Derek Prince - One Body by One Spirit
Let’s look in Hebrews 2 for a moment. Hebrews 2:3-4 How shall we escape if we neglect so great a salvation which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed to us by those who heard Him. God, also bearing witness, both with signs and wonders, with various miracles and gifts of the Holy Spirit, according to His own will. The writer of Hebrews gives three reasons why we should attend to the gospel message. Number one, the first person who proclaimed it was Jesus. Secondly, it was confirmed by those who were personal eyewitnesses of Jesus. But the third reason is the Holy Spirit bears supernatural testimony to the message with signs, wonders and gifts of the Holy Spirit. The unbelieving world has a right to expect from the church that that’s what we’ll do. We’re living below the level of the will of God if we just present an intellectual message and quote a few Scriptures.
Some people will get saved, it’s wonderful, but it’s not God’s best. Now I want to give you one further reason for the gift of the Holy Spirit, for the baptism. It’s stated in 1 Corinthians 12. 1 Corinthians 12:13 This is one of the most misunderstood verses in the whole of the New Testament. Actually, it’s mistranslated and it’s mistranslated because the translators had a preconception of what they thought Paul was trying to say. I have to say I’ve learned Greek since I was ten years old, I am totally confident of the correctness of what I’m saying. If I weren’t I wouldn’t say it. The text that I have, and most of the other translations read the same. 1 Corinthians 12:13. 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 from one Spirit.
Now the wrong word there is, by. Because the Greek says in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body. And there is no suggestion anywhere else in the New Testament that the Holy Spirit ever baptizes people. People are baptized in the Holy Spirit but the Holy Spirit doesn’t baptize them. We are born again of the Holy Spirit, that’s what brings us into the body. Now, the word emphasized there is the word 'one'. What Paul is saying is the purpose of the baptism is to produce unity in the body. In one Spirit we were all baptized into one body, we’re all given to drink of one Spirit. Three times he uses the word one. You see, I pointed out to you before with regard to the use of the word baptize in and into, when you are baptized you’re baptized in something and baptized into something. But in both the other cases, John’s baptism and Christian baptism, in actual fact, the people were already in what they were baptized into. For instance, John’s baptism was a baptism of repentance but he wouldn’t baptize people who hadn’t repented.
So, the baptism of John didn’t produce repentance, it was his acknowledgment that they had repented. And then Christian baptism, baptism in water, we’re baptized into Christ. But when we are baptized we are already in Christ, otherwise we have no right to be baptized. So, being baptized in water doesn’t put us in Christ, it seals us as having been in Christ. It’s the same with this. In one Spirit we were all baptized into one body not that we weren’t in the body but this is the seal that we’re in the body. So in every case, baptize in, baptize into. In is the medium. With John’s baptism it is water, with Christian baptism it is water, with the Holy Spirit it was the Holy Spirit. What we’re baptized into is something that we’re already in but it marks us out as being in. In repentance, in Christ, in one body. But what we need to bear in mind, and this is one of the tragedies of recent church history the baptism in the Holy Spirit is designed to produce unity in the body. But unfortunately we’ve been so carnal that instead of accepting unity we’ve often used it to produce division. And for that, all of us need to repent.
So bear in mind the baptism of the Holy Spirit is designed to make you know that you’re part of one body and that every other true believer, no matter what denomination, what race or what culture, is a member of the same body. There’s only one Holy Spirit, there’s only one body. That was God’s purpose and unfortunately like so many other things we’ve abused God’s purpose. For instance the celebration of communion was designed for the same purpose, to emphasize the unity of the body. What has it done through our carnality? It’s divided us. But that’s not God’s fault, it’s our fault. All of us need to bear some responsibility. The non-Pentecostals, for being so critical. The Pentecostals, for being so arrogant. I mean, I’ve been a Pentecostal long enough, our famous slogan was 'We’ve got it all'. When I looked at some of them I’ve thought, Whatever you have, it isn’t much!
I remember being in a Danish Pentecostal church and there was this dear, old widow. She was poor, she was sick. She said in Danish, We’ve got it all. I looked at her I thought if that’s all, it isn’t much. But you see, that attitude has offended a lot of people. We’ve had this attitude, the Pentecostals have got it all. We’ve got the full gospel. We don’t have more than we have. We can have the baptism and speak in tongues and still be very short of God’s standard. It’s not a guarantee that you’re absolutely perfect. It's not a seal of perfection, it’s a help to become perfect. See, again a lot of Pentecostals have the attitude, I mean, I know it so well, you get saved, born again, baptized in water, speak in tongues and you’ve arrived. No, no, no, you’ve just started! It’s not a goal, it’s a gateway. But if you treat the gateway as the goal you’ll never get any further. Some of you Pentecostals need to give a little heed to that. If you are Pentecostal and you’re here, I love the Pentecostals, I owe my salvation to them. For a good many years I thought they were right about everything. And then I discovered they too had their weaknesses. But bear that in mind, the baptism in the Holy Spirit is to bring Christians into unity.