The One Spiritual Baptism

The One Spiritual Baptism

Our Baptism ἐν (in/with/by) Christ on the Cross
Made Applicable and Effectual in Time via
Our Baptism ἐν (in/with/by) the Spirit into Christ
Being the One Baptism That Doth Now Save Us
And The End/Cessation of (John’s) Water Baptism
(Which is Still Practiced by Most Churches in Our Day and Age)

Introduction to Purpose

This page is designed to link together in an easier format, with easier access, many of the key arguments that men have understood over the centuries to prove that water baptism is obsolete in our day. Amongst true Christians, nothing has been more divisive and has led to more contention and strife, than this doctrine. It is my ardent belief that there is no biblical warrant for it in our day because the Antitype, Christ Himself (and His finished work), has obviated the need for it. The goal is to show, in various parts, the irrefutable evidence for spiritual baptism being the one baptism; that it has replaced the water ordinance; that water baptism is not a confession of our faith; that it is not an answer for, or demand of, a good conscience; that it is not the means by which one joins, or becomes a “member of” the “local church;” it doesn’t scripturally serve to “prove our willingness to be obedient to God or our willingness to follow Him unto death;” it isn’t a means or mechanism by which God bestows or imparts “added grace” unto us; and it doesn’t do or support many of the other such claims that people make in our day to defend or support this now obsolete ordinance. Most often, it is simply not a reminder, or pointer, to true spiritual baptism — instead, it more often than not serves as a distraction and detraction from it — the proof of this lies in how little people know about, and expound upon (in a cohesive manner), true spiritual baptism.

Moreover, this endeavor is also designed to be a defense against the hasty and warrantless charge of heresy. Though I judge no one’s salvation for insisting in engaging in this ordinance of water, many; even within circles that claim to uphold free and sovereign grace, have even gone so far as to say that those who refuse water baptism are unsaved heretics. Too many times, either the implication or the outright accusation has gone out that if one is not sprinkled, poured upon, or immersed with the physical water of this water ordinance, one is either clearly unsaved, or else their salvation should be seriously questioned. This is such a weighty accusation, such a thorough slander, that (though desiring to be as careful as possible concerning the matter) I thoroughly look forward to refuting these charges and traditions — as God enables.

Introduction to Method

We must keep in mind that it is scripture that must ultimately define all things in scripture; God’s own words are the final arbiter of His intended meaning. We read in:

1 Corinthians 2:12-13 Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God. 13 Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.

John 6:63 It is the Spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, [they] are spirit, and [they] are life.

The Holy Spirit teaches through scripture for the words therein, they are spirit and life (when He makes them effectual); they are the spiritual things that we must compare. Not only must we compare scripture with scripture as it pertains to how God uses specific words throughout the Bible but we must also be careful to note the words that He yokes together; God makes much use of synonyms and we would benefit by recognizing them. We should also note how God uses the same original words when they are translated differently in different parts of the Bible. For instance, consider:

Mark 7:4 And [when they come] from the market, except they wash they eat not. And many other things there be, which they have received to hold, as the washing of cups, and pots, brasen vessels, and of tables.

Luke 11:38 And when the Pharisee saw it, he marvelled that he had not first washed before dinner.

Baptizing Is Scripturally Synonymous with Washing, Cleansing, Purging, and Purifying.

The words wash/washed are most often translated as baptize/baptized and the word washing is simply a noun form of baptism used in a plural sense as in the following verses:

Hebrews 6:2 Of the doctrine of baptisms, and of laying on of hands, and of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment.

Hebrews 9:10 Which stood only in meats and drinks, and divers washings, and carnal ordinances, imposed on them until the time of reformation.

Therefore, when we see baptism/baptizing/baptize (and related forms) we should immediately have in view washing, cleansing, purging, and purifying. The Lord makes this clear (continuing from verse 38 above) in:

Luke 11:39 Now do ye Pharisees make clean the outside of the cup and the platter; but your inward part is full of ravening and wickedness.”

