thanks for the question. I can understand why some
people may think Baptism of the Holy Spirit has replaced water baptism
as there is a lack of water baptism mentioned in the Epistles
especially. Some would point to Rom 6 but I don't personally see this
as water baptism. But that aside, in my opinion the weight of evidence
still shows that water baptism is required for believers today.
Personally I don't think anyone reading Jesus' instructions in Matt
28:19 would realistically (without their own agenda to discredit water
baptism) take this to mean spirit baptism. He is instructing believers
what they should do to those that believe amongst the nations -
disciple them, baptize them in the name of the Father, the Son and the
Holy Spirit, and teach them to obey His word. I've never heard of
Spirit baptism being in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy
Spirit. And it is what the Holy Spirit does... not what disciples do
While it is true that Jesus did go on to teach the
disciples about the baptism of the Spirit (Acts 1:5) there is no
thought that this replaces water baptism amongst the disciples. For
example, as you will be aware...
Peter, full of the Holy
Spirit, taught about water baptism:
Act 2:38 Peter replied,
"Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ
for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the
As did Phillip who was also full of the Holy
Act 8:12 But when they believed Philip as he
preached the good news of the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus
Christ, they were baptized, both men and women.
Act 8:35-38 Then
Philip began with that very passage of Scripture and told him the good
news about Jesus. (36) As they traveled along the road, they came to
some water and the eunuch said, "Look, here is water. Why shouldn't I
be baptized?" (38) And he gave orders to stop the chariot. Then both
Philip and the eunuch went down into the water and Philip baptized
Peter again later when Gentiles believed
10:45-47 The circumcised believers who had come with Peter were
astonished that the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out even
on the Gentiles. (46) For they heard them speaking in tongues and
praising God. Then Peter said, (47) Can anyone keep these people from
being baptized with water? They have received the Holy Spirit just as
Paul himself was baptised:
Act 22:16 And
now what are you waiting for? Get up, be baptized and wash your sins
away, calling on his name.'
Lydia with Paul in Acts was
Act 16:14-15 One of those listening was a woman named
Lydia, a dealer in purple cloth from the city of Thyatira, who was a
worshiper of God. The Lord opened her heart to respond to Paul's
message. (15) When she and the members of her household were baptized,
she invited us to her home. "If you consider me a believer in the
Lord," she said, "come and stay at my house." And she persuaded us.
And Paul instructed others to be:
Act 19:3-6 So Paul asked,
"Then what baptism did you receive?" "John's baptism," they replied.
(4) Paul said, "John's baptism was a baptism of repentance. He told
the people to believe in the one coming after him, that is, in Jesus."
(5) On hearing this, they were baptized into the name of the Lord
Jesus. (6) When Paul placed his hands on them, the Holy Spirit came on
them, and they spoke in tongues and prophesied.
So it is
right through Acts. If someone is going to say it was only for a
limited period of time until the Apostles were more enlightened, then
where is the evidence of that? Is there later instructions that water
baptism is not commanded anymore? Nope.
So I believe it is
still asked of believers today. Some go way too far the other way and
use some scriptures to say that if you are not baptised in water you
cannot be saved. Which is wrong as well. But water baptism still has
its place as an outward observance that symbolized what has happened
to the believer when they are baptised into the one body by the Spirit