I remember hearing the preacher(s) say endlessly, especially at camp meetings, revivals, and extra special services, “If you got baptized in the titles (slang for Trinitarian views, Father, Son and Holy Ghost) you just got wet.” The belief was that you had to be re-baptized using the correct baptismal formula, or your faith was of no use. And, this, of course, revolves around the theological question of whether or not Baptism is essential to be a believer, a Christian, and to be saved.
And, this also stems from the Biblical example in Acts 19:1-5 where Paul asked some disciples if they had received God’s spirit since they ‘believed’ (more on this later), and since they had not heard of the Holy Spirit, Paul asked how they had been baptized. When they responded ‘Unto John’s baptism’, Paul rebaptized the disciples. What does this example mean?
I emphasize example in the preceding paragraph because it is a phrase often used by fundamentalists to prove a doctrine or to enforce dogmatic beliefs, which seems ironic for those standing on the legs of literalism. Looking at Acts 19 shows us two things, that the ‘disciples’ were not Christians and that this does not prove rebaptizing is necessary.
It happened that while Apollos was in Corinth, Paul went through the upper [inland] districts and came down to Ephesus, and found some disciples. He asked them, “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed [in Jesus as the Christ]?” And they said, “No, we have not even heard that there is a Holy Spirit.” And he asked, “Into what then were you baptized?” They said, “Into John’s baptism.” Paul said, “John performed a baptism of repentance, continually telling the people to believe in Him who was coming after him, that is, [to confidently accept and joyfully believe] in Jesus [the Messiah and Savior].” After hearing this, they were baptized [again, this time] in the name of the Lord Jesus. – Acts 19:1-5 (AMP)
This verse is used continuously as an example text to fortify the belief that the method or formula with which someone is baptized (in Christian faith) determines the validity of the baptism. However, that seems to be taking this text out of context, for these Jews that Paul stumbled upon were not Christian converts, there were followers of John’s message of the Messiah to come. They had not experienced the Gospel.
Indeed, as most commentaries explain, it is believed that these Jewish disciples were in Jerusalem at the time of John the Baptists preaching, and perhaps death, but that they had not received further instructions in the faith after John’s death, during the time of Christ, or thereafter. Some scholars say this event in Acts 19 was 28 years after John the Baptist preached. Thus, when Paul gave them the Gospel, they were baptized into the family of Jesus Christ, finding the promise that they had only heard of from John.
Furthermore – had they heard of Christ, and the whole Gospel message, they would have known what the Holy Spirit was, further enforcing the truth that these ‘disciples’ were not Christians who had been unfortunately baptized incorrectly – they were technically still Jews waiting on the promise of Faith. They had been baptized to John, but John was not the Messiah, nor God. If you have been baptized unto God, that is what matters, not what words are uttered when it is done.
Origins of Baptism
To the Jews, the concept of cleansing by water is very familiar. As highlighted clearly in Leviticus and other Old Testament writings, ritual purification was necessary after defilement by things such as touching a corpse during funeral preparations. The Jews used natural water springs in what is called a Mikveh, to be cleansed. This purification was needed to take part in Temple ceremonies and was also required when someone converted to Judaism.
Cleansing was also required when entering into the presence of Kings and dignitaries. To be pure was a major part of the Jewish tradition, and thus, being a Jew, Jesus made a public show of baptism to ‘fulfill all righteousness’.
The Sikhs, founded 500 years ago also use Baptism as a ritual initiation, as well as Gnostic Mandaeanism which is an ancient religion found in Iran/Iraq. The link to these religions is that Baptism is always a method of cleansing and purification, but only Judaism used the process repeatedly in ritual. In Christianity, it is viewed as a ‘one-time’ confession of faith.
When it comes to baptism, however, Christianity, and Jesus, are seen as the originating factor for our understanding of Baptism. While Judaism has some similarities, Christian baptism is pretty unique in the idea that it washes away spiritual sins rather than physical impurities.
And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him: – Matthew 3:16
The one commonality in Christianity is that baptism is part of ones ‘conversion’, and while many denominations have different methods or forms of how they baptize, it is still a one-time event. Early Christianity would re-baptize if they felt that the participants original baptism was in error, but it was not for ritualized cleansing over and over again.
