Compelling Scriptural Evidence For Baptism In Jesus’ Name
Baptism in Jesus’ Name Taken For Granted.
I recently revisited the Bible to explore the scriptures dealing with baptism and the significance of Jesus’ Name for baptism. The scriptural evidence to support baptism in Jesus’ name is overwhelming. I literally had to stop myself there was so much scripture to support being baptised in Jesus’ Name. As an Apostolic I had studied these scriptures before and they are almost a part of me, but it also means I take them for granted. So, to look at the biblical evidence in favour of baptism in Jesus’ Name again with fresh eyes was very refreshing. Here is some of what I got…
JESUS is the divinely revealed redemptive name of God, equivalent to Yahweh in the Old Testament.
Jesus literally means: ‘Yahweh is Salvation’, or Jehovah Saviour. In the Old Testament God gave Israel a name prior to delivering them from Egyptian bondage. The name revealed by God was: ‘I AM THAT I AM’ or ‘Yahweh’ (Jehovah). This is known as the redemptive name of God in the Old Testament (Ex. 3:14).
In similar fashion when it came to the spiritual redemption from sin that Christ accomplished in the New Testament God revealed a name by which He should be known. This name was JESUS (Mat. 1:21). In the Gospel of Matthew the name JESUS appears in UPPER CASE, the significance of this is that it is associating the name of JESUS with the UPPER CASE ‘LORD’ of the Old Testament, wherever LORD appeared like this it was reference to the redemptive name i.e. Yahweh (Jehovah).
To call on the Name of JESUS is to call God Himself.
As Jesus was God in flesh (1 Tim. 3:16, Jhn. 1:14), the Name JESUS is the Name of God. No surprise then that when Paul meets the Lord on the Damascus road and asks ‘who art thou?’ that God replies: “I AM Jesus” (Acts 9:5). Also, when Thomas realises Jesus he risen he proclaims Christ to be both ‘my Lord and my God’ (Jhn. 20:28).
The Name of Jesus is the name which relates to the titles Father, Son and Holy Ghost. Hence, Matthew wrote of ‘the name’ singular and not ‘the names’ plural (Mat. 28:19). Jesus is the name by which the whole family of heaven is named (Eph. 3:14-15). As Sons of God and joint heirs we take on His Name at our baptism, hence to be baptised in Jesus’ name (Acts 2:38).
JESUS is the Name God Answers in Prayer.
Jesus said that whatever we ask in His Name He will do it that God would be glorified (Jhn. 14:13-14). That alone is a powerful thought and an encouragement to anyone who is suffering or in need. As His children we can ask in Jesus name and God will hear and answer us. It is a promise and God can not lie.
Only those who know Him can use His Name.
However, the condition of usage is that only those with a relationship with Jesus can exercise the divine power and authority of His Name. When the sons of Scheva illegitimately tried to use Jesus Name to cast out devils, the demons would not move because the men lacked relationship (Acts. 19:13-16). But, when those who are His children use the Name of Jesus we are promised that signs will follow (Mk. 16:17) as they did in the book of Acts e.g. Peter & John healing the crippled man in Jesus’ Name (Acts. 4:10).
The ONLY Name Capable of Saving From Sin.
The Bible plainly declares that JESUS is the only name capable of saving from sin (Acts. 4:12) and the only name given for us to use in baptism therefore. And not just baptism for we are commanded to do all things in Jesus’ name (Col. 3:17). I don’t understand why one would want to pray in Jesus name, preach in Jesus name, heal the sick in Jesus name, rebuke demons in Jesus name and then baptise ‘In the Name of The Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost’. That is just repeating the titles of God. The wonderful revelation is that the Name of Father, Son and Holy Ghost is Jesus! Peter and the eleven got this which is why they commanded baptism in Jesus’ Name in Acts 2:38, and all through the bible thereafter.
JESUS Name Baptism is the ONLY Biblical Baptism.
There is not ONE example of a baptism done in ‘Father, Son & Holy Ghost’ in the scripture. It was a later addition, to which all historians agree. It was added to justify the doctrine of the Trinity, adopted in AD 325 at the Council of Nicea. However, biblical baptism was not originally associated with a debate on the Godhead. But, it was linked from the beginning to the atoning work of Jesus Christ. This is why baptism was to be in His Name, for He is the One who was crucified, died and rose for our sins (1 Cor. 1:13).
In JESUS Name Identifies Us With His Atoning Work.
In Romans 6:3 it makes it plain that by being baptised in Jesus’ Name we are identifying with His death, burial and resurrection. Acts 2:38 explains that only by using the Name of Jesus can our sin be removed (remitted). Therefore, to plunge and not use the name is invalid as no identification with Christ’s atoning work has taken place. The express purpose of the Triune formula is to identify one with the Trinity. Being identified with the Trinity is different to being identified with Christ’s atoning work. Christ never intended for baptism to be into the Trinity, it was supposed to be into His death, burial and resurrection – into Christ, and Christ alone. Worse, neither the term Trinity nor a concrete definition of this taken for granted doctrine is found in scripture. Which of the Apostles ever used the words ‘person’, ‘substance’, ‘co-equal’ or ‘co-eternal’ to describe The Holy One?
Take on His Name Today!
Baptism in Jesus name is an essential for all who love the Lord. The answer as to why has been provided above, the question now is ‘why not?’. Why would someone not want to have the name of Jesus called over them in baptism? Why would one shy away from accepting the deity and all sufficiency of Christ?
There are two poignant examples in scripture.
Cornelius’ Household have been filled with the Spirit, speaking in tongues and yet Peter commanded that they should be baptised in Jesus’ name. Also, Paul visited the disciples baptised to John the baptist and they too needed to be re-baptised in Jesus’ name. This is suggesting that any other form of Christian baptism will not do. It needs to be in Jesus name. It needs to be the way that God intended because of the awesome redemptive power associated with JESUS’ name.
Don’t Settle For Less Than JESUS.
I would exhort anyone reading this post who has not yet taken on the sweet name of Jesus in baptism to search the scriptures for themselves and prayerfully ask the Holy Spirit to guide you into all truth. You will see from exploring the scriptures that baptism is in JESUS name, and yes, it does matter how you are baptised. Jesus is expecting you to take His Name!