Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.
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, who is above all, and through all, and in you all. Ephes. 4:3-6
1.) In the beginning, our beginning, everything God makes is good. As infants, we are known for being precious, full of promise; equipped with the purest heart of love. As toddlers, our confidence is so steady that we'll run and jump into daddy's arms. And, as preschoolers, we believe everything our parents tell us; with faith unquenchable.
Then begins the schooling years, and junk happens. The world isn't filled with love, Santa isn't real, and there are zillions of man made rules. So, maybe, all things are necessary (the good, the bad, and the ugly) in order to bring us to a place of realizing our need for God.
2.) That perfection is restored with a second birth; at the point of Salvation. Our hearts are again filled with love, we want to run and tell the world about our loving Father, and everything about Jesus is awesome!
Only, the years of religious training begins, and junk happens. The church isn't filled with love, our Father's love is said to be conditional, and there are zillions of doctrines of men. So, all things are for our sakes; in order for us to realize the need to seek truth, to replace all the lies Satan planted and restore us to the perfection of heart that God originally created.
I've heard said that it began at the fall, when Satan convinced us God could no longer receive us ... and that the purpose of us being here is to discover, all over again, Who God is, Whose we are, and who we are (Three baptisms? Yes.). But also, in this time, what I have discovered is that, the moment we believe a lie, we have granted Satan permission to enter. Then, from that point forward, he begins building lie upon lie until our love, confidence, and faith is everywhere but the perfection God intended.
3.) If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable. 1 Cor. 15:19 And so, one more time, for our sake, "ye must be born, again," (return to the heart, confidence, and faith of a child) to enter into the Kingdom of God, Mark 10:15, John 3:3. For it's not in what you know, but who you know, Romans 14:17.
Thus, we personally experience three baptisms in one, three times; of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. Perhaps it can be described as 1.) birth, 2.) new birth, and 3.) rebirth ... not unlike the process of becoming a butterfly.
But, as we grow in knowledge, we discover Jesus is the same yesterday, today, and forever and God is no respecter of persons. Thus, within the Bible are three baptisms; getting to know the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost ... which counts to be six baptisms. However, only three of them happen at the same time (these three are one baptism).
For there are three that bear record in heaven, (1) the Father, (2) the Word, and (3) the Holy Ghost: and these three are one. 1 John 5:7
And there are three that bear witness in earth, (4) the spirit, and (5) the water, and (6) the blood: and these three agree in one. 1 John 5:8
Both are all the same baptism; the first restoration happening all at once ... the second restoration a process.
God was the God of Salvation even before Jesus came, Psalm 68:20, and a God of grace (Titus 2:11). But, somewhere along the way, people lost their way and it took Jesus before they could believe God could ever receive them again. And, here we are, again; many awaiting Jesus to come rescue us instead of having learned by His example.
1.) We were saved, 2.) we are being saved, and 3.) we will be saved. We are all creations of God and all God's children; some in bondage and some free, 1 Cor. 12:14. But for all, our reservations have already been made, Peter 1:4. And, in being born again, we come to know 1.) Who God is, 2.) Whose we are, and 3.) who we are ... and, finally, defeat Satan.
For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:38-39 Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth. 1 Tim. 2:4 For therefore we both labour and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God, who is the Saviour of all men, specially of those that believe. 1 Tim. 4:10
Wherefore I desire that ye faint not at my tribulations for you, which is your glory. For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, Of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man; That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God. Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen. Ephes. 3:13-21
But, before discovering who we are, and even, perhaps, before we can receive it ... we need to know just how lost we really are, as sheep ... and, maybe even, see the truthfulness of filthy rags we call 'righteousness'. And then, we can welcome our final baptism ... being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever ... To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you. 1 Peter 1:4, 23
For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory. 1 Cor. 15:53-54
And then ... Pentecost, restoration, Garden of Eden, Heaven on Earth, ALL things new!
And as concerning that he raised him up from the dead, now no more to return to corruption, he said on this wise, I will give you the sure mercies of David. Acts 13:34 And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be. Rev. 22:12
Never discount any portion of God's word, Proverbs 30:5.
If we think to see contradiction, we only understand in part
and that which is perfect has not yet come. Romans 11:25