Tradition And The Name

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Some years ago, the leadership of a leading evangelical denomination took strong exception to this message. They have since adopted the practice of substituting the word ‘formula’ for ‘the Name’ when teaching the subject of baptism. Their use of the word ‘formula’ would appear to indicate doubt or misunderstanding on their part concerning the validity of their position on the Name.

By Gordon Mallory

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Some declare that it cannot be substantiated that God has a particular and specific name. This conclusion indicates the confusion that relates to the traditional concept of a three-fold Name to conform to the Trinity. A clear and positive message of The Name of the One True God is generally in evidence. Reactions are varied and sometimes hostile toward teaching which proclaims God’s divinely appointed Name.

 

Some have stated that we are making a fetish of the Name and worshipping the Name instead of the Creator. While such charges may in some cases be justified, there is no more reason to become legalistic over God’s Name than for a wife to worship the name she received in marriage, separate and apart from the man whose name she bears. Neither would we expect her to be secretive and evasive about her husband’s name.

 

The universal common denominator in the meeting of strangers is the introduction of the parties by their names. Church denominations, educational institutions and business firms declare themselves by making their names known. Worshippers of heathen gods address them by their names. This truth is spoken in the text, “For all the peoples walk everyone in the name of his god; and we will walk in the name of Jehovah our God for ever and ever.” (Micah 4:5, ASV).

In order to know who the True God is, the Bible teaches the necessity of knowing His Name — the Name by which God has chosen to declare Himself to man, whom He created. If we would truly know our Creator, we must know His Name.

 

The Muslims worship one god, but they have not learned His Name. “And they that know thy name will put their trust in thee…” (Psalm 9:10). Every Christian should be able to confidently and gratefully identify the One worshipped by God’s divinely appointed Name.

 

The foundation of the great doctrines of the Bible is laid out in the Old Testament. The traditional church, however, has generally made Matthew 28:19 their `golden text’ for teaching the Name: “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.

 

The Scofield Bible offers this comment concerning Matthew 28:19: “The word is in the singular, the `name,’ not names. Father, Son and Holy Spirit is the final name of the one true God” However, Dr. Scofield is strangely silent regarding his verdict for the three-fold name in the Old Testament.

 

The conclusion, that Matthew 28:19 contains the Name, violates God’s law that “In the mouth of two or three witnesses shall every word be established.”(Deuteronomy 19:15; Matthew 18:16; II Corinthians 13:1). A single portion of Scripture is not an adequate basis for teaching Bible truth. Since the words of Matthew 28:19 were never used or repeated by the Apostles of the Early Church, it is evident that the above verdict regarding God’s Name is not supported by the Scriptures.

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