Jesus Name Baptism is Baptism Essential?
IT IS WIDELY BELIEVED in evangelical circles today that baptism can be safely dispensed with. Most of the preaching we hear presents baptism in a “take it or leave it” light. There seems to be common agreement among evangelists that baptism is but a “sweet” on God’s menu, and that no great harm will be done if we refuse it. Some, it is true, will commend baptism, but how few there are with the courage that Peter showed when he commanded baptism (Acts 10:48).
BIBLE PROOF THAT BAPTISM IS ABSOLUTELY ESSENTIAL
Now it is true that we cannot take the types of the Bible and build fundamental doctrine upon them. The sole exception to this rule is where the Holy Spirit Himself, in Scripture, gives us the meaning of the types and applies them for us. I propose to turn your attention to a number of types of baptism in the Old Testament which the Holy Spirit in the New endorses and enjoins.
WAS THE ARK NECESSARY FOR NOAH?
To ask this question is to answer it. If it had not been for the ark, Noah and his family would have perished. The ark was vitally necessary for Noah. Now read I Peter 3:20,21. Read in the Authorized Version, then in the Revised, and indeed in any version you may, have, the more the better. Peter, by the
Holy Ghost, shows that Noah in the ark at the time of the flood is a type of our baptism. He says that baptism is not simply the putting away of the filth of the flesh, or, in other words, it is more than a mere bath. He says that baptism saves us by the resurrection of Jesus Christ, with which it undoubtedly identifies us (see Romans 6:4). Now, Reader, would you like to have been Noah that day of the flood and without an ark? Of course not. Well, then, Peter teaches us that Christians baptism is as essential to us today as the ark was to Noah in, his day.
WAS CIRCUMCISION NECESSARY FOR ABRAHAM
Read Genesis 17. God told Abraham to be circumcised with all the male members of his household. Those who refused this rite were to be “cut off” from the people. A dire penalty, indeed. If any in Abraham’s circle were not circumcised they perished. Had you been a member of Abraham’s family would you have considered circumcision to be absolutely necessary or would you have thought it to be optional? You know the answer very well. You would not have dared to neglect the ordinance. Now listen, the Holy Spirit, through Paul, in Col. 2:ll, l2, tells us that Christian baptism takes the place of circumcision in this dispensation. Does that sound like the language of a man who believed baptism to be optional or relatively unimportant? Indeed not, rather it explains why Paul, in Acts 16, in spite of the fact that he was in considerable physical pain, proceeded to baptize some of his converts in the dead of night. It was an urgent matter with Paul.
WAS THE DIVIDED RED SEA NECESSARY FOR ISRAEL?
My friend, if the Red Sea had not parted to let the Israelite’s through they would have all been dead men. It was a matter of life or death. The Holy Spirit, in I Cor. 10:1,2, applies this figure to believer’s baptism. I ask you, could the Apostle have found a better figure to teach the urgency and essentially of baptism than this? We need baptism as much as the ancient Israelite’s needed the divided Red Sea. Could we need it more?
WAS THE LAVER NECESSARY IN THE TABERNACLE?
The laver had to be placed between the doorway of the outer court where the altar was and the tent where God dwelt by His Spirit. Had you been a priest in those days and had you attempted to go direct from the altar to the glory tent, thus ignoring the laver and its water, you would have dropped dead (Lev. l6:1,2). Now the Holy Spirit, in Hebrews 10:19-22, applies these things to believers today. In Titus 3:5 and Eph. 5:26 the word for water is laver, so the laver represents Christian baptism. If it was dangerous in bygone days to ignore the typical water of the laver, will someone explain, please, how that today we can, so we are told, ignore the anti-typical water of baptism with impunity? Personally, I believe the laver, or as we know it today, water baptism, to be utterly and absolutely essential, and I intend to preach it that way (Mark 16:16; John 3:5; Titus 3:5; I Cor. 6:11).
BAPTISM FOR THE REMISSION OF SINS
Matthews 26:28 teaches us that the blood of Christ was shed “for the remission of sins.” Would you agree with any attempt to separate the blood from the remission of sins? I hope not. The Word
of God links these precious things together (Hebrews 9:22). In Luke 24:47 I find repentance linked with “remission of sins.” Would you consider divorcing these two truths? I trust not.
The Bible has joined them. In Acts 10:43, Romans 3:25, I find belief or faith connected with the “remission of sins.” Would you appreciate any preaching that separated faith and “remission”? Not if you accepted the authority of Scripture. Now why do we insist that BLOOD and REPENTANCE and FAITH are necessary for the “remission of sins”? Simply because the Bible has linked them together. Now in Acts 2:38 I find that BAPTISM is for the “remission of sins.” Read it for yourself. The same Bible that links BLOOD, REPENTANCE, FAITH with the “remission of sins” also links BAPTISM with “remission
of sins.” Does not Matthew 19:6 say “What God hath joined together let not man put asunder”? Does not 1 John 5:8 say that the WATER and the BLOOD agree in ONE? Then why, oh, why will men who would not think of teaching “remission of sins” apart from BLOOD, REPENTANCE, and FAITH, why, I ask, do they ignore the fact that the same Bible has linked BAPTISM and REMISSION?
“BORN OF WATER”: DOES THIS MEAN BAPTISMAL WATER?
THERE ARE THREE PRINCIPAL THEORIES as to the meaning of the Water in John 3:5.
The Water is natural water at our physical births. The difficulty in supporting this contention is that there is no other Scripture that can be produced to support the idea that when Jesus said a man should be born of the Water He meant the water that breaks at the normal human birth. It is dangerous to build a doctrine on one verse of Scripture especially if that verse is capable of another interpretation. The Bible, however, leaves us in no doubt that the water in John 3 is connected with our second birth and no tour first. See Titus 3:5, and especially notice the clause, “The Water of regeneration.” That settles it. Theory No. 1 is wrong.
