The One Spiritual Baptism
The Baptism of Christ, which is His own proper and Spiritual and only ministration, is that by which all true Christians are Baptized into fellowship with Him, and oneness with Him; and so becomes wholly washed in the New creature, or New man, or Baptized into the very Name of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, of which that Baptism administered in gifts, or the Holy Ghost by the Apostles, more visibly was a sign. The Baptism of Christ, who is the Lord that Spirit (II Corinthians 3:17 “Now the Lord is that Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty”), the Image of the invisible God, (Colossians 1:15 “Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature”), the quickening Spirit, is that one Baptism spoken on in Ephesians 4 – “One Lord, one faith, one Baptism”, for Jesus Christ administering in Himself, and His own Spiritual Nature, can only make us thus one with Himself, and with His own body.
The Baptism of Christ thus Administered in His own Spiritual Nature upon His, is that very Baptism by which we are in the fellowship of His sufferings and of His death; for as many as are baptized into Christ, are Baptized into His death, and as many as are baptized into Christ have put on Christ; so as this Baptism, by which we are all Baptized into Christ, and put on Christ and his death, is spiritual; for Christ cannot be truly put on, nor anything of His – His sufferings, death, or resurrection – but in Spirit and Truth, whereby we are truly crucified and dead with Him, to ourselves and the world, and alive with Him in one spirit; the same Spirit that raised up Jesus Christ shall also quicken our mortal bodies.
The Baptism of Jesus Christ is that whereby we are baptized into His body; now His body is a Spiritual one, and fashioning like His glorious one, by one Spirit we are all baptized into one body. The Baptism of Christ is that whereby we are complete in Him; now we are complete in Him only by being one with Him in Spirit and Nature; He being made unto us Righteousness and Sanctification &c. and thus we are said to be circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, and buried with Him in baptism, wherein also we are risen with Him through faith, or Spirit; so as we are Baptized in Him as we are Circumcised in Him; that is, we are all in Him; and as the Circumcision is without hands, so is the Baptism, it being the Apostle’s whole business in this Chapter to take us and the Colossians up higher than rudiments, which perish with using.
The Baptism of Christ is that true spiritual washing and cleansing wherein all His are baptized, not the putting away the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good Conscience towards God by the resurrection of Jesus Christ, and this is the Baptism which is said in this place to save us, as Noah’s Ark did those eight persons in figure, therefore saith the Apostle, the like figure whereunto Baptism doth now save us.
By John Saltmarsh
Sparkles of Glory – 1647