Some of the earliest breaks in Christendom where denominations branded baptism invalid was the Anabaptists, who decreed infant baptism was of no effect since the infant could not profess faith and had no sins to be cleansed.
There is also still much debate, as it was in the early first through third centuries, whether or not full immersion was required.
The Formula for Baptism
Some Christian denominations, such as the Oneness Pentecostal background I came from, see Baptism as both essential to salvation, and having a proper method or ritual formula for it to be effective. Other faiths see it as a declaration of individual faith, but not necessary to be saved, and others yet see it as necessary, but do not place emphasis on the formula.
As I started this article with, some believe that if you were baptized using the Matthew 28:19 formula, as most mainstream Churches practice, you just ‘got wet’, and are not a saved, born again Christian. At the very least, your sins have not been remitted and a proper baptism must take place.
This is because in the Book of Acts, most examples (there is that word again) of baptism seem to show the Apostles baptizing in the Name of Jesus, not in the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. The primary Scripture used to demonstrate the Oneness Pentecostal dogma of Baptism and the tripartite formula for salvation they believe is required can be found in Acts 2:38;
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, KJV
This is interpreted by some as to say; “One cannot be saved, and is not a born again Christian, unless and until, they have completed all three (tripartite formula) of these things, that they have repented of their sins (turned away from the world), have been baptized in Jesus Name (not the titles Father, Son and Holy Ghost) and have received the Gift of the Holy Ghost, evidenced by Speaking in Tongues.”
This example (of baptism) is continued throughout the book of Acts where we see followers baptized, such as Acts 16 and the Phillipian jailer. The Jailer asked, “What must I do to be saved?” Paul and Silas responded with, “And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.” (Verse 31).
Notice that Paul and Silas did not say to be baptised for salvation, but they did, after washing at the Jailers home, baptize him as a result of his faith.
And he took them the same hour of the night, and washed their stripes; and was baptized, he and all his, straightway. Verse 33, KJV
Yet, here, in Acts 16, there was no specified formula as some would suggest there is. Acts 2:38 said, “be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ…” and some say that unless you say those exact words, God will not honor the baptism. Yet, in Acts 16, we do not see that example.
We do however see it again in Acts 19, verse 5, “When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.”
So the question becomes, if Baptism is essential for salvation, does the formula in which you are baptized determine whether or not the baptism worked to forgive / remit your sins?
Father, Son & Holy Ghost, or Jesus Name?
Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations [help the people to learn of Me, believe in Me, and obey My words], baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, – Matthew 28:19, AMP
After hearing this, they were baptized [again, this time] in the name of the Lord Jesus. – Acts 19:5, AMP
So the question becomes, do we take the words of Jesus literally, or the examples that don’t always spell out the same formula, or realize the principle of what is being taught?
Look – most Christians agree on this: Jesus IS God. If you believe Jesus is God, and that the Father, Son and Holy Ghost are God, then they are One in the same. (I and my Father are one. John 10:30)
And if they are One, why would we, in extreme silliness, make a big deal out of whether or not you say, “I baptize you in the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost (Jesus)”, or, “I baptize you in the Name of Jesus (God, Father, Son & Holy Ghost)”, and to further claim whether or not it is salvific based on how you utter the phrase?
The typical response is, “There is power in the NAME. Not a Title. You don’t sign a check with FATHER, you put your NAME there.” And of course, this is true, but we aren’t talking about checks, we are talking about being baptized into the spiritual family of God’s Children, through His Son Jesus.
The Bible does say, “Whatever you do in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus” (Colossians 3:17). That means, whatever we do, it should be done in honor of Jesus, or in the Character of Jesus. This doesn’t mean that everytime you do the laundry, you say, “I do this laundry in Jesus Name”. Or when you wash your car, are we to spray the hose saying, “I wash this car in Jesus Name!”?
Of course not! And I know that is a silly statement, but it perfectly highlights what these Scriptures are, and are not saying. That is to say, they are NOT saying that you must incant the name of Jesus evertime you do something.
So what does it really mean?