The Water means the Word, or the Bible. It s difficult to see where the pro-pounders of this view think they have any support in Scripture at all. WATER IS NEVER A SYMBOL OF THE WORDING THE NEW TESTAMENT. John 13:10 is supposed by some to be a type of the Word. How could it be? The Word can keep us forms in, but cannot cleanse away sins which we have already committed and which defile us as believers in our pilgrim walk.The Water in John 13 is a better type of confession (see 1 John 1:9). Some see in John 15:3 the Water s a type of the Word.Actually, water is not mentioned in the passage, nor is it inview. The vine is cleaned or purged, not by water, but by the pruning hook. The meaning of John 15 is that the Word of God is the sharp pruning-knife that will remove mildew and parasites
from the beleiver-vine. Water is simply not in the chapter. Amis understanding of Eph. 5:26, “The washing of water by the word,” is responsible for the notion that the water represents the Word. One simply is to read this verse in the different versions in order to see that it means something quite different from the meaning which many put upon it–Moffatt: “Christ loved the Church . . ., cleansing her in the baptism as she utters her confession”; Weymouth: “Christ loved the Church . . ., cleansing her with the baptismal water by the word”; Philips:: “Christ gave Himself to make her holy through baptism in His name.” However, the Authorized Version is good enough, for it does not say, “The water which is the word,” but rather “The washing of water BY THE WORD.” The “word” has reference to the baptismal formula, as the different versions plainly show. The second theory is wrong.
The Water means baptismal water. If we accept this, then John 3:5 falls into harmony with the rest of Scripture. Nicodemus understood what Jesus meant, because in his day, Gentiles who wished to become Jewish proselytes had to be baptized in water; and it was customary for those who were Jews by birth to refer to the proselytes as they who had been “Born of Water.” The whole of Judaea was ringing with John’s water message (John 3:23). Remember that John and his ministry were preparatory to Jesus, and so it is reasonable that Jesus should endorse the message of His fore-runner and insist upon water baptism. Christ’s view on the essentially of baptism is clearly seen in Mark 16:16. It is understood among those who believe in baptism that these ordinance plainly represents the tomb”buried with Him.” Have we forgotten that it stands with equal force for the womb, for we are raised “To walk in newness of life,” born anew? Furthermore, Nicodemus, you will observe, was expected to know the Water truth from the Old Testament (John 3:10). Such happenings as the flood (1 Peter 3:20, 21) and the crossing of the Red Sea (1 Cor. 10:1,2) should have taught him the truth of baptism in water. That the Apostles under-
stood Christ to teach that water was necessary is clear from the fact that they used water them-selves (Acts 2:38; 8:12; 10:48; 19:5). So theory No. 3 is more than a theory-it is the truth; and when Jesus said we must be born of water He meant we must be baptized in water.
BORN OF THE SPIRIT
By the same token, if born of water means baptized in water, then to be born of the Spirit means to be baptized in the Spirit. That the baptism of the Spirit is the gift of the Spirit is clear from Acts 2:38, and he would be a hardy soul in-deed who would attempt to establish a difference between the birth of the Spirit and the gift. That the baptism of the Spirit is the earnest (Eph. 1:14),the first fruits (Romans 8:23), and the taste (He-brews 6:4) no good Bible student would deny. Who then can establish a difference between the birth,the earnest, the first fruit, the taste, the gift of the Spirit and the baptism of the Spirit? An impossible task, indeed, especially when we bear in mind that all these expressions describe an INITIAL experience of the Spirit.
PROMISE OF THE FATHER
The Bible, in several places, calls the baptism of the Holy Ghost “The promise of the Father.” Why? Because it makes us sons (Acts 1:4,5; 2:33 and 39). In Gal. 3:13,14 we read of the promise of the Spirit. In Gal. 4:28 we are told how receiving the promise (or the baptism) makes us children of promise. In verse 29 the Apostle’s meaning is clear: they who have received the promise (of the Father) are “Born after the Spirit.”It is all very clear, especially when we shed all preconceived ideas and notions, that when Jesus told Nicodemus he had to be born of the water and of the Spirit he meant water baptism, and the gift of the Holy Ghost.
Some say that the GOSPEL MESSAGE is the death, burial,and resurrection of Jesus (1 Cor. 15:1-2) and they are right;BUT how impotent their preaching is if they do not tell the people how to have a GOSPEL EXPERIENCE; namely, Acts 2:38!
The death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus will before very a mere intellectual theory with people until they grasp that the experimental benefit of Christ’s death are found in repentance; that we are identified with His burial by baptism in water (Romans 6:4); and that His resurrection life becomes ours by the gift of the Holy Ghost (Romans 8:11). 1 Cor. 15:1-4 constitute the mechanics of the Gospel and Acts 2:38 the dynamics ( 1 Cor. 6:11; Titus 3:5; John 3:5).
(The original source and/or publisher of the above material is unknown.)
DEDICATED TO DOCTRINE
WHY WE BAPTIZE IN JESUS’ NAME
One of the most ancient religious rituals connected with Christianity is water baptism. The method and purpose for administering this ritual to converts varies from one denomination to another.
Some people refuse to be baptized in a baptistery, believing baptism should be administered in running water, such as a creek or river. They base their belief on the fact that Jesus was baptized in the River Jordan. Others do not feel it is necessary to be immersed in water at all; their converts are sprinkled with water at a baptismal font. There are those who teach that baptism is merely “an out- ward sign of an inward grace,” thereby having no spiritual effect upon the participant. Still others claim that the sole hope of man’s salvation is in water baptism.
There is, however, very little controversy by the majority of so-called Christian denominations concerning the formula of words to be spoken at the baptismal ceremony. Most churches baptize their converts using the “formula of Rome:” in the name of the Father, Son , and Holy Ghost. In the light of this fact, oneness Pentecostal people are often asked the question, “Why do you baptize in Jesus’ name?”
Let it be stated now that our reasons for baptizing in Jesus’ name are not traditional reasons . Neither do we baptize in Jesus’ name for the sake of controversy or rebellion against the religious establishment. Our reasons for using the formula “in the name of Jesus Christ” over the baptismal candidate are biblical and historical facts that cannot be disputed.
First of all it must be recognized that the supreme source for all Christian doctrines and practices is the Bible. If our beliefs are contrary to the scriptures, we are wrong. In Romans 3:4 the Apostle Paul averred, “…Let God be true, but every man a liar…,” In view of the scripture, it must be pointed out that no one was ever baptized in the New Testament church by the traditional formula of most denominations.
