Some of the most joyful moments in my life include the day 30 years ago that I married my high school sweetheart, the three days that each of my children were born, the day my first child got married and the day my grandson was born. If you can remember the joy you felt when you passed these same milestones, you might take offense when I tell you there was a pivotal moment in my life that brought me even more joy than these.
When I was a Junior in high school, I began to date the boy who later became my husband. His Pastor taught us a twelve week Bible study, during which I was introduced to Jesus and the New Testament plan of salvation. Repentance, Baptism in Jesus’ name, and the infilling of the Holy Ghost, according to Acts 2:38.
Don’t get me wrong; I wasn’t unchurched. From the ages of four through seven, I had attended a Baptist church. From then until age seventeen, my family attended a United Methodist church. I also had a precious Episcopal grandmother who I often went to church with. All of this church background fostered a great longing in me to know Jesus, for which I will be forever grateful, but I never met Him in a trinitarian church.
Once in junior high, I went to church with a friend. Her family talked to me about my hunger to know Jesus and my need to be baptized. I allowed their preacher to put me under the water in the titles, Father, Son and Holy Ghost. I don’t have any memory of the actual baptism. I only remember standing in front of the congregation with my hair still wet. Everyone was so excited for me, giving me hugs and words of affirmation. That part felt good, but I didn’t feel any different inside…I definitely didn’t meet Jesus that day.
During the course of the Bible study, I saw my need to be baptized in Jesus’ name. I saw that it was invoking the actual name of Jesus that would remit my sins, not simply referring to His titles -Father, Son and Holy Ghost, as with my previous baptism.
At the completion of the study, I presented myself to be baptized again, but this time was different. The Man of God said the words, “I now baptize you in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, for the remission of your sins, and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. One second to go down, one second under the water, and one second to realize I was cleansed by the blood of Jesus.
I remember every nanosecond. I felt exactly when the chains of sin fell from me while I was still under the water, literally suspended between Heaven and Earth. Weightless, and surrounded by heavenly light. I remember wishing that feeling would last longer. Perhaps that is what a redeemed soul feels like that has been set free of earthly bonds.
Pictured, is the exact moment when I realized my sins were washed away. I want you to take a good look. This was the moment that altered my life forever. Receiving the baptism of the Holy Ghost is absolutely essential to salvation, as well, but this was the dividing line. The moment I took on the name of Jesus in baptism.
“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.” (John 3:5)
Many people receive the Holy Ghost, and never let Him lead them into all Truth. If you prescribe to the trinitarian doctrine, you most likely have never been baptized in the saving name of Jesus Christ. Jesus’ name baptism is the dividing line between Truth and error.Jesus' name baptism is the dividing line between Truth and error. Click To Tweet
When Lazarus died, Jesus told his disciples, “And I am glad for your sakes that I was not there, to the intent ye may believe; nevertheless let us go unto him.” (John 11:15)
I imagine Him saying the same thing to me concerning my first baptism in the titles… “And I am glad for your sakes that I was not there, to the intent ye may believe…”
I regret ever being baptized in the titles, but I’m glad for the insight it gave me. There is most definitely a difference.
I humbly ask you to prayerfully consider being baptized in the only saving name of Jesus Christ for the remission of your sins. I also invite you to share your story of being baptized in Jesus’ name in the comments.
Warm Regards, -Pat Vick
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