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One Lord. One Faith. One Baptism.

February 8, 2015 - Gospel of Christ
One Lord.  One Faith.  One Baptism.

One Lord. One Faith. One Baptism. One Gospel. One True Church.

The first time I was presented with this concept, it sounded logically and empirically right and true.

If you believe that Paul is Christ’s apostle and if you believe the Bible to be true, then you know for a fact that there is only one Savior, only one God who is the Father of us all, only one True Faith or True Religion, only one True Church, and only one baptism that will allow you entry into the Kingdom of God. If you desire salvation in the Kingdom of God, there is only One True Church that can do all of this for you.

Here in this life, we are looking for God’s Own Church, which is The True Church. I realized one day that if God isn’t attending a particular church and isn’t backing a particular church anymore, then there’s no reason for me to do so either. I want to be a member of God’s Family or God’s Church.

Ephesians 4: 4-6:
4  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.

If you look up these words in the original Greek, this is what you come up with for the definitions of what Paul is talking about:

Body is used of a (large or small) number of men closely united into one society, or family as it were; a social, ethical, mystical body; so in the New Testament Paul is speaking of the Church.

Lord is the title given to God, the Messiah.

1 John 4: 14: And we have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son to be the Savior of the world.

Faith is the religious beliefs of Christians.

Baptism is speaking of John’s baptism, that purification rite by which men on confessing their sins were bound to spiritual reformation, obtained the pardon of their past sins and became qualified for the benefits of the Messiah’s kingdom soon to be set up. This was valid Christian baptism, as this was the only baptism the apostles received.

God the Father is literally the Father of our spirits. Your Father in Heaven is the same as my Father in Heaven. We are children of God. That means that each one of us has within us the innate possibility to become like God someday. There is only one God the Father for all the inhabitants of this earth. That’s a very big family that He has got there.

When Paul is saying that there is only one body, he is saying that there is only One True Church. There are not many true churches, but only One True Church, God’s Own Church.

There is only One True Church, which is God’s Church, the Church that God and Christ attend, sustain, and back.

The Jews at the time had not had prophets for over 400 years. The Jews and their religion might at one time have been The True Church, but the Jews had apostatized from that and had rejected Christ Jehovah as their Messiah. There is only one True Messiah, and Paul repeatedly tells us that that is Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord. When Christ appeared to Saul on the road to Damascus, Christ sent Saul to a Christian to be taught, fed, baptized, converted, and given the priesthood of God. Our resurrected Lord Jesus Christ sent Saul to The Current True Church, which just happened to be Christ’s Church. Jesus did not send Saul to the Jews, thus letting the world know that the Jews were no longer the True Body nor the True Church.

This reality was logical to me and consistently applied by Paul himself. If you are willing to take Paul literally, then you know exactly what he is talking about. Here in this life we are looking for the One True Savior and that Savior’s One True Church, so that we can have the hope of returning to the Kingdom of God someday. A Savior was sent to us to help us get back home to God the Father someday. This means that not only is there one Savior but there is also only one plan of salvation or only one plan for getting us back home to God the Father. We have to do what Christ has done if we want to go where Christ has gone. Christ is our exemplar.

There is also only one baptism that is the true and right baptism.

John 3: 1-7:
1 THERE was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews:
2 The same came to Jesus by night, and said unto him, Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him.
3 Jesus answered and said unto him, “Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”
4 Nicodemus saith unto him, “How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother’s womb, and be born?”
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.
6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.
7 Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.”

Notice the repetition of “verily, verily”, which was Jesus’ way of putting extreme or firm emphasis on this concept. Jesus was telling Nicodemus that this knowledge and the act of being baptized or born again of water is absolutely essential for our salvation, or we cannot enter into the Kingdom of God in the next life.

Why did Jesus go to John the Baptist for baptism into the Kingdom of God? First of all, Jesus Christ had been told by God the Father that John the Baptist had God’s Baptism to offer, or The One True Baptism to offer. Furthermore, Jesus knew that He would never be able to enter into the Kingdom of God unless He Himself was baptized with God’s True Baptism. Even Jesus, the Savior of the World, needed to be baptized into the Kingdom of God and baptized by God’s True Baptism in order to enter the Kingdom of God and God the Father’s Own True Church. In John 3: 1-7, Jesus tells each and every one of us that there is no other way.

John 15: 14-15: Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you. Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you.

Jesus only did what God the Father commanded Jesus to do, which is why Jesus was always able to live a perfect and sinless life. We know from the scriptures that Jesus was told by God the Father that Jesus had to be baptized by John’s Real Baptism, which is God’s True Baptism, or Jesus wouldn’t be able to enter the Kingdom of God. There are no exceptions to this rule. We have to be members of God’s True Church, if we want to go back home and re-enter God the Father’s presence one day. There is no other way, just the One True Way. God’s True Church here on this earth is the Kingdom of God here on this earth.

