Baptism in Jesus Name
Debate Rounds (5)
I'd like to begin with a stocking first point I believe:
1. Baptism in Jesus Name coincides with the trinity more than oneness theology.
If the argument is going to be used that baptizing in Jesus name excludes the trinity or the roles of the Godhead, I would have to disagree. Baptism in Jesus name actually gives us a clearer perspective of the Gospel when we already have the foundational understanding of the roles of the Godhead. When we are being baptized we are publicly signifying our commitment to the Gospel. If that is what the Gospel is, then we also have to understand that through Jesus we have access to the father, and through Jesus the Holy Spirit works through us to testify of the Gospel. In other words, through Jesus we have full access to the Father and the Spirit. Therefore, putting it in that perspective, baptism in Jesus name would even be more theologically appropriate if it has to do with the Gospel because we are signifying are oneness with Christ who gives us the boldness to stand before the Father righteous and boldness to live out the Gospel through the Holy Spirit.
2. It's not far fetched to believe that Acts 2:38 is the fulfillment of Matthew 28:19. The great commission was fulfilled in the book of acts and was very clearly acted upon through baptism in Jesus name.
3. Why should we find it so shocking or unbiblical to administrate baptism in Jesus name if we administrate other biblical actions in the name of Jesus also. For example, the apostles and even Christians today, heal in the name of Jesus, we pray in the name of Jesus, and most importantly, salvation comes through belief in Jesus. Paul said in Romans 10:9, "if you confess with your mouth that Jesus Christ is Lord and believe in your heart that God has raised him from the dead, you will be saved." Peter said in Acts 4:12, "Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under haven given among men by which we must be saved." Therefore, if Peter and Paul found the name of Jesus important enough that salvation comes through that Name, why should we resist the belief that baptism also should be administered in that name?
Therefore we have to follow the evidence where it leads and believe that Baptism in Jesus Name is the correct way to administrate water baptism according to the Word of God.
So then, I am viewing your statement as a good intention, as a strong desire to bring people to Christ, yet it is still disobedient. Do you see this as a move against obedience? Please help me to more clearly understand your position.
So, no, I don't see my argument as disobedient to the Bible since it so clearly stated in the Bible that Jesus commanded to baptize in the name of the father, the son, and the holy spirit and we see that command fulfilled in the book of acts which all the apostles baptizing in the name of Jesus.
My argument is not a hard argument to understand. The majority of the Christian faith baptize in the name of the father, the son and the holy spirit. I am defending water baptism and giving my arguments on why jesus name is the correct way to administrate baptism.
http://www.jewsforjesus.org..., then scroll to the subtitle [Jewish Proselyte Baptism Compared with New Covenant Baptism]
2. As for when Peter says, "Be baptized, each one of you, in the name of Jesus the Messiah for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will recieve the gift of the Holy Spirit," he was not actively baptizing anybody. Later in scripture, Acts 2:41, it says that those who had accepted the message just proclaimed were baptized. Now, I believe that there are only four instances in which this statement of baptism occurs (Acts 2:38, 8:16, 10:48, and 19:5). Neither of these instances uses the same wording, which will indicate that these are "not technical forms of baptism, only a description by Luke."(a) It is also a way to distinguish the type of baptism, because at the time, there were multiple baptisms.(b) (a) and (b) cited from - (http://www.catholic.com...)
3. I would also like to point out that in many places the Apostles wrote that they would be arriving to a town to instruct further on certain points of faith, for example: 1 Cor 16:5, and 2 Cor 10:2. There are other places where Paul will send Timothy to teach the people of a certain town. This indicates that not everything has been taught or handed down through and from the Bible, from which we have gathered much evidence.
2. Though different wording may be used in different instances in the book of Acts, the difference is not to the magnitude that we have a reason to come to the conclusion that baptism in Jesus Name is not the biblical way to administrate baptism.
"Then Peter said to them, "Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit." - Acts 2:38 (NKJV)
"For as yet He had fallen upon none of them. They had only been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus." - Acts 8:16 (NKJV)
"And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord. Then they asked him to stay a few days." - Acts 10:48 (NKJV)
"When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus." - Acts 19:5 (NKJV)
Therefore, upon these verses, even in the greek, we have no reason at all to come to different conclusions since they are worded differently. Though worded differently, they are not worded differently to the magnitude that there should be a different verdict.
3. It is very clear that in the Bible the name of Jesus is used to administrate different actions after the new covenant is fulfilled. Healing, prayer, and even salvation. Why should we find it so surprising then that baptism also should be administrated in that name? We shouldn't. Especially since the apostles did this all throughout the book of Acts. My opponent has yet chosen to address this point.
4. The awesome significance of water baptism is that it symbolizes the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ and our identification with Him in his death. So, if therefore that is what baptism signifies, and through that sacrifice we have full access to the father and the spirit, baptism in Jesus name would seem more Biblical than baptism in the name of the father, son and holy spirit since we are identifying ourself with Jesus.
