Skip to content
Home » Blog » Ephesians 4:5 One Lord, one faith, one baptism,

Ephesians 4:5 One Lord, one faith, one baptism,

Ephesians 4:5

What is the One Baptism Paul speaks of?

Clearly there is more than ONE BAPTISM in scripture. Therefore, the ONE BAPTISM Paul is speaking about has to be unique/separate from the other Baptism concerning the people Christ sent Paul to. Before I actual show you from scripture what the one baptism is, it is imperative that I first demonstrate from scripture two things.

  1. Baptism does not always refer to water.
  2. There are in fact other baptism aside from the one Baptism Paul is speaking about in Ephesians 4:5.

Hebrews 6:1-3 says, “1 Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God, 2 Of the doctrine of baptisms, and of laying on of hands, and of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment. 3 And this will we do, if God permit.”

Notice how verse two says baptisms and not baptism. Notice how it doesn’t say “the doctrine of WATER baptism either. Its says, “Of the doctrine of baptisms.”


Matthew 3:11 – 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:

Question: How many baptisms did you see in that scripture? If you noticed 3 distinct/separate and different baptisms you were correct. 

John the Baptist mentioned these three baptisms in Matthew 3:11

  1. Water
  2. Holy Ghost
  3. Fire

Essentially, Baptism is comprised of three aspects or components:

  1. The baptism itself. (Water, or the Holy Ghost, or Fire)
  2. The person doing the baptizing. (John and or Jesus / As seen in Matthew 3:11)
  3. The person being baptized. (an Individual, group or nation)

In the case of Matt 3:11. Lets briefly examine these three components.

The First Baptism in Matt 3:11

  1. The Baptism: Water
  2. The Baptizer: John the Baptist
  3. The Person or People Being Baptized: The Nation of Israel

The Second Baptism in Matt 3:11

  1. The Baptism: The Holy Ghost
  2. The Baptizer: Jesus Christ
  3. The Person or People Being Baptized: The Nation of Israel

The Third Baptism in Matt 3:11

  1. The Baptism: Fire
  2. The Baptizer: Jesus Christ
  3. The Person or People Being Baptized: The Chaff , Wicked, and or Unbelievers (see Matt 3:12)

Now that I have demonstrated from scripture that Baptism does not always refer to water, hopefully moving forward when you see the word baptism, baptized or anything similar you will stop and consider the following. 

What is baptism being mentioned? 

Who is the Baptizer?

Who are the people being baptize?

Now that I have covered the baptism of water, the Holy Ghost, and of Fire; let’s look at a few more baptisms mentioned in scripture. 

Moses and Israel

1Co 10:2 And were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea;

Exo 14:22 And the children of Israel went into the midst of the sea upon the dry ground: and the waters were a wall unto them on their right hand, and on their left.

Notice how the Hebrews were Baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea. Also, Exo 14:22 lets us know this had nothing to do with water. It literally says, “Israel went into the midst of the sea upon the dry ground:” Therefore, water was involved in this baptism (passing through the sea) but they did not get wet.

  1. The Baptism: The Cloud and the Sea
  2. The Baptizer: Moses
  3. The Person or People Being Baptized: The Nation of Israel

Jesus Baptism

Mat 20:22 But Jesus answered and said, Ye know not what ye ask. Are ye able to drink of the cup that I shall drink of, and to be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with? They say unto him, We are able.

Luke 12:50 But I have a baptism to be baptized with; and how am I straitened till it be accomplished!

This is yet another Baptism that has noting to do with water:

  1. The Baptism: Suffering & Death
  2. The Baptizer: God (Isaiah 53:10-12
  3. The Person or People Being Baptized: Jesus Christ

At this point it is clear that the following two points have been addressed in depth.

  1. Baptism does not always refer to water.
  2. There are in fact other baptism aside from the one Baptism Paul is speaking about in Ephesians 4:5.

That is the question at hand. In addition, is it a contradiction for Paul to say there is only one Baptism giving the fact that there are several baptism in scripture?

Well, what is a contradiction by definition? Direct opposition between things compared.

According to this definition, I would agree that what Paul is saying is in direction opposition between other scriptures when compared. However, this does not mean an error was made. This does not mean he was wrong. Example:

In Gen 17:10 God says, “This is my covenant, which ye shall keep, between me and you and thy seed after thee; Every man child among you shall be circumcised.”

In Gal 5:2 Paul says, “2 Behold, I Paul say unto you, that if ye be circumcised, Christ shall profit you nothing.”

And yet the Holy Spirit inspired all scripture: 2 Tim 3:16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:

Nevertheless, these verses are in direct opposition when compared. But! Remember, contradiction and error are two different things. So what is an error by definition? The condition of believing what is not true:

This is why right division of God’s word is crucial. Christ sent Paul to the Gentiles and made him the Apostle of the Gentiles. And as a result, all of his writings are primarily to these individuals. Hence, the reason for the contradictions and or contrary information when compared to the scriptures written to the nation of Israel.

