Baptized into One Body
Just as a body, though one, has many parts, but all its many parts form one body, so it is with Christ. For we were all baptized by one Spirit so as to form one body—whether Jews or Gentiles, slave or free—and we were all given the one Spirit to drink. Even so the body is not made up of one part but of many. – 1 Corinthians 12:12-14
When we talk about baptism, we often speak of it in terms of our personal salvation. We consider it to be a proclamation to those around us, and an experience of being baptized in water, a physical consummation of our salvation. Although these things are all important when we talk of baptism, we musn’t forget the community aspect that takes place in our baptism. We see this community aspect proclaimed clearly in this passage in 1 Corinthians.
We are all baptized by one Spirit. The same Spirit that lives in each of us has unified our very nature in the Body of Christ. It doesn’t matter if you are a jew or gentile, slave or free, rich or poor, etc. As we see more and more apparently in our culture, there are more and more things that make us unique, setting us apart from one another. And while our diversity is a beautiful aspect of the Body of Christ, we cannot let it divide us. Through our baptism, we are brought into the same family, not forced into uniformity, but invited into unity.
As the last sentence says clearly, the body is not made up of one part, but many. Our differences do not melt away into non-existence, but instead, cause us to actually function in an even more Christ-glorifying way than we would if we were all exactly the same. It is because of the different experiences we have have and the different people we are that we can be called a Body.
So with this in mind, baptism is not just an acknowledgement of a brother or sister being joined to Christ, but even more than that, we are celebrating another unique part being brought into the Body of Christ. In the same way that each of us is joined to Christ, we are also joined to one another, as co-laborers, co-heirs, citizens, and saints of the already present and imminently approaching Kingdom of God.