WATER BAPTISM is a basic requirement to a christian's salvation.
MARK 16:16 states, "He that believeth and is baptized shall be SAVED; but he that believeth NOT shall be damned".
I Peter 3:21 also reads, "The like figure whereunto [even] 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".
In Luke 7:30 we find that the Pharisees and Lawyers "rejected the counsel of God against themselves being not baptized".
THE MODE OF BAPTISM?
We believe in the totality of the infallible teachings and commandments of the Bible refusing to add or subtract from the written word. We therefore believe in the God-head as one God in three redemptive offices, and not three persons in one God as erroneously thought by some.
Because we also understand that this one God bears the name Jesus which he gave His son, we rightly interpret and understand the commandment in Matthew 28:19 and baptism by immersion in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ; which is the name of the Father and of the Son and of The Holy Ghost.
Jesus gave the command in Matthew 28:19. "Baptizing in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost". He did not command them to use that as a formula, but commanded them to baptize in the name.
Unto what Name were you baptized? Were you baptized using the Titles of Father, Son and Holy Ghost or using the Name of Jesus Christ? Is there any difference between the two?
A series of questions usually arise in Water Baptism: "What is the Biblical way of doing it?" Is baptism performed by sprinkling? Or is it by immersion in water? Is it using the TITLES of Father, Son and Holy Ghost (Matthew 28:19), or using the NAME of the Lord Jesus Christ? (Acts 2:38)?
The Bible cannot contradict itself, for it is the Word of God. What we need today is a revelation from Almighty God in order for us to understand every word in it correctly. Let us therefore take a closer look upon this all-time controversial issue.
The word "baptize" originated from the Greek word "baptizo" which means to "IMMERSE" in water. Baptism is always performed by IMMERSION of the person UNDER WATER.
Acts 8:39 states this, "And they went both DOWN INTO the WATER, both Philip and the Eunuch; and he baptized him". John 3:23 also states, "John also was baptizing at Aeneon because there was MUCH WATER there". "They came up OUT OF THE WATER" (Acts 8:39).
It is therefore evident from these very scriptures that Water Baptism was originally performed by "immersion" of the individual person underwater.
Baptism is typical of his burial. Coming forth from the watery grave of baptism is typical of His resurrection.
BAPTISM IN THE TITLES OR IN THE NAME?
Jesus gave the command in Matthew 28:19. "Baptizing in the name (singular) of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost". He did not command them to use that as a formula, but commanded them to baptize in the name. The clue here is to find what NAME the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost possess. Name here is used in the singular and is the object of the commission. It is not the titles, "Father", "Son", and "Holy Ghost", which show relationship.
Take note that the word "Father" is not a NAME. "Son" is not a NAME either; neither is the "Holy Ghost" a NAME. These are but TITLES of the ONE true GOD.
Why did he command to be baptized in the name?
"Neither is there salvation in any other; for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved". Acts 4:12.
This Name is above every name under heaven. "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 the things under the earth; And the every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, to the glory of God the Father". Philippians 2:9-11.
This name is above every "name not only in this world, but also in that which is to come". Ephesians 1:21.
The angel of the Lord, in speaking to Joseph, said, "And thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins". Matthew 1:21.
- If we trace God's Name back in the Old Testament, we will find that God was always called the "LORD", capital "L-O-R-D". (Example Genesis 16)
- In the New Testament, we find that "JESUS" was the name given to the SON of God. (Example Matthew 1:21)
- In this our age, the dispensation of grace, when the Holy Ghost was given since the Day of Pentecost, He is called the "CHRIST" or the "Anointing" of God. (Example Luke 2:11)
And in John 5:43 we find, "I am come in my Father's Name, and ye receive me not; if another shall come in his own name, him ye will receive".
John 14:26 says, "But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the father will send in my name will teach you all things".
We can now therefore conclude from these basis that the TITLES of "Father, Son and Holy Ghost" refer to only one NAME; which is the only Name which was given on earth whereby man must be saved (Acts 4:12). And that NAME is nothing else but the NAME of the "LORD JESUS CHRIST", the complete NAME of GOD.
OUR APOSTOLIC FATHERS HAD A CORRECT REVELATION
Apostle PETER, having been given the keys to the Kingdom, commanded the JEWS, saying:
"REPENT everyone of you and BE BAPTIZED in the NAME OF JESUS CHRIST for the remission of sins" (Acts 2:38) "and you shall receive the gifts of the Holy Spirit".
