“one Lord, one faith, one baptism” Eph 4:5
Why does Paul say there is one baptism? First off, “one” is the number of unity. And the church is being encouraged to work hard to keep the “unity of the spirit in the bond of peace.” So the “one baptism” is a matter of unity among Christians.
But why does he say there is one baptism when the New Testament talks about water baptism, holy spirit baptism, the baptism of fire, the baptism of suffering, as well as the baptism of Moses. This makes several baptisms, not just one. Let’s think about this.
Not everyone received the holy spirit baptism which is only seen in Acts 2 and Acts 10. The baptism of fire is hell and that’s definitely not something anyone would want, Lk 3:16,17; Mt 3:10-12. And the baptism of suffering was something disciples would suffer, but not everyone would, Mk 10:38-39. And the baptism of Moses and the baptism of the Noahic flood were symbolic of the baptism of the New Testament since they pictured the people of God passing through water unto salvation, 1 Cor 10:2; 1 Pt 3:20. But water baptism is something every Christian partakes in.
Only the water baptism Jesus commanded is for all to obey. Jesus said, “He that believes and is baptized shall be saved.” Mk 16:16. Some who reject water baptism might try to say this is Holy Spirit baptism, but it’s not. This is the same baptism that Matthew records Jesus saying, “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded…” Mt 28:19. There is no one who doubts Matthew is talking about water baptism. Well the baptism mentioned in Mark 16 is the same command. So Mark 16:16 isn’t talking about Holy Spirit baptism.
Have you gone to the river? Have you repented and been immersed in the river. Have you understood your need for salvation and been buried in the pool of water? If not, why are you delaying? Get up and be baptized and wash away your sins while calling on God to save (by the way, that’s scripture).
“‘Now why do you delay? Get up and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on His name.” Acts 22:16.
Yes, it’s free. Yes, you can’t and aren’t earning salvation. Yes, it’s called obedient faith in the saving work of God, Rom 1:5; 16:26. Yes, Jesus commands it and if you love Him, you will obey Him commands (by that way, that’s scripture, Jn 14:15).
So if you love Jesus, then get baptized and let God forgive you of all your transgressions, Col. 2:11-13.
The 1 Baptism is available to you if you will commit to follow Christ Jesus and leave behind the old sinful past.
God bless you. Dan Mayfield