John 14: 6: Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
John 14: 15: If ye love me, keep my commandments.

There is only One Right Way to get back to God the Father, and that’s the way that Jesus got back to God the Father.
We are told by Jesus that it is to him that overcometh that I will grant to sit down on my throne, as I have overcome and sat down on my Father’s throne.

Revelation 3: 19-22:
19 As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.
20 Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.
21 To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne.
22 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.

What Christ is offering us here is to become like Him and to someday sit down with Him on His Father’s throne. Christ is offering you Godhood. Christ is saying to each one of us, “Come follow me and do what I have done, join God’s True Church and receive God’s True Baptism, and then one day you too can be a God and sit down with me on our Father’s throne.” Jesus Christ means it literally. There’s nothing figurative nor metaphorical about any of this. If you choose to do it God’s way and Christ’s way, then you will go where Christ has gone, and sit where Christ now sits, on His Father’s throne. What a gift, for choosing to do things God’s way instead of trying to do them our way!

In all things Jesus Christ did what He saw God the Father do. In order to be saved and exalted, Jesus Christ followed God the Father and did everything God the Father commanded Him to do. Likewise, in order to be saved and exalted on our Father’s throne, we must keep Christ’s commandments and do what Christ has done.

John 5: 17-30:
17 But Jesus answered them, My Father worketh hitherto, and I work.
18 Therefore the Jews sought the more to kill him, because he not only had broken the sabbath, but said also that God was his Father, making himself equal with God.
19 Then answered Jesus and said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do: for what things soever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise.
20 For the Father loveth the Son, and sheweth him all things that himself doeth: and he will shew him greater works than these, that ye may marvel.
21 For as the Father raiseth up the dead, and quickeneth them; even so the Son quickeneth whom he will.
22 For the Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son:
23 That all men should honour the Son, even as they honour the Father. He that honoureth not the Son honoureth not the Father which hath sent him.
24 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.
25 Verily, verily, I say unto you, The hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God: and they that hear shall live.
26 For as the Father hath life in himself; so hath he given to the Son to have life in himself;
27 And hath given him authority to execute judgment also, because he is the Son of man [of Holiness].
28 Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice,
29 And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation.
30 I can of mine own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and my judgment is just; because I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me.

Jesus is telling us that He is the only Begotten Son of God the Father, and Jesus manifests that kinship by keeping the Father’s commandments and doing what the Father has done. This means that on some distant world in the past our God the Father had to find the One True Church and receive the One True Baptism into the Kingdom of His Father. We must do what the Father has done in order to go where the Father has gone. That is Jesus’ repeated message to each one of us. We must do the Father’s will in order to receive the blessings that the Father has in store for us.

John 12: 44-50:
44 Jesus cried and said, He that believeth on me, believeth not on me, but on him that sent me.
45 And he that seeth me seeth him that sent me.
46 I am come a light into the world, that whosoever believeth on me should not abide in darkness.
47 And if any man hear my words, and believe not, I judge him not: for I came not to judge the world, but to save the world.
48 He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day.
49 For I have not spoken of myself; but the Father which sent me, he gave me a commandment, what I should say, and what I should speak.
50 And I know that his commandment is life everlasting: whatsoever I speak therefore, even as the Father said unto me, so I speak.

Jesus keeps giving us the same message over and over again. Do you think it might be important to do things the way that Jesus wants them to be done?

The Doctrine of Christ:

There is only One True Doctrine of Christ. In the Book of Mormon, Jesus Christ tells us what that is:

3 Nephi 11: 31-41:
31 Behold, verily, verily, I say unto you, I will declare unto you my doctrine.
32 And this is my doctrine, and it is the doctrine which the Father hath given unto me; and I bear record of the Father, and the Father beareth record of me, and the Holy Ghost beareth record of the Father and me; and I bear record that the Father commandeth all men, everywhere, to repent and believe in me.
33 And whoso believeth in me, and is baptized, the same shall be saved; and they are they who shall inherit the kingdom of God.
34 And whoso believeth not in me, and is not baptized, shall be damned.
35 Verily, verily, I say unto you, that this is my doctrine, and I bear record of it from the Father; and whoso believeth in me believeth in the Father also; and unto him will the Father bear record of me, for he will visit him with fire and with the Holy Ghost.
36 And thus will the Father bear record of me, and the Holy Ghost will bear record unto him of the Father and me; for the Father, and I, and the Holy Ghost are one.
37 And again I say unto you, ye must repent, and become as a little child, and be baptized in my name, or ye can in nowise receive these things.
38 And again I say unto you, ye must repent, and be baptized in my name, and become as a little child, or ye can in nowise inherit the kingdom of God.
39 Verily, verily, I say unto you, that this is my doctrine, and whoso buildeth upon this buildeth upon my rock, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against them.
40 And whoso shall declare more or less than this, and establish it for my doctrine, the same cometh of evil, and is not built upon my rock; but he buildeth upon a sandy foundation, and the gates of hell stand open to receive such when the floods come and the winds beat upon them.
41 Therefore, go forth unto this people, and declare the words which I have spoken, unto the ends of the earth.