That reminds me of a classic Oneness Pentecostal song we used to sing in Church, and every time the choir sang it, people would run the isles, jump up and down, spin in circles, clap, shout, worship would break out into a frenzy, because it is the dogma of their belief;
What does it really mean?
What is the name of the Father?
What is the name of the Son?
What is the name of the Holy Ghost?
JESUS JESUS JESUS
And I don’t say that in disrespect, if you want to get excited for Jesus, please do! But something is missing the mark with both this song, and the principle that we are talking about. If we aren’t walking around saying, “I do this in Jesus Name” for everything we do, we are either violating Colossians 3:17, or the real meaning is being revealed.
In all of these cases (examples), when the Scripture says, “In the name of…”, it really means, “In the authority, or character of”. That word ‘name‘ is translated from the Greek on’-om-ah, which means a “name”, but is expressed literally as authority, or character.
From a presumed derivative of the base of G1097 (compare G3685); a “name” (literally or figuratively), (authority, character): – called, (+ sur-) name (-d).
That means when it says, “In the name of Jesus Christ”, that what we are doing is to be done in His Authority alone, and as His Character would do. You COULD safely translate Colossians 3:17 this way;
“Whatever you do in word or deed, do everything the way Jesus would do it, and with His Authority”.
So do you want to know what the real Baptismal formula is? It is with faith, and humility, and dependence on Christ, and with His loving character, and under the Authority that only He has, are you baptized in Jesus Name, who is God, and one with the Father.
Say it how you would like to say it, because what matters is your FAITH, your Dependence, and HIS authority. No where in Scripture does it illustrate, “Baptize this way or be damned.” I fear some have turned Faith, and Baptism in to a magic spell that must be incanted perfectly, lest it fizzle or backfire. The Bible does NOT teach this, but it does say:
For it is by grace [God’s remarkable compassion and favor drawing you to Christ] that you have been saved [actually delivered from judgment and given eternal life] through faith. And this [salvation] is not of yourselves [not through your own effort], but it is the [undeserved, gracious] gift of God; 9 not as a result of [your] works [nor your attempts to keep the Law], so that no one will [be able to] boast or take credit in any way [for his salvation]. – Ephesians 2:8-9, AMP
As always, I look forward to your comments and to hear what you have to say about this topic! Please leave your comments below.
So do you also believe that Matthew 28:19 is not a literal formula, but rather means in the authority…of the tiles. The issue I’ve found on the trinitarian side is that they say in the name of Jesus references in Acts aren’t literal but mean under the authority of, but when it comes to Marthew 28:19, they leave no space for that to be interpreted in the authority of. To me, the logic is inconsistent. I feel like both camps (trinitarians and OP) allow no wiggle room in these formulas.
Hi Latisha, I do not believe water baptism is an act of salvation, rather it is a symbol that you do in professing faith. Thus, there is no formula, either way to me, as representing the same One God is equally effective.
Jesus said ” He that believes on me and is baptized shall be saved.” Ephesians 2 says there is only one baptism. John the Baptist said in Matthew 11: “I baptize you with water unto repentance…but he (Jesus) that comes after will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire.”
In Acts 2, they WERE Baptized with the Spirit, but none of the Apostles or upper room Disciples are recorded to have been water baptized.
We are sealed with the Spirit. Rituals are of no effect except for symbolism.
In 1 Corinthians 1:14-17 the Apostle Paul writes, “I thank God that I baptized none of you, but Crispus and Gaius; Lest any should say that I had baptized in mine own name. And I baptized also the household of Stephanas: besides, I know not whether I baptized any other. For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel. . . .”
There are two observations that need to be made about these verses. First, Paul, who was the apostle to the gentiles (Romans 11:13) did indeed baptize. By his own words we know that he baptized Crispus and Gaius, and also those in the household of Stephanas. If the apostle to the gentiles baptized gentiles, who are we to say that it is not for the gentile church?
Secondly, the apostle did not disparage baptism, though at first glance he may appear to do so. He writes, “I thank God that I baptized none of you.” Then he also writes, “For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel.”
