It is fantastic to think that, despite our differences, when we enter any evangelical church and hear the word «Lord» it is exactly the same Person we are speaking about (Jesus Christ) and we identify ourselves in the same way (His servants). And it is exactly the term «Lord» that the Apostle Paul uses on which to base our unity in baptism. In the words of John Stott: “there is one hope which belongs to our Christian calling, one faith and one baptism because there is only one Lord”. It would be easy to jump to the conclusion that it would never have entered Paul’s head that, in the future of the church, there would be different forms of baptism. But it is important to realize that Paul wasn’t talking about the form by which baptism is ministered when he said there is only one baptism. The apostle speaks of baptism as a public confession of «one faith» and «one Lord», that is, the initiation of the believer in Christ, as also the initiation in His one body (the church). The baptism we one day received, declaring the same faith in the same Lord, places us all on equal footing. In this there is no difference between Jew and Greek, or slave and free, or man and woman (cf. Galatians 3:26-28). But this does not mean that we are not different in anything, men and women from different cultures (and often from the same culture) continue to be different from each other. Yet these differences don’t annul the fact that we were all equally saved by grace, by means of the same faith in the same Lord – a fact which we came to confess in the same symbol of baptism.
- Thank you, Lord, for giving us an external symbol to express that which you have done within us.
- Thank you, Lord, for calling us to equality in salvation and not to the pride of being more than others or the dissatisfaction of wanting to be like others.
- Thank you, Lord, for the joy we were able to experience when we made our public profession of our faith.
- Forgive us, Lord, for sometimes having given more attention to the symbols we receive from our culture than to the symbol You have given us: baptism.
- Lord, give us eyes to see beyond our denominational and theological differences, eyes to see a brother or sister who identify themselves with You in the same way as we identify ourselves.
- Lord, use each act of baptism which we carry out to transmit the truth that we are all one body and that it makes complete sense to live under Your Lordship.