This word clean is translated as some variation of clean twenty-four (24) times; purge three (3) times; and purify three (3) times. So we need to see baptize/wash/cleanse/purge/purify as synonymous; they also tie-in to the concept of sanctify. This becomes very important to the proper understanding of several of the verses below. Likewise, seeing that baptizing, washing, cleansing, etc. are synonymous, then we must note that anything that effects these things serves as a mode of these things. Thus, if sprinkling, pouring, mersing, whelming, etc., can cleanse, purify, purge, or wash, or if they (along with anointing) can sanctify, then they can likewise baptize. This will be clearly evidenced below. Moreover, if certain elements, substances, or Persons serve as the agents by which one is cleansed, purified, purged, or washed, or by which one is sanctified, then those agents can also be used to baptize. We will see this clearly with the Holy Spirit, water, the words of God, blood, fire, and oil. However, the Bible allows for an even wider range when we compare scripture with scripture. Therefore we must pay careful, careful attention to all of the following terms and phrases (in their various forms) and their synonyms:

Keywords: sprinkle, pour, dip, overwhelm, compass, overflow, flood, submerge, immerse, cover, sink, set in the depths (intuspose); lay in the pit; burn; try; purify; refine; purge; wash; cleanse; sanctify, anoint, stain, dye, Spirit, water fire, oil, the word, etc.

Vital Understanding to Remember: If we are to understand the one baptism aright, we must get this very important principle down: There is only one cleansing, one washing, one purifying, one purging. We are not cleansed many different ways, washed many different ways, purged many different ways, or purified and sanctified many different ways. All of these things took place at the cross, in Christ’s baptism on the cross (His finished work), and the efficacy of it is spiritually received when the Spirit of God works in us that newness of life, raising us, and quickening us in time — seeing that we were already raised with, and quickened with Christ from the cross.

Therefore, whether it be by blood, water, oil, fire, the Spirit, it is one. Whether by sprinkling, pouring, mersing, intusposing, whelming, it is one. There may be many facets, many points of view, many interrelated aspects, but they all focus in on the one truth – Christ and His substitutionary, redeeming, atoning, and propitiatory work. If we insist of separating things that ought not be separated then we will indeed miss the point, fail to understand what God would have us to understand, and fall back on carnal (even water) ordinances.

A Key Baptismal Connector Word

Certain words are used heavily to link key concepts. One such word is the word “en” [ἐν; G1722]; in the AV/KJV it is translated as “in” 1,902 times; “by” 163 times; and “with” 140 times (amongst other things, but these three being the bulk and most important for this study). In the verses I am about to explore, the words in, by, and with (all legitimate translations of this word “en“) each make perfect sense in the given context. This may seem insignificant, but consider the flow carefully, noting the key (capitalized) words:

Mark 1:6 And John was clothed with camel’s hair, and with a girdle of a skin about his loins; and he did eat locusts and wild honey; 7 And preached, saying, There cometh one mightier than I after me, the latchet of whose shoes I am not worthy to stoop down and unloose. 8 I indeed have baptized you (in/by/with; G1722) water: but he shall baptize you (in/by/with; G1722) the Holy Ghost.

Acts 11:16 Then remembered I the word of the Lord, how that he said, John indeed baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized (in/by/with; G1722) the Holy Ghost.

1 Corinthians 12:13 For 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. For (in/by/with; G1722) 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.

Baptized In, By, and With the Holy Ghost — The One Baptism

There is no distinction between Mark 1:8/Acts 11:16 and 1 Corinthians 12:13; between baptism with the Holy Spirit and baptism by the Holy Spirit — there is no distinction in the Greek (neither in word nor form). Being baptized with the Holy Ghost is spiritual baptism and it is the one baptism, the only baptism, for our era. This can be easily proved by looking again at…

1 Corinthians 12:13 For 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. For (in/by/with; G1722) 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.

…and comparing it to…

Ephesians 4:4-5 [There is] One Body, and One Spirit, even as ye are called in One Hope of your calling; 5 One Lord. One Faith, One Baptism, 6 One God and Father of all, who [is] above all, and through all, and in you all.

