Baptized more than once?

I have Southern Baptist friend who was baptized as a teenager. A few years ago her husband was baptized into that church and she said that she was “baptized again” because she felt like she had fallen away. I know that we Catholics believe in ONE baptism for the forgiveness of sins, but in reading Acts 19: 1-5, the Bible says that people were first given a baptism of repentance, but then later baptized in the name of Jesus (2 baptisms).

So…Why were they baptized twice? Was John’s Baptism only partial? It says that they were baptized in the name of Jesus (not the trinity) so why do we not use that formula? :shrug:

I believe in the authority of the Church and what she teaches, but I would like some answers to make me better understand.

Thanks in advance!

Oh, and here is the reading from the USCCB, link and pasted below:

Paul in Ephesus.

  • While Apollos was in Corinth, Paul traveled through the interior of the country and came (down) to Ephesus where he found some disciples.
    He said to them, “Did you receive the holy Spirit when you became believers?” They answered him, “We have never even heard that there is a holy Spirit.”
    He said, “How were you baptized?” They replied, “With the baptism of John.”
    Paul then said, “John baptized with a baptism of repentance, telling the people to believe in the one who was to come after him, that is, in Jesus.”a
    When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.

Unless her ‘first’ baptism was a baptism of John (and not a baptism ‘in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit’), then being ‘baptized again’ is not Scriptural.

So…Why were they baptized twice? Was John’s Baptism only partial? It says that they were baptized in the name of Jesus (not the trinity) so why do we not use that formula?

They were baptized a ‘second’ time because John’s baptism was only one of repentance. In Matthew 28:19, we see what Jesus commands us: “make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the holy Spirit.”

I think I might reply to your question by suggesting that the account in Acts is drawing a distinction between the baptism of John and the baptism of Jesus; it’s asserting that the baptism performed there was the one that Jesus had commanded, rather than making any claims about the liturgical form of the baptism itself (which, we would expect, would utilize a trinitarian formula).

The baptism that Christ bought allowed us to become children of God again. There is no point to John’s baptism now that Christ has come. That is why they were baptized again in Ephesus. They were not yet freed from sin by the Holy Spirit.

“Jesus answered: Amen, amen I say to thee, unless a man be born again of water and the Holy Ghost, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.”
Notice He says ‘AND’ as opposed to ‘THEN’

“Going therefore, teach ye all nations; baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.” Matthew 28:19

“John answered, saying unto all: I indeed baptize you with water; but there shall come one mightier than I, the latchet of whose shoes I am not worthy to loose: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire:” Luke 3:16

Once you have been baptized with water and the Holy Spirit, Christ’s redemption is extended to you. To be baptized again is saying His redemption wore off or something like that.

So if the first baptism of John was a baptism of repentance, and then later (after Christ died/resurrected) they were baptized again in His name…that leaves me with a few more questions:

1-What was the purpose of the first baptism of repentance (by John) if it was not complete?

2-If Baptism removes the mark of original sin and Jesus was without sin, then why was Jesus baptized and why was this sacrament initiated before his death and resurrection?

3-Did all of the people John baptized need to be baptized again after Jesus died?

As to the phrase “baptized in the name of Jesus” it does not mean they didn’t employ the Trinitarian baptism Jesus commanded. Rather, they were merely using shorthand to say, “baptized according to Jesus’ baptism” which cleanses from original sin and not just a repentance from committed sins, which was all John’s baptism was. :slight_smile:

There is only 1 baptism so your friend getting re-baptized means nothing.

John’s baptism was not sufficient. It was a prelude to what was to come. John’s baptism did not forgive sins only showed repentance. The baptism of Jesus forgives sins. The only people who need to be re-baptized are those that received John’s baptism before Jesus.

Jesus said to baptize in the name of the father, son, and holy spirit. In acts when it says they were baptized in the name of Jesus it is understood to have been the trinitarian formula. you have to understand that these books were written by separate people. And we Catholics do not get our beliefs on Baptism from the bible. We got them from Jesus Christ himself. When he told the Apostles to baptize in the name of The father, son and Holy spirit that is when the Catholic church got it’s formula.

All the Sacraments of the Church that Christ instituted have a foreshadow in the Old Testament. Not so with Baptism. John the Baptist was sent to provide the foreshadow of the true Baptism.

Jesus told you why He accepted to be Baptized by John, He is perfect and followed the Law to a T all that was required He submitted to.
Was He not circumcised? He did all that was required of Him as a Jew.

As for your last question it would seem so, all that joined the Church that Christ instituted would need to be Baptized with Jesus’s Baptism in order to receive the Holy Spirit and be cleansed of the stain of Original Sin and any sins they had commited up to that point.

  1. It was turning away from their sins, but did not give forgiveness for those sins. It was also in preparation for the New Covenant, and entering it through the Trinitarian baptism. John was making straight the path of the Lord. He was preparing people to be ready for Christ.

  2. As noted by John, Jesus didn’t need to be baptized, and yet Jesus did it to initiate the sacrament. That was the reason for it. He initiated all the sacraments before His death and resurrection. Holy Orders and Eucharist at the Last Supper, Confirmation and Confession when He breathed on them, Anointing of the Sick when He sent out the disciples, and Matrimony He raised to a sacrament at the wedding of Cana.

  3. Yes. They needed the Trinitarian baptism to enter into the New Covenant.

The Baptism of John did NOT remove any sins.

My Protestant sister has been “baptized” three times…once as an infant in the Methodist Church and twice more when she rededicated herself to God.

Since baptism is purely symbolic to some Protestants, it makes sense, right? Getting baptized is just a symbol of new or renewed commitment. Like renewing one’s wedding vows. But does anyone really think that more than one marriage occurred? However, after drinking the Baptist Kool-Aid on infant baptism, she had to do it again as a believer. Then after falling away for several years (OSAS?), she got baptized again as a non-denominational Christian who was “really serious this time.” :rolleyes:

In reality, she got baptized only once as an infant and merely wet twice more.

The same as with “altar calls”, this is a substitute for the Sacrament of confession. It stems from the Baptist view of baptism as a mere ordinance - a law which must be followed by Christians. Of course, this strikes me as “works salvation”, but nevertheless…

:clapping:Thanks for the laugh! It cheeried me up, really needed it.



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