ESV - 5 One Lord, one faith, one baptism.
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Baptism, baptize is a transliteration of the Greek baptisma or baptizo. There is no English word that expresses the meaning. Which means to change ones state or condition. The context for its meaning defines what element is used to make the change and what the result of the change is. If a person was baptized with a sword the result was death or injury, if baptized with wine the result was intoxication. If baptized with water one would become clean physically or in a religious sense ceremonial clean. If baptized by God’s Spirit, i.e. into Christ, the result is salvation; being born again, saved. John PREACHED the baptism of repentance (preparation of the heart) Mark 1:4, he PRACTICED water baptism (ceremonial cleansing) Matt. 3:11, Acts 1:5 and FORETOLD of Christ’s Holy Spirit baptism (the one required for salvation) and the fire baptism of judgement against non believers Matt. 3:10-12. 1 Corth. 12:13 For by ONE SPIRIT (not water) we were all baptized into ONE BODY (not many sects)—… have all been made to drink into ONE SPIRIT. Eph. 4:4-6 There is ONE BODY and ONE SPIRIT, … ONE Lord, ONE FAITH (not thousands of man made sects), ONE BAPTISM (Spirit, not different kinds of water - sprinkle, pour, submersion, etc.); ONE God and Father of all… 1 Pet. 3:18-22 … which now saves us—baptism (not the removal of the filth of the flesh (with water), but the answer of a good conscience toward God), through the resurrection of Jesus Christ,… Note that those in the Noah’s ark, the type, were saved through water, not in water or by water. The ark was a type of Christ, the water was God’s judgment. None on the ark received the water. They were all safe and dry inside. They were saved by the ark (a type of Christ) not water (God’s judgement). The ONE baptism which now saves us is a SPIRITUAL one not a physical ceremonial ordinance. The Jews practiced many ritual or ceremonial cleanings/washings i.e. baptisms. None of these removed sin or cleared the conscience (Heb. 9:9-10). The only baptism that clears the conscience, removes sin and justifies a guilty sinner is the circumcision of God made without hands (Col. 2:11), a new spiritual birth (John 3:5-6) not physical birth or ceremonial ritual or ordnance. Paul recorder in 1 Corth. 1:17 that he was not sent to baptize but to preach. The preaching of the gospel, when accepted by the hearer, saves the individual, places them into the one body of Christ and at the same time becomes the recipient of God’s Holy Spirit. Altho there are a few examples in the transition period (book of Acts) where water baptism was performed in conjunction with a Spirit baptism on one that desired to be saved, there are no recorded examples where water baptism gave soul salvation or is a requirement for salvation or is to be practiced by believers. A believer has the reality in Christ. Believers are complete in Christ (Col. 2:10) the moment they have believed. They do not need anything to show or prove to men. Water baptism IS NOT an outward work of an inward belief. A non believer can be water baptized and will still be just another religious non believer. The ONE baptism in Eph. 4:5 is SPIRITUAL. Also See: http://chihuahua-pups.com/Bible/SAVED%20By%20%22DRY%20BAPTISM%22.pdf
There are not to be any divisions in the body of Christ "the church" "Ekklesia(greek" meaning the called out of the world. 1 Corinthians 1:10 10Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our LORD Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment. Ephesians 4:5-6 5One LORD, one faith, one baptism, 6One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all. We are told in Acts 2:38 the one baptism that gives you the Holy Spirit, Acts 2:37-41 37Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do? 38Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. 39For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the LORD our God shall call. 40And with many other words did he testify and exhort, saying, Save yourselves from this untoward generation. 41Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls.
