1. We are presently studying the 7 subjects listed in Ephesians 4:4-6. 2. Today we are concentrating on the "one baptism" mentioned in vs.5.
I. LET US FIRST IDENTIFY THE "ONE BAPTISM"
A. This is where we need to begin because the Bible actually tells us about several different baptisms. B. For example, the Bible speaks of: 1. "the baptism of John the Baptist" (Matthew 3:1-6) 2. "the baptism of the Holy Spirit" (Matthew 3:11a) 3. "the baptism of fire" (Matthew 3:11b-12) 4. "the baptism commanded by Christ" (Matthew 28:19-20). C. Let us determine which is the "one baptism" mentioned in Ephesians 4:5. 1. Is it John’s baptism? a. No, John’s baptism was valid for a limited time because he pointed people to Christ who would come after him (Acts 19:4). b. Later, we will read about some people in Ephesus who were baptized by John’s baptism, and they had to be baptized again. 2. Is it Holy Spirit baptism? a. (Matthew 3:11) John said Jesus would administer Holy Spirit baptism. b. Holy Spirit baptism was administered on 2 occasions. 1) (Acts 2) The apostles were baptized in the Holy Spirit. 2) (Acts 10) Cornelius and his household received Holy Spirit baptism. c. The Lord never commanded everyone to be baptized in the Holy Spirit. 3. Is it the baptism of fire? a. No, the baptism of fire will occur in the future. b. It is the eternal punishment that the wicked will receive at the judgment. 4. That leaves only one -- the "one baptism" of Ephesians 4:5 is the baptism that was commanded by Christ in the Great Commission. a. This baptism is for "all nations" (Matthew 28:19-20). b. This is the baptism that the people in Ephesus received (Acts 19:5).
II. LET US EXAMINE THE CHARACTERISTICS OF THE "ONE BAPTISM"
A. The "one baptism" has certain prerequisites. 1. It must be preceded by belief (Mark 16:16). 2. It must be preceded by repentance (Acts 2:38). 3. It must be preceded by a confession of Christ (Acts 8:36-37). B. The "one baptism" is to be administered in a certain manner. 1. It is in water (Acts 8:38). 2. It is a burial (Colossians 2:12). C. The "one baptism" has certain purposes. 1. It is necessary for salvation (1 Peter 3:21). a. Sins are washed away at baptism (Acts 22:16). b. It is for the "remission" [removal, forgiveness] of sins (Acts 2:38). 2. It puts a person into Christ (Galatians 3:27). 3. It puts a person into the one body, the church (1 Corinthians 12:13). D. Even though the Bible clearly describes and explains the "one baptism," . . .
III. THERE ARE OTHER BAPTISMS PRACTICED TODAY
A. For example, there are some who: 1. christen babies (babies cannot believe or confess Christ, and they have no sins to repent of) 2. practice sprinkling (baptism is immersion or a burial) 3. baptize those who have already seen saved (the Bible places salvation after baptism) 4. are baptized to become members of denominations. B. Occasionally, a person will study these matters and will realize that he/she has not received the "one baptism" -- a question is often asked.
IV. IF I RECEIVED A BAPTISM OTHER THAN THE "ONE BAPTISM" OF EPHESIANS 4:5, WHAT DO I NEED TO DO?
A. This is a good question that deserves a Bible answer. B. Fortunately, we have Acts 19:1-7 to answer it. 1. In Ephesus, Paul contacted some people who had received John’s baptism. a. Earlier (18:24), Apollos had been preaching in Ephesus. b. (18:25) This man only knew the baptism of John. c. At one time John’s baptism had been valid (John 1:33 -- God had sent John to baptize). d. John’s baptism was no longer valid because it had been replaced by the baptism commanded by Christ in the Great Commission. 2. After Paul taught these people, they "were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus" [received the baptism commanded by Christ]. C. Here, we have an example of some people who had been baptized, but they had not been baptized correctly -- they received the "one baptism" Jesus commanded in the Great Commission.
1. If you have not obeyed the Gospel, we have shown from the Bible what you need to do. 2. If you have received a baptism other than the "one baptism" that we read about in Ephesians 4:5, we have shown from the Bible what you need to do. 3. Let us close with Acts 22:16.