Tonight we're going to continue our series on Things that Unite from Ephesians 4:1-6. These are the foundations of Christian unity. You might say this passage, the seven ones of Ephesians chapter four.
- Ephesians 4:1-6
This is an endeavor, a working, to keep that unity. We must endeavor to maintain, and endeavor and grow in the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. In that regard Paul sets forth several things that unite the church as one, the one body, one Spirit, one hope, one Lord, one faith, one Father. And tonight we're going to look at the one baptism.
Here is the sticking point for most in the denominational world today. The denomination world preaches many baptisms.
They preach many baptism methods:
They preach many types:
- Baptism by water
- Baptism by the Holy Spirit
- Baptism by fire
- John’s baptism
- Infant baptism
But the fact of the matter is that what the Bible teaches concerning the uniting of Christian brothers and sisters together into one body, there is only one baptism. If there is only one baptism there cannot be many methods. If only one baptism meets the definition of baptim, then the many methods cannot be right.
Immersion is only method that meets definition of Greek baptidzo.
There cannot be many types, there can only be one. And as long as the denominational world refuses to acknowledge this clear Bible truth, there will be division. We cannot be in unity with the denomitations as long as they teach something that is not the one baptism that the Bible teaches.
- Amos 3:3
Jesus doesn’t want His followers to be divided. He prayed for their unity.
- John 17:20-23
When you think about so many in the world who refues to acknowledge the Christian faith, it is because there are so many out there who claim to be Christians but are not united in what they teach. They look on Christianity with disdain.
Those who refuse to submit to God’s inspired will in this regard, reject Jesus’ prayer and relegate true Bible unity to something that is not possible to attain. Christ, the Father and the Spirit are one. They are united in the same teaching. Teaching anything other than what they taught means it is impossible to be united with them.
But it is not impossible to attain if we follow God. It is only impossible to attain if we prefer the opinions of men to God’s.
Baptism is that which Jesus commanded. It is that which the apostles practiced. It is the point where the new man is created, and we are placed into Christ’s body.
Baptism Unites Because It Was Commanded by Jesus
If you want the simplest reason for baptism to unite it is because Jesus commanded it. Also, baptism is what was taught and practiced by the apostles. Every account of salvation found in the book of Acts includes baptism.
Looking to the great commission which Jesus gave to His apostles we see clearly that baptism was commanded by Jesus.
- Matthew 28:18-20
Baptism is part of the great commission. It is necessary to becoming a disciple.
- Mark 16:15-16
The order here is important. This eliminates infant baptism and baptism after salvation. We aren’t concerned about what gets us condemnation, but what gets us salvation.
- John 3:3-7
Jesus makes it clear that without it we cannot enter the kingdom. Context makes it plain that Jesus was speaking of water baptism.
Baptism is That Which the Apostles Practiced
- Acts 2:38-41
It was preached initially upon the start of the body of Christ, the church. Upon baptism we have forgiveness of sins.
Baptism fulfills God’s promise that those who call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. Those who were baptized were added to the saved.
Baptism is Predicated upon Faith in Christ
- Acts 8:26-40
We see that you must go down into the water to be baptized. He rejoiced after baptism, not before.
- Acts 9 & 22
Saul called miraculously by Jesus, but was not saved on the road. He spent three days fasting. And, Ananias came to him and baptized him.
Paul recounts this in Acts 22:16 where he equates calling upon the name of the Lord with baptism.
Baptism is the Point at Which the New Man is Created and We Are placed into the Body
- Romans 6:1-11
We are baptized into the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ. The old man is done away and we are raised to walk in new life.
- Galatians 3:27
It is that action by which we become sons of God. It is that action by which we put on Christ. To be in Christ is to be in the body.
- Romans 12:5
- 1 Corinthians 12:13
We are baptized into one body, the body is the church.
- Colossians 1:18
- 1 Peter 3:21
Baptism saves, it is not taking a bath; but the response of a good conscience. Baptism unites believers like nothing else does.
To compromise the Bible’s teaching on baptism is to betray Jesus’ prayer for unity in the body. Baptism unites!
Let us preach and teach it as if the Lord himself were lighting the very fire beneath our feet.
If you have not been added to the body of Christ you can do so today. If you believe that Jesus is the Son of God, be willing to repent of your sins, and confess your faith in Him, you can obey Jesus' command and be baptized to have your sins forgiven and be added to the body, the church to be united with Christ.
If you are a Christian who has not been living an obedient life of faith, you can repent and turn back to the Lord.
If we can help you to become united with Christ, we invite you to contact us.