Is there only one baptism approved of by God’s Word? Yes, only one, according to Ephesians 4:5. “One Lord, one faith, one baptism, One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.”
Which baptism is the one approved of by God since many are mentioned in scripture? The answer is discovered in Acts 19:1-7. Here, we are told that while in Ephesus Paul baptized (immersed in water) 12 men in the name of Jesus.
Paul did exactly what Peter taught thousands to do in Acts 2:38. He was doing the same thing Philip did in Samaria (Acts 8:12) and with the Ethiopian eunuch (Acts 8:35-38). Each of these men, Peter, Philip and Paul simply taught the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus (the Gospel: 1 Cor 15:1-4) and then baptized those who believed in the name of Jesus, that is, by his authority. We know by the commandments of Jesus and his apostles that all who heard the gospel and believed in their heart that Jesus was the Christ and confessed such with their mouth (Rom 10:10), and who had repented of their sins (Lk 13:3) were granted baptism (Acts 2:38).
Notice that the apostle Paul baptized the men in Ephesus in the name of Jesus despite the fact that they had already been baptized under the baptism of John. Obviously, the one baptism was not the baptism of John.
The men at Ephesus had also not been baptized with the Holy Spirit, as they confessed to Paul that they had not heard whether there was a Holy Spirit. After they had been baptized in Jesus name, Paul laid his hands on them so that they would receive the Holy Spirit. The one baptism then is not Holy Spirit baptism. Baptism in Jesus’ name is the same one Ananias had encouraged Paul to receive, according to Acts 9:17-18 and Acts 22:12-16.
Baptism in the name of Jesus was what Peter and Philip preached. Ananias was sent by Jesus himself to baptize Paul in his name. Paul baptized the Ephesians in Jesus’ name. These men were simply fulfilling what Jesus himself had taught in Matthew 28:18-20.
The one baptism found in Ephesians 4:5 is the one Jesus gave us to the end of the age. Thus what Jesus said after his resurrection is true today as it was then: “And he said unto them, Go you into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believes and is baptized shall be saved, but he that believes not shall be condemned.” All who obey not the gospel shall be punished with everlasting destruction. “And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, in flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power” (2 Thess 1:7-9).