We have had accurate input by brothers Steve, Michael, and Kevin into the meaning of Baptism. I have been a little confused by the different ways we can look at this question. So I have had to sort out in my mind the simple facts which all agree with, and share my thoughts based upon a key scripture: Ephesians 4:4-6 "There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope when you were called; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one ALHYM and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all." (1) Baptism is like the Passport which gets us into Heaven the Father’s kingdom, just like we need a passport to enter into another nation. (2) The Greek word is “baptiso” which means total immersion into an element. In the Bible it means: to be totally immersed, covered in a “ Water grave” (dying to self, the flesh, human nature like iEsou christou died on the Cross); to be totally covered in “the ONE Holy Spirit” and totally controlled and led by Him (1 Cor 6:19-20; Ro 8:1,14); having a new life in Christ, a new spiritual nature, being a new person in The Spirit (2 Cor 5:17), a heavenly “Man” fit for heaven (1 Cor 15: 44-49) as a citizen of Heaven (Eph 2:19-22) (3) Both John the Baptist and iEsou preach Repent. For the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand (Mt 3:2, 4:17) (4) Repentance is the Greek word “Metanoeo” which means turning one’s life around, doing an about turn and heading in another direction, changing one’s mind. King David did this and says in Psalm 51: 10 “Create in me a clean heart, O ALHYM” [i.e. a clean conscience, 1 Pe 3: 18-22] and in v17 “the sacrifices of ALHYM are a broken spirit and a broken and contrite heart – these O LALHYM You will not despise.” We can be like the younger prodigal son who was lost in the world but turned around and went back home to his father who waited for him daily (Lk 15: 11-32). (5) Water Baptism require a dying of self, pictured by iEsou as “ Except a grain of wheat is placed in the ground and dies it shall not bear fruit” (Jo 12:24; Col 2:12; Gal 2:20) Christ died on PESACH, Passover 30-31- C.E. (6) Spirit Baptism is through Christ, ALHYM’s Holy Spirit which happened on SHAVUOT, Pentecost, Festival of the Wheat Harvest, 50 days later (Ac 2:1-4). This gave them power [Grk ‘dunamis’, like dynamite] to do Christ’s work as His Ambassadors (2 Cor 5:20) in the world to preach with authority [Grk ‘exousis] the gospel, to baptise and to teach new convert (Mt 28:18-20) with signs accompanying of healing and casting out demons (Mk 16:14-20) just like iEsou christou did as portrayed in the 4 accounts of the gospel message, and by the disciples and apostles by the Spirit’s power and leading according to Acts. It was on SHAVUOT that ALHYM created the Ekklesia, the glorified Body of CHRIST of which the disciples were the vital member parts (1 Cor 12), and Christ the Head (Col 1:18). (7) Fire Baptism is the process of being sanctified (Grk “ hagiasmos”) i.e. being made holy like ALHYM is holy in conduct and as a new person (1 Pe 1:7, 1:15) through the process of refining – like gold and silver which must pass through fire to be purified (1 Pe 1:7; Prov 17:3). Since ALHYM our Heavenly Father is holy we must be continually made and kept holy to be in His presence. (8) So, following the resurrected and glorified Christ sets us along Calvary Road to Heaven to our Father’s presence (Jo 14:6), to His HOME [oikos] (Eph 2:19-22) where we can call Him ABBA, DADDY as His adopted sons and daughters (Ro 8:15; Gal 4:6) and cuddle up to Him. That is “coming home!” Let us set out faces and be diligent to walk along Calvary’s road come what may! Lawrence NZ
I have a different view about the confession in the Nicene Creed that there is only one baptism. If and when any person belonging to another church comes to join our Church we will not baptize that person again as he is already baptized in that church in spite of the fact that the sacraments of the other church is not fully recognized by our Church. In the same way if a person who deserted our church earlier comes back to our Church repenting the desertion that person will not be baptized again. Any nonbeliever who comes to join our Church accepting our Lord as Savior will invariably will be baptized.
"One baptism" (Ephe. 4:5). Jesus' death and resurrection (or His sacrifice) is only for once -- He is not going to repeat it just because you keep on sinning. In the same manner, the "elect" only die once and resurrected once. Baptism/ "water baptism" was spoken by Christ in parable -- it simply means death and resurrection of the soul.
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