Paul was writing to a divided church. Several factions had developed that were following key personalities. Paul did not want to encourage anyone to follow any church leader or teacher. Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 1:12, “Now this I say, that every one of you saith, I am of Paul; and I of Apollos; and I of Cephas, and I of Christ. Is Christ divided? was Paul crucified for you? or were ye baptized in the name of Paul? I thank God that I baptized none of you. . . .” Paul is happy that he didn’t baptize too many people. If he had, he may have collected his own little clique of followers, something he did not want to do.
Jesus told His followers to make disciples of all nations, and to baptize them. And that’s what the early Christians did in the Book of Acts. Peter preached his message on Pentecost and exhorted his audience to repent and be baptized (Acts 2:38). Paul and Silas baptized the Philippian jailer and his household (Acts 16:33).
We should remember that in both Mt. 28:16-20 and in Acts 2:38, the apostles were not “Jews that became Christians”, but they were full Jews every whit. They were those that were not apostate, as the rest of the nation was, but they had seen and believed the truth of what all of Prophets had spoken. In Acts 2, they spoke to the whole house of Israel and said “Repent” (change your mind and your way of thinking concerning Jesus, Who God made both Lord and Christ, i.e. the promised Messiah and Redeemer of Israel, and Whom you crucified), and rather be baptized in His Name. It would have been no doubt to the audience what this baptism was about, considering Israel’s divine religion, as you stated several times, was very familiar with baptisms. It was a baptism of repentance for the remission of sins. Those who did not repent and submit to the baptism of John, showed that they did not believe, and therefore were still in rebellion against the covenant. Those who did not repent and submit to baptism when Peter spoke spoke when the day of Pentecost was fully come, were still in rebellion against the One Whom God had made both Lord and Christ.
We, as Gentile Christians who are strangers to the covenants of promise find our place in Christ alone. We are baptized into Jesus Christ, when we believe. We should not confuse this with a water ceremony, because it is not something that is done by a clergyman, but we are baptized by one Spirit into the one Body. There is one baptism according to Ephesians 4, and this is it.
The Baptists will argue that “baptism” always means “immersion”, so lets look at Romans 6:1-4, only changing “baptism” and related words to “immersion”:
“What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein? Know ye not, that so many of us as were immersed into Jesus Christ were immersed into His death? Therefore we are buried with Him by immersion into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.”
There is not a single drop of water in those verses, it is all about us being actually united to Christ and identified in His death, burial, and resurrection, when we believe the gospel that Christ died for our sins and rose again, and God gives to us the gift of His righteousness.
Then we are immersed in one body by one Spirit. (1 Corinthians 12:13).
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Absolutely Charles, I agree with you completely, and this is why John the Baptist said, ‘I baptize you with water into Repentance, but after me comes one who is more powerful than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you the Holy Spirit and fire.’
As a Baptist, let me stick my nose into the conversation for just a second. As a general rule, we do believe that baptism should be done by immersion, for that is the general understanding of “baptizo” and the common understanding of the term during the contextual period. However, I do believe that trying to justify other forms of baptism by switching out “baptized” with “immersion” in Romans 6:1-4 is flawed in the same way one might try to argue that Jesus isn’t the Bread of Life because He’s never been baked (unless, of course, you believe He spent time in hell before His resurrection, but that’s a Joyce Myer-like discussion for another day). Paul uses the word “baptized” in Romans 6:1-4 in the same way you and I might say we should be “all in.”
However, if you are a true Jesus-follower and think that getting baptized by a sprinkler means as much as getting dunked, then more power to ya… You’re probably wrong, but there’s still gonna be cookies for you in Heaven 😉
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Anthony, that’s awesome, I especially love the cookies!
In all seriousness, there is an interesting dichotomy in the conversation, and it is this: The Bible is very vague on the topic, and die hards, such as Oneness Pentecostals will fight tooth and nail to prove that it must be full immersion and that it must be with the spoken words, “In Jesus Name”, and yet these people are some of the most literally you will find. Which makes it interesting that they take such a hard stance on one of the most vague Biblical topics.
To futher complicate the dichotomy, someone will mention, as you did, rightly so, historic evidence and word understanding to teach on the subject, but then some will say you can’t use societal understand and history, you must only stand on what the Word says.
How then does one take a stand on something, strong enough to say ‘people who don’t do this are going to hell(ie Jesus Name Baptism), when the Word doesn’t make it clear?