The Prophets of God have taught these same principles throughout all the ages of time:

2 Nephi 31: 1-21:
1 AND now I, Nephi, make an end of my prophesying unto you, my beloved brethren. And I cannot write but a few things, which I know must surely come to pass; neither can I write but a few of the words of my brother Jacob.
2 Wherefore, the things which I have written sufficeth me, save it be a few words which I must speak concerning the doctrine of Christ; wherefore, I shall speak unto you plainly, according to the plainness of my prophesying.
3 For my soul delighteth in plainness; for after this manner doth the Lord God work among the children of men. For the Lord God giveth light unto the understanding; for he speaketh unto men according to their language, unto their understanding.
4 Wherefore, I would that ye should remember that I have spoken unto you concerning that prophet which the Lord showed unto me, that should baptize the Lamb of God, which should take away the sins of the world.
5 And now, if the Lamb of God, he being holy, should have need to be baptized by water, to fulfil all righteousness, O then, how much more need have we, being unholy, to be baptized, yea, even by water!
6 And now, I would ask of you, my beloved brethren, wherein the Lamb of God did fulfil all righteousness in being baptized by water?
7 Know ye not that he was holy? But notwithstanding he being holy, he showeth unto the children of men that, according to the flesh he humbleth himself before the Father, and witnesseth unto the Father that he would be obedient unto him in keeping his commandments.
8 Wherefore, after he was baptized with water the Holy Ghost descended upon him in the form of a dove.
9 And again, it showeth unto the children of men the straitness of the path, and the narrowness of the gate, by which they should enter, he having set the example before them.
10 And he said unto the children of men: Follow thou me. Wherefore, my beloved brethren, can we follow Jesus save we shall be willing to keep the commandments of the Father?
11 And the Father said: Repent ye, repent ye, and be baptized in the name of my Beloved Son.
12 And also, the voice of the Son came unto me, saying: He that is baptized in my name, to him will the Father give the Holy Ghost, like unto me; wherefore, follow me, and do the things which ye have seen me do.
13 Wherefore, my beloved brethren, I know that if ye shall follow the Son, with full purpose of heart, acting no hypocrisy and no deception before God, but with real intent, repenting of your sins, witnessing unto the Father that ye are willing to take upon you the name of Christ, by baptism–yea, by following your Lord and your Savior down into the water, according to his word, behold, then shall ye receive the Holy Ghost; yea, then cometh the baptism of fire and of the Holy Ghost; and then can ye speak with the tongue of angels, and shout praises unto the Holy One of Israel.
14 But, behold, my beloved brethren, thus came the voice of the Son unto me, saying: After ye have repented of your sins, and witnessed unto the Father that ye are willing to keep my commandments, by the baptism of water, and have received the baptism of fire and of the Holy Ghost, and can speak with a new tongue, yea, even with the tongue of angels, and after this should deny me, it would have been better for you that ye had not known me.
15 And I heard a voice from the Father, saying: Yea, the words of my Beloved are true and faithful. He that endureth to the end, the same shall be saved.
16 And now, my beloved brethren, I know by this that unless a man shall endure to the end, in following the example of the Son of the living God, he cannot be saved.
17 Wherefore, do the things which I have told you I have seen that your Lord and your Redeemer should do; for, for this cause have they been shown unto me, that ye might know the gate by which ye should enter. For the gate by which ye should enter is repentance and baptism by water; and then cometh a remission of your sins by fire and by the Holy Ghost.
18 And then are ye in this strait and narrow path which leads to eternal life; yea, ye have entered in by the gate; ye have done according to the commandments of the Father and the Son; and ye have received the Holy Ghost, which witnesses of the Father and the Son, unto the fulfilling of the promise which he hath made, that if ye entered in by the way ye should receive.
19 And now, my beloved brethren, after ye have gotten into this strait and narrow path, I would ask if all is done? Behold, I say unto you, Nay; for ye have not come thus far save it were by the word of Christ with unshaken faith in him, relying wholly upon the merits of him who is mighty to save.
20 Wherefore, ye must press forward with a steadfastness in Christ, having a perfect brightness of hope, and a love of God and of all men. Wherefore, if ye shall press forward, feasting upon the word of Christ, and endure to the end, behold, thus saith the Father: Ye shall have eternal life.
21 And now, behold, my beloved brethren, this is the way; and there is none other way nor name given under heaven whereby man can be saved in the kingdom of God. And now, behold, this is the doctrine of Christ, and the only and true doctrine of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, which is one God, without end. Amen.