Obviously the question would be, why would Jesus even say father, son, and holy spirit? but let me point out, that if my opponent is going to take the stance that baptism in father, son, and holy spirit is the correct way to administrate baptism then he has to explain the contradictions in the word of God since we see the apostles directly not baptize the name of the father, son, and holy spirit. On the other hand, if we take the stance the baptism in Jesus Name is the correct way to administrate baptism, then we can understand clearly that the apostles are simply fulfilling Jesus command by baptizing people in the name of Jesus since He is the fulfillment of the Godhead (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit).
I feel that I have offered a logical explanation for the vernacular at that time, it appears that my opponent is unwilling to accept any historical evidence outside of scriptural evidence. I ask for a stronger reason to disregard any non-scriptural history.
I would also like to point out that there are many styles in which the Bible was written, a few of them being, narrative, instruction, dialogue, and action. If we do not read the Bible in the proper context, then we may fall into error. For example: Some bibles contain what Jesus had said in red lettering. This indicates his dialogue and teaching. The Acts of the Apostles have no such markings, but that is why we are provided with titles to describe what is happening in a particular section of scripture.
I will not dispute that Jesus name has power and that many miracles have been, are being, and will be worked in His name. I would like to mention, however, that on two specific occasions, Jesus gave precise instruction on the manner in which the Apostles were to carry out an action, namely, the Last Supper, and the Great Commission.
Lastly I would pose one question: If the Apostles did in fact baptize in the name of Jesus, and only in His name, does my opponent choose to follow the example and actions of men rather than follow the the commands of God?
As a Catholic, I believe that what is taught to the Apostles was handed down from Jesus in a process called Apostolic Succession. I know that everything we hold true is found in the Scriptures and through tradition. I can vouch that, if at any moment scripture seems to contradict itself, it is not that it is contradictory, rather, the reader needs to better understand the context in which the passage is said, and what it says.
Now my opponent attempted to give the explanation of the baptisms administrated in the Name of Jesus in the book of Acts by saying that the author of the book of Acts did this because he wanted to differentiate between different baptisms of that day. I, in response, said that this argument at best can only be an assumption since there is no evidence for this. My opponent accused me of not accepting any historical evidence. I cannot accept historical evidence because there is no historical evidence. It would be different if Luke, the author of Acts, clearly indicated that this is his purpose but obviously he didn't so we cannot be for certain that this historical evidence my opponent gives is true.
Secondly, he attempted to say that the reason for the baptisms in Jesus Name in the book of Acts cannot be taken as literal is because they are worded differently. I, in response, quoted each verse that he gave and stated that we have no reason at all after reading those verses to come to a different conclusion just because they are worded differently. Many things can worded differently but yet come to the same conclusion, especially if we are talking about the minor word differences in baptisms administrated in the book of Acts.
Therefore, the only logical conclusion to come to is that since Jesus is the fullness of the Godhead according to Colossians 2:9 and that water baptism symbolizes the Gospel of Jesus Christ and our identification with that Gospel, there is no reason at all that we shouldn't believe that the Apostles are fulfilling Jesus's command to baptize in the name of the father, the son, and the holy spirit, by baptizing in the name of Jesus, since they understand that the Godhead bodily dwelleth in Christ.
2. My opponent asked: "If the Apostles did in fact baptize in the name of Jesus, and only in His name, does my opponent choose to follow the example and actions of men rather than follow the the commands of God?"
I believe, with all do respect to my opponent, to say that to baptize in Jesus name is following men and not God is demoralizing to the Word of God since that is where this theology derives. Baptism in Jesus Name is not something that a historical person just came up with out of thin air. Baptism in Jesus Name comes from Peter's command to the 3,000 in Acts 2 to be baptized in the Name of Jesus, which, I have pointed out, is the fulfillment of Jesus's great commission which He said, "Baptize in the Name of the father, the son, and holy spirit."
Like i've stated before, Jesus, according to the Bible, is the fullness of the Father and the Spirit, therefore to baptize in Jesus Name we get a better understanding of the Father and the Spirit. Let me explain: Since baptism is signifying the Gospel and our oneness with the Gospel, we get a better understanding of my point through better understanding the Gospel. Through the Gospel, the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus, we have full access to the Father and the Spirit. Jesus said "I am the way the truth and the life, no one comes to the father except through me." and obviously through Jesus's sacrifice, the Holy Spirit can live in us. So, put within that context, it's not difficult at all to understand why Peter fulfilled Jesus's command to baptize in the name of the father, son, and holy spirit by baptizing in the Name of Jesus since Peter understood that Jesus is the fulfillment of the father, son, and holy spirit.