Note how 1 Corinthians 12:13 and Ephesians 4:4-6 are directly interrelated:

  • Ephesians 4:4-6 speaks specifically of One Body, One Spirit, and One Baptism.
  • 1 Corinthians 12:13 speaks specifically of One Body, One Spirit, but says of the One Baptism “For [in/by/with; G1722] One Spirit are we all baptized into One Body,

The One Spirit baptizes us into both the One Body and the One Lord through the One Baptism which, as the Gospel, forms our One Hope and constitutes the substance of our One Faith — all by the sovereign will, mercy, and grace of our One God and Father. Consider the pattern, the natural flow, in that there is:

  1. One SPIRITUAL body.
  2. One Holy SPIRIT.
  3. One SPIRITUAL hope.
  4. One SPIRITUAL Lord.
  5. One SPIRITUAL faith.
  6. One SPIRITUAL baptism.
  7. One SPIRITUAL God and Father.

Now if one tries to make the One Baptism water baptism, i.e. a ‘physical water’ ordinance, then one of these things is truly not like the others. If everything else is spiritual, and one desires to make the One Baptism carnal then there is a real exegetical problem given that it disrupts the clear pattern and, what I believe to be (and I think with very good reason) the clear intent.

The One, Spiritual Baptism and the Cross of Christ

In light of the cross of Christ, i.e., His spiritual baptism on the cross, I would like to consider the following passage yet again (this time focusing on the last part of the last sentence):

1 Corinthians 12:13 For 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. For (in/by/with; G1722) 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.

Notice that connected with the One Body, the One Spirit, and the One Baptism, we read of a drinking – “and have been all made to drink into One Spirit.” So we see baptize yoked with a drinking – where have we seen this before? Consider this wording in light of the following passage:

Luke 12:49-50 “I am come to send fire on the earth; and what will I, if it be already kindled? 50 But I have a baptism to be baptized with; and how am I straitened till it be accomplished!”

Matthew 20:22-23 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. 23 And He saith unto them, Ye shall drink indeed of *My* cup, and be baptized with the baptism that *I am* baptized with…

Notice how the Lord speaks of them being baptized with His Baptism (not “a” baptism but His baptism) and of them drinking of His cup (not “a” cup but His cup); and yet, in light of Christ’s cup and baptism, we are also baptized into One Body and made to drink into One Spirit. Notice the beautiful unity of these two passages and teachings:

  1. Christ was spiritually baptized on the cross.
  2. The elect were spiritually baptized with Him on the cross with His baptism.
  3. As a result, we are all spiritually baptized in/by/with One Spirit into One Body.
  4. This is one united act (the One Baptism) that is manifested in two separate points in time.


  1. Christ spiritually drank of the cup on the cross.
  2. The elect spiritually drank of the cup in/by/with Him on the cross.
  3. As a result, we are all spiritually made to drink into One Spirit.
  4. This is one united act manifested in two separate points in time.

The One, Spiritual Baptism in Light of Romans 6:3-6 and Colossians 2:10-13

We see the same Truth expounded upon in the following passages; notice, however, how the scope is widened to connect the spiritual baptism of Christ on the cross, and our baptism in/by/with Him thereon, to our spiritual quickening and resurrection in/by/with Him (the second temporal aspect of the same One Baptism).

Romans 6:3-6 Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into His death? 4 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. 5 for if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also [in the likeness] of [His] resurrection: 6 knowing this, that our old man is crucified with [Him], that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.

The baptismal cross meets the baptismal quickening and conversion, the latter flowing directly from the former and the former making possible the latter by the Spirit of God – all as one unified whole. Note the parallels:

  1. Christ was spiritually baptized on the cross [unto death].
  2. The elect were spiritually baptized in/with/by Him on the cross with His baptism [into His death].
  3. As a result, we are all spiritually baptized in/by/with One Spirit into Jesus Christ [which is the same as being baptized into One Body for Christ is the Head of the Body], being buried with Him by baptism into death and raised together with Him unto newness of life (quickening).
  4. This is one united act (the One Baptism) that is manifested in two separate points in time.
  5. Christ was physically and spiritually crucified on the cross [unto death].
  6. The “old man” of the elect was crucified with Christ on the cross [unto death].
  7. Christ was raised from the dead after His crucifixion (after His spiritual baptism).
  8. The elect were raised from the dead after their crucifixion in/by/with Christ (spiritual baptism).
  9. As a result, the body of sin of the elect is destroyed that we should not serve sin.