You want to be baptized with The One True Baptism, God’s Baptism, which is John the Baptist’s baptism. Jesus Christ knew that John the Baptist had the proper priesthood authority from the Father to baptize with the Father’s Baptism into the Father’s Kingdom. In a sense, Christ is telling us that at one time in the past, our God the Father had to be baptized by real priesthood authority before He could enter into His Father’s Kingdom and sit on His Father’s throne.

You want to be baptized with John’s baptism. Nothing less will do!

Joseph Smith History 1: 67-74:
67 Two days after the arrival of Mr. Cowdery (being the 7th of April) I (Joseph Smith) commenced to translate the Book of Mormon, and he began to write for me.
68 We still continued the work of translation, when, in the ensuing month (May, 1829), we on a certain day went into the woods to pray and inquire of the Lord respecting baptism for the remission of sins, that we found mentioned in the translation of the plates. While we were thus employed, praying and calling upon the Lord, a messenger from heaven descended in a cloud of light, and having laid his hands upon us, he ordained us, saying:
69 Upon you my fellow servants, in the name of Messiah, I confer the Priesthood of Aaron, which holds the keys of the ministering of angels, and of the gospel of repentance, and of baptism by immersion for the remission of sins; and this shall never be taken again from the earth until the sons of Levi do offer again an offering unto the Lord in righteousness.
70 He said this Aaronic Priesthood had not the power of laying on hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost, but that this should be conferred on us hereafter; and he commanded us to go and be baptized, and gave us directions that I should baptize Oliver Cowdery, and that afterwards he should baptize me.
71 Accordingly we went and were baptized. I baptized him first, and afterwards he baptized me — after which I laid my hands upon his head and ordained him to the Aaronic Priesthood, and afterwards he laid his hands on me and ordained me to the same Priesthood — for so we were commanded.
72 The messenger who visited us on this occasion and conferred this Priesthood upon us, said that his name was John, the same that is called John the Baptist in the New Testament, and that he acted under the direction of Peter, James and John, who held the keys of the Priesthood of Melchizedek, which Priesthood, he said, would in due time be conferred on us, and that I (Joseph Smith) should be called the first Elder of the Church, and he (Oliver Cowdery) the second. It was on the fifteenth day of May, 1829, that we were ordained under the hand of this messenger, and baptized.
73 Immediately on our coming up out of the water after we had been baptized, we experienced great and glorious blessings from our Heavenly Father. No sooner had I baptized Oliver Cowdery, than the Holy Ghost fell upon him, and he stood up and prophesied many things which should shortly come to pass. And again, so soon as I had been baptized by him, I also had the spirit of prophecy, when, standing up, I prophesied concerning the rise of this Church, and many other things connected with the Church, and this generation of the children of men. We were filled with the Holy Ghost, and rejoiced in the God of our salvation.
74 Our minds being now enlightened, we began to have the scriptures laid open to our understandings, and the true meaning and intention of their more mysterious passages revealed unto us in a manner which we never could attain to previously, nor ever before had thought of. In the meantime we were forced to keep secret the circumstances of having received the Priesthood and our having been baptized, owing to a spirit of persecution which had already manifested itself in the neighborhood.

Our goal in life is to come to know God the Father as well as Jesus Christ knows Him:

John 17: 1-5:
1 THESE words spake Jesus, and lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, Father, the hour is come; glorify thy Son, that thy Son also may glorify thee:
2 As thou hast given him power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him.
3 And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.
4 I have glorified thee on the earth: I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do.
5 And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee before the world was.

This is the key to our salvation. Jesus was given the name “Salvation” by the angels from heaven, because Jesus Christ or Christ Jehovah was sent to be our one and only True Savior here on this earth. We get to know Him by following Him, keeping His Commandments, and doing what He has done. To go where Christ has gone, we must do what Christ has done. It’s simple and plain for those who have eyes to see and ears to hear.

We want to re-establish our kinship with God the Father, rather than choosing Satan as our father. We do so by joining God’s True Church and receiving God’s True Baptism by God’s Priesthood Authority. There is no other way. We need the purification of The One True Baptism in order to re-enter God the Father’s Kingdom to nevermore go out. We need the same baptism that Jesus Christ received, which is John the Baptist’s baptism, or God the Father’s baptism.

1 John 3: 1-3:
1 BEHOLD, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not.
2 Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.
3 And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure.

I hope this will be of some help to someone out there. It explains why I believe what I believe and why I do what I have done. Do things the way that God the Father wants them to be done, and things will work out well for you in the end. We have Jesus’ promise that it is so. Seek John’s Baptism, so that you can become pure even as Christ is pure.

Enoch

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