Peter commanded the Jews on the Day of Pentecost to be baptized “in the name of Jesus Christ.” They claim that “name” simply denotes authority, but this interpretation is erroneous. Name is the mark of identification. When a baby is born, he is named to identify him with a certain family; he certainly receives no authority when he receives his name. The Apostle Paul wrote, “For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named”
(Eph. 3:14 15). He also declared in Galatians 3:26,27, “For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.”
All the ministers of the Apostolic age baptized their converts using the name Jesus in the baptismal formula. In the 8th chapter of Acts, Luke when relating the account of the Samaritan revival, stated in verse 16: “They were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.” The name of the Lord, in which Peter commanded Cornelius to be baptized (Acts 10:48), was the name of Jesus according to Acts 9:5 (“and the Lord said, I am Jesus…”). Paul felt so strongly about the importance of the right name in baptism that he re-baptized “certain disciples” in the name of the Lord Jesus who had previously been baptized unto John’s baptism. Read Acts 19:1-5.
The instructions of Colossians 3:17 are, And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus…”
Turn your attention for a moment to the commandments of Christ to His disciples concerning baptism. In Matthew 28:18-20 Jesus said. “All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you….” Two very important things are often overlooked in this passage of scripture. First, Jesus said to baptize in the “name, not in the formula, of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. Second, Jesus said to observe “ALL THINGS whatsoever I have commanded you.” Let us observe the teachings of Jesus concerning the name of the Father and the Holy Ghost. In St. John 5:43 Jesus said, “I am come in my Father’s name. and ye receive me not…” If Jesus’ name was the same as His Father’s then His Father’s name must have been Jesus. This statement agrees one hundred percent with a previous scripture cited from Ephesians 3:15: “Of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named.” In St. John 8:19 Jesus declared. “…Ye neither know me, nor my Father: if ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also.” Then in verse 24 of this same chapter He said, “…For if ye believe not that I am he, ye shall die in your sins,” adding in verse 27, “They
understood not that he spake to them of the Father.” Jesus taught His disciples in St. John 14:26 that the Holy Ghost would come in HIS NAME. In Luke 24:47 Jesus proclaimed that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem (which was fulfilled in Acts 2:38).
When we observe ALL THINGS that Jesus taught and commanded, we find that the apostles fulfilled the commission that Christ gave in Matthew 28:19 by baptizing in the Name of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost when they used the Bible formula “in the name of Jesus Christ.”
Not only is the formula “in the name of Jesus Christ” scriptural, but history also bears out the fact that the early Christian disciples used this formula. In a book written by Morton Scott Enslin, Th. D. (professor of New Testament Literature and Exegesis at the Crozier Theological Seminary and also a graduate of Harvard) entitled Christian Beginnings is found this report on the early church baptismal formula: “These early disciples may well have used some such formula as “in the name of Jesus Christ.”
Hastings’ Encyclopedia of Religion and Ethics gives the following information under Baptism (Early Christian): “Christian baptism, when connected with the mention of a formula, is alluded to four times in the Acts (2:38; 8:16; 10:48; 19:5) and the formula is never that of Matthew 28:19…That this was the usual formula of Christian baptism is supported by the evidence of the Pauline Epistle, which speak of being baptized (only here he used the Greek for ‘into Christ’) (Gal. 3:27) Rom. 6:3…The obvious explanation of the silence of the N.T. on the triune name, and the use of another formula in Acts and Paul, is that his other formula invoking the name of Jesus was the earlier, and that the trine formula is a later addition.”
Further historical proof for baptism in the name of Jesus Christ can be found in the eleventh edition of the Encyclopedia Vol. 3, pp. 365 and 366. “The trinitarian formula and triune immersion were not
uniformly used from the beginning, nor did they always go together…In the 3rd century baptism in the name of Christ was still so widespread that Pope Stephen in opposition to Cyprian of Carthage, declared it to be valid. From Pope Zachariah we learn that Celtic missionaries in baptizing omitted one or more persons of the Trinity, and this was one of the reasons why the church of Rome anathematized them; Pope Nicholas, however, allowed baptism to be valid tantum in nomine Christi as in the Acts.” Also in this same account the Encyclopedia Britannica refers to the baptismal formula “in the name of Father and Son and Holy Spirit” as the “formula of Rome.”
Although our belief, that baptism must be by immersion in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, is not accepted nor practiced by the majority of churches today; it is the only method and formula for water baptism used by the apostles and the early church. The true facts concerning the baptismal formula came from Rome. The true church is built upon the Word of God
(The original source and/or publisher of the above material is unknown.)
SCRIPTURAL AND HISTORICAL BAPTISM
by: Rev. N. A. Urshan
This is a subject that oft-times brings quite a bit of controversy, and that subject is water baptism. Many ideas have been propounded through the years on the matter of water baptism. Some of it is controversial in aspect. Some of it needs very careful Biblical investigation, so that the true meaning, relative to the Word of God, can be understood.
First of all, I would like for you to notice that baptism, according to the Word of God in the New Testament, is done in the name of Jesus Christ. I want you to notice very carefully how the references in the Bible point to the truth that the name of Jesus Christ is to be uttered over a candidate as he is baptized in water. In Luke 24:47 Jesus taught that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name beginning at Jerusalem. This was the commission that was given to the disciples as Jesus Christ sent them into the world to declare the gospel.
We notice according to Acts 2:38 that Peter obeyed this statement of Jesus (Luke 24:47) by telling Jewish believers: “Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins.” Later on, as this budding church revival began to expand and move into other areas, the Samaritans, after hearing the word from the preaching of Philip, were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus (Acts 8:16). All of this is, of course, comparable to that which we have said in connection with what Jesus taught and the obedience of Peter.
In Acts 10:48 we have the opening of the Gospel to the Gentile nations. Cornelius was the first Gentile who was permitted fellowship under the expanding move of that early church. As Peter preached to Cornelius’ household, you recall, the Holy Spirit fell, just as it fell on them at the beginning. After this experience was enjoyed by the household of Cornelius, Peter commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. Act, 10:48 gives us the substantiation for this truth.
