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Read Introduction to 1 Corinthians


For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body – whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free – and have all been made to drink into one Spirit.


For by one Spirit

The Holy Spirit is the agent who places believers in the body of Christ. The Devil or any human agent cannot amputate anyone from the body of Christ because the Holy Spirit placed the believer in the body by divine action. A surgeon can amputate a leg, but no diabolical surgeon can amputate anyone from the body of Christ. It is impossible to be unborn spiritually.

Jn 10:29, My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one [Greek says “nothing,” whether Satan or ourselves] is able to snatch them out of My Father’s hand.

we were all baptized into one body

“Baptized” here is not water baptism but Spirit baptism. We can translate the word “baptized” as to identify. The word “baptized” or “baptism” is not a translation but a transliteration. In other words, instead of translating the word, translators dropped the Greek word into the English text. The word “identify” carries a much-improved meaning of what happens with the baptism of the Spirit – the Holy Spirit identifies us with the body of Christ at salvation. The baptism of the Spirit is not an experience.

The first baptism of the Spirit occurred on the day of Pentecost (Acts 1:5). Afterward, individual believers receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit at the point of salvation. Spirit baptism takes place when the Holy Spirit places the believer into the body of Christ.

The word “all” means that there is no such thing as a Christian whom the Holy Spirit does not baptize into the body of Christ. If the Holy Spirit does not baptize a person into the body of Christ, then that person is not a Christian (Ro 8:9). “All” means that there are no exceptions. The Holy Spirit places all believers without exception in the body of Christ. Whether carnal or spiritual, good or bad, the Holy Spirit places them in union with Christ.

Ro 8:9, But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His.

I want to give the Greek grammar of “baptized into” because of its doctrinal importance, but I will explain each term I use. The word “baptized” is in the aorist tense (point action, one point in the past). The Holy Spirit baptized us into the body of Christ at one point; each of us became a Christian. “Baptized” is in the passive voice (the subject receives the action, not produces the action). The passive voice indicates that the Holy Spirit caused our baptism. It is not something we did or do. The word “baptized” is in the indicative mood (this is the mood of reality, not potentiality). It was a real fact that the Holy Spirit identified us with the body of Christ at the point of salvation. Remember, the meaning of the word “baptized” is identify.


Our place in the body of Christ gives us status with God. 


The church is not an organization but an organism. It is not a group of people gathered once a week to share a worship experience, but it is people sharing the same life. They reach out to the world with the life of God. Christianity is a relationship, not a religion. Religion seeks to gain God’s approbation; in Christianity, we have God’s approbation or favor. We have positional status with God. Our status quo is equivalent to the status Jesus has before the Father. This status is as true for the carnal believer as for the spiritual. The carnal believer has imputed righteousness, making his status before God completely righteous positionally or forensically.