Paul himself RE-BAPTIZED the disciples of John the Baptist (Acts 19:1-5) in this same manner, saying, "...Have ye received the Holy Ghost SINCE you believed?"
They said, '...We have not so much as heard whether there be any Holy Ghost'.
Paul said, "...Unto what then were ye baptized?" They said, "...Unto John's baptism".
Then said Paul, "John verily baptized with baptism of repentance, saying to the people that they should believe on Him that should come after him, that is, on CHRIST JESUS".
WHEN THEY HEARD THIS, they were baptized in the NAME of the LORD JESUS.
PETER AND JOHN did the same to the SAMARITANS as well in Acts 10:48.
The GENTILES who were in the house of Cornelius who first received the Gospel were also baptized in this same manner (Acts 10:46-48).
ALL true believers in the Bible; Jews, Gentiles and Samaritans, were ALL baptized in the NAME of JESUS CHRIST, for that is the genuine and Biblical way of doing it.
I BAPTIZE YOU IN THE NAME OF THE FATHER, AND OF THE SON, AND OF THE HOLY SPIRIT(Baptism By Sprinkling of Water)
I BAPTIZE YOU IN THE NAME OF THE FATHER, AND OF THE SON, AND OF THE HOLY SPIRIT(Baptism By Water Immersion but with Wrong Confession)
I BAPTIZE YOU IN THE NAME OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST(Baptism By Water Immersion and with Correct Confession)
WHY THE BAPTISMAL ERRORS SO WIDE-SPREAD?
The Roman Catholic Church brought forth false baptism of sprinkling, and changed it from the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ to Father, Son, Holy Ghost after the year 325 A.D.
Majority of her daughters, the Protestant churches, had taken the same dogma till this day and are observing blindly the same formula without realizing it so.
MORE ON BAPTISM
John 14:26 says, "But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the father will send in my name will teach you all things".
Here we see another baptism instituted, the baptism of the Holy Ghost. According to St. John 3:5, a man must be born of the water and of the spirit. As Nicodemus came to Jesus by night, Jesus told him the only way to be born. Nicodemus did not understand as many of our leaders don't understand in this day and time, the plan of Salvation.
According to the book of Mark 16:15-17: And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned. And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues.
In the book of Acts 2:4; we see the scripture in that book of Mark being fillfilled. Thus: And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.
So we see two very important things that work together. The baptism in Jesus' Name removes sins, and the baptism of Holy Ghost seals a man unto redemption. Both are of the utmost importance, yet one necessitates the other.
It is stated in the verses found in Luke 24:45-47 that Jesus opened the disciples' understanding. It was necessary that their understanding be opened, and many today need this same operation that they may understand the scriptures.
Then said Jesus unto them, "Thus it is written, and thus it behooved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day". The disciples had their understanding opened so that they could grasp the vast importance of the facts concerning the death of Christ. Then in verse 47, we find the commission given in the words of the apostles telling what Jesus said "And the repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations" (Jews and Gentile), "beginning at Jerusalem".
Peter was one of those to whom Jesus had spoken and whose understanding had also been opened. After having listened to these instructions, he, a few days later, inspired by the Holy Ghost, began to teach and preach and continued until hearts were pierced and the hearers, feeling condemned, said unto Peter and the other apostles, "Men and brethren, what shall we do?" Peter did not hesitate but boldly gave the prescription, "REPENT, AND BE BAPTIZED IN THE NAME OF JESUS CHRIST FOR THE REMISSION OF SINS, AND YE SHALL RECEIVE THE GIFT OF THE HOLY GHOST", Acts 2:38. Then they gladly received his work and were baptized, and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls. (Acts 2:47).
Some say that the reason Peter commanded them to be baptized thus was that they were Jews and that baptism was to make them acknowledge Jesus Christ. Let us go to the house of Cornelius with Peter eight years later. Cornelius and his household were Gentiles, and here again we find Peter commanding them to be baptized in the Name of the Lord. Acts 10:47-48. If Peter was wrong on the day of Pentecost, he surely had ample time to be corrected before he went to the house of Cornelius.
