What is the ‘One Baptism’ in Ephesians 4:5?

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There are several baptisms mentioned in the New Testament: John’s baptism (Luke 3:16), baptism of the Holy Spirit (Luke 3:16), baptism of fire (Matthew 3:11), and the baptism of the great commission (Acts 8:36-39). But Ephesians 4:5 says there is one baptism. Which of these is the one baptism in Ephesians 4:5?

John’s baptism was in water for the forgiveness of sins. It was limited in that it would only last until Christ should die on the cross (Mark 1:4; Acts 19:3-5).

Jesus promised Holy Spirit baptism to the apostles (John 16:13; Acts 2:1-4). There’s no record of it being received by members of the church in general.

The baptism of fire is reserved to punish the wicked at the end of time (Matthew 3:11-12; Revelation 20:11-15). No one wants this baptism!

Water baptism (Christ’s baptism) was to be administered by the disciples to all sinners who had repented of their sins and desired to be saved (Acts 2:38). It was commanded to be done as long as the world stands (Mark 16:15-16). The purpose of it is for the salvation of the soul (Mark 16:16; Acts 2:38; 22:16; 1 Peter 3:21).

The one baptism is not John’s baptism, for it was superseded by Christ’s baptism. It is not Holy Spirit baptism, for it was only received by a few. It is not fire baptism because it is reserved for the wicked after this life is over. The Water baptism of the great commission is the only baptism that was to be practiced till the end of the world. Jesus told his disciples to go into all the world and preach the Gospel to every creature. Those who believed and repented of their sins were then to be baptized in water for the forgiveness of their sins (Matthew 28:19-20; Mark 16:15-16; Acts 2:38; 22:16).

By the time the book of Ephesians was written, only one baptism was known, not two, three or four! The one baptism is to be administered to every sinner who repents and wants his sins washed away in the blood of Christ (Revelation 1:5; Acts 16:22). The ONE BAPTISM then is WATER BAPTISM which was commanded by Jesus to be administered to all who believe in Christ and repent of their sins as stated in the great commission (Matthew 28:18-20; Mark 16:16). Will you obey today?

Garland M. Robinson

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