IN ONE SPIRIT WERE WE ALL BAPTIZED – 1 Corinthians 12

For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of the body, being many, are one body; so also is Christ. For in one Spirit were we all baptized into one body, whether Jews or Greeks, whether bond or free; and were all made to drink of one Spirit.

1 Corinthians 12:12‭-‬13 ASV

In one Spirit were we all baptized … Throughout the New Testament, Christian baptism is revealed to be one of the two essential elements of the new birth, without which no man may see the kingdom of God.

These are: obedience to the ordinance of baptism and the reception of the Holy Spirit.

Jesus joined these two essential elements by his requirement that people be “born of the water and of the Spirit” (John 3:5ff). Peter joined them on Pentecost by the command that all people should “repent and be baptized … and … receive the Holy Spirit” (Acts 2:38ff).

There is no doubt whatever that Paul’s words here refer to the same twin essentials of the new birth, the same being a prior condition of participation in the body of Christ.

In one Spirit … This is actually `by one Spirit,’ making the Holy Spirit the agent or administrator of baptism.

In a similar way, Christ was named as the actual administrator of the rite of baptism, even though his disciples actually did the baptizing (John 4:1,2).

The unity of the godhead makes it correct to refer any action ordained and commanded by God, to the Father, the Son, or the Holy Spirit; and when the action is obeyed, it is proper to say that any one of them did it.

This truth does not exclude the reception of the indwelling Spirit in Christian hearts, as Paul dogmatically emphasized that in the very next” clause, “made to drink of one Spirit.

We were all baptized … and were all made to drink of one Spirit … As Metz correctly noted, “the word `baptized’ relates to the actual act of baptism.”

The mention of the Spirit as the administrator of baptism in this verse provoked Hodge to declare that the baptism in view, therefore, is “the baptism of the Holy Ghost!

If that is true, it would make Paul here declare that all of the Corinthians were baptized in the Holy Ghost, or had received the Holy Spirit baptism!

Who could believe such a thing?

It is true of course that all of them had themselves baptized, and in consequence had all received the gift ordinary of the Holy Spirit, common to all Christians; but to suppose that those carnal Corinthians had “all” participated in the baptism of the Holy Spirit is impossible. Of course, the design of many scholars is to get water baptism out of this text altogether; but that is also impossible.

All made to drink of one Spirit … This refers to the reception of the ordinary gift of the indwelling Spirit by the Corinthians in consequence of primary obedience to the gospel.

Of course, the design of many scholars is to get water baptism out of this text altogether; but that is also impossible.

All made to drink of one Spirit … This refers to the reception of the ordinary gift of the indwelling Spirit by the Corinthians in consequence of primary obedience to the gospel.

There is no evidence that all the disciples at Corinth, or any of them, had been baptized in the Holy Spirit.

For he is our peace, who made both one, and brake down the middle wall of partition, having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; that he might create in himself of the two one new man, so making peace; and might reconcile them both in one body unto God through the cross, having slain the enmity thereby: and he came and preached peace to you that were far off, and peace to them that were nigh: for through him we both have our access in one Spirit unto the Father.
Ephesians 2:14‭-‬18 ASV

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