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#7. BAPTIZED INTO (εἰς) ONE BODY 1 Corinthians 12:13

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Greek Word Study βαπτίζω baptizo baptize.
Greek Word Study βάπτισμα baptizma baptism.

Introduction 7.1

What did the apostle Paul mean when he spoke about being baptized into one body?

Greek - 1 Corinthians 12:13 - English
καὶ γὰρ ἐν ἑνὶ πνεύματι ἡμεῖς πάντες εἰς ἓν σῶμα ἐβαπτίσθημεν εἴτε Ἰουδαῖοι εἴτε Ἕλληνες εἴτε δοῦλοι εἴτε ἐλεύθεροι καὶ πάντες εἰς ἓν πνεῦμα ἐποτίσθημεν 13 For by one Spirit we are all baptized into one body, whether we are Jews or Gentiles, whether we are bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.

There are several questions to be asked here. What is the "one body" which we are baptized into? What is the "one Spirit" by which we are baptized into that one body? Also what does it mean, "to drink into one Spirit"? because this appears to be the way that we are baptized in. This bible study answers questions about the one body we are baptized into.

#7.1 The one body we are Baptized into is the body of Christ

The fact that the one body that we are baptized into refers to the body of Christ, is made clear from the statements of the apostle Paul:

(1 Corinthians 12:27) "Now you are the body of Christ, and members in particular."
(Ephesians 4:12) "for the edifying of the body of Christ."
(Ephesians 5:29-30) "the Lord ... For we are members of his body."
(Colossians 2:17) "the body is of Christ."

#7.2 The one body we are Baptized into is the Church

This was also clear from the statements of Paul:

(Ephesians 1:22-23) "the church, Which is his body."
(Colossians 1:18) "he is the head of the body, the church."
(Colossians 1:24) "the afflictions of Christ in my flesh for his body's sake, which is the church."

So then, when the Spirit baptizes us into the body of Christ, he baptizes us into the true church of God also. This is an ongoing spiritual process that sees us growing from initially being "babes in Christ" (1 Corinthians 3:1; 1 Peter 2:2), when we first believe, unto perfection:

(Matthew 5:48) "Be therefore perfect, even as your Father who is in heaven is perfect."
(2 Corinthians 13:9) "this also we wish, even your perfection."
(Ephesians 4:12) "For the perfecting of the saints."
(Hebrews 6:1) "let us go on to perfection."

When Jesus walked on the earth, his physical body was in total subjection and obedience to his Spirit. Therefore, we become part of his body when we also are totally subject and obedience to his Spirit. At this point we will be totally obedient to the word of God, even as Jesus was, because his Spirit will be fully resurrected in us; "baptism, now saves us ... by the resurrection of Jesus Christ" (1 Peter 3:21). Total obedience is the way to be baptized into the one body, because it is the foundation on which Jesus is building his church (Matthew 7:24-27; Matthew 16:15-18 with 1 John 2:3-4; Luke 6:46-49; John 10:14 with 1 John 2:3-4). This is the true spiritual church, which will be translated when Jesus returns, the one made up of the righteous dead from the creation of the earth, "those who keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus" (Revelation 14:12), and "we who are alive and remain" (1 Thessalonians 4:17). When Jesus returns there will be only one church which is obedient to God's word, and all saved Christians will be in it according to his words, "there will be one fold, and one shepherd" (John 10:16), but that is not the situation today.

