By O. F. Fauss
We have already answered those who are not content with the New Testament record, but go to the “Church Fathers” or the records of church history, establishing the church of Rome, which resulted in an estimated number of one hundred million or more believers in the Lord Jesus to be martyred in every conceivable way of torture.
Some object to “Baptism in the name of Jesus,” by saying it was for the Jews only, because of their unbelief in Jesus as the Christ. No one can read the Book of Acts and say that only Jews were baptized in the name of Jesus. The Samaritans, Cornelius’ household, the Ephesians, the Corinthians, and others all prove otherwise. The contention that because of “unbelief in Jesus” inspired the statement of Peter’s answer in Acts 2:38, should be (if that was so) enough to proclaim it today from every house top. Never was the world so full of “unbelief.”
Some contend that it doesn’t matter how you baptize and refer to records in Acts as follows: “baptized in the name of Jesus Christ,” “in the name of the Lord Jesus,” and “in the name of the Lord.” Thus their claims are based on a motive to confuse rather than to see that the name of Him who died and was buried, and rose again, is the One whose Name is authority, and in whom alone we can find salvation. (See Acts 4:12.) They never try to confuse, “In my name shall ye cast out devils, etc.” and “anointing with oil in the name of the Lord,” but always are able to say, “In the name of the Lord Jesus!” If it takes the authority of the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, the One who declared Himself to be the Omnipotent, when He said, “All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth,” (Matthew 28:18), to cast out devils, it also takes the authority of the same One whose name is Jesus, for the remission of our
The contention that “To be born of water and of the Spirit,” (John 3:5) and “be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost,” (Acts 2:38), are not to be taken to mean the same. The question answered in both passages refers to the same thing, “entering into the kingdom of God.” Some trying to offset the real truth in John 3:5, fulfilled in Acts 2:38, have pushed water so far out of God’s plan until it’s an act of outright hypocrisy for them even to attempt the practice of “water baptism” in any form.
The common contention or objection that it is useless for any one to be “re-baptized” for they were honest the first time. Honesty is not quite a substitute for the Word of God. Surely the Ephesian disciples were honest, and yet their honesty caused them to be baptized again, for when they heard the truth, as it is in Christ, were glad to be baptized in His name.
Another usual objection is, “I’d rather take the words of Jesus, than the words of Peter.” This is an outright admission that they would rather doubt the inspiration of the New Testament than to leave their Catholic inspired idea and accept the Word of God. Surely Jesus, in choosing Peter, and granting him the keys of the kingdom, foreknow exactly how Peter would “invite” the first New Testament converts into the church of the kingdom of God. . .Why not accept the direct acts of those who heard Jesus give the commission, as sufficient interpretation of the words of Jesus. Peter was not alone on the Day of Pentecost, for he “stood up with the eleven.”
Jesus Himself declared that we “should believe on Him through their (the Apostles’) word” (John 17:20). Obeying the words of Jesus means more than just “resting” on one verse, and closing the eyes to all the other passages of Scripture, pertaining to the same subject. Matthew 28:19 is perfectly in harmony and is easily understood when studied with that of Mark, Luke and John. The true meaning is clearly manifested all through the Book of Acts and preached in the Epistles. As long as the Apostles lived, there is no record in any Encyclopedia or Church History, that will prove that any other formula was ever used in baptism, other than in the name of JESUS.
Jesus told His disciples to, “Search the scriptures, for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me” (John 5:39). The only Scriptures the Apostles had to search, and all they had to even prove that Jesus was the Christ, was the Old Testament. Anyone who has sought an explanation of the fact that they baptized in the name of JESUS, have found that in the light of the Old Testament, it was impossible for them to understand the words of Jesus any other way.
In the Epistles we are admonished by Paul, “Be ye followers of me, even as I am also of Christ,” and “Ye became followers of us, and of the Lord” (I Corinthians 11:1; I Thessalonians 1:6).
The main and strongest objection is that “Baptism in the Name of Jesus,” does not agree with the doctrine of the “Trinity.” And those who dare to support such an objection, find themselves in a muddle and produce some very doubtful arguments, especially trying to establish that God and the Holy Spirit (the Spirit of God) are two separate persons. They completely close their eyes to great and lofty claims of Jesus, when He said, “I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty” (Revelation 1:8, 17; read Isaiah 44:6-8; 41:4; Revelation 22:13). Jesus never did say He was a second person. It’s absurd to try and believe that there is more than one Almighty. It is well to note that God was in Christ, and that no man can come to God or find God, outside of Jesus. He is the only door to the presence of God. If there were three separate and distinct persons in the Godhead, water baptism only points to or has reference to Him Who died and was buried, and rose again, that was and is, only Jesus.
Some have tried to justify their objection to baptism in the name of Jesus by saying, “You exalt Jesus too much, or give glory to Him that belongs to the Father.” That’s the same reason the Jews had Jesus put to death. It seems to be prompted by the same spirit today. Now let us just think for a moment–how much shall I exalt Jesus? “Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name, [which is God’s own name]: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow. . .and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father” (Philippians 2:9-11). When God Himself so crowned His only begotten Son, even Jesus with all the fulness of the eternal God, and was so pleased that in Jesus should all fullness dwell (Colossians 1:19; 2:9), and calls all the universe to so honor Him as the visible manifestation of Himself who is invisible, it seems an act of rebellion on the part of any man, who seeks an argument, to refuse His name in baptism. The name of Jesus is exalted, “Far above. . .every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come” (Ephesians 1:21).
THE ABOVE MATERIAL WAS PUBLISHED BY WORD AFLAME PRESS, 1985, PAGES 293-297. THIS MATERIAL IS COPYRIGHTED AND MAY BE USED FOR STUDY & RESEARCH PURPOSES ONLY.