Here is something else which I think is important to everyone who is reading this message today. Paul re-baptized. Yes, I said it, Paul re-baptized. In the city of Ephesus, he met disciples of John the Baptist and asked them the question, “Have you received the Holy Ghost since you believed?” They said they had not heard whether there be any Holy Ghost. In Acts 19:3-5, Paul, declaring the truth to them, found a receptive attitude on the part of the disciples of John the Baptist. When they heard his message, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. Paul re-baptized disciples of John the Baptist in the name of the Lord Jesus. Back to Acts 4:10-12, Peter, standing before the Sanhedrin declared, “There is none other name under heaven given among men whereby we must be saved.” And then in Colossians 3:17, Paul adds emphasis to this great truth by saying, “And whatsoever ye do in word or in deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus.”
Now, my friend, I am giving you examples from the scriptures which declare that baptism is to be done in the name of Jesus Christ, The above scriptures are not given to refute Matthew 28:19, where Jesus told the apostles to baptize “in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost,” they merely show how the command was interpreted and obeyed by them.
WHAT THE APOSTLES PRACTICED
The Apostles knew what most religious leaders of today fail to recognize. They knew that the Lord Jesus Christ is the family name. By reading Ephesians 3:15, you will discover this. They understood that the fullness of the Godhead, the deity of God, dwelleth bodily in Christ (Colossians 2:9). They knew the name of the Son is Jesus; Matthew 1:21 declares this. They knew that the Son came in the Father’s name; John 5:43 emphasizes this. They also knew that the Holy Ghost is the spirit of Christ and would come in the name of Jesus; John 14:26 corroborates this. The name “Jesus” means Jehovah-salvation. This interpretation can be found in Faussets Bible Encyclopedia on page 359.
My friend, there should be no controversy over the matter of baptism, when the scriptures authenticate and corroborate the great truth of baptism in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. The only way the New Testament church, which was set up after the day of Pentecost, practiced immersion was in the name of Jesus Christ. Somehow, for some people, the scriptures are not the truth. Therefore in order to give such persons an accepted understanding of the fact, we investigate another source. Not only do the scriptures corroborate the relationship of His name to baptism, but history also proves that the facts I am giving to you about the matters of baptism are certainly unerring and truthful.
In the Encyclopedia Britannica, the eleventh edition, Volume 3, pages 365 and 366, you will find this statement: The baptismal formula was changed from the name of Jesus Christ to the words Father, Son, and Holy Ghost by the Catholic Church in the second century. Now, I am giving you historical proof that the original church baptized in Jesus’ name.
Also, from the Britannica Encyclopedia, Volume 3, page 82: Everywhere in the oldest sources it states that baptism took place in the name of Jesus Christ.
Referring again to the Canney Encyclopedia of Religion, page 53: The early church always baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus until development of trinity doctrine in the second century. My friend, is this not proof that the early church practiced baptism in His name? Because of the change that religious leaders wrought on Bible interpretations in that day, this truth was completely hidden from the viewpoints of religious thinkers and from other people who were not entirely familiar with the early church.
Now according to the Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume 2, page 263, Catholics acknowledged baptism was changed by the Catholic Church.
In addition, Hastings Encyclopedia of Religion, Volume 2, page 377: Christian baptism was administered using the words “In the name of Jesus.” Out of the same Hastings Encyclopedia of Religion, Volume 2, page 378: The use of a trinitarian formula of any sort was not suggested in early church history. From the same volume, page 389, note: Baptism was always in the name of the Lord Jesus, until the time of Justin Martyr when the Triune formula was used.
Now back to the Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume 8: Justin Martyr was one of the early Fathers of the Roman Catholic church. So this man introduced a new idea of baptism.
Let me go back to Hastings Encyclopedia of Religion, Volume 2, page 377, which concerns the teaching of Acts 2:38: Name was an ancient synonym for “person.” Payment was always made in the name of some person referring to ownership. Therefore, one being baptized in Jesus’ Name became His personal property. That is why the scriptures said, “Ye are Christ’s.” Oh, my friend, the name brought the person of Jesus Christ near to the individual.
Now, from the New International Encyclopedia, Volume 22, page 40: The term “trinity” was originated by Tertullian, a Roman Catholic Church Father.
History testifies to the authenticity of the scriptures.History also corroborates the fact that you and I must go back over the period of church thinking, rearrangements of man,philosophies and ideas of individuals introduced long after the apostles had died, which hanged the original promises of the New Testament church. We have to look back over the dark ages,reach into the early time of the formulation of the church, and find there those things that have made history, lay them side by side, and make a very careful comparison. We will come up again with the great truth that baptism in the name of Jesus Christ is the mode for water baptism. This is what the apostles practiced.This is what the individual who hears the Word of God should obey.
Friend, as “you read this message today, let me tell you the desire of our hearts. We are not trying to introduce controversy just for the sake of argument. We are here by the help of God to explain to you the great truth that lies dormant in the church world. We are here to resurrect again an understanding of the Great Power there is in the name of Jesus Christ. We are here to show you from the Word of God that this Lord whom we serve is a mighty Lord and that baptism in His name brings emission of sin. This One who died on Calvary’s cross for your sins and my sins, the One who shed His blood in our behalf, who became the lamb, the paschal lamb slain for man’s sins, is Jesus. The One who became the “He Goat” and suffered without the gate, the One who took upon Himself the sins of mankind, the Propitiator of all mankind’s sin — this One is Jesus Christ.
It is to Him that we look today for salvation; there is none in any other name. By looking to Him and finding in the centrality of His person this great truth, He is magnified in our eyes. His blood becomes very real to us; the sacrifice of Calvary comes out of the dead letter of history and becomes very, very outstanding — all of his because of what was accomplished by Jesus Christ. You and I must obey the scriptures, believe them, and practice them for the scriptures are authenticated by history. You and I must lay our faith on the line according to the things that are found in the great truths of God and in the great records of man.
(The above article appeared in an issue of the Pentecostal Herald.)
THE NEW BIRTH
“This is the stone which was set at nought of you builders which is become the head of the corner. Neither is there salvation in any other; for there is none other name under heaven even among men, whereby we must be saved.” Acts 4:12.
