Is The Phrase “One Baptism” In Eph 4:5 Meant To Rule Out Holy Spirit Baptism?

In exhorting Christians to keep the “unity of the Spirit,” Ephesians 4:4-6 lists seven ones, including the subject of this article “one baptism.” Some teach this declaration rules out “Holy Spirit baptism” as being in operation any longer, but I am thinking this is a false argument for the truth.

Paul’s argument in this section is that Christians should and can have unity because there is only “one body” and “one Lord” and “one hope” and so forth, the point being they are part of the same body (church) and serve the same Lord (Jesus) and have the same hope (salvation in heaven). Similarly, Paul’s point on “one baptism” is not to contrast water baptism with other types of baptisms, but to say that every Christian’s water baptism was the same. Even though they were baptized at different times and perhaps at different places by different people, John Doe’s baptism is the same as Jane Doe’s baptism – it was “in the name of the Lord” (Acts 19:5) “for the remission of sins” (Acts 2:38) and it placed one “into Christ” (Gal 3:27). Every Christian’s baptism is the same as every other Christians’ baptism and therefore Christians are united in their baptism. Christians can be one because all their baptisms are one and the same.

The point of Eph 4:5 is not to disallow other types of legitimate immersions – like Holy Spirit baptism, the baptism of suffering, or even taking a bath or going swimming. There has never been more than one body, one Spirit, one hope, one Lord, one faith, or one God the Father, and there has never been more than one baptism in the sense Paul is talking about here.

Furthermore, understanding Holy Spirit baptism to refer to the direct miraculous measure of the Holy Spirit, then I Cor 13:8ff teaches Holy Spirit baptism does not happen anymore.  That is the correct way to show the miraculous gifts have ceased, not with Eph 4:5.

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