Part 3 – Paul’s “One Baptism” for Today’s Gentile “Dispensation of the Grace of God”

This Article is part of a multi-part Study Series called The One True Baptism For Today.

The great failing today is that the traditions of the denominations have been used in place of the literal interpretation of Scriptures. Many tend to spiritualize Scripture to make it fit what they want it to say. When Paul writes “baptized in his death” in Rom. 6:3 he means baptized into Christ’s death - not baptized into water.

Due to this tendency of twisting the Scripture, Christendom is doctrinally weak and functionally dead – missing the power of God’s grace in the death burial and resurrection of Christ being the basis of the death, burial, and resurrection of the grace believer as a new creature in union with Christ. For 2,000 years, we have mostly heard the words of men… that are obviously devoid of God’s mind, purpose, and power. We do not think like our Heavenly Father thinks. Most of Christendom thinks just like lost people who lack the Scriptures!

Christ issued a scathing rebuke to apostate Israel, especially concerning its religious leaders who possessed the Hebrew Old Testament but were overwhelmingly ignorant of its truths seen here in Mark 7:6-8, 13.

“He [Jesus] answered and said unto them, Well hath Esaias prophesied of you hypocrites, as it is written, This people honoureth me with their lips, but their heart is far from me. [7] Howbeit in vain do they worship me, TEACHING FOR DOCTRINES THE COMMANDMENTS OF MEN. [8] For Laying Aside The Commandment Of God, Ye Hold the TRADITION OF MEN, as the washing of pots and cups: and many other such like things ye do…. [13] MAKING THE WORD OF GOD OF NONE EFFECT through Your TRADITION, which ye have delivered: and many such like things do ye.”

They stressed external water washings.’ Religious Jews were known for saying “Clean your hands before you eat.” But meanwhile they completely disregarded the needed inner ‘spiritual cleansing,’ something only God can perform. Mankind has a sinful heart—so they had a sinful heartbut they were too preoccupied with religious water ceremonies to realize their lost and fallen condition (see Mark 7:14-23). So, Israel remained Apostate unto “the fall of them and the ‘casting away’ of them (read Rom. 11:1-12, 15, 25).

The professing church of Christendom today is no different. Not only do they take most take verses out from their contexts, they largely ignore the special “revelation of the mystery” concerning the Lord Jesus that Christ gave to the Apostle Paul to give to us Gentiles. Again, we must pay attention to the one Pauline “baptism” of 1 Cor. 12:13. We must listen to Paul.

“For this cause I Paul, the prisoner of Jesus Christ for you Gentiles, If ye have heard of the dispensation of the grace of God which is given me to you-ward… (Eph. 3:1-2).

Paul added, “If any man think himself to be a prophet, or spiritual, let him acknowledge that the things that I write unto you are the commandments of the Lord” (1 Cor. 14:37).

Furthermore, Paul wrote, “For I speak to you Gentiles, inasmuch as I am the apostle of the Gentiles, I magnify mine office:” (Rom. 11:13).

If we truly are grace Bible believers, then we will believe all these Pauline verses. Paul is God’s “apostle” for us Gentiles (see Rom. 11:13, Acts 26:16-18) as much as Moses was God’s man for Israel. The Holy Spirit moved Paul to write that he is God’s spokesman to us. Paul says after salvation “by grace through faith” we receive the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus” (Rom. 8:2a) into our “spirit of man” (1Cor 6:17). Thereby we become “one spirit” (1Cor 6:17) with Christ.

Christ speaks to us in detail through Paul’s 13 epistles of Romans through Philemon. We do not look for God’s words to us and for us outside of Paul’s ministry. If we ignore Pauline theology, as Christendom has done for 20 centuries, then we overlook God’s current dealings with man, and wind up in the utter confusion we see among Christendom, which actually is largely doing Satan’s will! It is that serious!

Paul wrote in Eph. 4:5 a troubling verse for traditional religionists: “[There is] One Lord, one faith, one baptism.” For us Gentiles during today’s age of “the dispensation of the Grace of God,” the Holy Spirit claims there is only one baptism” for believers during today’s pure grace age.

Note how John the Baptist provided Israel with his unique baptism while mentioning three different baptisms in this one verse.

Matt. 3:11:I [John] indeed baptize you with WATER unto repentance: but he [Messiah Jesus] that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the HOLY GHOST, and with FIRE: ….”

Question: There are three “baptisms in the above verse — 1) John’s water baptism, 2) the baptism with the Holy Ghost at Pentecost, and 3) the baptism with fire.

Ask yourself; which one is the “one baptism” for our grace dispensation of today?

The Answer: According to Paul’s 1 Cor. 12:13one dry baptism,’ NONE of the Three baptisms listed in Matt. 3:11 are for application during today’s dispensation of the grace of God”!  

We today do have Paul’s “one baptism” and it is dry.

“For by one Spirit are we all baptized [set] into one body [not water], whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.” (1 Cor. 12:13; cf. Rom. 6:3-4)

To repeat: There is this only one special baptism associated with Paul’s ministry and message for us today. It is not found anywhere else in Scripture. Therefore, if we overlook Paul, we ignore the only baptism applicable to us, the one that counts for eternity and it is a dry baptism … “into His death.”

