BAPTISM: POWER IN THE NAME
Do you know that Peter instructed us to be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for remission of sins? This has caused much controversy. After all, didn’t Jesus tell us to go into all of the world baptizing in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Ghost? Yet there are NO recorded baptisms in the New Testament that were done in "in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Ghost. " After Jesus was crucified and the new testament began, recorded baptisms in the New Testament were done in the name of Jesus or it was implied. No individual(s) opinion can change that. I’ve heard many people say they prefer to listen to Jesus over Peter. However, wouldn’t this mean that there is a great contradiction in the bible? Can we just baptize however we want? Can we choose not to baptize at all? Well according to the scriptures there is only ONE baptism and it is very clear:
There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; 5 One Lord, one faith, one baptism, KJV In addition, some are now teaching that baptism isn't necessary at all. However wouldn’t this also contradict Peter’s instruction to be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for remission of sins? Was Peter speaking in a parable?
When reading the New Testament, generally, we should accept what the writer says in its literal sense unless there is strong evidence that we should understand the scripture in a symbolic or metaphoric manner. The scripture is the final authority.
Many denominations have been formed by the good intentions of people who were trying to interpret scriptures never meant to be interpreted. When asked what must be done to be saved, read Peter's response below. It is simple and straight forward, just don't change it. Could it be that the truth was right before us all along hidden in plain sight?
38 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.
For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call. KJV
I don't know about you but I don't want to take a public opinion poll of what everyone thinks this scripture means...
It is pretty straight forward. In the New Testament, once the new covenant began, All baptisms recorded in the New Testament were done in the name of Jesus or it was implied. There is even an example where the believers were baptized incorrectly and had to be baptized again correctly, Acts 19: 2-6 (see column to right). There were no baptisms recorded in the "name of Father, Son and Holy Ghost." Why all the confusion? The confusion was brought in by private interpretation of this commandment. Along the ages people have made the mistake of trying to interpret this scripture instead of taking it at face value and brought in their own private interpretation. Many others took scriptures from other parts of the bible (not meant as the plan of salvation) to try to abolish Peter's commandment all together... Peter didn't say it was only for his generation, he said it is for you and your children afar off as many as our Lord God shall call. We cannot elevate our opinions over the Holy Word of God. Jesus' instructions did not contradict Peter's, they are both in perfect harmony.
2 Peter 1:20-21 20 Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. (this means group or individual since it is not specified)
21 For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.
Group OR individual private interpretation contrary to the actual holy inspired word of God is forbidden and is a distraction. Confusion is not of God.
The word of God is sealed and cannot be changed.
In the great commision
Matt 28:18, Jesus directed us to be baptize in the name (singular) of the Father , Son and Holy Ghost. That's because there is ONE name that represents all 3 of these titles. Jesus did not say to baptize in the name(s) nor did he make a grammatical error. Baptize in the name, not the title.
Matt 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”
If you baptize in the title of Father, Son and Holy Ghost, you are repeating what Jesus said but not understanding what his instructions meant. When Jesus was still in flesh on the earth, He was known to speak in parables. The new covenant began upon his death. Tab 3 at the top gives you scriptures that prove the name of the Father, Son and Holyghost is indeed Jesus. In addition, Jesus told Peter He would give him the keys to the kingdom.
Matt 16:19 And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. KJV
Peter did exactly what he was suppose to do when he stood up and declared the plan of salvation in Acts 2:38.
Acts 2:38 38 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. KJV
The power for remission of sins, is in the name of Jesus Christ.
Acts 22:16 And now why tarriest thou? arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord.
Calling on the name of the Lord means to invoke. This literally means to say the name of Jesus at baptism. Paul knew what this name was because he met the Lord on the road to Damascus. Its up to you now to make the decision if you will be obedient to the scriptures or to man.
Once you obey these scriptures on the plan of salvation, the journey begins. The bible gives instructions to the New Testament believer on life's most important issues.
John 1:10 He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not. KJV
God told Moses, "I am that I am." He doesn't change based on our opinion. Our personal opinions also do not change the bible or the Word of God which has already been sealed. We CANNOT remake God into our image.
Acts 2:38 instructs on the plan of salvation regarding repentance, forgiveness and rebirth. Peter indicates to repent and be baptized. He also says you shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. Some churches teach that one receives the Holy Ghost when they confess or believe.
However, read what was said to a group of believers in Acts:
2 He said unto them, Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed? And they said unto him, We have not so much as heard whether there be any Holy Ghost.
3 And he said unto them, Unto what then were ye baptized? And they said, Unto John's baptism.
4 Then said Paul, John 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 Christ Jesus.
5 When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.
6 And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Ghost came on them; and they spake with tongues, and prophesied.KJV
So Clearly the believers had not received the Holy Ghost. Even after they had been baptized correctly, they did not automatically receive the Holy Ghost.
The disciples knew when the believers had received the gift of the Holy Ghost because they spoke with other tongues. The bible indicates if you seek God with all your heart, mind and soul, you will find him. You will know when you receive the power from on high because you will speak with other tongues like they did all through out the book of Acts. This promise is still alive today.
45 And they of the circumcision which believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because that on the Gentiles also was poured out the gift of the Holy Ghost.
46 For they heard them speak with tongues, and magnify God. KJV Opponents that do not believe in tongues use a scripture found in Corinthians out of context saying tongues will cease. However, tongues will not cease until we no longer have need for a comforter (while our Messiah, Jesus is not with us, we need a comforter so tongues and the comforter remain). 1 Cor 13:10 10 But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away.KJV
Rule of Thumb:
When studying the bible, if you think scriptures contradict each other, you are interpreting them incorrectly.
The Word of God is in perfect harmony.
Did you know that Roman 10:9 was given to an established Christian church in Rome who already followed the initial plan of salvation and were having trouble witnessing. This was not suppose to take the place of the plan of salvation given to every nation in Acts 2:38. Romans was a letter written to an established church, not instructions to a group of people regarding salvation.
Make sure when reading the bible you are reading it in proper context.