Again, this is all one act manifested in two separate points in time, being described in different language, but all pointing to the same thing, painting the same Gospel picture, which is spiritual baptism – which is both the Person and work of the Lord Jesus Christ and the Person and work of Christ made spiritually effectual in our quickened lives. We see these same truths reiterated in:

Colossians 2:10-13 And ye are complete in Him, which is the Head of all principality and power: 11 (In/by/with; G1722) 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: 22 buried with [Him] (in/by/with; G1722) baptism, wherein also ye are risen with Him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised Him from the dead. 13 and you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath He quickened together with Him, having forgiven you all trespasses;

Note the parallels once again:

  1. Christ was spiritually circumcised on the cross.
  2. The elect were spiritually circumcised in/with/by Him on the cross.
  3. Christ was baptized on the cross.
  4. The elect were baptized in/by/with Him on the cross.
  5. As a result, we are all spiritually baptized in/by/with One Spirit into Jesus Christ [which is the same as being baptized into One Body for Christ is the Head of the Body], being buried with Him by baptism and raised together with Him and quickened together with Him.
  6. This is all one united act manifested in two separate points in time, being described in different language, but all pointing to the same thing — the Gospel (which is spiritual baptism, the Person and work of Christ!).

See how closely related (spiritual) circumcision, (spiritual) baptism, and (physical and spiritual) crucifixion are; they are yoked together in the above passages because they point to the same thing, which is the Gospel.

The One, Spiritual Baptism that Actually Now Saves Us (1 Peter 3:21-22)

I have covered this passage before and wish to do so again because it is a great starting point in the process of proving that true, spiritual baptism, the one baptism, saves us. The preaching of it is the power of God unto salvation because it is synonymous with the Gospel and the cross of Christ. Likewise, as we have noted before, this ties-in directly with our spiritual raising (resurrection) and, thus, our quickening in/by/with Christ.

1 Peter 3:20-21 (AV/KJV) …when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water [lit. through water]. 21 The like figure [Antitypos; G499; the antitype; that which the type (the noahic flood account) typified] whereunto [even] baptism doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answerof a good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

1 Peter 3:20-21 (LITV/KJ3) …when once the long-suffering of God waited in the days of Noah, an ark being prepared, into which a few, that is, eight souls, were saved through water. 21 Which Antitype now also saves us; baptism, not a putting away of the filth of the flesh, but a demand of a good conscience toward God through the resurrection of Jesus Christ…

1 Peter 3:20-21 (YLT) …when once the long-suffering of God did wait, in days of Noah — an ark being preparing — in which few, that is, eight souls, were saved through water; 21 also to which an antitype doth now save us — baptism, (not a putting away of the filth of flesh, but the question of a good conscience in regard to God,) through the rising again of Jesus Christ…

Please consider the following facts as affirmed by the most faithful alternative translations to the AV/KJV as well as being affirmed by the original, God-ordained, God-used, Koine Greek text itself.

