I have listened to the preaching of Mr G. W. North on many occasions and much my to my profit it has often been. He was not one to expend much time and energy on the peripherals of Christian things, and in my opinion his message of spiritual baptism and what this accomplishes was very much at the centre of much of his ministry.
The title of this book is a direct quote from scripture: “There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; One Lord, one faith, one baptism, One God and Father of all.” (Ephesians 4: 4-6). How many would doubt the sublime statements of there being only “one” of all the rest on this list? Yet many would seem to doubt, disagree or just plain not understand what is meant by the straightforward statement that there is only one baptism! I don’t think that this book was written primarily to convince the doubters but it will certainly help any who have some inkling that there is a whole lot more to spiritual baptism than just some kind of added blessing for our Christian life. This message is a declaration and insightful explanation of a central truth and revelation of Scripture to all who will receive it. I do.
Mr North expounds this theme in considerable depth, and along the way there is plenty that suggests more to the enquiring mind. The theme of The, One Baptism of God is examined in four Old Testament types: The flood, the crossing of the Red Sea, the crossing of the river Jordan and the mantle that passed from Elijah to Elisha. After examining these four accounts the book then moves forward into the more directly stated message of the New Testament concerning this baptism.
It has to be said that just as with the author’s preaching style the book is not always easy to follow! The illustrations are somewhat intermingled at times. If it is an easy read you’re after then this is not the book for you. However, if you are keen and hungry for spiritual truth and willing to put in some effort of spirit and mind then this work cannot be underestimated in its value. Do not think that because the subject matter is that of spiritual baptism that this book is in any way a treatise on spiritual gifts. It is not. Nor is it concerned particularly with the subject of water baptism although this is mentioned ‘en-route’. The whole message of the One Baptism is that it is a baptism into the very life of God and ALL that this brings us into.
I have read this book through at least twice now (maybe thrice?) and I would not be averse to coming back to it again at some future time. The message here is something that is so fundamental and so profound that it is one of those foundational things that needs to be “constantly affirmed.” For many it most likely falls into the category of, “I’ve never heard it on this fashion before!” Where spiritual baptism is concerned it is neither the ‘gospel’ of the traditional Evangelicals, nor that of the Pentecostals or Charismatics, but I am personally without doubt that it is the standpoint of God’s truth on the matter.
Related Reading ~ Bible Study: One Baptism by G.W. North [available as PDF]
Related Reading ~ Book Review: The Story of G.W. North