I knew I would get some great feedback on this topic and I very much appreciate it!
So Ralph, do you not see water baptism as something that should be done in obedience to Christ? Or do you see it as a commandment but not salvational? For me personally, at this point in my journey, I believe if someone repents and sincerely gives their life to Christ, and then is hit by a truck, for example, they have full salvation. If this same person repents, reads the word, follows Christ, but refuses baptism, I question salvation because they are willfully disobeying a commandment. Or do you feel the commandment given in Matthew 28 was only to the house of Israel? Just curious. 6 months out of OP and thus issue isn’t quite settled with me,
Latisha, I see water baptism as something we do in faith, as a response to the Grace God gave us. I do not view it as a commandment that must be completed in order to be saved. From Acts 15 to Revelation, there isn’t anywhere the Bible says “You are justified by faith, oh and being Baptized.”
I also believe the baptism that does matter is the baptism of the Spirit, which we are sealed by. Again, as John said in Matthew 11, “I baptize with water, but Jesus will baptize with the spirit.”
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I’m dealing with many of the same Oneness issues that you describe, but baptism isn’t one of them. There is historical evidence that Matthew 28:19 was altered. If this is indeed the case, all scriptures referencing baptism leave no cause for debate
Vena, there is massive evidence that a large portion of the Bible has been modified. The KJV was written for a dictator king that wanted overt control of the church, which is why many themes of the Bible, such as ‘Obey them that have the rule over you…’ were written “Consider the lifestyle of those who have come before you and be convinced of their Faith’ are translated the way they are.
In fact, all evidence points to the story in John 8 about the adulteress is in no extent manuscripts. I take faith as my relationship with God not the exact papers in modified, reprinted and retranslated books. I of course study the Bible and do my best to live by it, but know how many modifications it has gone through caused me to not believe it is inerrent.
I agree. Our faith and relationship in Christ should not be based on historical records, but on his word. The scriptures are His commandments and expectations for us to follow.
Not being fluent in ancient Hebrew and Greek, nor having access to the original writings means I have to do my own research. I want to know exactly what God said, not what some preacher thinks He said. The Enemy will use whatever means possible to hinder the truth. Historical records are just a tool that I use to be convinced in my own mind.
Vena, I am of the opinion that I have to trust the Bible fully or not at all. If Matt 28:19 was altered, I John 5:7 was altered, Mark 16:16 not a part of original text, it begs the question what CAN you trust and going down that path woukd be counterproductive for me personally. My preference is still Jesus name baptism, but I don’t discount anyone else’s because I truly believe it comes Down to faith not formula! With that being said, my dilemma now in going to a trinitarian church is my daughter wanting to be baptized! My faith is not in a formula but I sure am conflicted on where I should get her baptized! My upbringing just makes the titles so difficult!
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LaTisha, I would say if your daughter wants to get Baptized, then her faith is what really counts and the ritual and formula doesn’t matter. The baptism is an enforcement of the faith she already has, for herself, not others.
I agree with you, LaTisha. This is why I stand behind baptism in Jesus Name. Matthew 28:19 is the only verse that says to baptize in the titles. If the apostles, who were with Jesus night and day for three years got it wrong, how can I believe anything else they have to say? I have to believe the New Testament writings are God’s words given to us or all of mankind is dead in their sins with no hope.
Vena… Peter lied three times. How can you trust anything he wrote? Of course, he wrote nothing, Luke wrote the book of Acts. Paul, in the book of Acts, called Peter a hypocrite and ‘withstood him face to face’. Do you not believe they ever got anything wrong?
I would like to add by saying:
“THE RIGHTEOUS SHALL LIVE BY FAITH.”
Genesis 15:6; Habakkuk 2:4; Romans 1:17; Galatians 3:11; Hebrews 10:38
To understand our salvation is to understand Abraham. God made Abraham a promise. It was a promise that was impossible for Abraham to accomplish. That is the way God works. He is the God of impossibility. Yet Abraham, “in hope against hope he believed… without becoming weak in faith… he did not waiver in unbelief but grew strong in faith” (Romans 4: 18, 19, 20). Abraham was fully assured that what God had promised, He was able to perform (verse 21).