Why is this important? Lets compare scripture with scripture:

Concerning non-Israelites we read:

Do you see how COVENANTS and PROMISES in Romans 9:4 pertain to ISRAEL. Do you See how the GENTILES were strangers to COVENANTS and PROMISESES God made with ISRAEL? If so, now you can fully understand how and why Paul can say, “if ye be circumcised, Christ shall profit you nothing” because, he is speaking to non-Israelites that have nothing to do with circumcision.

2 Timothy 2:15 says, “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.”

So how do we rightly divide the One Baptism Paul is speaking about from what most people believe to be water baptism as well.  

Keep in mind. 2 Timothy 2:15 admonishes us to rightly divide the word of truth. So all of scripture is true. We do not divide truth from error. We divide truth from truth. The the other baptisms are true and the one baptism Paul is referring to is true as well. Now… this is how we resolve this. 

When you read scripture always consider who is writing the book you are reading and who is the audience the writer is addressing. 


Book: James

Writer: James

Audience: The 12 Tribes

James 1:1 James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, to the twelve tribes which are scattered abroad, greeting.

Book: 1 Peter

Writer: Peter

Audience: Scattered Israelites

1 Peter 1:1  Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, to the strangers scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia,

Notice how the writer has an audience he is writing two. 

Lets look at the apostle Paul now.

Books: Ephesians, 1 Corinthians, Galatians, Romans

Writer: Paul

Audience: Gentiles

Ephesians 3:1 For this cause I Paul, the prisoner of Jesus Christ for you Gentiles,

1Co 12:2 Ye know that ye were Gentiles, carried away unto these dumb idols, even as ye were led.

Gal 2:2 And I went up by revelation, and communicated unto them that gospel which I preach among the Gentiles, but privately to them which were of reputation, lest by any means I should run, or had run, in vain.

Rom 11:13 For I speak to you Gentiles, inasmuch as I am the apostle of the Gentiles, I magnify mine office:

Subsequently, in each of these epistles, Paul speaks about the ONE BAPTISM that pertains to his audience. (I wrote a blog titled: “The Mystery Explained.” That blog details how Jesus Specifically sent Paul to the Gentiles in depth)

Ephesians 4:5 One Lord, one faith, one baptism

Remember, the word BAPTISM does not automatically mean water. With that in mind the scriptures will demonstrate how the ONE BAPTISM is not a physical Baptism of water but spiritual Baptism.


1Corinthians 12:13 For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.

Romans 6:3 Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death?

Galatians 3:27 For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.

  1. The Baptism: Into One Body (The Body of Christ) and his Death
  2. The Baptizer: one Spirit (The Holy Spirit)
  3. The Person or People Being Baptized: Believers in the Dispensation of Grace

This is why the Apostle Paul said, “For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel: not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of none effect.” 1Corinthians 1:17

Question: Was John the Baptist baptizing people in to Christ death? No! How could he… Christ hadn’t even died yet. Meditate on that when you get some time.

Water Baptism was specifically for the Nation of Israel. In the dispensation of grace and in the Body of Christ; there are no Jews or Gentiles but a new creature in Christ. As it is written, “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. Galatians 3:28

 As it is also written, “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” 2 Corinthians 5:17

The apostle Paul never preached water baptism to those of whom Christ sent him to. He never established it as an ordinance in the dispensation of grace. Nevertheless, he did preach the BAPTISM OF THE HOLY SPIRIT, where the SPIRIT of God puts the believer in the Body of Christ and Baptizes the believer into Christ death. Was Christ buried in Water? Did his death have anything to do with water? No and No. No man or water can place believers in the Body of Christ.

What is the gospel message Paul preached? 

1Corinthians 15:1-4

1 Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand;

2 By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain.

3 For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures;

4 And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:

What happens when you believe the gospel? 

Ephesians 1:13 In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise,

In the Dispensation of Grace, when are believers sealed with the holy Spirit of promise? 

When they trusted in the word of truth, the gospel of their salvation and believed it. 

Now, where is water baptism in those verses? Its not there. You literally have to make the scriptures say something it doesn’t to fit your tradition or stance on water baptism. And when you do that, what scriptures do you quote? The four gospels, Acts, 1 Peter and any other book not written by your apostle in the dispensation of grace. Everything is scripture is written for us to learn from (Romans 15:4) but that does not me it was written specifically to us. 

When you rightly divide the scriptures you draw a distinction between Prophecy and Mystery, Between Israel and the Body of Christ. Lastly remember this. 

Concerning Israel we read: 

Romans 9:4 Who are Israelites; to whom pertaineth the adoption, and the glory, and the covenants, and the giving of the law, and the service of God, and the promises;

Concerning non-Israelites we read:

Ephesians 2:12 That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world:

Who were the Jewish the apostles to the Jews? The Twelve

Who was the apostle to the Gentiles? Paul

God bless you and thank you for reading this article.