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Baptism in Jesus’ Name (Newsletter 2-9 Blog)

By Philip Harrelson

We continue on with the doctrinal series concerning baptism.  The last issue of the Focus was about repentance.  That was the first command that Peter preached to the hearers in Acts 2 at the birth of the church.  Repent!  The second command that Peter gave on the day of Pentecost was to be baptized.  He instructs them that they must be baptized in the name of Jesus for the remission of their sins (Acts 2:38).  Some have made baptism an optional process and state that water baptism is not necessary for salvation, declaring it is nothing more than a Christian ceremony that is demonstrating a public profession of faith.  However, we as apostolic believers hold that baptism is essential for salvation.  Just as circumcision was a requirement for the Old Testament Israelite males as a sign of the covenant relationship with God, so also can water baptism in the New Testament be understood in the same manner (Col. 2:11-12).

Within this command to be baptized there are two immediate conditions that are placed on the hearer.  They must be baptized in water by immersion.  The word in itself BAPTO gives a clear meaning that the candidate must be totally immersed in the water.  David Bernard lists several points concerning the mode of baptism in the book, The New Birth, under the heading, “Does Baptismal Mode Matter?” (Pp. 128-129.)  They are listed as follows:

  • Baptism is a biblical command, so we should follow the biblical mode. In view of the importance the Bible places on water baptism, we should perform it exactly as the Bible describes it.
  • Jesus was immersed as an example for us to follow. If He, who did not need baptism, submitted to immersion, how much more should we?  If baptism is worth doing, it is worth doing the way Jesus and His apostles did it.
  • Other modes of baptism came from non-biblical tradition, and tradition is a poor substitute for biblical teaching. Jesus condemned tradition quite strongly when it caused a deviation from God’s Word.  He told the Pharisees, “Laying aside the commandment of God, ye hold the tradition of men” (Mark 7:8), and “Thus have ye made the commandment of God of none effect by your tradition” (Matthew 15:6).
  • The only advantage sprinkling has is convenience, which is also a poor excuse for not following the Bible. What right have we to insist on a more convenient method than Jesus and the Early Church used? Certainly it would have been more convenient for John to have sprinkled the multitudes, for the apostles to have sprinkled 3000 at Pentecost, for Philip to have sprinkled the eunuch in the wilderness, and for Paul to have sprinkled the jailer at midnight; yet they chose to immerse. Why should we deviate from this pattern on grounds of convenience, especially since the baptismal practices which made sprinkling so popular are themselves non-biblical?
  • Immersion demonstrates obedience to God and respect for His Word. Why invent an arbitrary mode and try to justify it? Why debate whether various man-made alternatives would be acceptable? True respect for God and His Word will cause us to be content with the biblical mode; instead of ignoring or refusing it, we will obey it.
  • Only by immersion do we retain the significance of baptism as a burial with Christ.
  • Because one believes, he is baptized. Behavior always follows true belief. This behavior motivated by belief (faith) creates a connection between the saint and Jesus Christ. This is what Paul hinted at in Romans 6:3-4.

Romans 6:3-4 ICJV Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? [4] Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.

When a person is baptized, he is identified with Jesus Christ in his death. Therefore we may conclude also that if we are baptized with Him in death then we are also partakers of the resurrection that accompanied the death of Jesus. A true saint will treat and judge his life as having been “crucified with Christ, nevertheless living, yet not himself, but Christ living in him” (Gal. 2:20).

Also in this command is the imperative that determines that the candidate has to be baptized in the name of Jesus. The formula of Father, Son, and Holy Ghost has no capacity to forgive sin. It is in the name of Jesus Christ that we are saved by baptism. In fact, the blood of Jesus that was shed at Calvary is the only prescribed atoning blood for the forgiveness of sin (1 John 1:9; 1 Tim. 5:24).

The word for forgiveness is APHESIN which means to send off or send away. The wrong is cut out, sent away from the wrongdoer. Every man needs forgiveness because of sin that is in his life. There is guilt and the penalty demanded for such sin (Rom. 3:23; 6:23; 8:1). While it is difficult for man to understand this forgiveness is a total forgiveness (Matt. 26:28; Eph. 1:7; Rom. 4:5-8; Isa. 44:22) pre-empting the need to be baptized again and again, the only thing necessary for the saint to do is to confess his sin (1 John 1:7; 1:9). Furthermore, forgiveness of sin maintains a sense of fellowship with God. When a man does wrong it hinders his relationship with God and the necessary aspect of restoring fellowship is confessing and forsaking that sin which is involved in the continual need for repentance (Ps. 66:18; Prov. 28:13; Luke 3:3; 24:47; 1 John 1:7). Forgiveness also releases man from the guilt of his sin. Only God can remove the guilt that sin has created (Ps. 51:2; 51:7-12; 103:12; 1 John 1:9; Isa. 43:25; 55:7; Micah 7:18; Jer. 31:34; 33:8).

