The One Baptism
by Steve Klein
Introduction: Ephesians 4:5 says that there is one baptism. Hebrews 6:2 speaks of "the doctrine of baptisms." There are other baptisms, but only one that's essential. The same is true of other things in Ephesians 4 -- God, faith, Lord, etc. The question is, which is the essential one, the true one, the right one? Which baptism is necessary for salvation?
The one baptism involves&ldots;
I. The Right Authority -- Christ
A. Christ commanded baptism (Matthew 28:18-20; Mark 16:16)
B. Baptism is in the name of Jesus --
1. Acts 2:38
2. Acts 10:48 And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord. Then they asked him to stay a few days [Note: The preacher may "command", but the authority to do so is from the Lord.]
C. To do something "In the name of" involves doing by His authority -- something He has empowered, permitted authorized or asked us to do (See Acts 4:7-10).
1. Claiming to do something in the name of Jesus doesn't mean we have, Matthew 7:22-23.
2. To do something in the name of Jesus involves doing it for the reason and purpose that He has assigned -- If we do not do things for the right reason, we are not doing them in Jesus name and it will not be accepted by God
a. Compare being given a cup of cold water in Jesus name to doing a charitable deed to be seen of men (Mark 9:41; Matthew 6:1).
b. Compare praying in Jesus name, to praying selfishly or not according to the will of God (Ephesians 5:20; James 4:3; 1 John 5:14)
c. In each of these cases I may be doing the exact same thing (praying, being charitable, etc.). Whether or not what I am doing is acceptable to God depends on the reason I am doing it.
II. The Right Purpose -- For the Remission of Sins
A. The religious world has various purposes for baptism
1. Outward sign of an inward grace.
2. A church sacrament or ritual.
3. "Because of" remission of sins.
4. To get into their denomination.
B. God's purpose is to save.
1. 1 Peter 3:21
2. Mark 16:16
3. Galatians 3:26-27
4. Acts 2:38 ("for" is parallel to Matthew 26:28 this is My blood of the new covenant, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.
III. The Right Person -- A Penitent Believer
A. Baptism is not just for anyone (babies, infants)
B. Baptism is for the believer.
1. Acts 8:35ff
2. Acts 18:8 And many of the Corinthians, hearing, believed and were baptized.
3. Mark 16:16.
IV. The Right Element -- Water
A. Various elements mentioned in Scripture
1. Fire, Matthew 3:11
2. Holy spirit, Matthew 3:11; Acts 1:5
3. Suffering, Matthew 20:22-23
4. Cloud and sea, 1 Corinthians 10:1-2
B. The One baptism for remission is in water
1. Eunuch, Acts 8:36-38
2. Cornelius, Acts 10:47-48
V. The Right Action -- Immersion
A. Baptism is a burial (Colossians 2:12-13; Romans 6:3-4)
B. It involves going down into the water, Acts 8:38
C. And coming up out of the water, like Jesus did in Matthew 3:16ff.
VI. The Right Direction -- Into one Body
A. Denominational baptism puts one into a denomination. Baptism that puts one into a denominational body doesn't put one into the Lord's church because they are two separate bodies.
B. Bible baptism puts one into the one body (cf. Ephesians 4:4)
1. One BODY, 1 Corinthians 12:13 For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body
2. The Kingdom, John 3:5, Jesus answered, "Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God
3. Added to the church, Acts 2:41, 47
4. Into Christ, Galatians 3:27, "For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ."
Conclusion: The one right baptism is urgent -- Acts 19:1-5. When the men in Acts 19 saw that the baptism they had received was not the ONE BAPTISM, they were baptized into Christ.