Saturday, August 09, 2014

THE ONE BAPTISM THAT UNIFIES

There is one Baptism that unifies the church, Eph. 4:5. As there is one body, which is the church (Eph 1:22,23), and one lord, even so there is only one baptism. It is pointed to by the Apostle Paul in Romans 6 where he says, "Or do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus have been baptized into His death? Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life.", Romans 6:3,4. The one Baptism is the one that Jesus commanded for all to receive when becoming a disciple, Mt 28:18-20; cf Mk 16:15,16.
When it comes to knowing the Truth, do you know why Jesus commanded sinners to be baptized but churches choose to sprinkle babies instead? Who is sinning: babies or adults? Do you know that it was men and women being baptized in Acts 8:12; it was not infants? Who needs baptism: the innocent or sinners? When it comes to knowing and understanding, explain why did Philip "preach Jesus" to the Ethiopian and instantly the sinner asked to be baptized in the water, Acts 8:35,36? Do you understand that preaching Jesus includes the command to get in the water? Do you know why Peter said, "Baptism saves you", 1 Pt 3:21? Do you know why Paul tied faith and Baptism with the blessings of being God's children and with being clothed with Christ? These are important matters. Why did Paul tell the Colossians they were raised up with Christ (3:1) and then why did he tell them they were raised when they were Baptized, Col. 2:12,13?
Do you know why people say water baptism isn't necessary for salvation but they still insist on Baptizing with water? And when they are shown passages from the Bible that contradict their assertion that it has nothing to do with salvation, passages which link Baptism and forgiveness, they say that is talking about Holy Spirit baptism? So they insist that Holy Spirit Baptism is necessary for forgiveness of sins? Do they command people to be Holy Spirit Baptized? Jesus said to go out and make disciples and baptize them? And which verses do they use to justify water Baptism and what verses do they go to to show the purpose of water Baptism? Since Baptism is commanded, are they saying there are two Baptisms commanded? Paul said there is only one baptism.
Holy Spirit Baptism was a miraculous event which came upon people in the Bible without warning or control. It was not commanded. Water Baptism was commanded and for a specific reason. In Acts 2 the sinners were pricked and wanted to know what to do? Peter didn't say, "stand back and wait for the Holy Spirit Baptism." No, he told them to repent and be baptize in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of sins, and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit." Here we see Baptism is obeyed and the gift of the Holy Spirit is received afterward. Acts 10 tells of the time when the Holy Spirit Baptism fell upon Cornelius and family. It did not save them, but it was a sign that God was opening the door for Gentiles to come into the Kingdom. Cornelius and his family still needed to be Baptized in water to be saved, Acts 10:47. Do you know why the Philippian jailer got baptized the same hour of the night that he heard the Gospel, Acts 16:33? I know why. He was lost and wanted to be cleansed by the blood of Jesus. A sinner is first introduced to the saving grace of God when he gets in the water.
Baptism isn't a work of the flesh. It is an act of obedient faith (see Romans 1:5; 16:26) which is necessary for salvation. Until you go to the water to have your sins washed away, you are unsaved. Have you received the one baptism? Jesus said, "He that believes and is baptized shall be saved; but he who has disbelieved shall be condemned.", Mk 16:16.

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