Posts Tagged ‘baptism’


Salvation: The Bottom Line

Sunday, February 17th, 2013

©2012 Stan Hallett

There are some of us that just want to get to the point without having to read a book to find out what some refer to as the “bottom line”.

“What do I have to do to be saved?” A direct and simple question. The direct and simple answer is that you need to first believe that Jesus was and is the Christ, and that He was God manifested in the flesh, and is indeed the Savior. For Jesus said; for if ye believe not that I am he, ye shall die in your sins.– (John 8:24)

Then you simply need to obey the Gospel;

“The Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, in flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ” – (2 Thessalonians 1:7,8)

The plain Gospel is stated in 1 Corinthians 15:1-4

1* ¶ Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand;
2* By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain.
3* For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures;
4* And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:

The Gospel or “Good News” is the Jesus died, was buried and rose again. So the obvious question is: “How do we obey what only appears to be an historical event?”

Peter told us how in Acts 2:38 where he said to:

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 (Luke 11:13) of the Holy Ghost.”

God did not ask us to be crucified as He was and die as He did.  He asks us to die to ourselves through repentance.  He does not ask us to be buried in a tomb as He was, but rather be buried with Him in the waters of baptism for the remission of sins. Then He promises that same Spirit that rose Jesus up on the third day would be given to us in the baptism of the Holy Ghost.

Repentance = Death  (A simple and sincere turning away from sin).

Baptism = Burial  (by immersion and in the name of Jesus. – Acts 2:38, Acts 8:16, Acts 19:50).

Holy Ghost = Resurrection  (with the evidence of speaking with other tongues as the Spirit gives the utterance – Acts 2:4, Acts 10:44-46, Acts 19:6).

This is the only way that you can be saved. “Accepting Jesus as your personal Savior ” or saying a “sinners prayer”, or “joining a Church” is no where to be found in God’s Word.

Jesus said; Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God – (John 3:3). Then He clarified; Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God – (John 3:5).

This is what is referred to at the New Birth. When we repent and are baptized by immersion in water in the Name of Jesus our sins are remitted or washed away (Acts 2:38). Therefore when we come up out of the water it is like a new birth in the flesh in the sense that we are now sinless, and truly have a new beginning or birth.

A baptism reciting Matthew 28:19 (Father, Son, and Holy Ghost) is not valid.  Father, Son, and Holy Ghost are titles, and not names. The Apostles knew what the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost was and they obeyed it. They baptized only in the name of Jesus.

Colossians 3:17 says “And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus…”.  This includes baptism!

Then when God fills us with His Spirit which is evidenced by a heavenly language that flows from out lips as the Holy Ghost gives the utterance or ability (Acts 2:4), we then then being born of the Spirit as well. We then become a child of God, our name in written in the Book of Life (Revelation 20:15).  Now that same Spirit that raised Jesus from the dead, resides in us, which will raise our mortal bodies (Romans 8:11) when Jesus returns for His Church.

Do you have questions?  Feel free to write to me via my contact form.

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Why We Must Be Baptized in the NAME of the FATHER, SON, and HOLY GHOST

Monday, January 21st, 2013

© 2013 Stan Hallett

“Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father , and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost” (Matthew 28:19).

baptismThe Bible commands and teaches the necessity of water baptism for the New Testament Church (John 3:3, John 3:5, Acts 2:38, 1 Peter 3:20,21), so it is our responsibility to obey this commandment. One day each of us will account for our lives. Since we have God’s Word, ignorance will not be an acceptable excuse on that day.

The Necessity of Water Baptism

Is water baptism a necessary part of the salvation experience of the New Testament? People have various ideas about water baptism that we cannot always trust. We need to depend upon the Word of God as our source of instruction.

Jesus gave us some insight as to the importance of water baptism in John 3:5: “Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the Kingdom of God.” Both the context of that statement and the subsequent practice of the New Testament church indicate that He was speaking of water baptism and the baptism of the Holy Spirit.

If in Matthew 28:19, Jesus gave the apostles and us a direct command to go, teach, and baptize converts. Then since He gave this command, baptism is important and necessary.

The Name of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost

If Jesus instructed us to baptize “in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost”. In other words, He told us to baptize in the name (singular) that fully reveals God in His redemptive manifestation and work.

Father, Son and Holy Ghost are titles and not names. I am a father and I am also a son and I also have a spirit. All that refers to who I am, but none of that is my name. What is the name?

The name given to the Son of God was Jesus. “And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins” (Matthew 1:21).

Jesus was a genuine human being, born by the miraculous work of God’s Spirit in the womb of a virgin, and thus He was literally the Son of God (Luke 1:35). He was more than a man however, He was actually the one God manifested in the flesh (Colossians 2:9; I Timothy 3:17). He was the visible image of the invisible God (Colossians 1:15).

As such Jesus declared, “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 5:43). In other words, the Father is made known to us by the name of Jesus. The Father, the one true invisible God, gave His name to the Son (the manifestation of God in flesh), thus the Son received His name by inheritance (Hebrews 1:4).