In the book of Acts there are five examples of baptism that are given and all use the baptismal formula set forth by the precedent in Acts 2 by Peter. Again, David Bernard sums up the biblical record of baptism in The New Birth (pp. 156-158).

  • After the first sermon of the New Testament church, Peter commanded baptism “in the name of Jesus Christ” with the support of the rest of the apostles (Acts 2:14, 37-38). Those who accepted his message were baptized according to this commandment—that is, in the name of Jesus (Acts 2:41).
  • After the Samaritans believed Philip’s preaching concerning “the name of Jesus Christ,” they were
  • baptized “in the name of the Lord Jesus” (Acts 8:12, 16).
  • After Cornelius and his fellow Gentiles received the Holy Ghost, Peter “commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord” (Acts 10:48). The most ancient Greek manuscripts contain the name “Jesus Christ” in this verse, as later translations indicate: “So he ordered that they be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ” (NW); “And he ordered that they be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ, the Messiah” (TAB).
  • When Paul met certain disciples of John the Baptist at Ephesus, he asked about their baptism. When he found out they had only received John’s baptism, he baptized them again, this time “in the name of the Lord Jesus” (Acts 19:5).
  • Paul himself was baptized in the name of Jesus, for Ananias told him, “Arise and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the
  • Lord” (Acts 22:16).
  • In addition to these five accounts in Acts, I Corinthians shows that the Gentile believers in Corinth were baptized in Jesus’ name. The church there was full of divisions, with various groups claiming to be followers of Paul, Peter, Apollos, or Christ. When Paul rebuked them for their divisions, he asked, “Is Christ divided? was Paul crucified for you? or were ye baptized in the name of Paul?” (I Corinthians 1:13). The obvious answer to the last question is, “No, we were baptized in the name of Christ.” Since the Corinthians were baptized in (literally, “into”) the name of Christ, not Paul, they belonged to Christ, not Paul. Paul was saying this: Jesus died for the whole church and the whole church was baptized in His name, so the church should unite in following Him. If the Corinthians were not baptized in Jesus’ name, Paul’s argument makes no sense.
  • We conclude from these six passages that the apostolic church always baptized in Jesus’ name. All believers—Jews, Samaritans, and Gentiles—received baptism in the name of Jesus.

While there is much more that could be added to this study concerning Jesus name baptism by immersion, I trust that you will concur that even further study will affirm that the apostles all practiced in this manner. I would encourage you to read the following books by David Bernard: The Oneness of God and The New Birth all of which are available through the Pentecostal Publishing House, 8855 Dunn Road, Hazelwood, Missouri 63042.

Rev. Philip Harrelson is Presbyter of Section 8 and also serves as Pastor at the Pentecostals of Dothan in Dothan, Alabama.

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Baptism in Jesus Name

Baptism in Jesus Name
Edwin Muller

Based on every detailed account given in the book of Acts, baptism was always done in the name of Jesus (Acts 2:38, 8:16, 10:48 “in the name of Jesus Christ” – NIV, and 19:5). There is no record of baptism being performed using any other name but the name of Jesus. Titles such as “Lord” and “Christ” are used in conjunction with the name of Jesus, but the name of Jesus alone is the one name that is consistently used since it is the only saving name (Acts 4:12). In Matt. 28:19, Jesus gave His disciples the command to baptize “in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.” Though this command is misunderstood by some to mean a command to use a spoken formula “in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost”, Jesus intended for us to understand that His name is God’s New Testament name that all nations are to be baptized into. There are seven ways Matt. 28:19 may be viewed; any one of these perspectives shows the single name that belongs to the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost is Jesus. Together, these seven views give powerful insight into the depth and purpose of Jesus’ statement in Matt. 28:19. The first view begins narrowly focusing on one word; with each proceeding view, the focus becomes broader, ending with the overall Biblical doctrine of God’s name.
View One: The Word “Name”

Notice that the word “name” is used in the singular; Jesus did not use the plural “names.” There is a single name to be understood by Matthew 28:19. This one name would belong to the Father, to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost.