  1. The Noahic Ark account typified the true. spiritual baptism which even doth now save us.
  2. This one spiritual baptism, which even now saves us, is the antitype of that which typifies (i.e. the Noahic account).
  3. Scripturally, and in general usage, an antitype does not picture another type. An antitype is always either that which typifies or that which is typified. The Noahic ark account cannot be a type of a water ordinance because the water ordinance would, itself, be a type (unless one holds to the heresy of water baptismal regeneration in which case, though it is still only a type, the adherent to this error fails to see it as such).
  4. It neither makes sense as to divine word choice nor to contextual meaning and intent to make the ark typify an ordinance, that typifies the real thing. The insertion of the “middle man,” the unnecessary intermediary step, only serves to confuse and to uphold the traditions of men. Thus,
  5. This passage has nothing to do with water baptism (i.e. not the putting away of the filth of the flesh). It does have everything to do with (1) the death of Christ (wherein He was baptized, circumcised, and crucified and we also in/by/with Him); (2) the burial of Christ (wherein we were buried with Him in baptism), and (c) the resurrection of Christ (wherein He was raised/quickened and we were raised in/by/with Him) — all according to the Scriptures.
  6. This one, true, spiritual baptism doth even now actually, truly, and effectually save us because it is the Gospel applied to the heart by the Holy Spirit, and ties-in with everything else we have seen so far.

The One, Spiritual Baptism and the Great Commission

Seeing that spiritual baptism actually saves the elect sinner, this casts a whole new light on certain passages often thought to pertain to only a water ordinance (though it is not a knew light because others have seen it for centuries, and I trust, more).

Matthew 28:19 (AV/KJV) Go ye therefore, and teach [mathēteuō; G3100; literally, to disciple or make disciples of; a different word than the teaching in verse 20] all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: 20 teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world.Amen.

Matthew 28:19 (LITV/KJ3) Therefore having gone, disciple all nations, baptizing them into the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things, as many [things] as I commanded you. And, behold, I am with you all the days until the completion of the age. Amen.

Matthew 28:19 (YLT) having gone, then, disciple all the nations, (baptizing them — to the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all, whatever I did command you,) and lo, I am with you all the days — till the full end of the age. Amen.

Which (as we shall see below, in light of all above) is parallel to:

Mark 16:15-16 (AV/KJV) And He said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the Gospel to every creature. 16 He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.

Mark 16:15-16 (LITV/KJ3) And He said to them, Going into all the world, proclaim the Gospel to all the creation. 16 The [one] believing and being baptized will be saved; but the one not believing will be condemned.

Mark 16:15-16 (YLT) and He said to them, ‘Having gone to all the world, proclaim the good news to all the creation; 16 he who hath believed, and hath been baptized, shall be saved; and he who hath not believed, shall be condemned.

Those hearers who believe (not temporally, not carnally, not with stony or thorny hearts, but), those who believe and are spiritually baptized with ‘the baptism that even now doth save us,’ shall be saved. We who truly believe the Gospel of Christ (the baptism of Christ on the cross), with God-given faith, have already had that Gospel applied to our hearts by the Holy Spirit (through baptism in/by/with the Spirit into one body, even into Christ); such as these shall indeed be saved. Therefore, the Great Commission (as related to the two passages above) have nothing to do with sprinkling, aspersion, or dipping/immersing as part of an obsolete water baptismal ordinance (which is nothing but John’s Baptism being continuously carried out in our day). Nothing about water baptism (in terms of a physical ordinance) can ever be associated with “shall be saved;” water baptism has no power to save anyone at all. However, everything about spiritual baptism pertains to “shall be saved” because spiritual baptism is actual salvation — it takes the work of Christ on the cross and makes it effectual, in time, for the quickened, elect saint.

When the Gospel is preached, and the hearers savingly believe by God’s grace (i.e. they are spiritually baptized) then, per Matthew 28:19-20 above, those preaching have truly (1) discipled or made disciples of the hearers (hence, “teach/disciple all nations” – though only God can spiritually make disciples); (2) baptized the hearers (hence, “baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost” – though only God can spiritually baptize); and (3) taught the hearers (hence “teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you” – though only God can spiritually teach — for it isn’t flesh and blood that can reveal these things — they must be taught of the Father through the Holy Spirit). We read in:

1 John 2:20,21,27 “But ye have an unction [anointing, (same word as below)] from the Holy One, and ye know all things. 21 I have not written unto you because ye know not the truth, but because ye know it, and that no lie is of the truth… 27 But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and Ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is Truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him.”