“… so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? (Rom 6:3)

If the Lord Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit through the Apostle Paul pronounced only one baptism” for the time of our current “dispensation of the Grace of God” (Eph. 4:5), then what exactly is it? To discover the answer, we simply search Paul’s epistles for forms of the word “baptize.” Beginning in Romans and running all the way through Philemon, we encounter today’s Scripture.

Let’s read 1 Corinthians 12:13 again now in its context, noting the words “one body.”

12For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ. 13 For by one Spirit are we all baptized into [Christ’s] One Body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all [men as believers are] made to drink into one Spirit [‘the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus,’ Rom. 8:2a].” (1Cor 12:12-13, emphasis added)

Water is a physical substance whereas “the Body of Christ” is a spiritual entity. It is absolutely impossible that physical water can place us into a spiritual organism. Consequently, we know Paul is not referring to water baptism.

So, how do we become members of “the Body of Christ”? The Bible says the Holy Spirit takes believing sinners and sets them or puts them into “Christ.” Whether “Jews or Gentiles” (national and religious background is irrelevant), “bond or free” (social status insignificant). God the Holy Spirit is the baptizer not a preacher or priest. The Holy Spirit will take all who believe on Jesus Christ as Savior, and make them ‘one with Christ’s spiritual body.’ This is an invisible transaction—not a visible ‘water ceremony’!

Ephesians 3 again: 1For this cause I Paul, the prisoner of Jesus Christ for you Gentiles, [2] If ye have heard of the dispensation of the grace of God which is given me to you-ward: [3] How that by revelation he [God]  made known unto me ‘the mystery [secret]’; (as I wrote afore in few words, [4] Whereby, when ye read, ye may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ) [5] Which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed unto his holy apostles and prophets [preachers] by the Spirit; [6] That the Gentiles should be fellowheirs, and of the same body, and partakers of his promise in Christ by the gospel: [7] Whereof I [Paul] was made a minister, according to the gift of the grace of God given unto me by the effectual working of his power.

“[8] Unto me [Paul], who am less than the least of all saints, is this grace given, that I should preach Among The Gentiles the Unsearchable Riches Of Christ; [9] And to make all men see what is the Fellowship Of The Mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ:….”

“The Church, which is His Body” (Eph. 1:22b-23a) is exclusively a Pauline revelation. You will not find it outside of the Apostle Paul’s ministry or even mentioned during the Acts period at all. The “mystery of Christ” and the “fellowship of the mystery” of “the Body of Christ” is a Pauline concept that Paul received directly from the ascended Lord Jesus, for faithful believers who have been enlightened and gained understanding into Paul’s “Mystery” gospel (Eph. 1:15-18, 3:1-5).

Prior to Christ’s words spoken to and through Paul, it was unknown that God would form “one body” of believers (Jews and Gentiles), as a unified body which is Separate and Distinct from The Nation Israel and Her Prophetic and Law Program.

This “mystery” involves one unique dry “baptism.” God Himself would perform this “baptism,” and the eternal salvation of our souls depends upon it. Only in Him do we have the real, eternal, life, otherwise we are dead. We always hear the appeal to “join the local church and get water baptized.” However, their focus should be the invisible membership that comes by Paul’s unique one dry baptism INTO the Church, which is His Body.”

Now, understanding our dry baptism into His body as seen 1Cor. 12:12-13 (above), we have a better context for understanding these verses.

Romans 6:3-4: “[3] Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized [set] into Jesus Christ were Baptized Into His Death? [4] Therefore we are Buried With Him By Baptism Into Death: [so] that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even [that is] so we also should [could and would] walk in newness of life.”

Despite what we have heard over the years, water baptism is nowhere to be found in this passage! Again, water baptism (in a physical substance) cannot place us into “the Body of Christ (a spiritual entity).”

The moment we believed on Jesus Christ dying for our sins, being buried, and being raised again for our justification (1 Cor. 15:3-4) The Holy Spirit placed us or baptized us into “the Church, the Body of Christ.” This was instantaneous and invisible. We did not see, feel, or hear it, and we would not know about it apart from Paul’s words as our Apostle.

Moreover, the Spirit of God transferred ‘Christ’s identity to us,’ whereby when Christ died, we died with Him (Gal. 2:20), and when He was resurrected, we were resurrected with Him. Romans 6 says we “are dead unto sin, but alive unto God.” Now, compare that with Col. 2:11-12 below (emphasis added).

“[Christ] In whom also ye are circumcised with the Circumcision made Without Hands, in putting off the ‘body of the sins of the flesh’ by the circumcision of Christ: Buried with him in baptism, wherein also Ye Are Risen With Him Through the FAITH OF THE OPERATION OF GOD, who hath raised him from the dead.”

Today there is no physicalwater baptism’ for believers any more than physical “circumcision mad without hands,” these are Biblically metaphorical for the spiritual realities we have in union with Christ.

Here Paul again writes of today’s ‘ONE Baptism’ that counts for eternity.

Galatians 3:26-28, with emphasis added: For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as have Been BAPTIZED [PLACED and SET] INTO Christ Have Put On Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek [Gentile], there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are All One In Christ Jesus.”