The name Jesus literally means “Jehovah Savior.” Jehovah was the unique name by which the one true God identified Himself to Israel in the Old Testament. The name Jesus describes the one God of the Old Testament coming in flesh to be our Savior. Thus the name of Jesus reveals both the Father and the Son.

What about the Holy Ghost? What name reveals God in His spiritual essence and action? Jesus said, “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” (John 14:26). In other words, the Holy Spirit comes to us in the name of Jesus. The Holy Spirit does not come to us with a separate identity but is the Spirit of Jesus. Jesus Himself comes to dwell within us Spiritually (John 14:16-18; Colossians 1:27).

In short, the supreme name that reveals God, the name by which we know the Father, Son and Holy Ghost is Jesus. By invoking the name of Jesus, then, we would fulfill the command of Matthew 28:19.

The Importance of the Name of Jesus

Many passages of scripture emphasize the importance and supremacy of the name of Jesus. “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).

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

“To him give all the prophets witness, that through His name whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins” (Acts 10:43).

“Being made so much better than the angels, as he hath by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they” (Hebrews 1:4).

“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 the 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).

“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). If we are to do all things in the Name of Jesus, why would baptism be in any other way?

The Practice of the Early Church

How did the apostles obey the command that Jesus gave to them in Matthew 28:19? On the Day of Pentecost, sinners asked the question, “Men and brethren, what shall we do?” (Acts 2:37). The apostle Peter gave them the answer: “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 2:38). This verse reveals that the apostles baptized in the name of Jesus Christ and that baptism is for the remission of sins.

When Saul (later known as Paul) repented, Ananias instructed him, “And now why tarriest thou? Arise and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord”.

What is the name of the Lord?

Just a few days earlier, Paul had asked the same question: “Who art thou, Lord? And the Lord said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest” (Acts 9:5). Paul later wrote, “No man can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost” (1 Corinthians 12:3).

Jesus revealed Himself to Paul as the Lord (Acts 9:3-8). Paul knew about the Lord God of the Old Testament, but at that time he did not serve the Jesus of the New Testament. But he learned that the Lord of the Old Testament was the same Lord of the New Testament, and to his amazement this one Lord was Jesus.

The Bible clearly indicates that there is but one Lord, and not only one Lord, but one faith, and not only one faith but one baptism (Ephesians 4:5). When Philip preached the gospel in Samaria, those who believed “were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus” (Acts 8:16).

When a group of Gentiles received the Holy Spirit, Peter asked, “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 10:47-48). As we have just seen, the name of the Lord is Jesus. Moreover, as translations such as the Amplified Bible and the New International Version (Acts 10:47-48 NIV) indicate, the oldest Greek manuscripts we now have actually state here, “in the name of Jesus Christ”.

Paul re-baptized the disciples of John at Ephesus in the name of Jesus. “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 should come after him, that is on Christ Jesus. When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus” (Acts 19:3-5).

The Command of Matthew 28:19

Clearly the early church baptized everyone (Jews, Samaritans, and Gentiles) in the name of Jesus. How does this practice harmonize with Matthew 28:19? First, Matthew 28:19 says “in the name” (singular) not “in the names” or “in the titles or offices of God.” The name that Matthew 28:19 describes is Jesus. So the apostles correctly understood and baptized converts in the name of Jesus.

The Bible does not tell us that we have life through the titles of Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, but it tells us we have life through the name of Jesus. “But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through His name” (John 20:31).

The Bible does not say that we are baptized into three different persons, but it says we are “baptized into Jesus Christ” (Romans 6:3-4). Specifically, we are “buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead” (Colossians 2:12).

Conclusion

As it is written in the King James version, shortly before His ascension Jesus gave the baptismal command found in Matthew 28:19 to the apostles. According to Luke 24:45, He also opened their understanding. A few days after His ascension He baptized 120 waiting disciples with His Holy Spirit on the Day of Pentecost. On this occasion the apostles proclaimed to the multitude that everyone should be baptized in the name of Jesus (Acts 2:38).

The apostles understood that Jesus was the redemptive name of the Father, Son, and the Holy Ghost. They did not merely repeat those three titles (as many denominations do today), but rather they invoked the name to which those titles referred. The other preachers in the New Testament Church, such as Philip, Ananias, and Paul, adhered to the same baptismal formula.

There are no contradictions in the Word of God as it was inspired by God and written by the apostles and patriarchs. The New Testament teaches that we must be baptized “in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost”, and that name is Jesus.

Colossians 3:17 says “…whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus…”. If we are directed to do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, why would we baptize in any other way?

Then consider this; in John 14:6 Jesus was speaking of the Father, so in John 14:8 Phillip said to Jesus; “Lord, shew us the Father, and it sufficeth us.” To which Jesus replied in John 14:9; “Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Shew us the Father?”

It is easy to understand if in fact you have the revelation that God is one, and not three. Who Jesus is and was is a revelation from God. “There is one Lord and His Name One” (Ephesians 4:5)!

“And the LORD shall be king over all the earth: in that day shall there be one LORD, and his name one” (Zechariah 14:9).

Do you have questions?  Feel free to write to me via my contact form.

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