Seeing that it is God, and not man, that must teach us spiritual things, why does it seem that God is telling faithful men to do what only He (God) can do? The answer is clear, we are divinely counted and made (i.e. spiritually equipped to be) co-labourers with Him. God does all of the work but He works through means and we are the means used of God (if we are quickened saints) to bring about the salvation of His people. This is clear in:

1 Corinthians 3:6-9 “I have planted [same word used in Matthew 15:13 concerning the work of the Father], Apollos watered [made to drink (same word used in 1 Corinthians 12:13 concerning the work of the Holy Spirit)]; but God gave the increase. 7 So then neither is he that planteth any thing, neither he that watereth; but God that giveth the increase. 8 Now he that planteth and he that watereth are One [in the one labour/work, in light of the One faith, One hope, and One baptism, all in light of the One Spirit, the One Lord, and the one God and Father]: and every man shall receive his own reward according to his own labour. 9 for we are labourers together with God; ye are God’s husbandry, [ye are] God’s building.

I will quote the other passage again, as a refresher, to see more clearly how the above is affirmed and tied-in:

1 Corinthians 12:13 For 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. For (in/by/with; G1722) 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.

Notice that the Apostle Paul states I have planted and yet we read in Matthew 15:13 “…Every plant, which my heavenly Father hath not planted [same word], shall be rooted up.” Only God can plant, though He uses men to do so; only God can water [make to drink] with the living, life-producing (spiritually applied) water of the word, yet He uses men to proclaim the Gospel. Only God can make disciples, baptize, and teach, yet He does so through men. It is through the faithful proclamation/witnessing of the word that spiritual baptism (in the hearts of quickened saints) takes place.

Another point evidencing that the Great Commission was not about sprinkling, pouring, dunking, etc., and that it was about spiritual baptism, is the words of the Apostle Paul. He may have been an Apostle born out of season but he was an Apostle. Whatever applied to the others would have applied to Him; and yet, notice how the Apostle Paul can honour the Great Commission and yet still say in…

1 Corinthians 1:17 “For Christ sent me not to baptize [that is, in water, per the context], but to preach the Gospel [that is, to go into the world, proclaiming the Good News of Christ and His finished work, and thereby discipling, baptizing, and teaching those who hear with God-given ears to hear]: not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of none effect. 18 For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.”

As stated in a recent post,

The Apostle Paul is declaring that the Lord Jesus never sent him to continue on in John’s (water) baptism but to preach the Gospel (which is used of God unto true, spiritual baptism). The Holy Spirit, through Paul, affirms that the preaching of the cross IS the power of God unto us who ARE SAVED. Note, however, that the term “are saved” is based upon a Greek present-passive-participle; the present participle is dependent (time-wise) upon the main verb. What is the main verb? Again, it is “esti” which is “IT IS.” Therefore, the are saved verb is contemporaneous with the IT IS verb — so the preaching of the cross (“preaching” here, being a noun and not a verb; it is the word Logos), when this preaching is declared before elect men and women, IT IS the power of God to those who contemporaneously believe it. The cross is preached to them, at some point during the preaching God quickens them, God causes them to hear with spiritual ears and gives them God-wrought faith and repentance unto their sealing by the Holy Ghost.

Notice the emphasis, the Apostle Paul came not to water baptize but to preach the Gospel. Water baptism is set at variance with Gospel preaching. Consider this as we look at the following passages, noting how the Gospel (and the preaching of it) is directly yoked to the activity in/by/with the Holy Spirit… thus, spiritual baptizing is declaring the Gospel (the baptism of Christ on the cross) and having God take that Gospel truth and apply it to the hearts of those whom He is contemporaneously saving (quickening and converting). To preach the Gospel in/by/with the Holy Spirit is to baptize in/by/with the Holy Spirit when that Gospel is heard with ears to hear and applied to the hearts of quickened saints by the Spirit of God. Hence:

1 Peter 1:12 Unto whom it was revealed, that not unto themselves, but unto us they did minister the things, which are now reported unto you by them that have preached the Gospel unto you (in/by/with; G1722) the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven; which things the angels desire to look into.