Because of this faith, God credited Abraham as righteous (Genesis 15:6; Romans 4:3). This is a legal declaration. It was a gift by His grace. Before Abraham performed any righteous deeds before God, God declared him righteous by faith. Abraham was declared righteous before he received the command of circumcision too. The Jews erroneously believed that to be saved, a person had to be circumcised because it was commanded. Paul, however, explains that those of the same faith as Abraham are indeed children of God. God designed it this way so that both Jews and Gentiles could be united into one body. Baptism came long after Abraham’s declaration of righteousness.
Many today believe that we must become righteous by our own doing before we can be declared legally righteous by God or add to God’s promise, but that’s not biblical. God does the impossible for us for the glory of His own name. It is unbelief to trust in our own selves to save us. To believe we can be “good enough” or add to His work is to distrust God’s promise. It is to disbelieve God. Israel is our example. They sought to be saved by a law of righteousness caused by their unbelief in God’s promise and was instead cut off from God. Paul warns us that it can happen to us as well.
Grace has ALWAYS been the means by which a person is saved; from Adam to the last person who will ever walk this earth.
God sent His Son Jesus into the world to accomplish God’s promise for us. Jesus fulfilled the very purpose of God’s Law, perfectly, including the penalty of death. Then God resurrected Him from the grave three days later to prove the impossible. It’s a double imputation. Christ became sin for us and we receive His righteousness only by faith. We cannot accomplish this on our own but God being rich in mercy did it for us. God’s promise to us is Jesus. By faith in Jesus, God declares us legally righteous before Him.
Are you fully assured that what God promised through Jesus, He was able to perform? Or do you distrust His promise and rely on yourself to perform the impossible? We were all by nature children of wrath but God in His mercy caused us to be made alive from being dead in sin. A dead person is powerless to save them self. It is impossible. Faith is a gift given to us to exercise trust in His promise (Jesus finished work) and everything after this is fruit of that genuine faith. We aren’t baptized to be saved… we are saved (by grace) to repent and be baptized.
Nice post thank you for sharing this kind of post.
I totally agree with all that was said about Baptism. I to came out of a UPC church which later left the organization. ( Best thing)
It is about your genuine Faith In Jesus. When you truly Repented of your Sins, and gave your life to the Lord. TO make Him Lord
of your life.
This truly opened our eyes that there is One Body, and that we are part of the Believers in Christ. My family now attends a
Non Denominational Church , Which used to be Pentecostal. There are quite a few Ex UPC and Apostolic that are members there.
The Pastor knows where my Wife and I are coming from. In fact, He has a good friend who happens to be a UPC minister,and
My Pastor understands.
As for Latesha, and Vena, I agree with the dilemma of Baptism. My family were all Baptized in Jesus Name, I can understand
her dilemma. In regards to the saying or formula , I prefer in Jesus Name, Because this was Revealed to me.
( Bible class at a Catholic High School, assignment was to read John, and Acts, It was revealed to me and I felt the
need to find a church that Baptized in Jesus Name) . I do not discount ones Faith, and if they are baptized in the titles
formula that they are saved as well. It is there Faith as Ephesians points out,
The formula used divides and if we bicker and fight one another, then how on earth are the unbelievers going to be saved?
They see us all fighting among ourselves that they do not want any part of this. This is the enemies trick to divide the brethren.
Our faith is not in a formula or what is said as my Brother points out, All great points. We are all waiting for that blessed hope.
God Bless you all!
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Thanks, Bro God bless. Wish to hear more about the Word and your journey out of the UPC Willi
What does Peter lying 3 times have to do with anything or him being called a hypocrite? The scriptures are highlighting his humanity. This is same Peter who Jesus gave the keys to the kingdom of heaven to, would God allow his word to be wrong? Is he not all powerful and all knowing? The Bible even says that God would preserve his word (Psalms 12:6-7). To say that the Bible is wrong and Peter wrote things in error is asinine. Why would you follow and believe in something that is flawed? You are essentially saying that God is flawed. Holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost, all scripture is given in inspiration of God, so anything written was written with God’s permission. I think you have allowed your bad experience in the OP church to make you go off the deep end a little bit (with all due respect). I myself was in an Apostolic Pentecostal church and was a licensed minister in the UPCI, I have left and don’t agree with any of that false doctrine either but I do not doubt the word of God. What I have learned is that I cannot live my life in purposeful opposition to what I was taught just because I am not there anymore, that will lead me to err in God’s word etc. I have to follow the scriptures for what they are and have faith in Christ Jesus. I like what you are doing and hope you have success in reaching souls, but your comments are a little disturbing to be quote honest.
