Is there more than "One Baptism"?


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There are seven doctrines listed in Ephesians 4:4-7 that we are to be unified in. “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.” But as I thought about each of these seven things it struck me that I could think of not just one, but several different baptisms spoken of in scripture.

First there was the Old Testament baptism or washing, expressed as an idea of cleansing from, or because of, sickness, impurity, sin, or contact with the dead. Leviticus 15:1-13 explains how this was to be done. Then we read about John the Baptist’s baptisms of repentance for remission of sins directed to the Jews in Luke 3:1-17. Next, we read of Jesus’ water baptism of identification with humanity in Matthew 3:13-17. Then we see the command to those who have believed the Gospel and have been born again, to be water baptized as an outward sign of obedience to the Great Commission in Matthew 28:19-20. We see other, non-physical, or positional baptisms spoken of in the scriptures, such as being baptized into Christ’s death (Romans 6:3-4) and the baptism of identification with His burial and resurrection (Colossians 2:12.) Second to last is the baptism promised by Jesus in Acts 1:5 For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence. This is the baptism of God giving the Holy Spirit to all who have believed the Gospel.

There is one baptism left, spoken of in scripture that we haven’t mentioned that is also the “one baptism” of Ephesians 4:5. That baptism is a spiritual baptism by means of the Holy Spirit “into” the body of Christ. Listen to 1 Corinthians 12:13, “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.” and Galatians 3:27, “For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.” What matters is not an outward act of obedience by you in water baptism, as important as that is, rather, it is an inward act of repentance and belief in the finished work of Jesus by His death, burial, and resurrection, that brings salvation that matters. He will then perform the “one baptism” making us individual members of the body of Christ, known as “the church.” Let’s not confuse the other baptisms to the one baptism that makes us unified in the body of Christ.


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There is another that you're unlikely to hear about in any western church. I know I never did.

Early theologians considered martyrdom to be a privilege and honour, but also a second baptism. It is still regarded as such in other places of the world. Egypt Christian tradition tells the story of George, a convert from Islam who longed to be baptized. But no Christians would, as they feared retribution from other Muslims. In the end George was stoned to death. But as he lay dying, his last words were that of rejoicing. For, as he said, he had finally been baptized, in his own blood.

Mark 10

35 Then James and John, the sons of Zebedee, came to him. “Teacher,” they said, “we want you to do for us whatever we ask.”

36 “What do you want me to do for you?” he asked.

37 They replied, “Let one of us sit at your right and the other at your left in your glory.”

38 “You don’t know what you are asking,” Jesus said. “Can you drink the cup I drink or be baptized with the baptism I am baptized with?”

39 “We can,” they answered.

Jesus said to them, “You will drink the cup I drink and be baptized with the baptism I am baptized with, 40 but to sit at my right or left is not for me to grant. These places belong to those for whom they have been prepared.”


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Thanks for a different Muslim viewpoint. Jesus' references to this baptism were related to His death such as Luke 12:50 But I have a baptism to be baptized with; and how am I straitened till it be accomplished! In the reference above, I believe He was preparing James and John for their suffering and death because of their witness and testimony (martyrdom) of Jesus.


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1 Corinthians 12:13, “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 only baptism that counts when it comes to salvation. I love the fact that we are all baptized into one body which is "Christ"

1Co 1:10 Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment.
1Co 1:11 For it hath been declared unto me of you, my brethren, by them which are of the house of Chloe, that there are contentions among you. 12 Now this I say, that every one of you saith, I am of Paul; and I of Apollos; and I of Cephas; and I of Christ. 13 Is Christ divided? was Paul crucified for you? or were ye baptized in the name of Paul? 14 I thank God that I baptized none of you, but Crispus and Gaius;
When the body of Christ is organizes to the point of giving themselves a name that separates themselves from this one body "shame on them".
These seven doctrines in Ephesians 4:4-7 I just love "they are my doctrinal statement". I just love the word of God, it's all I need.