1 Thessalonians 1:5 For our Gospel came not unto you in word only, but also in power, and (in/by/with; G1722) the Holy Ghost, and in much assurance; as ye know what manner of men we were among you for your sake. 6 And ye became followers of us, and of the Lord, having received the word in much affliction, with joy of the Holy Ghost.” [Note: becoming followers is synonymous with being made true, spiritual, disciples per Matthew 28:19-20].

Romans 15:16 That I should be the minister of Jesus Christ to the Gentiles, ministering the Gospel of God, that the offering up of the Gentiles might be acceptable, being sanctified (in/by/with; G1722) the Holy Ghost.

Notice the tie-in here, between the passage immediately above and the one immediately below, concerning how the preached Gospel is yoked to sanctification, cleaning, and washing, which is yoked (through scriptural usage) with purifying, and purging, which all points back to spiritual baptism. Remember how we saw above that baptism is synonymous with washing and was even translated as such in various passages. Therefore, please consider:

Ephesians 5:25,26,30 husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave Himself for it [lit. her]; 26 that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water (in/by/with; G1722) the word… 30 for we are members of His (One) Body, of his flesh, and of his bones.”

We are sanctified with the Holy Ghost at the same time we are sanctified with the washing of water in/by/with the (spiritually applied word). The word word here is rhēma and it used to denote not God the Word (the divine Logos) but the words that He gives us in the Bible, holy scripture. When the living and life-giving (when spiritually applied) words enter into our soul we are indeed washed, cleansed, and baptized by it. There is no true salvation without faithful Gospel proclamation.

So we see again that washing/sanctifying/cleansing, etc. are all absolute, unequivocal, synonyms for baptizing (as is anointing which is directly tied into sanctifying). Thus, we may as well read Ephesians 5:26 as “That He might baptize her with the baptism of water (in/by/with; G1722) the word…” — with that water being not the water of a carnal ordinance, but the spiritual, clean water, even the pure water, which is the living water of the Holy Spirit as mixed with the word of God. Being washed with the water of the word is no different than being washed with the living/clean/pure water of the Holy Spirit because the Holy Spirit operates through the words of God. The word of God is water and the Holy Spirit is water because the two are yoked in operation to cleanse, wash, purify, and baptize us. Hence…

John 7:38-39 “He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. 39 (But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on Him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet [given]; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.)

Now this verse doesn’t tie-in directly to spiritual baptism because the focus is on what flows out of us. It has to do with being filled with the Holy Ghost, which itself pertains to boldness in Gospel witnessing, and it is separate from spiritual baptism though it can only occur after one has been spiritually baptized (i.e. quickened and converted by the Gospel truth, the spiritual baptism of Christ on the cross, when made our own, in our hearts, by the Holy Ghost). Nonetheless, it does prove that the living water is the Holy Spirit. We see Him and His connection to the words of God in the various passages below.

Ezekiel 36:25 “Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean: from all your filthiness, and from all your idols, will I cleanse you. 26 A new heart [Note: even a spiritually circumcised heart] also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh. 27 And I will put My Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do [them]. [Note: where are God’s statutes and judgments found in our day? They are found in the Bible and yet applied spiritually to our hearts as we read it].

Hebrews 10:22 “Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts SPRINKLED from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure/clean [katharos; G2513; pure (17x), clean (10x)] water.

John 3:5 Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. [Note: this water is not the water of the mother’s physical womb, but the words of God, that must be used, or applied, by the Spirit of God to save us — this is in keeping with the scriptural usage].

Psalm 119:9 …Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? by taking heed [thereto] according to Thy word.

Titus 3:5 “Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy He saved us, by/through the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost.”

Here we see washing, cleansing, sprinkling, etc. yoked with both the water (God’s word spiritually applied) and the Spirit (who applies God’s spiritual words). This all evidences to us that we are saved by spiritual baptism, and not by (physical, H2O) water baptism; clearly this spiritual must be the One Baptism in the New Testament era. Remember, there are not separate spiritual washings, separate spiritual cleansings, or purgings, or purifyings, or sanctifyings… they are all simply different aspects of the one finished work of Christ and the Holy Spirit’s application of it to our regenerate lives.