#7.3 The one Spirit is the word of God

We know that, "the Spirit is truth" (1 John 5:6), and the Word of God is truth (John 17:17), which indicates that in some way, the Spirit and the Word are the same. Jesus said, "the words that I speak to you, they are Spirit" (John 6:63), and as he only spoke God's words (John 3:34; 8:28; 8:38; 12:50; 14:10), that confirms that the Word of God is the Spirit of God doesn't it? When Jesus returns, he will destroy the wicked with "the Spirit of his mouth" (2 Thessalonians 2:8), which is "a sharp sword" (Revelation 19:15), which is the "the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God" (Ephesians 6:17). When Jesus cast out demons, he did it "with his word" (Matthew 8:16), and "by the Spirit of God" (Matthew 12:28), again confirming that the Word of God is the Spirit of God. Also the Spirit quickens (John 6:63), and the Word quickens (Psalm 119:50), the Spirit leads us (Romans 8:14; Galatians 5:18), and the word of God leads us (Psalm 17:4; Proverbs 6:20-22). The truth leads us (Psalm 43:3), "the Spirit is truth" (1 John 5:6), and the word of God is truth (John 17:17), all effectively indicating that "the Word, and the Holy Spirit: ... are one. " (1 John 5:7). One what? "one Spirit" (Ephesians 4:4). As the word for "one" (Gr. ἓν  Gtr. hen) is neuter gender in the Greek, so the word for Spirit is neuter. So we can conclude that Word of God is the Spirit of God. Just as "the Word was God" (John 1:1), which means that "the Word is God", as he doesn't change (Malachi 3:6; James 1:17), so "God is Spirit" (John 4:24). As God creates everything by his Word (Psalm 148:5; John 1:3), so he creates everything by his Spirit (Psalm 104:30). Just as he sends his word to do his will (Psalm 107:20; Isaiah 9:8; 55:11; Acts 10:36), so he also sends his Spirit (Psalm 104:30; John 14:26; Galatians 4:6;  1 Peter 1:12). We can see how words are spirit from the writing of the apostle Paul:

(2 Corinthians 3:3) "written not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God: not in tables of stone, but in the fleshy tables of the heart."

When we write words with ink, the ink is the substance of the words, and the words are the form of the ink. If we rub out the words, the ink disappears, and if we rub out the ink, the words disappear. Why? Because ink and words are two ways of looking at the same thing, one describing its form and the other describing its substance. So it is when God writes his words in our heart, his word is the form, and his Spirit is the substance, which is equivalent to the ink. Therefore, God is Word in form, but Spirit in substance. His Spirit is both what baptises us into Christ (See #8 Baptized into Jesus Christ), and it is what we are baptized into.

#7.4 How do we drink into one Spirit?

Some believe that when Paul said, "by one Spirit we are all baptized into one body" (1 Corinthians 12:13), he was referring only to the baptism in the Holy Spirit, but this is not so. Just as water baptism is part of the overall baptism, and is an act of obedience and faith, so receiving the baptism in the Holy Spirit is an act of obedience (Luke 24:49; Ephesians 5:17-18) and faith (Galatians 3:2; 3:14). It is also part of the overall process, but not whole of it. Although there is a scripture that could be interpreted as receiving the Holy Spirit by drinking (John 7:37-39), which would fill us (Acts 2:4; 9:17), he is also received when he is poured upon us (Joel 2:28; Acts 2:16-18; 10:45), or when he falls on us (Acts 10:44), or when he comes upon us (Acts 1:8; 19:6). All of these can be referred to as an anointing (Acts 10:38; 2 Corinthians 1:21-22 and 1 John 2:27).
Peter said, "As new-born babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that you may grow by it" (1 Peter 2:2), and how do we take milk? We drink it. This is what is meant by "we ... have been all made to drink into one Spirit." As we drink the sincere milk of the word, it is written in our hearts with the Holy Spirit (2 Corinthians 3:3), and this is how we are baptized into the one body, the true church of God. However, this is only part of the process. The rest of it consists of forsaking sin from the heart (Psalm 119:11; 1 John 3:9), and conforming our lives to be obedient to the word of God. Compare these scriptures, "Are you able to drink of the cup that I shall drink of? and to be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with?" (Matthew 20:22), and "if this cup may not pass away from me, except I drink it, your will be done" (Matthew 26:42). Jesus was talking here about his coming crucifixion and death; being submerged in, and overwhelmed by suffering just before he died (Matthew 27:46; Mark 15:34). He looked upon his coming death and resurrection as a baptism (cf. Romans 6:3-7; Colossians 2:11-12). He compared also the process of submitting himself into the obedience (Philippians 2:8) of suffering and death, as "drinking" from a cup (Matthew 20:22; 26:42). As we submit ourselves to be obedient to the word of God, we are drinking into the one Spirit, which is the word of God (See #7.3). Thus drinking into one Spirit involves getting the word of God into our hearts, and then obeying it from our heart.

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