The Bible subject of baptism is one that should not be neglected. It is an important subject because it relates to one’s personal salvation. In the book of Ephesians, the apostle Paul states there is “one baptism” (Ephesians 4:4). What is this one baptism? Have I participated in that one baptism?
The one baptism that Paul refers to is the baptism in the name of Jesus Christ. In Acts 2:38, “Peter said to them, ‘Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” There is salvation only through Jesus Christ and any baptism that is not authorized nor approved of by Christ is an invalid baptism.
Also, we must recognize the baptism in the name of Jesus Christ is for salvation. By submitting to the will of Christ in baptism we may receive the forgiveness of our sins. Ananias told Saul of Tarsus, “Now why do you delay? Get up and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on His
name,” (Acts 22:16). When a person is baptized, they obtain the forgiveness of their personal sins and have them washed away. They are cleansed and become a new creature.
The one baptism is a burial in water. Paul describes it as a burial in Romans 6:3-6 and Colossians 2:12.
Baptism is a complete immersion in water (cf. Acts 10:47-48). When a person dies and is buried, they are put under the earth. When a person who is spiritually dead is buried in baptism, they are immersed in water, but they are raised to walk in newness of life!
The Scriptures also show the one baptism must be joined with belief. Jesus said, “He who has believed and has been baptized shall be saved…” (Mark 16:16). Philip would baptize the eunuch only if he believed Christ was the Son of God (Acts 8:36-37). We must believe in Christ. We are not saved at the point of faith alone, but belief is enjoined with baptism. When a person believes and is baptized, they will be saved.
We must examine our heart, our lives, and our actions. If we have sinned, but have never believed in God and been obedient to Him in baptism, then we remain in our sins. There is a wonderful way to become a Christian—by being saved in the waters of baptism (1 Peter 3:21).
by Sean P. Cavender