Believe it or Not Print E-mail

by: Bishop Samuel Smith

Almost twenty centuries after the founding of the Christian Church, there is much confusion over the correct method of water baptism. The “last message” preached by Jesus was a command to baptize all nations. (St. Matthew 28:19) The “first message” preached by the Apostles resulted in a command for everyone to be baptized. (Acts 2:38) Baptism is important and should be administered according to scripture.

JESUS TAUGHT, “That repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.” (St. Luke 24:47)

PETER OBEYED, “Repent, and be baptized everyone of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins.” (Acts 2:38)

SAMARITANS, “…only they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.” (Acts 8:16)

GENTILES, “And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord.” (Acts 10:48)

PAUL RE-BAPTIZED THE EPHESIANS, “When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.” (Acts 19:5)

NO OTHER NAME FOR SALVATION, “…for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12)

EVERYTHING DONE IN JESUS’ NAME, “Whatsoever you do in word or in deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus.” (Colossians 3:17)

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.
The Apostles knew the name of the son was “Jesus.” (St. Matthew 1:21) They knew that the Son came in the Father’s name. (St. John 5:43) They also knew that the Holy Ghost was the Spirit of Christ, and would come in “Jesus” name. (St. John 14:26)

The name “Jesus” means “Jehovah Salvation.” (Faussets Bible Encyclopedia Page 359)

Historical references confirm that the early Christians understood plainly the doctrine of water baptism relative to the name of “Jesus!”

Britannica Encyclopedia, volume 3, page 82 – “Everywhere in the oldest sources it states that baptism took place in the name of Jesus Christ.”

Canney Encyclopedia of Religion, page 53 – “The early church always baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.”

Hastings Encyclopedia of Religion, volume 2, page 377 – “Christian baptism was administered using the words, ‘In the name of Jesus.”

Hastings Encyclopedia of Religion, volume 2, page 377 on 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. ‘Ye are Christ’s.”

The scriptures and historical references set forth in this article are worthy of the reader’s prayerful consideration. It is in order here to repeat the question that Paul asked the believers in Ephesus, “Unto what then were ye baptized?”

Regardless of one’s attachment to tradition, we all stand before God on the solitary merit of our obedience to his Word.

 
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