More on the One Baptism in Light of 1 John 5:6-8

Please consider the following passage; it is important in that it ties-in both (spiritual) water and (spiritual) blood in light of the spiritual work of the Holy Ghost.

1 John 5:6-8 (AV/KJV) This is He that came by water and blood, even Jesus Christ; not (in/by/with; G1722) water only, but (in/by/with; G1722) water and blood. And it is the Spirit that beareth witness, because the Spirit is Truth. 7 For there are Three that bear record/witness [Note: same word] in Heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these Three are One. 8 And there are three that bear record/witness in earth, the Spirit, the water, and the blood: and these three agree in One (or, more literally, “are into one ” or “be into One”).

I John 5:6-8 (LITV/KJ3) “This is the [One] having come through water and blood, Jesus Christ; not (in/by/with; G1722) the water only, but (in/by/with; G1722) the water and the blood. And the Spirit is the [One] witnessing, because the Spirit is the truth. 7 For Three are the [Ones] bearing witness: in Heaven: the Father, the Word, and the Holy Spirit; and these Three are One. 8 And there are three who bear witness on the earth The Spirit, and the water, and the blood; and the three are into the One.

I John 5:6-8 (YLT) “This one is He who did come through water and blood — Jesus the Christ, not (in/by/with; G1722) the water only, but (in/by/with; G1722) the water and the blood; and the Spirit it is that is testifying, because the Spirit is the truth, because Three are Who are testifying in the heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Spirit, and these — the Three — are One; and three are who are testifying in the earth, the Spirit, and the water, and the blood, and the three are into the one.

Some want to make the water and the blood water baptism and earthly wine in the sense of ordinances or sacraments, when in reality, what bears witness is the The Gospel message, proclaimed and applied to our hearts, which is the sprinkling of clean water upon us and the sprinkling of the blood of Christ on our hearts. When the spiritual water and the spiritual blood is applied to our spiritual hearts and minds, then we know that the Lord Jesus Christ has already come unto us.

Hebrews 9:13-14 For if the blood of bulls and of goats, and the ashes of an heifer sprinkling the unclean, sanctifieth to the purifying of the flesh: 14 How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit, offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?

Once again we see the connection between sanctifying, sprinkling, purifying, blood, and Spirit — for they all point us right back to spiritual baptism. It is the baptism of, and into, Christ that ties-in the sprinkling, sanctifying, purifying, purging, and other such related terms. As proof-text, Consider:

1 Peter 1:2 “Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace unto you, and peace, be multiplied.”


There is so much more ground to cover but, to keep this first post from getting too long, the rest will be addressed in separate parts (sub-pages) of this page. I want to address the fire aspect as found in Luke 3:16 “John answered, saying to all, ‘I indeed with water do baptise you, but he cometh who is mightier than I, of whom I am not worthy to loose the latchet of his sandals — he shall baptise you with the Holy Spirit and with fire…” I also want to revisit the question of whether water baptism is an answer/demand of a good conscience; whether it is our confession of faith; etc. I would also like to further explore the blood aspect of baptism; how spiritual baptism relates to Pentecost; the transitionary period of Acts in regard to water baptism; John’s Baptism (in his day); common objections and rebuttals; core definitions; as well as a component that I have not touched on and that is our continued experience of the One Baptism throughout our sojourn here (which manifests in the fiery trials and sufferings that we are to endure which, really, ties back into “he shall baptise you with the Holy Spirit and with fire…“). There is much to cover and it is a blessing to be able to do so.

To God be the glory!

Relevant Links:

  1. The Death Knell of Water Baptism [Colossians 2:8-23]
  2. Baptism: 1 Corinthians 12:13 Amplified By Ephesians 4:4-6
  3. William Mason [1719-1791] On The End of Water Baptism [from the website; my back-up copy, to prevent loss of such documentation, can be found here: william-mason.]
  4. Spiritual Baptism: Henry Pinnell on Baptism from

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