Beginning the Christian Life - 8 - Baptism Continued
Scripture reading: Acts 2:22-42
7. WHY DID THE APOSTLES BAPTIZED IN THE NAME OF THE LORD JESUS CHRIST?
Our Lord has commissioned His disciples to baptize "in the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit". (Matthew 28:19). They obeyed and fulfilled His command by baptizing "in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ". To say this is unimportant, and it doesn't matter how we baptized, is to ignore and miss the vital truth revealed to the apostles for our blessing, protection, and growth. There was a reason for the apostolic action.
A) Our Lord had promised his disciples there would be new and more complete revelation.
John 16:12,13 - - "I have ye MANY THINGS to say unto you, but YE CANNOT BEAT THEM NOW. Howbeit when He, the Spirit of truth is come, He will guide you into all truth..."
John 14:26 - -"But the comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name , HE SHALL TEACH YOU ALL THINGS, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you."
When Jesus states, "I have yet many things to say to you", He clearly shows that the later revelations (which was going to be deposited in written form in Acts, the epistles, and the book of Revelation) was His own work." Therefore, the manner in which the disciples baptized, was the result of the promised revelation of Jesus Christ through the newly given Holy Spirit. We do despite to God's will and purpose in revelation if we treat this lightly or carelessly. We would not need to labour this point if men had not chosen to ignore the progress of revelation as promised by our Lord, and decided to make THEIR choice as to how to baptize. We quote from the Dictionary of the Apostolic Church, Vol.2 page 73.
"The practice of baptizing into the name of Jesus continued into the 3rd century, when Pope Stephen, in opposition to Cyprian and the Apostolic Canons, declared such baptism to be invalid."
B) Our Lord had said "NAME" not "NAMES" of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
B-a) What is God's Name in the Old Testament? The name of God was considered too holy to be uttered by the people of God in the Old Testament. We know this translated name id Jehovah. However, the Israelites substituted for it the word Lord (adonai). The American Standard Version (which we believe to be the best translation) translated the "Incommunicable name" Jehovah, instead of following the practice of using "Lord". God has many descriptive titles, but there is no question as to His name.
Exodus 6:2,3 - - "And God spake unto Moses, and said unto him, I am JEHOVAH and I appeared unto Abraham, unto Isaac, and unto Jacob, as God Almighty; but by MY NAME JEHOVAH I was not known to them."
Psalm 83:18 - -"That they may know that thou, WHOSE NAME ALONE IS JEHOVAH, art the Most High over all the earth."
Isaiah 42:8 - - "I am JEHOVAH, THAT IS MY NAME and my glory will I not give to another, neither my praise unto graven images."
Isaiah 47:8 - - "Our Redeemer, JEHOVAH of hosts IS HIS NAME, the Holy One of Israel."
B-b) The revelation of God in Christ Jesus Christ was "God manifest in the flesh" (1 Timothy 3:16). The writer to the Hebrews tells us, that the God of the Old Testament was the "God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake IN THE PAST unto the fathers by the prophets, but "hath in THESE LAST DAYS spoken unto us by HIS SONE (Literally: in SON), "Who hath by inheritance OBTAINED A MORE EXCELLENT NAME than the angels" (Hebrews 1:1,2,4). The name "Lord" which the Old Testament saints had used for Jehovah, was not given to Jesus Christ. This indicates that "GOD WAS IN CHRIST" (2 Corinthians 5:19)
Matthew 1:21 - - "And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS (which means 'Jehovah is salvation'); for he shall save his people from their sins."
Matthew 1:23 - - "Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name EMMANUEL, which being interpreted is GOD WITH US."
On the day of Pentecost, Peter under the inspiration of the newly outpoured Holy Spirit, clearly stated, that in His resurrection and ascension, Jesus Christ had entered into the fullness of the meaning and intent of His Name.
Acts 2:36 - -"Therefore let all the house of Israel KNOW ASSUREDLY that God hath made that same Jesus, both Lord and Christ.
"The Lord Jesus Christ did not command His disciples to baptize in the Names (plural) of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, but in the Name (singular) of each and all of "the Persons" - "Father, Son, and Holy Spirit" in the Trinity of God."