If we examine Col 2:9 again, I will restate, that is this instance, Paul is referring to the Jews, explaining two things: the first point being that Jesus is indeed God incarnate, that Jesus is the Shekinah. The second issue refers to initiation into the Christian faith. Now, as of this point in history, we hear and see in scripture, that there are multiple ritual washings that take place in the Jewish tradition. Jesus, as well as the Pharisees, practiced these washings. The link I provided earlier for you explained that the entrance into the Jewish faith required, not one, but three separate ceremonies: circumcision, ritual washing, and sacrifice (the presentation in the temples after the eight day of birth). Paul is using this passage to dually explain that because the Shekinah (Hebrew word for God in dwelling) had become incarnate and had experienced these rituals, they no longer had to perform them, only be baptized in the name (in/ by the authority) of Jesus Christ. What does this mean though? It means, not that they would be baptized specifically in "the name of Jesus Christ," but that they would be baptized into the Faith that comes from and belongs to Christ. If we refer to an earlier document of the early Christian church that predates the bible, the Didache, we see very clearly that the Early Christians, through the instruction of the Apostles, baptized, "in the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit."
"And concerning baptism, baptize this way: Having first said all these things, baptize into the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, in living water. But if you have no living water, baptize into other water; and if you cannot do so in cold water, do so in warm. But if you have neither, pour out water three times upon the head into the name of Father and Son and Holy Spirit. But before the baptism let the baptizer fast, and the baptized, and whoever else can; but you shall order the baptized to fast one or two days before." http://www.earlychristianwritings.com... - all of these texts were written around the year 100AD.
As for the passages in Acts, all of them, again I hold to the fact that there was a necessary distinction required in the type of baptism received by persons. In Matthew 19:3 Paul asked some persons, "By which baptism were you baptized?" they respond with, "John's Baptism." Paul then explains the difference between the two, John's baptism being of strictly repentance, the Baptism of Jesus, being one of not only remission of sin, but a full participation in the life of the Trinity. Again, I say, Peter, nor Paul, nor any of the Apostles would have, after being taught by the authority of Christ for all those years, dared assume a different or "better" stance that that of Christ. Jesus commands, "Baptize in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit," so that, as you mentioned, we can be Baptized into the Gospel (good news), being that there is a God, who has come to dwell among us, not just as one Divine Person, but as three, and to share in the life of the Trinity, we do Baptize in the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.
So then, why does baptizing with water, and only the name of Jesus, not fulfill the Great Commission? To state this the best that I can: Why, after following Christ, and being obedient to even going to catch a fish which had a coin in its mouth to pay temple tax (Mt 17:27), would Peter then decide, after receiving the Holy Spirit, who would "teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you," (Jn 14:26 KJV), to baptize in the name of Jesus, when Christ, God incarnate, had specifically mentioned to Baptize in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.
Now, to recall something you had said, "why would Jesus even say father, son, and holy spirit?" From the passage of Mt 17:27 alone, we can clearly see that Christ says nothing he does not mean, that he speaks only truth, and that His words are to be obeyed. How do we know this, because Jesus is the Word of God Incarnate, and God's word is truth, even though it may not make sense. For example: Joshua was told to walk around a city wall for seven days so the wall would collapse and they could conquer. Gideon was told to send away all but 300 men to fight an army with, Moses was told to do all those amazing things with his staff, and they happened, because these men followed the words of God.
It is also important to note that, whatever the Apostles have done, Jesus did first. In Mk 2:11, Jesus commands a paralytic to rise and walk. In Acts 3:6, Peter heals a lame man by saying, "in the Name of Jesus Christ, walk!" There are other instances of this healing happening. With these alone I can understand how one might interpret that to Baptize in the Name of Jesus is the "more proper" way. The fact is though, we do not rely on Scripture alone, if we did, we would still end up looking toward tradition because, as I mentioned in the last round, there are many instances of Paul visiting instead of writing, or sending Timothy to instruct the people. What is taught is not specifically in scripture, but handed down through tradition, and specifically, though not all transcribed at that time, in the Didache, the first document of organized rituals that were handed down from Christ to the Apostles, and then to the Ministers after them.
Finally, I will point out that scripture also refers to a teaching body to interpret for things for us, specifically the church. "But if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth." - 1 Tim 3:15 (KJV) We cannot interpret the bible on our own, "Then the Spirit said unto Philip, Go near, and join thyself to this chariot. And Philip ran thither to him, and heard him read the prophet Esaias, and said, Understandest thou what thou readest? And he said, How can I, except some man should guide me? And he desired Philip that he would come up and sit with him." - Acts 8:29-31 (KJV)
In conclusion, based on these scriptures, and on the teaching authority of the Church, I still claim, that water baptism with the name of Jesus, and not with the form laid out in the Great Commission, is not the fulfillment of what Christ had commanded.
PatrickSawyer forfeited this round.
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