The Baptism of John and the Fiery Believer Apollos

Calvin's explanation of the baptismal passage Acts 19:1-6

The men concerned were about twelve in number.276   In commenting,277 Calvin here denies that these confused men had been influenced by Apollos.  "It is not likely that so few 'disciples' were left at Ephesus by Apollos….  They would have been instructed more correctly by him — seeing that he himself had learnt the way of the Lord precisely….  I do not doubt that the [Ephesian] ‘brethren’ whom Luke mentioned previously [Acts 18:27]…were different from these particular men" in Acts 19:1f.

Paul said: "John indeed baptized with the baptism of repentance!"278 Here Calvin comments279 "that the baptism of John was a sign of repentance….  Today, there is no difference between it and our own baptism….  It [baptism by John] was a token and pledge of the same adoption and the same newness of life which we receive in our baptism today.  Therefore we do not read that Christ baptized afresh those who came over to Him from John! 

"In addition, Christ received baptism in His own flesh — so that He might associate Himself with us by that visible symbol.  But if that fictitious difference [between baptism by John and our own baptism today] be admitted — there will vanish and be lost to us this unique favour: that we have a common baptism with the Son of God." And He, the sinless One, was certainly not