View Two: The Phrase, “In The Name Of, and Of, and Of”

By comparing Matt. 28:19 to other passages containing similar terminology, a consistent interpretation emerges. When an entity is said to be of or owned by more than one subject, the entity remains one and is shared by the various subjects. For example, “the house of Paul, and of Silas, and of Barnabas” means Paul, Silas, and Barnabas all share the same house. Biblical examples of this usage include Ex. 3:16, Mk. 6:3, 15:40, Eph. 5:5, Col. 2:2, 2 Tim. 1:7, Jam. 1:1, 1 Pt. 4:14, and Rev. 22:1,3. Matt. 28:19 then points to a single name owned by the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.

View Three: The Immediate Context

In Matt. 28:18, Jesus said, “All power is given UNTO ME in heaven and earth. Go ye therefore…” Jesus command to baptize in the one name was based on HIS authority. In effect, Jesus was saying, “Because all power has been given to me, go and baptize in the one name that has all power; the name that belongs to the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.” It would be preposterous to think Jesus would have meant, “Because all power is given to me, go baptize in three names.” No, for if Jesus has all power, and He based the command to be done on that power, then the name that represents the One who has all power is the single name He intended for us to baptize in. In verses 18 and 20, Jesus uses the singular pronouns “me” and “I” three times along with the singular word name. The context of Matt. 28:18-20 demands that Jesus is the one name that contains all power and belongs to the Father, Son, & Holy Ghost.

View Four: The Other Gospels

Matt 28:19 is one of the four gospels that refer to the great commission. By looking at the other gospel writers, we can find a consistent theme that the name of Jesus is the one name to be used in preaching, believing, repenting, remitting sins, baptizing, and casting out devils (Mark 16:15-17, Lk. 24:47, Jn. 20:31). If the name has all power in heaven & earth (Matt 28:18) and is to be used in every other Christian act, then it is consistent to use the same name at baptism and to understand Jesus is the one name of Matt. 28:19.

View Five: The Fulfillment in Acts

One of the fundamental principles of Biblical interpretation is as follows: if a passage is unclear in the Bible, seek to find other passages which fulfill the scripture to gain further understanding. By looking at how Matt. 28:19 was carried out by the early church, we can understand exactly what Jesus intended. While Acts 2:38 and 10:48 state that the apostle Peter commanded baptism to be done in the name of Jesus, Acts 8:16 and 19:5 are actual fulfillments of Matt. 28:19. Both of these passages say, “they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.” Thus, Matt.28:19 is fulfilled by baptism in the name of the Lord Jesus. In the book of Acts, Jesus’ command to use His name in every Christian action was also fulfilled. Prayer, healing, casting out of devils, preaching, teaching, and suffering was all done in the name of Jesus (Acts 3:6,16, 4:10, 5:28, 40-42, 16:18).

View Six: Commentaries from the Epistles

When we look at the epistles in the New Testament, we find the focus of all Christian action and activity to be done through the person and the name of Jesus. In the book of Colossians, the apostle Paul wrote that all things were made by Jesus and for Jesus (Col 1:15-16). Here Jesus is described as the creator, the Father. In verses 20-22, Jesus reconciled us to God by the body of his flesh. This is a reference to the Son since the Son of God is the flesh that was begotten in Mary (Lk.1:35). In verse 27, Paul refers to the Holy Ghost as “Christ in you, the hope of glory.” As if this were not enough, Paul continues to write in Col 2:9-10: “For in him dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead bodily. And ye are complete in him, who is the head of all principality and power”. Paul then writes we are buried with Christ by baptism (Col 2:12) and concludes the use of the name of Jesus in 3:17: “And whatever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.” Why use the name of Jesus? He is the Father Creator, the Son, and the Holy Ghost; in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead; we are complete in Him and are buried with Him by baptism; and whatever we do in word or deed, we are to do all in the name of the Lord Jesus!

View Seven: The Biblical Doctrine of God’s Name

The one true God has always had a single name whereby He was known to His people. In the Old Testament, His name was Jehovah or Yahweh which means “the self-existent one”. God revealed this name to His people (Ex.3:13-15, 6:3, Ps. 83:18). When God was made flesh (Jn.1:1, 10, 14), He joined a title “savior” to His name, which would accurately describe what God became. Phil. 2:9 tells us that the name of Jesus is above every name. This is true because Jesus means “Jehovah is salvation”; it is the one name that describes the one true God in human form (Mt.1:21, 23, Phil.2:6-10). Thus the Biblical doctrine of the name of God teaches that God’s New Testament name for salvation is Jesus (Acts 4:12). There is no name greater than the name of Jesus (Eph.1:20-21).

