In Jesus’ final instructions to His disciples, He commanded them to go into all the world and baptize converts to Christianity. He also expected the disciples to teach these converts all the doctrine that He had entrusted to them for the three and one-half years that He had mentored them.
Although there are many scriptures on baptism in the Bible, two are used most frequently to teach from. The first, Matthew 28:19, is most often referred to by trinitarians, and Acts 2:38 is most often referred to by Oneness believers.
Knowing that the Bible is the infallible Word of God, and without contradiction, let’s take a look at BOTH to see how they COMPLIMENT one another.
18 “And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.”
19 “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:”
20 “Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.”
“Then Peter said unto them, 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)
A FEW OBSERVATIONS:
1. Matthew 28:19 is spoken by Jesus. (Notice the red letters.)
2. Matthew 28:19 mentions titles.
3. Acts 2:38 was spoken by Peter.
4. Acts 2.38 mentions a specific name, Jesus.
How can both of these baptismal formulas be correct? I have heard people say, “Well, I’m going to use the formula that Jesus said to use.”
I COULDN’T AGREE MORE!!!
Does that mean that Peter and the rest of the Apostles disobeyed Jesus’ command, and baptized new converts incorrectly after He ascended back into Heaven?
Does it mean that every baptism that is recorded in the Book of the Acts of the Apostles is heresy?
Does it mean that for 229 years, from Jesus’ death, burial and resurrection in 33AD until 325AD, the Apostles were using an ineffective baptism formula, and baptizing people wrong by calling the name of Jesus Christ over them, as they put them under the water?
It should be noted here that it was at the Council of Nicea in 325AD that the Roman Catholic Church decreed that to baptize in Jesus’ name was anathema (a curse). Before this time, the early Church always baptized in Jesus’ name.
Could it mean that when the Apostles baptized new converts by calling on the name of Jesus Christ, that they were actually FULFILLING Jesus’ commandment in Matthew 28:19 by invoking the ACTUAL NAME of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost?
Could it be that Jesus was expecting the Apostles to do what He said, and not just say what He said when they baptized? (Stop. Read that statement again and think about it for as long as it takes to sink in. Selah.)
Could it be that Jesus felt confident that the Apostles understood that He was speaking of Himself?
Could it be they knew JESUS was the NAME of the Father, Son and Holy Ghost?
Could it be that they called on Jesus’ name in baptism because they understood that His name is the only name that has the power to remit sins?
Could it be that Oneness Apostolic Pentecostals have been doing it right all along?
“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)
So, I’ll ask you again…How were you baptized?
…It matters, you know.
Warm Regards, -Pat
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