Eph.4:4-6 – There is one body and one Spirit, just as you also were called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all who is over all and through all and in all.
Any time today’s scripture is discussed people soon get into a debate about what baptism Paul is speaking of. Some say water baptism, others say the Baptism in the Holy Spirit, and still others will argue that this is the baptism of fire. I see this passage more and more as speaking as an immersion into God. After all is said and done, we were created to live in and of God. I see water baptism that was introduced on a mass scale by John the Baptist as a prophetic act by John. I can see him in his camel skins, leather girdle, and uncut hair and beard calling out to Israel for repentance. He said he baptizes in water for repentance but the one coming after him would baptize in the Holy Spirit and fire. John’s act of baptism is a prophetic act picturing the heavenly ministry of Jesus as the Baptizer in the Holy Spirit. Maybe John was immersing people into water as a picture of our need to be immersed into God. Today many Christians continue the practice of baptism by immersion. This is leaving behind our world of self and entering in to the world of the Lord. Here is how the Kittle word book describes this.
“John is preparing the people for God’s imminent coming. His baptism is an initiatory rite for the gathering of the messianic community.…Cleansing, connected with repentance, is the main point, with a suggestion of purification for the coming aeon. The contrast with the baptism of the Spirit and fire shows that there is at least some influence of the idea of life-giving inundation…”
I love this phrase, “life giving inundation”. This is a strange, almost conflicted use of inundation. Inundation normally has the idea of destruction, such as the inundating waters of Katrina. In this sense we are inundated or overwhelmed with the life giving waters of the Lord. John foresaw a day when multitudes would be saturated with the person called the Holy Spirit. So yes, I believe in one baptism; that would be an immersion into God Himself. So let’s each of us wade out into the waters and be inundated with God.