Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Ephesians 4:5 comments: one Lord, one faith, one baptism

5  One Lord, one faith, one baptism,

Now we know that there are many gods, small g, and lords, small l.

1 Corinthians 8:4 ¶  As concerning therefore the eating of those things that are offered in sacrifice unto idols, we know that an idol is nothing in the world, and that there is none other God but one. 5  For though there be that are called gods, whether in heaven or in earth, (as there be gods many, and lords many,) 6  But to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him.

This is the unity of Christianity not found in competing rituals or church organizations but that we believe that the way to God and to eternal life is through the Lord Jesus Christ. Our faith, which earlier was said was a gift from God, is that God came to earth and lived as one of us, died for our sins, and was raised from the dead for our justification.

Jude 1:3  Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.

The baptism that is the means by which we are put in Christ and He in us is that baptism of the Holy Spirit we receive upon profession of our belief. Here are two distinct kinds of baptism. John’s immersion of Jews in water was a ritual purification based on their repentance but Jesus came with something greater.

Mark 1:8  I indeed have baptized you with water: but he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost.

Acts 1:5  For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence.

Still, in the earliest days of the church, composed almost exclusively of Jews, there was still a call to national repentance with the Holy Ghost/Spirit promised afterward.

Acts 2:38  Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.

But, when Peter dealt with individual Gentiles in the matter of their salvation they had received the Holy Ghost already upon their profession of faith and baptism became an ordinance, a sign of their already being in Christ, the water baptism not being the means by which they were put in Christ as they had already received the Holy Ghost and were saved.

Acts 10:47  Can any man forbid water, that these should not be baptized, which have received the Holy Ghost as well as we?

Again, remember that the Lord promised something greater than water baptism.

Acts 11:16  Then remembered I the word of the Lord, how that he said, John indeed baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost.

Water baptism, performed by immersion, as the word baptism refers to being dunked, drowned, and submerged all throughout Greek literature, is a sign, a type, a symbolic action, and faith is predicated upon belief not a ritual act. and lacks the urgency and effectual consequences of the baptism in the Holy Ghost upon your profession of faith.

John 4:2  (Though Jesus himself baptized not, but his disciples,)

1 Corinthians 1:14 ¶  I thank God that I baptized none of you, but Crispus and Gaius; 15  Lest any should say that I had baptized in mine own name. 16  And I baptized also the household of Stephanas: besides, I know not whether I baptized any other.

17 ¶  For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel: not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of none effect.

Water baptism is a type of salvation, representing salvation in its appearance. Notice like figure in this passage.

1Peter 3:21  The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ:

There is one Lord, one faith, and one baptism by which we are indwelt by the Holy Spirit of God.
What is evidence that one has been baptized by the Holy Ghost or Spirit? In the early church when the apostles were walking the earth and there was no complete Bible containing the Old and the New Testament the ability to speak in other human languages without being taught them was present.

    Acts 2:1 ¶  And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. 2  And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. 3  And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. 4  And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.

    5 ¶  And there were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout men, out of every nation under heaven. 6  Now when this was noised abroad, the multitude came together, and were confounded, because that every man heard them speak in his own language. 7  And they were all amazed and marvelled, saying one to another, Behold, are not all these which speak Galilaeans? 8  And how hear we every man in our own tongue, wherein we were born? 9  Parthians, and Medes, and Elamites, and the dwellers in Mesopotamia, and in Judaea, and Cappadocia, in Pontus, and Asia, 10  Phrygia, and Pamphylia, in Egypt, and in the parts of Libya about Cyrene, and strangers of Rome, Jews and proselytes, 11  Cretes and Arabians, we do hear them speak in our tongues the wonderful works of God. 12  And they were all amazed, and were in doubt, saying one to another, What meaneth this? 13  Others mocking said, These men are full of new wine.

But, if you want to see evidence today, now that the Apostles are gone from us and the Bible is complete and perfect, then look for the proof or fruit of the Spirit in a Christian’s life. This is what the presence of the Holy Spirit produces. This is a more sure thing than a supernatural sign allowing them to do something that points to themselves as being possessed of a special gift.

Galatians 5:22  But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, 23  Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. 24  And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. 25  If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. 26  Let us not be desirous of vain glory, provoking one another, envying one another.


Steve Finnell said...
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Fred Widdowson said...

Baptism is an act of obedience. Peter says in that context that it is not the washing that saves you but the clear conscience before God by your acknowledgement of your faith in Christ's resurrection. Baptism doesn't save you. Salvation is predicated upon belief and faith. But you believe what you want to believe. As long as you are trusting in Christ's righteousness and not anything you've done or can do to be saved you are saved. I just don't want to argue about it on my blog.