What Is The One Baptism That Is Now In Effect?
This question comes from Ephesians 4:1-6: "I, therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you to walk worthy of the calling with which you were called, with all lowliness and gentleness, with longsuffering, bearing with one another in love, endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all."
As you read through the New Testament, there are various baptisms that are mentioned. Which one is the "one baptism" of Ephesians 4:5?
1. It cannot be the baptism of fire because that is in reference to hellfire as you look closely at the context of Matthew 3:10-12, which will occur in the future. The "one baptism" that Paul is writing about was presently occurring.
2. It cannot be the baptism of suffering (Matthew 20:20-23) because Jesus was speaking to James and John. This "one baptism" is a baptism that all Christians have experienced and are united into one body, the church of Christ.
3. It cannot be the baptism in the Holy Spirit because it was for a select few (Acts 1:4,5; 2:1-4; John 14-16). The one baptism mentioned in Ephesians 4:1-6 is something that all Christians have experienced.
4. It cannot be the water baptism administered on Jesus (Matthew 3:13-17) because this baptism was only reserved for Jesus who had no sin and the reason He was baptized was to fulfill all righteousness. He was to do the complete will of God. The "one baptism" was a baptism that all Christians have experienced because they were in all need of salvation from sin.
5. It cannot be the baptism of Moses because that was a "baptism" that the children of Israel experienced through the Red Sea before entering into the wilderness (1 Corinthians 10:1-4). No Christian experienced this baptism.
6. It cannot be the water baptism administered by John the Immerser and Jesus during their personal ministries (Mark 1:4; John 4:1-2). That baptism of repentance was for the remission of sins and while it was in effect, those who underwent that baptism would have been added to the kingdom of God that was given to Jesus from God the Father. After the cross, John's baptism was no longer in effect because one of the qualifications of it was to believe on Him (Jesus) who was to come (Acts 19:4). The twelve men at Ephesus were baptized with the baptism of John after it had become null and void and needed to be baptized under the water baptism of the Great Commission (Matthew 28:18-20).
Therefore, the only other baptism that is left is the water baptism under the Great Commission (Matthew 28:18-20). All Christian can unite around this one baptism because all were baptized into Christ and into His body (Romans 6:3-4; 1 Corinthians 12:13). The element is "water" as is seen in Ephesians 5:26; 1 Peter 3:21.
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