There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were 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. (Ephesians 4:4-6)
The Six Companions Of Baptism
One of the most prolific doctrines changing the plan of salvation is the denial of the necessity of baptism. Satan has crafted a specific part of God’s will to ensure the destruction of those who believe they are saved; when they are not. In the Garden of Eden, the devil deceived Eve with great subtlety. He continues his onslaught against the pattern of salvation. Most religious groups who say they follow Christ deny that baptism is necessary for salvation. Salvation by faith only is a significant doctrine fortified by the belief in a sinners’ prayer for salvation. The idea of salvation through grace alone removes any notion of the necessity of baptism as nothing more than a work. Do the scriptures teach baptism as a requirement for salvation?
Paul’s letter to the church at Ephesus is a declaration of the eternal purpose of the church. He emphasizes the character of faith and the immeasurable joy of grace. Ephesians is a letter filled with faith and grace. Paul unveils the eternal purpose of God of things planned before the foundation of the world. Redemption would come through the blood of Christ, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of God’s grace. The word of truth is central to the gospel of salvation and the necessity of belief. Part of the eternal plan was the church showing the manifold wisdom of God. Jesus Christ is the head of the church, which Paul calls the body. The elements of redemption are found in the teachings of blood, peace, faith, grace, and the church, highlighted throughout Ephesians.
Paul appeals to the saints to find the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace by acknowledging the seven pillars of truth in the grace of God. There is one body, and as he declared earlier, the body is the church showing there is one church. Everyone would agree there is one Holy Spirit. Through the grace of God, there is only one hope for the future. Jesus declared He was the only way, truth, and life to the Father. Paul affirmed there is only one Lord.
Contrary to the worldview of religion, there is only one faith. Coexisting is impossible for those who follow Jesus Christ because there is no other faith. True believers accept there is only one God. Accepting other gods is vain worship and an abomination to the one true God. Almost all who follow Jesus Christ and identify as a ‘church’ that abides by the teaching of Christ would accept and agree to the above six pillars of truth. All of these are necessary for salvation. It is impossible to be saved without the body, the Spirit, the hope, the Lord, the faith, and the one God outlined by Paul.
The sixth pillar of unity is baptism. If baptism is not necessary for salvation, why did the Holy Spirit, through the pen of the apostle Paul, declare there is one baptism? To deny baptism as essential for salvation is to deny the other pillars of unity. In fact, refusing to accept water baptism as the means of salvation denies the Godhead: the Holy Spirit, the Lord (Jesus Christ), and God (Father of all, who is above all, and through all). The early church taught the necessity of baptism. There is only one baptism because there is only one Lord. Paul included faith and grace earlier in his letter. Water baptism does not deny faith and grace but expresses the obedience of a heart filled with faith in Jesus Christ and the amazing grace of the Father. Paul wrote what Jesus said – anyone who believes and is baptized will be saved. But anyone who refuses to believe will be condemned.