How Are People Baptized By One Spirit Into One Body?
1 Corinthians 12:13 states: "For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body; whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free; and have all been made to drink into one Spirit."
The immersion mentioned here is an immersion that results in people being placed into the body of Christ. The body of Christ is the church of Christ (Ephesians 1:22-23). Which immersion results in people being placed into the body of Christ - the immersion in the Holy Spirit or water immersion?
1. The immersion in the Holy Spirit was administered by Jesus Himself. It was never administered by any other (Mark 1:8). Water immersion is administered by men (Acts 8:36-39; 10:47,48) and is designated to place people into fellowship with God (Matthew 28:19).
2. The immersion in the Holy Spirit was a promise (Mark 1:8; Luke 24:44-49; Acts 1:4-5), not a command. People receive promises. People obey commands. Water immersion is a command to be obeyed (Acts 2:38; 10:47,48) whereas the immersion in the Holy Spirit is a promise to be received (Luke 24:44-49; Acts 1:4,5).
3. The immersion in the Holy Spirit was not for the purpose of saving people from their sins because it was promised to a certain group of men (the apostles) who were already saved from their sins. [NOTE: Please consult our question: "Does Immersion In The Holy Spirit Save People From Their Sins?"]. It was for the purpose of guiding these men into all the truth, allowing them to perform a variety of miracles that confirmed the message that they preached was truly from God (Mark 16:20; Hebrews 2:4). It also equipped other new Christians in the first century by the laying on of the apostles' hands in giving them miraculous power for confirmation of the true message (Acts 2:38; 8:14-16; 19:1-7). Water immersion saves people from their sins because we come into contact with the cleansing blood of Christ through faith in the working of God (Colossians 2:11,12; Revelation 1:5; Romans 6:3,4; 1 Peter 3:21).
4. Water immersion is an immersion that is for everyone who believes and wants to be saved (Mark 16:15,16) whereas the immersion in the Holy Spirit was for a select few (Acts 1:4,5; 2:1-4; John 14-16). But the baptism mentioned in 1 Corinthians 12:13 is something that all Christians have experienced - "by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body." This immersion in 1 Corinthians 12:13 fits water immersion rather than immersion in the Holy Spirit.
6. What happened to the about 3,000 souls who obeyed the commands to repent and be baptized for the remission of sins (Acts 2:38)? They were added to the church (Acts 2:41,47), which is the body of Christ (Colossians 1:18, 13).
7. The preposition "by" is used in the sense of an instrument. It was by the agency of the Holy Spirit that people were added to the one body - the church. Since the Holy Spirit revealed "the faith" (the revealed system of truth) to the apostles and prophets on how one could be saved from their sins, then it can be clearly seen "by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body."
Holy Spirit -----------> The Faith ----------------------> Baptized Into The Body of Christ
(1 Corinthians 12:13) (Galatians 3:26-29) (Acts 2:41,47; Colossians 1:18)
8. The conclusion that we learn from 1 Corinthians 12:13 is through the agency of the Holy Spirit revealing God's word (via through the inspired writers of the New Testament) people are immersed into water and hence into the one true church, the church of Christ.
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