One Baptism

Various churches claim Christ show that most members do not agree many times with their party’s beliefs. That is why I find it is so important to ask everyone how they were saved and how they went from lost to saved, because the answer differs between members of the same churches. In the Christian Scriptures, salvation is always the same.

Of these groups, most believe that baptism is essential to be save, because it is a command and example of Jesus Christ. Many of these members also believe that the exact moment of salvation is at some kind of baptism.

What does the Bible have to say? Some profess that they are saved by a spiritual baptism like “accepting Jesus into one’s heart” or saying “the sinner’s prayer.” However, these are not found in the New Testament. There are those of the charismatic groups that believe that salvation is by the baptism of the Holy Spirit, and these believe that there are at least two baptisms needed for salvation rather than one. Most Bible-believers find that baptism is essential and the exact point of salvation. What does the Bible show is the exact moment of salvation?

According to the Scriptures, there is “one baptism” (Eph 4:5). Only one baptism is essential though there are more than one baptism in the Bible. The idea of needing Holy Spirit baptism for salvation is not in the Scriptures. The simplest refutation of this misunderstanding is that the church at Rome did not all have the baptism of the Holy Spirit and yet they had the Spirit and they were saved (Rom 1:11; 8:9, 24). This is simply an undeniable fact. However, they had Christ within them. There is only one baptism that is essential to salvation and the baptism of the Holy Spirit is not that baptism. The baptism of the Holy Spirit was essential to the establishment of the church, the revelation of Scriptures, and helping Christians to understand the one baptism (Eph 3:3–5).

Which baptism is essential? Ephesians 4:5 specifies that there is one baptism and Christ’s Spirit referred to this one baptism in Ephesians,

Even as Christ also loved the church, and gave Himself up for it; that He might sanctify it, having cleansed it by the washing of water with the word, that He may present the church to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish. (Eph 5:25–27)

What is the one baptism in water? In Ephesians, the Spirit revealed through Paul that there is one baptism — “the washing of water with the word.” The one baptism is water baptism. This passage also shows that this is how Christ cleansed, sanctified, and made the Church to not have spot or wrinkle and to be without blemish. Christ washes the believers with water. The work is not of the believer. No one baptizes oneself.

Which water baptism is essential? There are two baptisms in water in the New Testament Scriptures. One baptism is from John for repentance and the other baptism is from Christ. Only one baptism is in water and essential to followers of Christ. In Acts 22:16, Ananias exhorted Paul, “And now why do you wait? Rise and be baptized and wash away your sins, calling on His name.” Peter declared, “Baptism now saves you” (1 Pet 3:21). This is the one baptism that washes away sins. In Acts 2:38, Peter commanded, “Be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ unto the forgiveness of your sins.” Baptism in the name of the Lord is in water. Peter proclaimed in Acts 10:47–48, “Can any man forbid the water, that these should not be baptized, who have received the Holy Spirit as well as we? And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ.” Why would no one forbid? Why was this baptism immediate? Because “forgiveness of sins is to be received through His name” (Acts 10:43; cf. 1 Cor 6:11).

This one baptism is the baptism of the Great Commission to all the world. Jesus commanded, “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,” (Matt 28:19). Clearly, this is the one water baptism unto the remission of sins. According to Mark, Jesus instructed, “Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned” (Mark 16:15–16). Lastly, this baptism is always for believers and not infants who are safe being of the kingdom of heaven. This baptism is a burial in water and not a pouring or sprinkling (Acts 8:38–39; Rom 6:4–6; Col 2:12–13). Baptism means immersion or dunking from the New Testament Greek word baptizo as the Greek churches know this well. There is the only baptism that the believer needs be buried with Christ and rise to salvation. Baptism is how believer enter into Christ’s church (Acts 2:41, 47; 1 Cor 12:13). Baptism in Jesus’s name is the one baptism.