Was Peter wrong on the day of Pentecost? Let us notice that the time when they were pricked in their hearts "they said to Peter and to the rest of the apostles, what shall we do?" Matthew was there when Peter standing up with the eleven and telling them to baptize in Jesus Name, yet we do not find Matthew correcting him. Matthew surely would have spoken up if Peter had disobeyed the Lord.
"Then Phillip went down to the city of Samaria" (these people were not Jews, but Samaritans), "and preached Christ unto them". "But when they believed Phillip preaching the things concerning the Kingdom of God, and the Name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women". How? "In the Name of the Lord Jesus". Read Acts 8:8-16.
Some may ask what was wrong with John's baptism. John's baptism was right for the dispensation to which it belonged, but the dispensation had changed and the church age had begun.
Let us see what happened to Paul, the apostle to the Gentiles, when he went to Ephesus twenty-one years after Pentecost. There he found some of John's disciples and "he said unto them, have you 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. And he said unto them, unto what then were ye baptized? And they said, unto John's baptism. Then said Paul, John verily baptized with the baptism of repentance saying unto the people, that they should believe on him which come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus. When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus". Acts 19:1-5.
We do not believe that Paul changed the formula or mode of baptism when he baptized Lydia and her household. Acts 16:14-15. We have the account of the Philippians jailer in Acts 16:30, where he came trembling and fell down before Paul and Silas, saying, "Sirs, what must I do to be saved? And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved and thy house. And he took them the same hour of the night and washed their stripes; and was baptized, he and all his, straightway".
How can we doubt that Paul baptized these using the same mode and formula that he had used before, that is, by immersion in the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Paul was not with the apostles when Jesus gave his final instructions to them in Matthew 28:19 and in Mark 16:16, yet we find Paul baptized in the Name of the Lord Jesus. From whom did he receive this revelation?
Let us note that Paul's Gospel is not a tradition from the other apostles, but it is a revelation. "For I certify you, brethren, that the Gospel which was preached of me is not after man. For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by revelation of Jesus Christ". Galatians 1:11-12.
Paul was chosen to bear Jesus Name to the Gentiles, and he wrote fourteen Epistles to the church. To this Apostle, God revealed the mystery of the church "Which in other ages was not made known to the sons of men, as it is now revealed unto his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit". Ephesians 3:5. Paul claimed to have divine authority: "If any man think himself to be a prophet, or spiritual, let him acknowledge that the things that I write unto you are the commandments of the Lord". I Corinthians 14:37.
Why did Paul write, "And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord~ Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him". Colossians 3:17. Whatever baptism is done both in word or in deed. We cannot afford to overlook this command to the church. "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". Ephesians 3:14-15.
We must read the Acts of the Apostles, and the Ephistles of Paul to learn what the apostles taught and practiced after the Holy Ghost came.
"We are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief cornerstone". Ephesians 2:20. The apostles not only preached baptism in Jesus' Name, but they practiced it. Nowhere can we find that they baptized using the words "in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost". We find them baptizing in the name of Jesus Christ, they fulfilled the command of the Lord in Matthew 28:19.
Paul said, "But though we, or angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed". Galatians 1:8-9.
Let this be a solemn warning. Some say that they will accept the words of Jesus Christ in Matthew 28:19, but not those of Peter in Acts 2:38? Was that Peter speaking on the day of Pentecost or was it the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven. (1 Peter 1:12).
Remember Paul said, "We are built on the foundation of the Apostles and the Prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief cornerstone". Peter was one of the Apostles.
In 2 Peter 3:2; we are exhorted to heed the words of the holy prophets and the commandment of the apostles, and the apostle Peter commanded baptism in the Name of Jesus Christ.
In Mark 7:7, Jesus said, "Laying aside the commandment of God ye hold the tradition of man". History tells us that it was not until the year 325 A.D. that both method and formula of baptism in the Name of Jesus Christ was changed.
"Simeon hath declared how God at the first did visit the Gentiles to take out of them a people for his Name. And to this agree the words of the prophet". Acts 15:14- 15. Jesus Christ is the head of the body which is the church. (Colosians 1:18). Then why should we not baptize in his name? There is no other name for His church. "And they see his face and His Name shall be in their foreheads". Revelation 22:4.
Let us therefore search the scriptures with an open heart remembering that Jesus said, "man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God". Matthew 4:4.