THE CHURCH WHICH IS HIS BODY
How many times has someone asked you. "What church do you belong to?" Do you know that in the Bible you read of only one church for this dispensation or day in which we live? That Church is the Church which is Christ's Body -made up of all who put their faith and trust in the Lord Jesus Christ as their Savior.
The Apostle Paul speaks of this Church in Ephesians where speaking of the Lord Jesus he says in Chapter 1:22-23: "And hath put all things under His feet, and gave Him to be the Head over all things to the Church, which is His Body, the fulness of Him that filleth all in all." Notice, it says "the Church" - one Church, which is His Body. Also notice it says this again in Colossians 1:18, "And He is the Head of the Body, the Church." There is one church; the Body and the Church are one and the same.
Paul says the same thing in Colossians 1:24, "Who now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ in my flesh for His Body's sake, which is the Church." Again we see one Church, which is His Body; all believers in Christ are members of that Body. Romans 12:5 tells us, "So we, being many, are one Body in Christ, and every one members one of another." In I Corinthians 12:27 we find. "Now ye are the Body of Christ, and members in particular."
How do you become a member of the one true Church which is His Body? By the baptism of God the Holy Spirit. I Corinthians 12:13 says, "For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one Body." It does not say baptized into water, but into one Body. Also notice: the baptizer is the Spirit, not man. So it is the Spirit that baptizes us into the Body, the Church, where we become members one of another in Christ, This is the one baptism for the dispensation in which we live.
We also read of this one baptism by the Spirit in Romans 6:3: "Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into His death?" There is no water baptism in this verse. The baptism here is into Jesus Christ, into His death; and the results are seen in verse 4 where it says: "Therefore we are buried with Him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life." Water baptism could not enable anyone to walk in newness of life, but God the Holy Spirit can and does. This one baptism is also spoken of in Galatians 3:26-28: "For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus."
Water baptism could never do what is spoken of in these verses. First, it could never put us into Christ - only the Spirit can do that. Remember I Corinthians 12:13 said, "For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one Body." Second, water baptism could never perform all that takes place in Galatians 3:26-28: we are baptized into Christ Jesus and put into a place where there is neither Jew nor Greek, bond nor free, male nor female. Truly, water baptism cannot begin to do this, let alone carry it through to completion. Only God can do this; only God the Holy Spirit can baptize us into the one Church which is His Body, where we are all one in Christ Jesus our Lord. This is God's work, not man's.
This operation is performed by God. Colossians 2:12-13 tells us: "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. And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath He quickened together with Him, having forgiven you all trespasses." Notice, it does not say buried like Him, but with Him. Also we are risen with Him, and in verse 13 we are quickened or made alive with Him. When He died, we died; when He was buried, we were buried; when He arose, we arose. God made us alive with Him. Only God can perform this operation.
This is the one baptism for this Dispensation of the Grace of God in which we live today. Paul tells us there is only one baptism for today. Ephesians 4:4-6 says: "There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, Who is above all, and through all, and in you all."
So, God's Word tells us there is one Church which is His Body. Ephesians 4:4 says "one Body," and verse 5 says "one baptism" - not two or more, but one. Do you realize that in the Bible you will find twelve different baptisms? As a matter of fact, Matthew 3:11 mentions three baptisms in one verse. "I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but He 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." Here we have one baptism with water, one baptism with the Holy Spirit, and one baptism with fire. So you must agree that when you see or hear the word "baptism," it does not always mean water baptism. In this particular verse, none of these baptisms is for today.
God's Word, in Ephesians 4:5, tells us there is only one baptism for the dispensation in which we live. This is the one divine baptism by which all who believe on the Lord Jesus Christ as their Savior are baptized by one Spirit into His Body, the Church.
Now, let me ask you: "What church do you belong to?" Have you believed on the Lord Jesus Christ as your Savior? Have you been baptized by the Holy Spirit into the Church which is His Body? If not, will you right now believe on the Lord Jesus Christ: believe that He died, was buried, and arose again? When you do this, you will at that moment be baptized into the one true Church, the Body of Christ.
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