Should We Accept A Baptismal Compromise?
By: M.L. Tuttle
Water baptism together with faith in God, repentance, and the infilling of the Holy Ghost make up the born again experience. Water baptism is very important. Jesus said, “Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God” (John 3:5).
Water baptism is essential to salvation. We believe and are baptized to be saved (Mark 16:16). We are buried with Christ in baptism (Romans 6:4), which is also part of our spiritual circumcision (Colossians 2:11-12). Just as natural circumcision made a man a Jew, so water baptism, along with Spirit baptism, places us “into Jesus Christ” (Romans 6:3; Galatians 3:27). Paul emphasized that “if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we also shall be in the likeness of his resurrection” (Romans 6:5). Therefore it does matter how baptism is administered.
Peter made a comparison with Noah and the few who were saved by water in the great flood. The same water that saved his family destroyed the unbelieving: “Baptism doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ” (I Peter 3:21). Baptism saves us through faith in the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ! One must first believe and repent before he is baptized.
The blood of Jesus Christ cleanses us from sin as we exercise faith in Him through water baptism in His name. Ananias instructed Saul of Tarsus, “Be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord” (Acts 22:16). Peter preached to the multitudes on the Day of Pentecost, “Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sin” (Acts 2:38). Remission of sins is the result of the blood of Jesus Christ being applied when we repent and are baptized in Jesus’ name!
The New Testament church believers were baptized in the name of Jesus nChrist. The apostle Paul even baptized followers of John the Baptist since they had not been baptized in Jesus’ name (Acts 19: 16). The practice of baptism in the titles relates to the development of the doctrine of the trinity in the third and fourth centuries. The exclusion of the name of Jesus Christ in the baptism formula is a departure from the apostolic pattern of the New Testament, a clear devaluation of the name of Jesus Christ and a compromise of His absolute deity.
The New Testament church baptized only in the name of Jesus Christ or the Lord Jesus for the remission of sins. The name of Jesus was always used. The biblical record teaches us that baptism in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins is the only baptismal formula used by the apostolic church. There is salvation in no other except Jesus Christ and His name (John 20:31; Acts 4:12; 10:43). It does matter how we are baptized!
If someone has been baptized using the titles of Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, he has yet to be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. If he has been baptized using a compromising wording that attempts to use both the name of Jesus and the titles, what is his purpose? Is he trying to identify with or compromise with a non-biblical doctrinal system? Why should he not simply accept the apostolic practice of baptism in the name of the Lord Jesus and not try to satisfy man-made traditions?
Let us obey the apostolic command by repenting, being baptized (every one of us) in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sin, and then receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. (See Acts 2:38.)
THE ABOVE MATERIAL WAS PUBLISHED IN THE PENTECOSTAL HERALD, MARCH 1996, BY M.L. TUTTLE, PP. 22-23. THIS MATERIAL MAY BE USED FOR STUDY AND RESEARCH PURPOSES ONLY.