not be baptized who have received the Holy Spirit just as we have?” And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord. Then they asked him to stay a few days.

8. Paul baptized the disciples of John in Jesus’ name and prayed until they received the Spirit.

Acts 19:1-6 (NKJV)

19 And it happened, while Apollos was at Corinth, that Paul, having passed through the upper regions, came to Ephesus. And finding some disciples he said to them, “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?” So they said to him, “We have not so much as heard whether there is a Holy Spirit.” And he said to them, “Into what then were you baptized?” So they said, “Into John’s baptism.” Then Paul said, “John indeed baptized with a baptism of repentance, saying to the people that they should believe on Him who would come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus.” When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. And when Paul had laid hands on them, the Holy Spirit came upon them, and they spoke with tongues and prophesied.

9. We are justified by washing, the name, and the Spirit.

1 Corinthians 6:11 (NKJV)

And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God.

10. Paul stated that even ancient Israel had to be baptized in the sea (water) and in the cloud (Spirit).

1 Corinthians 10:1-2 (NKJV)

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,

In conclusion, water and Spirit baptisms are foundations of faith. They are not the works of men, but works of God’s mercy. We simply believe in our hearts and confess with our mouths. We trust His promises, call on the name of Jesus, and speak as the Spirit gives the utterance. He saves us by the washing of regeneration (water baptism) and renewing of the Holy Ghost (Spirit baptism).

Titus 3:4-5 (NKJV)

But when the kindness and the love of God our Savior toward man appeared, not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit


For more information on water baptism:

For more information on Spirit baptism: