“There is…one Lord, one faith, one baptism” (Eph. 4:4, 5).
As is often the case, what the Bible says is contrary to what the world believes. The world believes in many lords, faiths, and baptisms. The Bible declares Jesus “is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings and Lord of lords” (1 Tim. 6:15). He is the one and only through Whom we may enter heaven (Jn. 14:6). The Bible also teaches there is but one faith, one body or system of truth, the doctrine of Christ (Jude 3). Those who do not abide in this one faith have no fellowship with God, no matter how good and pious they may be (2 Jn. 9). The Bible also affirms there is only one baptism.
Many people have been taught by their religious leaders that there are many baptisms. They have been told, and have accepted, that sprinkling, pouring, and immersion are all baptisms approved by God. Yet, this idea contradicts what Paul wrote–there is ONE baptism.
Any reputable Greek scholar will define the word baptism as a dip, plunge, submerge and emerge (see Thayer’s Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament or Vine’s Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words). The Bible tells us that much water is needed for baptism (Jn. 3:23). We also know that both the one being baptized and the one doing the baptism went down into the water and came up from it (Acts 8:38-39; Matt. 3:16). This does not describe sprinkling or pouring, for very little water is needed and it is totally unnecessary to enter the water for such things. So, the only thing that fits is immersion. But, there is more.
The Bible plainly spells out that baptism is immersion by stating that Christians were “buried with Him in baptism” (Col. 2:12). Likewise, the Spirit said, “Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so, we also should walk in newness of life” (Rom. 6:3-4). When Christ was buried He was not sprinkled with a little dirt, nor did He have a bucket of dirt poured over Him. Rather, He was buried in a tomb, completely surrounded by rock. When we bury today, we put a person in the ground where he is immersed in the earth. The burial of baptism is in water; completely surrounded by the element in which the burial takes place. Anything other than immersion is not Bible baptism, and thus, not valid.
Just as surely as there is only ONE Lord, there is only ONE baptism. Do you believe it?
Steven F. Deaton