In Eph 4:5, Paul says there is one baptism. John the Baptist had his baptisim (water), but then Jesus had His (Spirit). Isn’t this two differnt types, or is Jesus’ the same as John’s but with the added element of God’s Grace making it the Water and Spirit baptisim spoken of by Jesus to Nicodemus? I hope this is not sounding confusing, but it does *appear *there is more than one type of baptisim. Acts 19:1-6…two types? Hebrews 6:2…“washings” is plural.
There is one baptism for the forgiveness of sins:
"Baptism is the first and chief sacrament of forgiveness of sins because it unites us with Christ, who died for our sins and rose for our justification, so that “we too might walk in newness of life.” (*Catechism of the Catholic Church * no. 977)
The baptism of Our Lord by St. John:
“Our Lord voluntarily submitted himself to the baptism of St. John, intended for sinners, in order to "fulfill all righteousness."19 Jesus’ gesture is a manifestation of his self-emptying.20 The Spirit who had hovered over the waters of the first creation descended then on the Christ as a prelude of the new creation, and the Father revealed Jesus as his “beloved Son.” (ibid no. 1224)
“As to the nature of the Precursor’s baptism, St. Thomas (III:38:1) declares: The baptism of John was not a sacrament of itself, but a certain sacramental as it were, preparing the way (disponens) for the baptism of Christ." Durandus calls it a sacrament, indeed, but of the Old Law, and St. Bonaventure places it as a medium between the Old and New Dispensations. It is of Catholic faith that the Precursor’s baptism was essentially different in its effects from the baptism of Christ, It is also to be noted that those who had previously received John’s baptism had to receive later the Christian baptism (Acts, xix).
… Christ most probably instituted baptism before His Passion. For in the first place, as is evident from John 3 and 4, Christ certainly conferred baptism, at least by the hands of His Disciples, before His passion. That this was an essentially different rite from John the Precursor’s baptism seems plain, because the baptism of Christ is always preferred to that of John, and the latter himself states the reason: “I baptize with water . . . [Christ] baptizeth with the Holy Ghost” (John, i). In the baptism given by the Disciples as narrated in these chapters we seem to have all the requisites of a sacrament of the New Law:
• the external rite,
• the institution of Christ, for they baptized by His command and mission, and
• the conferring of grace, for they bestowed the Holy Ghost (John 1).
The ”water and Spirit” baptism of John 3:
“…being “born again” describe effects of baptism, which Christ speaks of in John 3:5 as being “born of water and the Spirit.” In Greek, this phrase is, literally, “born of water and Spirit,” indicating one birth of water-and-Spirit, rather than “born of water and of the Spirit,” as though it meant two different births—one birth of water and one birth of the Spirit.
In the water-and-Spirit rebirth that takes place at baptism, the repentant sinner is transformed from a state of sin to the state of grace…
The context of Jesus’ statements in John 3 makes it clear that he was referring to water baptism. Shortly before Jesus teaches Nicodemus about the necessity and regenerating effect of baptism, he himself was baptized by John the Baptist, and the circumstances are striking: Jesus goes down into the water, and as he is baptized, the heavens open, the Holy Spirit descends upon him in the form of a dove, and the voice of God the Father speaks from heaven, saying, “This is my beloved Son” (cf. Matt. 3:13–17; Mark 1:9–11; Luke 3:21–22; John 1:30–34). This scene gives us a graphic depiction of what happens at baptism: We are baptized with water, symbolizing our dying with Christ (Rom. 6:3) and our rising with Christ to the newness of life (Rom. 6:4–5); we receive the gift of sanctifying grace and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit (1 Cor. 12:13; Gal. 3:27); and we are adopted as God’s sons (Rom. 8:15–17).”