Baptism is a necessity in the New Testament plan of salvation. It is necessary because Jesus commanded it. Mark 16:16, Matt. 28:19. Jesus taught it to Nicodemus, John 3:1-5. To the New Testament believer,baptism fulfills the type of the laver in the Tabernacle. The command given to the one to enter the tabernacle was “Wash lest ye die.”Peter and all the apostles preached and practiced water baptism Acts 2:38, 10:44-48. Ananias told Saul the persecutor who was praying at Damascus, “Arise and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord.” Acts 22:16.
These witnesses show the great importance that Christ and the Apostles placed on water baptism, and the vital place it held in salvation.
THE MODE OF BAPTISM
The scriptures as well as history show us that water baptism was by immersion in the first days of the church. This means that people are submerged, covered over with water.Jesus when he was baptized went up straightway, “Out of the water.”Mt. 3:16. A point is made that “much water” was needed for baptism,John 3:23. Much water would not be needed for sprinkling. Baptism is called burial with Christ. Col. 2:12. Which signifies the covering over of the individual by the waters of baptism. The World Book Encyclopedia says, “At first all baptism was by complete immersion.”The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume 2, page 263, says “In early centuries all were baptized by immersion in streams or baptisteries.”
THE NAME IN BAPTISM-REASONS FOR THE NAME OF JESUS
Let us go another step, and look into the scriptures to find the formula or words used in the baptizing of believers in the first church. By this we mean, what does the minister say when he takes an individual into the waters of baptism. What name does he speak over the person to be baptized. We will point out seven reasons seven reason given in the scripture for calling the Name of Jesus over the person in baptism, or for baptizing a person in the Name of Jesus.
1. To be baptized in the Name of Jesus Christ means that as the person stands in the waters of baptism the minister will call over the person the Name of Jesus. Some will tell us that the person can bee baptized in the Name of Jesus without that name actually being called. In Mark 16:17, Jesus said to the church. “In my name shall they cast out devils.” In Acts 16:18, we see a fulfillment of that promise. Paul was to cast the demon out of the damsel at Philippi. Note the words that he spoke: I command thee in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her.” The name of Jesus was spoken, the evil spirit could not resist the power of that name, and the girl was delivered! In Acts 3:6, the lame man at the gate was healed. Peter said to him, “in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk.” In chapter 4 o fthe same book they were questioned as to what power or by what name have ye done this? And Peter answered that “by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth.” When we pray for the sick in His Name,the Name of Jesus is called, when devils are cast out, the Name of Jesus is called. To be baptized in His Name means that the Name of Jesus must be used. It is difficult to understand why some will pray for the sick in Jesus’ Name, cast out devils in Jesus’ Name, and then refuse to mention that glorious Name at the most important time of baptism.
2. The Lord Jesus commanded that baptism should be in His Name. In Luke 24:47, Jesus said “And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name among all nations. Baptism is for remission of sins, Acts 2:38, so Luke 24:47 and Acts 2:38 speak of the same thing. Luke 24:47 and Matthew 28:19 are in agreement. The Lord has not given us two sets of directions, two conflicting ways of doing the same thing.
3. Baptism in Jesus’ Name was preached on the Day of Pentecost. The first sermon ever preached after the glorious birth of the church is found in Acts 2. The Apostle Peter stood up WITH the eleven other apostles. They all stood with Peter. Matthew who wrote Matthew 28:19 was there and was in agreement with Peter’s message. While the anointed Apostle was preaching, conviction of sin became so strong, that the multitude cried out, “Men and brethren, what shall we do? “Then Peter said unto them, Repent, 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 2:37-38.
4. Samaria hears the word. The next great revival effort took place down in Samaria. After the severe persecution hit the church directed by the zealous Pharisee Saul, Philip went down to Samaria to preach. When he preached concerning the kingdom of Cod,and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized. Note how Philip baptized the Samaritans, “For as yet he was fallen upon none of them: only they were baptized in the Name of the Lord Jesus.” Acts 8:16.
5. Gentiles receive the gospel and are baptized. Let us take another little trip. This time we travel with the Apostle Peter down to Caesarea, to the house of Cornelius. Great interest and excitement are down there. As the Apostle preached to the first Gentile audience ever assembled to hear the apostolic doctrine, the Holy Ghost fell on all them which heard the word. Here is an incident where people received the Holy Ghost before they are baptized in Jesus’ Name. Should they then be left alone? Is baptism necessary for a person already filled with the Holy Ghost baptism? Let’s note what Peter did here, the first time this ever happened. He said, “Can any man forbid water, that these should not be baptized which have received the Holy Ghost as well as we? And He COMMANDED them to be baptized in the Name of the Lord, “Acts 10:44-48. The Name of the Lord is Jesus. Acts 9:5, “The Lord said, I am Jesus.” This account makes it crystal clear that without doubt the same baptism in Jesus’ Name was for all believers, both Jews and Gentiles.
6. Disciples of John are re-baptized at Ephesus. It is now about twenty years after the day of Pentecost. By the time you reach the l9th chapter of Acts, you will find the aggressive missionary apostle Paul at the city of Ephesus. When he came there he found certain disciples and inquired as to whether they had received the Holy Ghost. When he found that they had not, he asked about their baptism. They told him that they were”disciples of John, and had been baptized unto John’s baptism.”Then said Paul verily baptized with the baptism of repentance,saying unto the people, that they should believe on him, which should come after him, that is, on Jesus Christ. When they heard this, they were baptized IN THE NAME OF THE LORD JESUS.” Acts. 19:4-5.
To those who believe that one baptism is as good as another, or that baptism is not necessary at all, I would point out Acts 19. These honest believers at Ephesus were baptized in the Name of Jesus Christ, for the simple reason that their former baptism was now invalid in the light of fuller revelation.
7. Baptism in Jesus Name alone fulfills the command of our Lord in Matthew 18:19. An honest and careful look at the above examples of water baptism in the New Testament Church, will show that the early church always baptized in the Name of Jesus Christ. Now the question is. Did the early church refute, cast aside Matthew 28:19?Not once do we find that they repeated the words in the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.” Is the writing of Matthew in opposition to the practice of the church? Do we have two manners of baptism? No, the writings of Matthew as found in chapter 10:19 are in complete agreement with Acts 2:38.
