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Old 01-10-2005, 10:32 AM
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Default Jesus Name water baptism

The Significance of the Name of Jesus in Water Baptism

by David K. Bernard

The Book of Acts establishes that the apostles and the
early church consistently baptized in the name of Jesus
Christ. This pattern is the norm for the church today.
It is our responsibility to obey the commands and
examples of the Bible regardless if whether we understand
the reasons for this practice or the importance of it[1].
Obedience is the only course open to us. [We may
question what authority deserves obedience, but ought to
recommend scripture, or the apostle's record where there
seems to be conflict with other powers (Romans 16:17, 2
Corinthians 2:17-3:1). The Lord Jesus ought to be made
Lord of our lives in our thoughts, values, beliefs and
Baptism in the name of Jesus Christ is not an arbitrary
practice, however. Using the name of Jesus in baptism is
inextricably linked with the very purpose of baptism
itself. All the reasons for being baptized in water are
also reasons for invoking the name of Jesus at baptism.
If someone wishes to be baptized but refuses the
invocation of the name of Jesus, he has not fully grasped
the reasons why he should be baptized. Let us examine
these reasons.
1. As a minimum, all groups in Christendom agree that
the purpose of water baptism is to express faith in Jesus
as Lord and Savior. When the listeners on the day of
Pentecost accepted Jesus as Lord and Messiah, they were
baptized (Acts 2:36-38, 41). When the Samaritans
"believed Philip preaching ... concerning the kingdom of
God, and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized"
(Acts 8:12). When the disciples of John at Ephesus heard
that Jesus was the fulfillment of the prophecy of John
the Baptist, they were baptized (Acts 19:4-5). When the
Corinthians "believed on the Lord" they were baptized
(Acts 18:8).
The proper way to express faith in Jesus is to confess
His name. In each of the cases just cited, the candidates
expressed their faith in Jesus by being baptized in the
name of Jesus. (See Acts 2:38; 8:16; 19:5; 1Cor 1:13.)
2. Baptism is "for the remission of sins" (Acts 2:38),
or "to wash away ... sins" (Acts 22:16), and the name of
Jesus is the only name given for remission of sins.
"through his name whosoever believeth in him shall
receive remission of sins" (Acts 10:43). Thus the proper
way to seek remission of sins at baptism is to invoke the
name of Jesus in faith. Acts 2:38 and Acts 22:16 not only
connect the remission of sins with water baptism, but
they specifically connect remission of sins with water
baptism on the name of Jesus[2].
3. Baptism is part of our salvation experience (Mark
16:16; 1 Peter 3:21), and the name of Jesus is the only
name given for salvation. "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).
(See also Acts 2:21; Romans 10:9, 13.) Thus the proper
way to integrate water baptism with the New Testament
salvation is to invoke the name of Jesus.
4. Baptism is a burial with Jesus Christ (Romans 6:4;
Colossians 2:12). The Spirit of God did not die for us;
only Jesus the man died for us and was buried in the
tomb. To be buried with Jesus Christ, we should be
baptized in His name.
5. Baptism is part of our personal identification with
Jesus Christ. "So many of us as were baptized into Jesus
Christ were baptized into his death" (Romans 6:3). "For
as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put
on Christ" (Gal 3:27). If we seek to be identified with
Him. we should take on his name.
6. Baptism is a part of the new birth by which we are
born again into the spiritual family of God (John 3:5;
Titus 3:5). We can also view the conversion experience,
of which baptism is a part, as an adoption into the
spiritual family of God (Romans 8:15-16). A newly born or
adapted child always takes on the name of his new family.
Since we seek to enter into the church of Jesus Christ,
which is called His body and His bride, we should take on
His name. (See Ephesians 5:23, 29-32.)
7. Baptism is part of our spiritual circumcision, or
initiation into the new covenant (Colossians 2:11-13).
Under the old covenant a male child officially received
his name at his physical circumcision. (see Luke 2:21.)
Water baptism is the time when our new family name is
invoked upon us at our spiritual circumcision.
In connection with the last two points, we know that
the identifying name of our new spiritual family is
Jesus, for at least two reasons. First, it is the only
name in which we can receive salvation. (See John 14:6;
Acts 4:12.) Second, it is the supreme name by which God
has chosen to reveal Himself to us. "Wherefore God 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 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).
Colossians 3:17 says "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." This verse does not require
us to pronounce the name of Jesus orally before every
activity, but it deals with the attitude in which we
conduct every activity. All our words and actions should
be consistent with the invocation of Jesus as Lord. When
there is cause to invoke God's name formally, such as at
water baptism, which is both word and deed, this verse
applies in a specific way, telling us to approach God in
the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. Just as we pray, lay
hands on the sick, and cast out demons in the name of
Jesus, so should we baptize in the name of Jesus. Using
the name of Jesus in the baptismal formula expresses
in the person of Christ (who He really is);
the work of Christ (His death, burial, and
resurrection - or, the gospel);
the power and authority if Christ (His ability to
save us by Himself).
In short, baptism in the name of Jesus signifies that
we trust in Jesus alone as our Savior, and thus it
expresses the essence of saving faith. Since the only one
who can take away sins is Jesus- not by our deeds, not
the water, and not the preacher- we call upon Him in
faith, depending upon Him to do the work.
The Bible teaches that everyone should be baptized in
the name of Jesus Christ, and it reveals that every
reason for baptism is specifically a reason for baptism
in the name of Jesus. Thus baptism in the name of Jesus
demonstrates reverence for and obedience to the word of
God over and above human tradition, convenience or peer
In view of the scriptural significance of the name of
Jesus, why would anyone refuse to be baptized in Jesus'
name ? Why would anyone hesitate to take on the name of
the one who died for us and to identify with publicly
with Him ? Why would anyone reject the only saving name,
the name that is above every name ?

(This article appeared in the July issue of the
Pentecostal Herald, and was excepted from "In the Name of
Jesus", published by Word Aflame Press. The footnotes did
not appear in the original, and were added by the editor.
Recently in a response from Fr Mateo related to this
subject, it was stated that the Bible is not a sacristy
ritual, and that a baptismal mode is not clearly spelled out
in scripture. The author supposed that the mode of baptism
was equivalent to the content of a prayer of exorcism, or a
blessing of sorts. I should point out here that the Apostles
held baptism to be essential to the new birth constituting
the entry into the New Testament salvation covenant, and the
examples and preaching of the Apostles is indeed, very
pertinent and clear. Also, to say that the example of
scripture does not teach a mode of baptism is also to
dismiss any authority given Matthew 28:19.
2 See also Luke 24:47

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Old 06-27-2006, 08:16 PM
rjw03 rjw03 is offline
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mark 16:16
this says it all i belive
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