I agree also to a point Bro Chris. I also agree with the writer’s response as well. Myself and my Wife have been Baptized
in the name of Jesus. However would God reject our other Brothers in Christ who were not Baptitized in Jesus Name?
If you really want to get technical., one used the formula ” In the Name of Jesus Christ, another two used i” in the Name of the Lord, and In the name of the Lord Jesus, and one in Acts 16, I recall used a formula not mentioned.
I am not knocking the UPC brethren and sisters, of which I highly am still friends with, but I am also friends with those who are not in the organization but are with the AG faith. WE are all part of One BODY and Jesus Christ is the head. Those Whoever believeth that Jesus is The Christ is born of God, and every one that loveth him that begat loveth him also that is begotten of him. 1John 5 v 1
Praise God, love you guys both!
Hi William, I actually never questioned the article itself, I am actually in agreement. I don’t believe Acts 2:38 is salvation nor do I believe that baptism is necessary for salvation or washes away sins like the UPCI teaches, so I agree with you completely. The only thing I was questioning was the comment about Peter and the word of God not being inerrant. That i do not agree with. Not arguing or anything, just stating my opinion. Otherwise I think this blog is very helpful to those who were in cults like the UPCI or churches affiliated with it like I was.
All the best
Love you as well brother
[…] church followed the commandment of Christ in Matthew 28:19, which, as we discussed in the article Does how you are baptized matter? due to the meaning of ‘in the name of’, it means the same thing. They are all names […]
I would like to say first that I am NOT a UPC member. I also understand the spirit in which you present your views.There are churches that have controlling and abusive spirits. I commend you for what you are trying to do.
In some of your arguements you seem to through out the baby with the bath water.
For example you seem to think that the name Jesus is not really that important. I would hope that you at least pray in the only saving name that one can be saved.For an example of what “in the name of Jesus” means, we need only look at the story of the lame man’s healing in Acts 3. Jesus said to pray for the sick in His name (Mark 16:17-18), and Peter said the lame man was healed by the name of Jesus (Acts 4:10). How did this happen? Peter actually spoke the words, “in the name of Jesus Christ” (Acts 3:6). The name Jesus spoken in faith produced the result.
Also, I don’t think it’s right to tell people that they are not saved because they were not baptised right. That is God’s job. It is out job to just present the gospel. My little blog presents the flip side of the coin.
Thank you for allowing me to post.here is my blog:…
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I agree totally that there is power in the Name of Jesus and that there is Salvation in that Name! God bless you Bro! Till we wait for the blessed hope( Titus 2:13)
Good morning – and thank you for the comment.
I only want to address your comment, “seem to think that the name Jesus is not really that important.” which could not be farther from the truth, and I hope to NOT give that impression.
The name of Jesus is the revealed name of God, and scripture teaches us that those who ‘Believe on His name’, will be saved. The name is vital, and I’m supportive of Baptim’s being done in Jesus’ name.
My point and premise were, as you noted, only that when we dogmatize baptism and turn it into a seemingly magic ritual, we’ve lost the true purpose of Baptism. Take these two passages by way of example. Baptism is not what justifies, and we are truly justified before we are baptized, but being Baptized is just as important as was Circumcision.
 Is this blessing then only for the circumcised or also for the uncircumcised? For we say that faith was counted to Abraham as righteousness.  How then was it counted to him? Was it before or after he was circumcised? It was not after, but before he was circumcised. He received the sign [semeoin – ceremonial token] of circumcision as a seal [sphragis] of the righteousness that he had by faith while he was still uncircumcised.
“In him also you were circumcised with a circumcision made without hands, by putting off the body of the flesh, by the circumcision of Christ, having been buried with him in baptism”