First note that by the time the book of Matthew was written, some twenty or thirty years after Pentecost, there had already been thousands baptized in the Name of Jesus Christ.
Second, Matthew stood up with Peter on the day of Pentecost in Acts 2.
Third, the first church would never have dared to change the will and command of Christ relative to water baptism. And if they did, there would be no hope for us, no possibility of building a true church, for we are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets.
Fourth, Matthew 28:19 is fulfilled by Acts 2:38, and the other accounts given above. Jesus said in Matthew 28:19, to baptize in the NAME. There was never any doubt in the first church about that Name.The scriptures unveil that NAME.
In Matthew 1:23, the angel announced, “Thou shall call his name Jesus.” The name of the son is Jesus. Jesus said in John 5:43, “I am come in my Father’s Name.” Again he said in John 17:6, “I have manifested thy Name.” The name that was manifested was Jesus. The name, “Jesus” is Greek form of the Hebrew, which means “Jehovah-Savior”. In John 14:26, Jesus said, “But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name.” Thus we see that the one name, “Jesus” is the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.
“Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and 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; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” Philippians 2:9-11.
“Unto what then were ye baptized?” Acts 19:3.
(The above article appeared an issue of the Pentecostal Herald.)
IS WATER BAPTISM IN ACTS 2:38 FOR OR BECAUSE OF REMISSION OF SINS?
The plain English of Acts 2:38 should leave no doubt to anyone about the absolute necessity of water baptism. This, however, has not been satisfying to many as it runs against a jagged doctrinal grain. We are told by out Baptist friends that the Greek phrase translated “for the remission of sins” really should be translated “be baptized…because yours sins have been remitted.” We have presented the phrase in question as follows with English written under the Greek:
eis aphesin hamartion- for remission of sins
John the Baptist, Jesus and Peter would have been surprised and perhaps a bit amused by this “neobaptist” theory. The same phrase is used in Mark 1:4 where the alleged founder of the Baptist church speaks of “repentance for the remission of sins.” He would have been very surprised to know that his Greek meant that they should repent because their sins had been remitted. Equally astonished would be the Lord Himself. In Matthew 26:28 our dear Lord speaks of his blood “shed for the remission of sins.” Thus following neobaptist way of reasoning because our sins had been remitted the Lord went to the cross and shed his blood!
The most accurate and authoritative source of the meaning of a Greek word is Bauer’s Lexicon. (Chicago: Univ. of Chicago press, 1957) Bauerref uses to recognize the validity of the proposed, alleged translation of eis as “because”. He rather says that this meaning is”controversial”. (p. 229) A causal meaning for “eis” is recognized only by those who have prejudiced, biased theories about the essentially of water baptism.
All passages cited by neobaptists as supposedly demanding an essentially causal meaning for “eis” are subject to some other accepted meaning of “eis”. For example in Matthew 12:41 they repented “near the preaching” “in the presence of the preaching”, but not “because of the preaching of Jona.” When normal word meanings can adequately explain a passage we err greatly when we “invent” new meanings. Moreover a doctrinal house built on a “controversial, dubious” meaning for a foundation will not stand the test of time or of eternity.
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“GREAT TRUTHS THAT MUST NEVER DIE”
Christian Baptism occupies a very prominent place in the New Testament plan of salvation. Yet probably no other doctrine accepted and practice by modern Christendom is surrounded by as much error and misunderstanding. It need not be so. It should not be so. It should not be so. Because the Bible speaks most specifically; while the actions and experiences of the early New Testament disciples are most plain. For the sincere seeker of truth, there are only two requisites for a clear understanding of the subject–AN OPEN BIBLE AND AN OPEN HEART.
DEFINE THE TERM BAPTISM:
The word “BAPTISM” is derived from the Greek word “BAPTIDZO” or “BAPTIZO,” and means to dip, immerse, or to make fully wet. There is absolutely no place in the New Testament where anyone was ever sprinkled or poured for water baptism. Baptism is a type of burial. Commonsense would teach us that a dead person could not be buried with only a hand-full of dirt sprinkled over the casket. Neither can a repented sinner be buried in baptism with only a few drops of water sprinkled over his head. Sprinkling is a custom the pagans used and was borrowed by the Roman Catholic Church and passed down to all the religious sects of our day.
Let us note the following scriptures relative to immersing the candidate:
(l). Matthew 3:16–“And Jesus went up straightway out of the water.” (Referring to John’s baptism of Jesus).
(2). Acts 8:38-(Philip Baptizing the Eunuch) -“Both went down into the water. (Verse 39-“Both came up out of the water.”)
(3). Romans 6:4–“We are buried with Him by Baptism.”
HOW IMPORTANT IS BAPTISM TO SALVATION ?
Is Baptism essential to salvation? Let us examine the scriptures relative to this question. Note the following which are only partial quotations:
(1). St. John 3:5–“Except a man be born of water . . . he cannot see . . . he cannot enter the Kingdom of God.
(2). Mark 16:16–“He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved.”
(3). Titus 3:4–“…saved by the washing of regeneration. Amplified translation states,,, “The cleansing bath.” While the Moffatt translation renders it — “By the water that means regeneration.”
(4). Acts l9:5-readily shows us the importance Paul placed on water Baptism. When he realized that the Ephesians had not received the Holy Ghost, his second question was . . . “How then were ye Baptized ?”
(5). Acts 2:38 (Note) Without baptism we do not have the promise of the Holy Ghost, neither the remission of sins.
(6). Acts 10:48–“Peter commanded them to be baptized.”
(7). Galatians 3:27–“We put on Christ by baptism.”
(8). Romans 6:3–“We are baptized into Christ’s death.”
(9). Acts 22:16–“Annanias instructed Paul to arise and be baptized and wash away thy sins.”
(10). 1 Peter 3:21–“The figure where unto even Baptism doth also now save us.”
HOW DID THE NEW TESTAMENT CHURCH BAPTIZE?
There are approximately nine places in the bible where it can be shown that converts were baptized in the Name of Jesus Christ without reference to the father or the Spirit. There is not one single recorded instance where anyone in the New Testament was ever baptized in the Trinitarian Formula. As the scripture are the most authentic references that we could use, let us quote them directly and establish the truth of the above statement. Space will not permit a complete quotation of the entire verse.
