In Ephesians 4.4-5 Paul writes “ There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to the 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 all.”
Baptism is the sacrament which draws us into the Christian community, and makes explicit our relationship with God and with each other. That it is baptism, not the Eucharist which is mentioned in the Creed points to the importance of koinonia, of community, and our belonging to the fellowship of faith.
In 1982 the World Council of Churches published a volume called ‘Baptism, Eucharist and Ministry’, also known as the ‘Lima Document‘ . They write “It explores the growing agreement – and remaining differences – in fundamental areas of the churches’ faith and life. The most widely-distributed and studied ecumenical document, BEM has been a basis for many “mutual recognition” agreements among churches and remains a reference today”
In the document they show that baptism is an unrepeatable act, writing in their commentary “As the churches come to fuller mutual understanding and acceptance of one another and enter into closer relationships in witness and service, they will want to refrain from any practice which might call into question the sacramental integrity of other churches or which might diminish the unrepeatability of the sacrament of baptism.”
In working towards acknowledgement of common baptism, we are striving to overcome the divisions in the church which do not reflect Jesus’ call that we all may be one.