When we were born-again, we participated in the Resurrection of The Lord Jesus Christ from the grave. We were not merely saved to experience “the Life of the Ages” someday. Our “old man”, “sinful nature” or “spirit man” literally died with/in Christ, was buried in his grave/baptism and was raised to new life in His resurrection! This is the foundation of all Christianity and it is a great mystery.
One recent question that I have been wondering is regarding whose faith caused this? Did it become true when I believed or did I believe because it was true? Did it happen 2,000 years ago and I recently believed or did me believing cause it to happen 2,000 years ago? This raised some seriously Calvinistic thoughts that I reject. John Calvin literally believed that Jesus Christ did not truly die for all mankind. That wretched doctrine is so flimsy that I’m not even going to quote verses that refute it. (2 John 1:1,2 & John 3:16 & 2 Cor.5:14)
This death of Jesus Christ was often referred to as “Baptism and circumcision” because those O.T. types were fulfilled in the life-work of Jesus.
Jesus spoke of the Cross this way ~ “I have a baptism to undergo, and how distressed I am until it is finished! (Luke 12:50)
It’s from that perspective that I explore “The One Baptism”.
ONE BAPTISM ~
Ephesians 4 ~ “4There is one body and one Spirit, just as also you were called in one hope of your calling; 5one Lord, one faith, one baptism, 6one God and Father of all who is over all and through all and in all.”
This verse is way to profound for me to fully understand. let alone try to explain! But, the “One Baptism” seems to directly correlate to “The One Lord, the one faith, the one body, etc…”
Jesus was the One Lord and he lived by The (one) faith.
Is it absurd to believe that the One Baptism was not what we did but, what he did? Not just as a substitute but vicariously? Not only for us but in us and therefore as us?
Paul expounded on Christ’s circumcision/death/baptism/burial in Colossians 2.
8See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deception, according to the tradition of men, according to the elementary principles of the world, rather than according to Christ. 9For in Him all the fullness of Deity dwells in bodily form, 10and in Him you have been made complete, and He is the head over all rule and authority; 11and in Him you were also circumcised with a circumcision made without hands, in the removal of the body of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ; 12having been buried with Him in baptism, in which you were also raised up with Him through faith in the working of God, who raised Him from the dead. 13When you were dead in your transgressions and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He made you alive together with Him, having forgiven us all our transgressions.”
Notice the clear connection between circumcision/death and burial/baptism? Notice how often it’s expressed as something He did and it wasn’t in us but in Him! Even more interesting that there is never any mention of our faith having anything to do with this reality! Yes, we need to believe to access the true promises of God that are fulfilled in Christ but, does believing God’s promises are fulfilled make them fulfilled?
Or did Christ fulfill God’s promises and our believing merely accesses what He has already accomplished?
THE BAPTISM ~
Paul said it this way in Romans 6 ~ ”
3are ye ignorant that we, as many as were baptized to Christ Jesus, to his death were baptized? 4we were buried together, then, with him through the baptism to the death, that even as Christ was raised up out of the dead through the glory of the Father, so also we in newness of life might walk. 5For, if we have become planted (most versions say united) together to the likeness of his death, [so] also we shall be of the rising again; 6this knowing, that our old man was crucified with [him], that the body of the sin may be made useless, for our no longer serving the sin; 7for he who hath died hath been set free from the sin.
8And if we died with Christ, we believe that we also shall live with him…”
Interestingly, Paul spoke to Colosse about the importance of not being deceived in this matter and to Rome about their perceived ignorance. Have I been unknowingly deceived all of this time? Was the “One Baptism” (of Christ) the same as “The Baptism” and actually the baptism of all mankind?
Immediately before the Cross, Jesus said ~“ 32And I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw (literally drag) all to Myself.” 33Now He was saying this, signifying by what death He was about to die.” (John 12)
Did Jesus actively drag everyone to himself in his baptism of death?
When did I die and join him in his death? When I believed and was baptized or when He believed and I was baptized into His death?
13If we are “out of our mind,” as some say, it is for God; if we are in our right mind, it is for you. 14For Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died.”
These verses have been following me for months…I can’t get away. It’s like a Holy Ghost “haunting”. I may be out of my mind but, I am beginning to believe that the Gospel declares that All have already died in the Lord Jesus Christ!
I honestly don’t know if this is madness or glory. I only know that I am obsessed with the Cross of the Lord and his love. The Truth of the Gospel and nothing less.
I truly believe the Spirit of Truth will guide us into all the Truth of the Scriptures.