One Lord, One Faith, Three Baptisms!

By Justin Johnson

Since Paul makes it clear that there is only one baptism in Eph 4:5, why is there such a hullabaloo over baptisms?

If Paul says there is only one then it must be the one baptism Paul teaches. It is found in 1 Corinthians 12:13 and Romans 6:3.

It is dry and performed by the Spirit baptizing you into Christ. This is the baptism that saves you. It is not water baptism of any kind.

If you can see this then you have succeeded at making the leap of scriptural understanding that the information Jesus gave to Paul supersedes the information found in Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John.

If you do not see this then you are stuck trying to reconcile the multiple baptisms taught in the Lord’s earthly ministry with the single baptism in Ephesians 4:5.

Matthew 3:11 stands in direct contrast to Ephesians 4:5.

“I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire: “ – Mat 3:11

In this verse we have three baptisms: 1) baptism of water unto repentance; 2) baptism with the Holy Ghost; 3) baptism with fire.

This list does not include the Lord’s baptism just four verses later which could not be unto repentance since he did not need to repent. His baptism was performed to ‘fulfill all righteousness’.

You may have been baptized with water, but have you been baptized with the Holy Ghost? You say you have? Well have you been baptized with fire? You probably wouldn’t want to (Mat 3:12; Isa 4:4).

When it comes to baptism we are faced with a scriptural necessity. Will we accept that Jesus revealed to Paul information that superseded the prior teaching of baptism?

Or will we believe that Paul was wrong; there is more than one baptism; and the one Jesus did we could never do.

If the church would recognize the progressive revelation given by Christ to Paul, then there would be far less confusion about baptism. We would understand the purpose of all twelve baptisms in scripture and still conclude that Christ is right when he taught Paul:

“One Lord, one faith, one baptism,” – Ephesians 4:5

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Published: August 13, 2008
Last Modified: April 20, 2016
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