In light of Matt 28:19, the one name that belongs to the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost is Jesus. Since Jesus is God’s supreme name, it belongs to the Father (Jn. 5:43), to the Son (Philip.2:9, Heb. 1:4), and to the Holy Ghost (Philip.1:19). If the name of Jesus belonged only to the Son, that is, only to God in human form, then it would not be supreme; but the name of Jesus supersedes the humanity of Jesus. The name of Jesus belongs to God in flesh (Son), God as the source of all things (Father), and God in the lives of His people (Spirit).

This article Baptism in Jesus Name by Edwin Muller was excerpted from: The SFT Scroll magazine. It may be used for study & research purposes only.

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Baptism in Jesus Name

Baptism in Jesus Name
By Don Hyrkas

Mark 16:16
I Peter 3:21

I. Is baptism essential to salvation?

A. To that age old question the answer is yes!

B. Baptism was a part of the great commission and plays an integral part in God’s plan of Salvation.

C. Since baptism is important, how it is done is also important.

D. The proper mode (method) and formula must be used.

1. Mode Greek word baptize means to dip, plunge, immerse; Baptism means immersion.

a. The Ethiopian Eunuch and – both went into the water.

b. Rom. 6:4 By immersion, identified with Christ in burial.

2. Formula – The words spoken by the minister.

a. Without exception, the apostles always baptized in the name of Jesus.

b. Acts 4:12 none other name.

c. Luke 24:47, Acts 2:38 Remissions of sins in his name.

d. Both salvation and remission is in Jesus’ Name

e. Baptism is not something a person can accept or reject according to their desire.

II. Baptism identifies us with Christ in burial.

Romans 6:4, Col. 2: 12

A. To atone for sins Jesus died, was buried, and rose again.

1. The sinner must also experience death, burial, resurrection.

2. Repentance – Death to sin (Don’t resurrect him again.)

B. Burial must follow death – Dead men not left unburied.

1. Sprinkling or pouring can never constitute burial.

III. The name of Jesus is essential to water baptism.

Acts 2:38, Acts 8:16, Matthew 28:19

A. There is a seeming contradiction, but not so.

1. Jesus is the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.

2. Jesus (Jehovah is become my salvation) is the saving name of our God.

3. Ephesians 3:15 – The family name is Jesus, we are his children

4. A bride always takes her husbands name.

5. Colossians 3:17 – Baptism is both word and deed.

IV. The apostles always baptized in the name of Jesus

Acts 8:16, Acts 10:48, Acts 19:5

A. In Jerusalem, Jews were baptized in Jesus name. In Samaria – Samaritans were baptized in Jesus name. In Caesarea – Gentiles were baptized in Jesus name. This covered the three categories of people on the earth

B. Acts 1:8 – Jesus said, “Ye shall be witnesses unto me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.

C. Acts 22:16 – Paul had been baptized in Jesus name.

D. 1 Cor. 1:11-15 – Who was crucified for the Corinthians? Into whose name were they baptized?

V. Arguments are easily answered

Acts 2:42, Jude 3

A. Arguments are brought by those who rebel against obeying the truth

B. No need to argue – The scripture is final word and speaks for itself

C. Arguments

1. Should we accept the words of Jesus rather than Peter?

a. Peter was given the keys to the kingdom – Matt. 16:18, 19

b. It was Christ’s church that was to be built, Peter would not have been allowed to make a mistake.

c. Matt. 28:19 and Acts 2:38 Do not contradict-name is singular

d. If Matt. 28:19 is used in baptism we are just repeating, not obeying.

2. Baptism in Jesus name was for the Jews only
There are not two gospels
Romans 1:16
Luke 24:47 – Among all nations
Galatians 1:8, 9

3. It makes no difference which formula is used

a. If there is no remission, person just gets wet.

b. Remission – sin is lifted, people feel different

c. Baptism is for the remission of sins, remission is in the name

4. We should never rebaptize it was good enough if a person was honest and sincere.

a. Paul did – Acts 19:1-5

b. An honest and sincere person will desire to obey God’s word to the letter, not just choose a part of it.

This article may not be written by an Apostolic author, but it contains many excellent principles and concepts that can be adapted to most churches. As the old saying goes, Eat the meat. Throw away the bones.

From, A workshop with a Biblical Perspective/16691 Gothard street Huntington Beach, CA 92647, by Don Hyrkas

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