G. D. Cremeans

Matthew 28:19 or Acts 2:38

There are many people who do not even believe that water baptism is essential to salvation, notwithstanding the fact that Jesus said, “Except a man is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.” Those who do believe in water baptism are much divided as to the mode etc., but their need be no confusion in our minds regarding so important a subject, if we but take the plain Word of God for our guide. In Colossians, we are told to “Beware lest any man spoil us through philosophy and vain deceit, after the traditions of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.” And again, in the 7th chapter of Mark, we have these words: “Howbeit, in vain do they worship Me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.” If we are really interested in our soul’s salvation, we need to really know what “thus saith the Lord.”

Many believe in baptizing infants, although there is no such teaching or practice in the Bible. Jesus did take little children up in His arms and bless them, but in no case were they ever sprinkled with water. Baptism is only for those who have repented of their sins, and then we are to be BURIED with Christ.

Today, the controversy is over the NAME of JESUS. In Matt. 28:19, Jesus said: “Baptizing them in the NAME of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost;” but it must be remembered that before the day of Pentecost, the disciples could not understand spiritual things, so Jesus often spoke to them in parables and in figure, telling them that in that day (The day of Pentecost, when they received the Holy Ghost) their eyes would be opened, and He would show them plainly of the Father. They could not understand until then that He was really Jehovah, clothed in human flesh, although he plainly told Philip that “he that hath seen Me hath seen the Father.”

Note that in Matt. 28:19 it says in the Name (singular) of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. He did not mean in the TITLE Father, Son, and Holy Ghost for if we take this meaning from His words, we throw the Bible into confusion and make Jesus’ command contradict that of Peter in Acts 2:38. Although almost entire Christendom today uses the formula, “Father, Son and Holy Ghost,” there is not one place in the New Testament where baptism was ever performed in that way; but in each place where it speaks of water baptism it is in the NAME of the LORD JESUS CHRIST. On the day of Pentecost, after that mighty outpouring of the Holy Ghost, the disciples fully understood that Jesus had been made BOTH Lord and Christ, and they then knew what that NAME was which He spoke to them about in Matt. 28:19. In another place Jesus said He came in His Father’s Name so His Father’s name would have to be Jesus. He also said “The Lord is that Spirit.” So, we find that all the fullness of the Godhead dwelt in Him (Col. 2:9). Some foolishly say that they would rather take the words of Jesus than those of Peter (Of course, this is really blasphemy, for all Scripture is inspired by God and is verily the Word of God). To such, however, we would quote the direct words of Jesus as found in Luke 24:47″That repentance and remission of sin should be preached in His Name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.” Some opposers say that only the Jews were to be baptized in the Name of Jesus, but this Scripture says that this was to be preached among ALL NATIONS. “Neither is their salvation in any other for there is none other name under heaven given among men whereby we must be saved.”

If you are really interested in finding out God’s real plan of salvation, search the Scriptures, and you will find that these things which we say are according to the Word of God and it is the Word which is going to judge us in the last day.

This article Baptism by G.D. Cremeans is excerpted from