One Baptism

Over the Christmas holidays, my parents came down for a visit. We had a wonderful time celebrating Christ's birth. For me the highlights were having my mom and dad in our Christmas services. During one small group class we went through Ephesians 4:4, 5--"There is one body and one Spirit--just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call--one Lord, one faith, one baptism." I knew our discussion would be interesting.
You see, I'm a Presbyterian pastor. My mom and dad are Baptists. Christians have disagreed about the proper mode and subjects of baptism since the early days of the church. We all agreed, however, that "one baptism" here refers to the baptism of all believers into one body, which is the result of the Holy Spirit bringing us alive in Christ. Baptism is an outward sign of the inward reality of the believer being in Christ as the result of the regenerating work of the Holy Spirit. All genuine believers who are "in Christ" are spiritually united. We have "one faith" in "one Lord" irrespective of denominational differences. So my parents believe only believers should be baptized. I baptize believers and their children. My parents recognize immersion as the only proper mode of baptism. I'll dunk or pour or sprinkle depending on what's available and appropriate at the time. (See this video for the wonderfully inventive method they use at The Crowded House in Sheffield, England.) Both my parents and I would like to see more people come to faith in Christ and baptized. In this we are united.



    Are there two distinct water baptisms? Was there one baptism for the first century church of Christ and another baptism for the twenty first century church of Christ? Contrary to what many believe, there is just one baptism.

    ONE BAPTISM-First century baptism was in order to receive the forgiveness of sins. (Acts 2:38 ....and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins...)

    SECOND BAPTISM- Many contemporary believers deny that Acts 2:38 says water baptism is for the forgiveness of sins. They assert the baptism is in order to join a denominational church of their choice. They proclaim the purpose of water baptism is for a testimony of their faith. They say water baptism is to demonstrate that their sins have already been forgiven. They claim water baptism is nothing more then being obedient to the command of Jesus. They say baptism has nothing to do with their salvation.None of the second baptism reasons, that are given for the purpose of water baptism, are found in the Bible. The traditions of men are not found Scripture.

    There are sources for explaining the purpose of water baptism.
    1. The Holy Bible
    2. The Bible of Men's Tradition.


    Galatians 3:27 For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ.

    Traditions 3:27 For all you who were spiritually baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ.

    Mark 16:16 He who has believed and has been baptized shall be saved; but he who disbelieved shall be condemned.

    Traditions 16:16 He who has believed shall be saved. He who has already been saved shall be baptized. He who has disbelieved shall be condemned. He who rejects water baptism will be saved, however, he will not be allowed to join any denominational church.

    Colossians 2:12-13 having been buried with Him is baptism, in which you were also raised up with Him through faith in the working of God, who raised Him from the dead. 13 When you were dead in your transgressions and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He made you alive together with Him, having for forgiven us all out transgressions,

    Traditions 2:12-13 having been buried with Him in spiritual baptism.......

    Acts 22:16 Now why do you delay? Get up and be baptized, and wash away you sins, calling on His name.'

    Traditions 22:16 Saul, your sins were forgiven by faith alone, three days ago when you believed, while on the road to Damascus. I command you to be spiritually baptized. Get up and be baptized spiritually so your sins can be washed away again.

    1 Peter 3:20-21 ...eight persons, were brought safely through the water. 21 Corresponding to that, baptism now saves you---not the removal of dirt from the flesh , but an appeal to God for a good conscience---through the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

    1 Traditions 3:20-21 eight persons, were brought safely through the water. 21 Corresponding to that water baptism is not essential for you to be saved...

    Ephesians 5:25-27...just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her, 26 so that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, 27 that He might present to Himself the church in all her glory, having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that she would be holy and blameless.

    Traditions 5:25-27...... 26 so that He might sanctify her, by the washing of the word of God with the word.......

    Acts 2:38 Peter said to them, "Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.

    Traditions 2:28 Peter said to them, "Repent for the forgiveness of your sins and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ because your sins have already been forgiven......

    WHICH BIBLE DO YOU TRUST, The Holy Bible or The Bible of Men's Traditions?

    Water baptism is essential for salvation contrary to the doctrines of men!

    (All Scripture from;NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE)



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