(l). Acts 2:38–“Be baptized everyone of you in the Name of Jesus Christ.”
(2). Acts 8:16–“Only they were baptized in the Name of the Lord Jesus.”
(3). Acts 10:48–“And he (Peter) commanded them to be baptized in the Name of the Lord.” The Revised, the Vulgate, the Weymouth’s, the Amplified and even the Roman Catholic Douay version states… “In the Name of Jesus Christ.”
(4). Acts 19:5–“They were baptized in the Name of the Lord Jesus.”
(5). Acts 9:18 (regarding Paul’s baptism)…”And arose and was baptized.” Then note Acts 22:16 where Paul recounts his baptism…Quote–“Arise and be baptized…calling on the Name of the Lord.” Or calling the Lord’s Name in baptism. Furthermore, Paul would naturally baptize the way he had been baptized. Note again Acts 19:6.
(6). Romans 6:3-4–“Know ye not that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death. (The word “US” denotes that Paul had been baptized this way).
Verse 4–“Therefore we are buried with Him.” (Not them…showing that Baptism was a burial performed in the Name of Jesus only). The Father did not die, neither did the Holy Ghost die. Neither were buried or raised from the dead. The son alone died and was buried and in the son’s name alone are we to be baptized.
(7). 1 Cor. 1:12-13–“Now this I say that everyone of you saith, I am of Paul and I of Apollos and I of Cephas; and I of Christ. Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Or were ye Baptized in the Name of Paul?” Note the logical answer, “Who was crucified for the Corinthians? — Answer — Jesus Christ. In whose Name were they baptized? — Answer — In the Name of Jesus Christ or else Paul’s argument would be meaningless.
(8). 1 Cor. 6:11–“And such were some of you, but ye are washed. How? — “In the Name of the Lord Jesus.”
(9). Gal: 3:27–“For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ:”
A STUDY OF MATTHEW 28:19:
Matthew 28:19 has become the focal point around which the whole Trinitarian message is woven. Yet there is serious doubt in the minds f many Bible scholars, even Trinitarian Bible scholars, whether Jesus is really the author of the text ascribed to Him. They refer to Matthew 8:19 as an “INTERPOLATION” — a spurious text (meaning false text) inserted by certain men many years after the Book of Matthew was written, to sustain their theory of a God-head composed of three persons. These scholars offer as proof two outstanding arguments which we submit below:
(l). “Matthew 28:19,” they say, “is not included in the earliest manuscripts of the Bible.”
(2). They contend that Matthew 28:19 is altogether foreign to the manner and spirit of Christ’s teachings. Jesus, they say, never one time gave any express commands regarding the plan of salvation for the New Testament Church, but entrusted the responsibility of setting forth such doctrines or teachings into the hands of His Apostles. It is indeed strange that the Apostles without exception, baptized in the Name of Jesus, without reference to the Father or the Spirit; And furthermore, that none of the other writers of the Gospels, in their versions of the G r e a t Commission ever made any reference to a Trinitarian Formula for Baptism.
But whether Jesus is the Author of Matthew 28:19 or whether it is a spurious text, poses no difficulty for us. We believe in the Father; we believe in the Son: we believe in the Holy Ghost. Not as three distinct beings or persons in the God-head, but as the Almighty God manifested in three distinct ways. We contend that we are the only people in the world who truly carry out the command given in Matthew 28:19. Understanding God’s Name, when we baptize in the Name of Jesus Christ, we are baptizing in the one singular Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost.
Permit us to quote Matthew 28:19 – “Go ye therefore and teach all nations, baptizing them in the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost.”
Let the student bear in mind that the words “Father,” “Son,” and “Holy Ghost,” are not the proper names of a person but merely titles of relationship. Let us note the singular — “Baptizing them in the “NAME” not “NAMES.” Therefore the great question that confront us is…”WHAT IS THE ONE SINGULAR NAME OF THE FATHER, SON AND HOLY GHOST?” We offer the following proof that the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost is JESUS.
(1). THE SON WAS TO BEAR HIS FATHER’S NAME:
(A). Isaiah 9:6-“For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given, and…”HlS NAME” shall be called wonderful, counselor, the mighty God, the everlasting FATHER, the Prince of Peace.
(B). St. John 5:43-“I am come in MY FATHER’S NAME.”
(C). Rev. 14:1–“And I looked and lo a lamb stood on Mount Zion and with Him and hundred and forty and four thousand, having his Father’s name written in their foreheads.
Rev. 22:3-4–“And there shall be no more curse: But the throne (singular) of God and of the Lamb shall be in it and His servant shall serve Him (not them).
And they shall see His face (not their faces) and His Name (not their names) shall be in their foreheads. NOTE… There will be only one name in their foreheads and that will be the name of the Father and the Son.
(D). Heb. 1:4–“Being made so much better than angels, as he hath by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they. NOTE:…A son always inherits His Father’s Name. Christ was no exception. Furthermore not only does the Bride-groom or son take the Father’s Name, but the Bride also takes her husband’s Father’s Name. Thus the only way the Church which is the Bride of Christ can take the Father’s Name is by – taking the Son’s Name.
(E). Phil. 2:9–“Wherefore God also hath highly exalted Him, and given Him a Name which is above every Name. NOTE . . . What Name could Christ have born that was above every Name, unless it was God’s own Name.
(2). THE SON’S NAME IS JESUS:
(A). Matt. 1:2l–“And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call His name JESUS.
(3). THE HOLY GHOST WAS SENT IN JESUS NAME:
(A). St. John 14:26–“But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my NAME.”
(B). Matt. 18:20–“For where two or three are gathered together in My NAME, there am I in the midst of them. (Note that the Name and the Spirit are here identified together).
(C). 2 cor. 3:17–“The LORD is that SPIRIT and where the Spirit of the Lord is there is Liberty.
(D). 1 Cor. 15:45–“And so it is written, the first man Adam was made a living soul; The last Adam (Christ) a quickening spirit.
