No Other Name
By Nathaniel A. Urshan-Radio Speaker
Names have brought to our attention the very remarkable reputations of men throughout the ages. Particularly, names have relationship to some very vitas characters throughout the years. If you would consider history as a matter of the importance of names, it would be replete with much of historical character reference. Our nation has been great because great men of great character with great names and great reputation have hollowed the memory of our nation. . .the George Washingtons, the John Adams, the Abraham Lincolns, the Franklin Delano Roosevelts, the Dwight Eisenhowers, the many people who hove contributed to the strength and the leadership of our nation. When we consider these names, they have great reference to great accomplishments.
The Importance Of A Name
Of course, the name of the man immediately is a recommendation of his attributes, his personality and all that pertains to him. So that when we call names, we recognize the importance of a name. People are identified by names, and the name has something to do with their character and their reputation. In fact, a long time ago in the scriptures it was declared that a good name was to be desired, and that name to be desired above many things that are sought after in this life.
In Acts 4:12 the Apostle Peter makes a statement before the Sanhedrin and declares, “There is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” And, of course, he was talking about the name of Jesus. The name of Jesus is inextricably connected with salvation. The Gospel message has been mutilated by the crude attempts of some to sever this vital organ from the body of saving scripture.
Some have tried to assert that Jesus was the human name of Christ and carried no divine authority, but the scripture patently repudiates such an idea when it states that, “God hath given him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth” (Philippians 2:9, 10).
Some have tried to use the name Christ as the personal name of the Son of God, but the Bible expressly declares His name to be Jesus. You will find this in Matthew 1:21 and in Luke 1:31. “Christ” is His title as the anointed One. “Lord” marks Him as our superior and ruler and “God” makes Him our object of worship. But He carries only one personal name, that name is the name of Jesus. This is the name that is declared to be above every name; the name that evidently superseded all the names and titles of respect in the Old Testament. Jesus is the name of our Christ, our Lord, and our God.
In view of these statements, it would seem that all Christendom would unite under the banner of the name of Jesus. The early disciples caused much commotion by their use of the name, but there was never a quarrel among them about what name to use. That controversy has been left to the religious minded of later centuries who have inherited the chaos of an apostate church and an age of darkness when truth was replaced by tradition and paganism, and philosophy corrupted the plain principles of the apostolic age. Especially is the confusion evident in the baptismal formula.
Ignoring the plain Biblical fact that every baptism performed in the New Testament Church was performed in the name of Jesus, the majority in the modern ministry, both Papist and Protestant, baptize their converts by the use of a formula which no early preacher ever used, and by which no early disciple was ever baptized. Though the pioneer apostles and ministers were united in their stand for the use of the name of Jesus, the twentieth century churches with few exceptions, are united in their stand against the use of the name of Jesus in baptism.
One bright idea was suggested by someone who wished to continue using the traditional formula instead of the Biblical one while still claiming to believe the Bible. Their specious reasoning is that the Bible does not give a formula for water baptism. They say that the words, “in the name of Jesus,” do not mean what they say. Instead, they mean, “in the authority of Jesus”. Therefore, if you are baptizing in the name of Christ, it does not matter what you say, just as long as you know who gave you the authority. You may have a silent baptismal service with no words said; however, these who state this stand always say words, but never the words said by the Apostles. They say, “In the name of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost,” just as they always have. Their reasoning was only an excuse to justify their completely unscriptural practice.
It is true that veiled language is often used by the Bible, and that we must compare scriptures to understand their true meaning. But the Holy Spirit, the inspiration of all true prophecy, did not cause any evidence to be left to indicate that the true meaning of the name of Jesus, is in the authority of Jesus. Everywhere in connection with baptism there is mention of a word. The word is “onoma”, which is the Greek word for name. Not one time, in any translation is this word translated “authority”, for that is not what the writer intended to say.
Although there are seven other Greek words that mean authority that were used elsewhere by writers of scripture, not once is any of these words used in reference to water baptism. Although there are at least eight words used by New Testament writers that mean “power”, not one time did any writer use these words to refer to baptism. If God intended that, “In the name of,” should mean, “in the authority of,” why didn’t He refer to it somewhere? The truth of the matter is, the word, “authority,” is not used because that was not what the writers intended nor what God in- tended. We are to have the name of the Lord called upon us in baptism.
When such facts are presented, unbelievers will question, “What is the set formula for baptism?” The answer is, there is no set formula. The only thing that is set is that baptism shall be in the name of Jesus. There is none other name. We may baptize in the name of Jesus Christ or in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ or in the name of the Lord Jesus. Christ is not the saving name; Lord is not the name of salvation, else Jesus would have needed no other. The heaven-sent name, the sin-cleansing name, the devil-defeating name, the soul-saving name is the name of Jesus Baptism must include the use of the name Jesus.
Many Strive For Compromise
When sufficient scripture is given to warrant the use of the name of Jesus in baptism, many, instead of acknowledging their error, will strive for a compromise. If Matthew 28:19 means the same as Acts 2:38, they say, “Why can we not use the words of Matthew 28:19 in baptism?” There are at least three good reasons why we cannot use the words of Matthew 28:19 as the baptismal formula.
It would make the actions of the Apostles contradict the teachings of Jesus. That’s one reason. If Jesus ever intended the use of Matthew 28:19 as a baptismal formula, then the Apostles were guilty of flagrant disobedience by substituting another. However, if Jesus intended Acts 2:38 as the formula, then we would not be justified in repeating the words of Matthew 28:19 as a formula since He did not intend it. The real truth of the matter is that Jesus intended for the disciples to baptize in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, the disciples, having their understanding by Jesus Himself. They correctly understood that Jesus did not intend for them to repeat the words of Matt.28:19, but to use the name of Jesus which is the name of the Father.
John 5:43 says, “I am come in my Father’s name, and ye receive me not: if another shall come in his own name, him ye will receive.” Matthew 1:21 says, “Thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins.” Then John 14:26 declares, “But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.” So then, the name, “Jesus,” fulfills the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost. He came in His Father’s name. His name was Jesus, and the Holy Spirit is that Comforter whom the Father will send “In my name,” and that name is Jesus.
The second reason is that it makes two baptisms when the Bible says there’s only one. We are well aware that the Bible speaks of water baptism and spirit baptism, so does the scripture speak of being born of the water and being born of the spirit. However, one is not born again twice. He is born again through a two-fold operation. So one is baptized into Christ by a dual operation, the baptism of water and of spirit. There’s only one way to be born of the Spirit.
Then, last but not least, it makes the name of Jesus unnecessary. To omit the name of Jesus makes a bride without the name of the bridegroom. It makes a kinsman redeemer who cannot prove his kinship, for no name is declared. It makes an anonymous individual the authority for declaring sins remitted. Such reasoning makes repentance a silent ceremony where no word of prayer need be said or thought by the candidate. It makes baptism a rite without a formula. It says that the Spirit comes without a vocal witness of His presence. If baptism in Jesus’ name is not right, the scriptures are not right and all three ideas that are perpetrated by man are false. I am glad to say, “There is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved,” but by the name of Jesus Christ.
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