THE MANIFOLD WISDOM OF GOD
The Teaching of Immersions
"Therefore, leaving the discussion of the elementary principles of Christ ... not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works and of faith toward God, of the teaching of immersions, of laying on of hands, of resurrection of the dead and of eternal judgment ...," Hebrews 6'1-3.
A more common name for this article could have been The Doctrine of Baptisms because the word "baptism" is generally understood as referring to a symbolic religious ceremony involving water. Whereas the word "immersion" is not so.
However, the reason for not using the word "baptism" is because "immersion" is the meaning of the New Testament Greek word baptisma. But for whatever reason and however long ago, baptisma was basically left untranslated and brought into common English usage.
Immersion comes directly from baptisma. Its verb, baptizo (bap-tid-zo), means to immerse or to submerge (Strong's concordance). So "immersion" is the straight translation of the Greek into English.
However, there is another important thing to notice about the title of this article. And that is, the word is "immersions", plural. This elementary principle of a Believer's spiritual foundation plainly indicates that it's about more than one immersion. And yet Paul said there is one:
"There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one immersion; one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all," Ephesians 4'5-6?.
How can that be? The answer is that all of these "ones" are eternal. In other words, from the moment a person is in Christ they are. Their existence has an eternal factor. The immersion Paul refers to is the Immersion into the Body of Christ, the first one in the experience of a Believer. So, there's no contradiction.
Back to the Teaching of Immersions. There are four:
1. Immersion into the Body of Christ. This is unique. It is strictly the work of the Holy Spirit.
2. Immersion in Water. This is for the person who has received Christ who understands the salvation truths of His death and resurrection on their behalf.
3. Immersion in the Holy Spirit. This immersion occurs when God gives the Holy Spirit to a Believer, in Jesus' name. Jesus said that the giving of the Spirit is the promise of the Father.
4. "His" Immersion. Jesus referred to "the immersion I am immersed with" as a very real experience.
Something that is sometimes raised at this point, is what is meant by "let us go on to perfection ... And this we will do if God permits". For more on that see Let Us Go On To Perfection? on the Menu.
Next: Immersion Into The Body Of Christ.