The Spirit of Truth - according to the Scriptures - revealed to those apostles and disciples and to the church at the beginning the fact that the "NAME" of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit is the name Lord. "Therefore, the redemptive Name of God according to revelation is "The Lord, Jesus Christ."
Colossians 2:9 (amp) - -"In Him the whole fullness of deity (the Godhead), continues to dwell in Bodily form - giving complete expression of the divine nature.
WEYMOUTH - - "For it is in Christ that the fullness of God's nature dwells Embodied."
MOFF. - - "It is in Christ that the Entire fullness of deity has settled bodily."
Colossians 1:15, 19 (amp.) - -"He is the EXACT LIKENESS of the unseen God the visible representation of the invisible ... for it hath pleased (the father) that ALL THE DIVINE FULLNESS - the Sum total of the divine perfection, powers and attributes - should dwell in Him permanently.
B-c) "Father, Son and Holy Spirit are not names; they are titles describing the office work of each Person of the Godhead.
i) The Father has a Name: John 5:43 - -"I (Jesus) am come in My Father's Name.
ii) The Holy Spirit has a Name: John 14:26 - - "The Holy Ghost whom the Father will send in my name."
iii) The Son has a name: Acts 2:36 - - "Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made that same Jesus, both Lord and Christ.
C) It is the only name that saves.
Acts 4:12 - -"neither is there salvation in any other; for THERE IS NONE OTHER NAME UNDER HEAVEN given among men, whereby we must be saved.
WEYMOUTH - -"And in no other is the great salvation to be found; for in fact, THERE is NO SECOND NAME under Heaven that has been given among men through which we are to be saved."
D) We are baptized into Jesus Christ.
Romans 6:3 - - "KNOW YE NOT, that so many of us as were BAPTIZED into JESUS CHRIST were baptized into His death?"
8. WHAT IS REQUIRED TO QUALIFY FOR BAPTISM?
A)Hearing and heeding the word
Acts 2:41 - - "Then they that GLADLY RECEIVED HIS WORD WERE BAPTIZED..."
Acts 16:14,15 - - "A certain woman named Lydia...whose heart the Lord opened that she ATTENDED UNTO THIS THINGS THAT WERE SPOKEN OF PAUL...she was BAPTIZED..."
Acts 19:5 - - "WHEN THEY HEARD THIS, they were BAPTIZED"
Acts 2:37 - - "Now when they heard this, they were PRICKED IN THEIR HEARTS and said...men and brethren what shall we do? vs.38-"Repent and be BAPTIZED.
Acts 2:38 - -"REPENT and be BAPTIZED every one of you...."
Mark 16:16 - - "He that BELIEVETH and is BAPTIZED shall be saved..."
Acts 8:12 - - "But when they BELIEVED Philip preaching the things concerning the kingdom of God, and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women."
Acts 8:37 - - "See here is water; what doth hinder me to be BAPTIZED? And Philip said, if thou BELIEVES, with all thine heart, thou mayest..."
Acts 16:31,33 - - "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 house, straightaway."
Acts 9:6 - -"And he trembling and astonished said, Lord, WHAT WILT THOU HAVE ME DO? And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the city, and it shall be told thee what thou must do" vs 18-"......was BAPTIZED."
9.WHEN WERE PEOPLE BAPTIZED IN NEW TESTAMENT TIMES?
A) The same day
Acts 2:41 - -"Then they that gladly received his work were BAPTIZED: and the Same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls."
B) When they Believed
Acts 8:12 - -"WHEN THEY BELIEVED...they were BAPTIZED"
Acts 8:37,38 - - "And Philip said, If thou Believes with all thy heart thou mayest (be baptized). And he answered and said, I BELIEVE that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. And he commanded the chariot to stand still; and they went down into the water...and he BAPTIZED him."
Acts 18:8 - - "many of the Corinthians hearing BELIEVED and were baptized."
C) The same hour
Acts 16:33 - -"And he took them THE SAME HOUR of the night and washed their stripes; and was BAPTIZED< and he and all his, STRAIGHTAWAY (immediately).