A STUDY OF THE GREAT COMMISSION:
Matthew 28:18-20 is commonly known as the great commission, because it is here that Christ commissioned his Apostles to go into all the world and preach the Gospel. Let the student remember though, that the great commission is found in more places than just Matthew. From your Bible, carefully study the following scriptures: Matthew 28:18-20; Mark 16:15.18; St. Luke 24:45-49; John 20:21.23; Acts 1:6-9.
Time and space forbids us quoting in complete form each of these passages of scripture relative to the great commission. Yet in a brief analysis of the great commission as found in these several texts, let us notice the following:
(1). All power (meaning authority) is given unto Jesus.
(2). His disciples must teach all nations that Jesus alone has this authority.
(3). Repentance and Remission of sins must be preached in His NAME (not their names as Trinitarianism teaches) beginning at Jerusalem.
(4). Baptizing (according to Matthew 28:19) in the singular Name of the Father, Son and Holy Ghost.
(5). Having opened their understanding (Luke 24:45) taught them to observe all things that he had commanded them.
It would be well that we carefully took note of the following pertinent facts, that is: (1).–this commission was given to the Apostles. (2).–That Jesus spent time instructing them and opened their spiritual understanding so that they understood perfectly what he wanted to do. (3).–They were not rebellious men, They were men whom God had touched. They obeyed His words to the letter. If they did disobey or misunderstand the words of the Lord as certain men would have us believe then the Bible would be worthless, and the whole plan for the New Testament church ruined. But they understood, and they obeyed to the letter, and without exception they went forth and Baptized their candidates in the Name of Jesus Christ.
Did they fulfill the great Commission that Christ gave to them? That Commission was that REPENTANCE AND REMISSION OF SINS WAS TO BE PREACHED TO ALL NATIONS BEGINNING AT JERUSALEM? Acts 2 and 38 should clarify all doubt…”Quote” — “Then Peter said unto them, REPENT (note that repentance was to be preached) and be baptized everyone of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the REMISSION (note the remission of sins that was to be preached) of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost”.
Permit us to ask this question: Where did Peter first preach the message of Repentance and Remission of Sins? Answer … Acts 2:38 was preached in Jerusalem, in obedience to the
express commands of Jesus Christ.
REASONS WHY WE SHOULD BAPTIZE IN THE NAME OF JESUS CHRIST:
(l). We should Baptize in the Name of Jesus because as Heb. 1:4 teaches, “He hath by inheritance obtained a more excellent Name.” Meaning the Father’s own Name.
(2) We should baptize in the Name of Jesus because the Name of God was in the old Temple. I Kings 8:29)–“My Name shall be there”. It must therefore be in the New Temple of which Jesus said, “Destroy this temple (His body) and in three days, I will raise it up. (John 2:19) NOTICE . . . That Jesus said, “I will raise it up”. Speaking as almighty God.
(3) We should be Baptized in Jesus Name because Jehovah’s Name was in the Ark of the Covenant. (1 Chron. 13:6)
The Ark of the Covenant today is Jesus, where God’s glory dwells. All the Ark contained and represented is today found in Jesus.
(4). We should be Baptized in Jesus Name because the Church is the Bride of Christ, and the Bride always takes her husbands Name. 2 Cor. 11:2.
(5). We should be baptized in Jesus Name because . . . As Adam, the son of God (Luke 3:38) was father of the Old Creation giving us physical life. Even so Jesus the Son of God and the last Adam (a quickening Spirit) is our, spiritual father of the New Creation giving us everlasting life.
(6). We should be baptized in Jesus Name because Jehovah is the Name of the I Am, the everlasting God (Isaiah 40:28). And Christ our everlasting Father has the same everlasting Name. (Isaiah 9:6)–Jesus or Jehovah Savior.
(A). Because we bear the image and have the blood of our earthly father we bear His Name. The blood gives us that right. The life is in the Blood and the Name indicates whose blood is in our veins.
(B). As we have born the image of the earthly even so shall we bear the image of the heavenly (1 Cor. 15:49). When we have been made nigh by the blood of Christ (Eph. 2:13) should we not also bear his name?
(7). We should by baptized in Jesus Name to fulfill the great type. NOTE As Israel, the church in the wilderness was Baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea (Cor. 1O:1-2) because he was their leader and mediator of the Old Covenant.
So should the New Testament Church be baptized into the Name of Jesus Christ as their leader and mediator of the New Covenant.
(8). Because whatsoever we do in word or deed should be done in the Name of the Lord Jesus. (Col. 3:17)
Baptism is both word and deed. Why do we use the Name of Jesus to cast out Devils and pray for the sick and not use His name in Baptism.
(9). Because there is salvation in no other Name. Acts (4:12) If there is salvation in no other Name than Jesus then what profit is there in Baptizing in them.
OBJECTIONS TO BAPTISM IN JESUS NAME:
(l). One objection is that it was for the Jews only. Answer . . . By examination of the nine different places where it can be shown that the Name of Jesus only was used in Baptism, six of them were gentiles.
(2). Another objection is that either formula is alright just so long as the heart is right. Answer…But can the heart be right with God if we knew the truth and obey it not? According to this reasoning any formula would be all right just as long as the heart is right. In this case no baptism at all would be all right so long as the heart is right.
(3). Since Acts 2:38 and Matthew 28:18 are equivalent, then either one is perfectly alright. Answer…Then why do not the Trinitarians use Acts 2:38 as much as they use Matthew 28:19. But since when has God begun to accept the opinions of men especially when those opinions are contrary to the word of God.
(4). I had rather take the words of Jesus than the words of the Apostles, or Peter. Answer… Let us examine this objection and see just how absurd it really is.
(A). If the words of Jesus are truth and the words of Peter untruth, then the Bible is not inspired by God. If the Bible is inspired by God and Holy men of Old spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost, then God is just as much the author of Acts 2:38 as he is of Matt. 28:19.
(B). They are saying by this that the Bible contradicts itself.
(C). The only written record we have of the words of Jesus is what the disciples left us. What of the thousands of people who were baptized in Jesus Name before Matthew ever wrote His Gospel.
(D). If Peter and the rest of the Apostles disobeyed the express command of the Lord then none of the Bible should be trusted. Thus the whole plan of God would be spoiled. Considering the foreknowledge possessed by Jesus do you think for a moment that he would have picked men to establish His great church that would deliberately disobey Him.
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