A Sermon on Ephesians 4:5
one Lord, one faith, one baptism, (ESV)
How important is baptism? What connection does it have to the unity within the church? At a first glance, it might seem odd that Paul would include it as a point of unity. Why is this? With Ephesians 4:5, Martyn Lloyd-Jones argues that a shared view of baptism is a result of unity around Christ. He then presents various views of baptism and demonstrates from Scripture why Christians must view baptism as a representation of something, not as an act that accomplishes salvation in and of itself! The danger that many people throughout the centuries have run into, he says, is that they take acts like baptism and teach that they are necessary for salvation. However, Scripture clearly teaches that this is not the case. It is a representation, and Dr. Lloyd-Jones says that it brings unity, because biblically correct baptism is into one name only, that of the Lord Jesus Christ. But what does it mean to be “baptized into Christ,” as Paul writes elsewhere? Importantly, Dr. Lloyd-Jones says, it signifies and proclaims that we no longer identify with the world— instead, we are one with Christ. This is what brings unity to the church, and it does so because all who have been baptized according to Scripture are the Lord’s people!