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GREG - In the new testament it states: one faith, one baptism. I was taught that there are two: by water and the spirit. As I was reading in Luke 12:50, I noticed Jesus was to have a third baptism. It seems to me it is by blood(the atonement). Are these three baptisms one, as in marriage or the godhead. I thought it was interesting that the atonement, was a baptism. I may be wrong with my interpretation of this scripture? If I'm right, do you know more about the baptisms? I know baptism is done by total immersion! I was telling a man I work with about my findings, he said in the garden of Gethsemane, the savior wasn't fully covered in blood. The scripture says"as drops of blood". I told him in Mosiah it says"drops of blood". So to me, he was fully immersed in his blood(baptised)

JOEL - In the scripture where Paul declares "One Lord, one faith, one baptism" (Eph 4:5), the context of what he was saying was specifically in regards to the only one approved mode of water baptism that effected membership in the true church of Christ and the washing away of sins. In earlier letters to the saints in Corinth he warned of divisions and heresies that may come into the church (1 Cor 11:18-19). Perhaps he suspected that false doctrines regarding baptism were cropping up in Ephesus and wanted to make sure they knew there was only one way to Christ. There is of course the baptism of fire by the Holy Ghost(Matt 3:11, D&C 33:11, 2 Nep 31:14), but in this case he was only refering to the one correct authorized mode of water baptism.

When Jesus said, "But I have a baptism to be baptized with" (Luke 12:50) he was indeed refering to his own baptism by blood and death which were soon to come in the Garden Of Gesthemane and the cross. In this case I think he was using the term baptism only as a descriptor of the process he would soon suffer.

All three baptisms involve the immersion of the body in either water, representing Christ's buriel in the earth; or fire, representing the Holy Ghost; or blood, representing the atonement. The original Greek from which baptism and the verb baptize is derived, means immersion, or to immerse. Paul said:

"Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. (Romans 6:4)

In the scriptures we learn that, "John also was baptizing in Ænon near to Salim, because there was much water there: and they came, and were baptized" (John 3:23). Why would they need "much water" if they were not fully immersing people. And in the Jordon river,"Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water;" (Matt 3:16), from which it is evident that he had been down in the water. From these circumstances, that is, from John baptizing in Jordan, and near Salim where there was "much water," and from Jesus going up out of the water after his baptism, there can be no question that the word baptism refers to immersion.

Joseph Smith once said, "Baptism by water is but half a baptism, and is good for nothing without the baptism of the Holy Ghost" (TPJS, p. 314). So in the sense that you can't have one without the other, they could be considered as one. And given the fact that the first two baptisms would be worthless without the atonement of Christ, you could say that all three are one as the godhead and marriage are. All three serve in one purpose to bring about our salvation.

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