The Bible says that there is only one true baptism for the Christian Church (Eph. 4:5), which is the baptism with the gift of holy spirit that Christ gives when a person becomes a Christian (Rom. 10:9-10). 1 Corinthians 12:13 says that “we were all baptized in one spirit into one body, whether Jews or Greeks, whether bond or free, and were all made to drink of one spirit.”
During the Mosaic Law, there were many ceremonial washings in the Temple rites. During the Gospel period, John the Baptist baptized with water, but both of these were pointing to a time when the true baptism would come by Jesus Christ pouring out the gift of holy spirit on all those who would believe and become born again. Jesus said in Acts 1:5 that “John baptized with water, but you will be baptized in holy spirit not many days from now.” While the apostles continued to baptize in water throughout the Book of Acts, eventually new revelation was given to the Apostle Paul about the Administration of the Sacred Secret, revealing that there is only one baptism (1 Cor. 1:13-17).
Many Churches still baptize with water today, but it is not a requirement for salvation. If water baptism were required, the Apostle Paul would have never said that “Christ did not send me to baptize, but to tell the Good News.” The true baptism we receive is not performed by a minister or any other person living on earth today. The true baptism is performed by Jesus Christ when we confess him as Lord and believe God raised him from the dead (Rom. 10:9-10). Ephesians 1:13 says that “in whom you also, when you heard the word of truth, the Good News of your salvation, and when you believed in him (Christ), you were sealed with the promised holy spirit.”
It’s not a sin to be baptized in water, especially as a demonstration of one’s commitment to Christ or because some churches require it for membership, but we must always be aware that when a person becomes a Christian according to Romans 10:9-10, that is when they receive the true baptism with the gift of holy spirit.
For more information about the true baptism for Christians today, see the links below.