We are now looking into the message that God told Paul to give us for today. In this lesson we are going to look at the subject of baptism. This is an important subject because some people think that water baptism is necessary before a person is saved. When the word “baptism” is mentioned, most people think of water baptism. We must see, however, that there are a number of baptisms mentioned in the Bible. It is important to see this, or we will be reading the word “water” into the Scripture every time we see the word “baptism.”
In the Scripture texts above, you will find water baptism, baptism of fire, John’s baptism, baptism of the Holy Ghost, baptism of death, etc. In some of the Scriptures, we find more than one baptism in the same verse. For example, in Matthew 3:11 and also in Luke 3:16, we see that John mentioned that he baptized with water, but One coming after him would baptize with fire and the Holy Spirit. Then, in Mark 1:8, we see two baptisms, water and Holy Spirit.
Yes, there are many baptisms mentioned in the Scripture, and yet we find that when the Lord gave Paul the message for us today, we are told that we should only have one baptism. In Ephesians 4:4-5, we read,
“There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are 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.”
Most of us will see and agree that there is only “One Lord” or “One God.” But the Lord, through the apostle Paul, is telling us here that there is only one baptism for us today. Now we can see the importance of learning which baptism is for us today. In 1 Corinthians 12:13, we read,
“For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.”
This is the one baptism that we need. This is the one baptism that puts us into the one church, the Church the Body of Christ. If we notice carefully, we see that the Holy Spirit of God is the One that baptizes us into this body, or church. It is not a human being. This is a spiritual baptism. It is the one baptism that puts us in God’s church for today. This is the one baptism for today.
“For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily. And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power.” (Col. 2:9-10)
This is what is important—to be in God’s Church!
In the next lesson, we will continue this study on baptism. In the meantime, please continue to read the Scripture texts given above.