Should I be baptized in Jesus name only?
Question: I am a Christian believer baptized in the name of
Jesus. For many years I have noticed a division in the way baptism is done.
Some baptize in the name of Jesus, some baptize in the name of the Father,
Son, and Holy Ghost. I have always wondered why when the bible states there
is but one Lord, one Faith, and one baptism. I noticed in your statement of
faith that you baptize in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, and I
was hoping you could share your revelation for baptizing this way. Do you
also baptize in the “name of Jesus” according to book of the Acts of the
The phrase “in the name of Jesus” has been twisted by the Oneness sect to
narrow the formula of baptism to certain words. It is true Peter said,
“Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for
the forgiveness of your sins” (Acts 2:38). This sect claims that Peter gave
the formula. But no person had the power to authorize the formula except the
Son of God. The phrase “in the name of Jesus” meant “by the authority
of Jesus” you should be baptized. In other words, Peter was declaring that
Jesus commanded baptism; this is what is meant by the phrase “in Jesus
For example a police officer may command a
thief who flees the scene of the crime, “Stop in the name of the Law!” He is
not saying this is the formula to use in stopping criminals, but rather, the
officer is authorize to stop thieves because the Law gave him authority.
Peter was saying the same thing: be baptized because Jesus authorized us to
baptize you. Peter was not giving the formula for baptism but his claim of
Who within the Godhead gave instruction to
baptize? Jesus is the one who told us to baptize. The Father under the Old
Covenant did not command it; it is a command given by Jesus in the Great
Commission. So the question then is “how” did He tell us to baptize? Clearly
in Matthew 28:19 Jesus says, “Therefore go and make disciples of all
nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the
Holy Spirit.” This is the formula or manner of baptism. The formula or
manner of baptism must come only from the One who authorized and commanded
baptism—and that is Jesus. No one after Him can change the formula, and the
book of Acts does not change the formula, but only clarifies Who authorized
Some argue that the names Father and Son
are “titles” and thus are not "names". Those who argue the point miss the
words of Jesus. He said to baptize in the “name” of the Father, Son
and Spirit. He did not say in the “title” of the Father, Son and Spirit. The
reason is simple; there is no distinction in ancient customs between a name
and a title. They are one and the same. Consider this: most names come from
titles. For example, the name "Johnson" means "son of John." It is now
shortened, however it is both a “name” and a "title”. Many names were
originally titles: like Carpenter, Plumber, King, etc.
What tells us more about a person, his
"title" or his "given name"? I am Pastor Tom Brown. What says more about me,
Tom or Brown or Pastor? I think you can see that the title Pastor says more
about who I am and what I do than my given name. The same is with the
Father. It describes more who God is than any other name.
Bear in mind the baptismal formula—Father,
Son and Spirit—this describes who God really is more than any other
description. Jesus wanted to make sure that the foundation of our faith is
the acknowledgment of the blessed Trinity—one God revealed in three persons.
To deny this is to deny the foundation of our faith, and this is why
Christians have rightfully declared heretical any teachings that deny the
The problem with the "Jesus Only" group is
they insist unless you are baptized in the formula of "Jesus name" only, you
will not be saved. That is pure rubbish. They are divisive and in error
because they have denied the Trinity.
They may argue that the term “Trinity” is
not in the Bible, but so are other terms we take for granted like “rapture”,
“sermon”, “incarnation”, “original sin” etc. But the doctrine of the
Trinity is taught in the Bible. The baptismal formula in itself proves the
doctrine of the Trinity. Everyone would agree that the Father is God, so if
the name of the Son and the Spirit are also used in connection with the
Father, they must both be equal to God because it would make no sense to
include the names of lesser beings with God the Father.
The Jesus only sect argues that the belief
in the Trinity means people believe in three gods. This is simply not true.
There is one God revealed in three persons. The three are eternally,
existent and coequal. Someone may say, “But three persons equals three
gods.” Not true. In math 1x1x1=1. You can have three numbers and still equal
one. The “Jesus only” sect uses the wrong math formula to define the
Let me illustrate the Trinity this way: H20
is the substance of water, steam and ice. H20
makes up the prosperities of these three. Now water is not steam, and steam
is not ice. These three are separate forms but they are all the same as far
as substance. This is a good, albeit, not perfect illustration of the
Trinity. The Father, Son and Holy Spirit share the same substance. The
substance is God. Yet the Father is not the Son, nor is the Son the Holy
Spirit. They are separate persons yet share the same substance. You cannot
say water is steam, but you can say that both water and steam are H20.
So you cannot say the Father is the Son or the Son is the Spirit, but you
can say that the Father is God and the Son is God and the Holy Spirit is
God. The Trinity coexist in the same way that water, steam and ice coexist.
God is the substance of the Trinity.
It is interesting to note that Jesus in His
baptismal formula used the singular word “name” not plural “names” of the
Father, Son and Spirit. The reason is obvious, there is only one God! The
Jesus only group however says there is only one name to God and His name is
Jesus! So they teach that Jesus is the Father and He is the Holy Ghost.
This cannot be true, because when Jesus was
baptized by John, the Father spoke from heaven and said, “This is my son in
whom I am well pleased,” and the Holy Spirit descended on Him in the form of
a dove. I often ask the “Jesus only” sect, Who spoke from heaven? They often
try to evade the question, because they believe Jesus is the Father, so this
would make Jesus testifying about Himself. Like a ventriloquist Jesus would
be throwing His voice making it sound like He has a Father who testifies
about Him. And then, like a magician, Jesus would turn into a dove and make
it look like He descended on Himself. Can you see how ridiculous this view
becomes? Jesus is not the Father, but the Son. The scriptures are quite
clear on this. Precisely as the Trinity was involved in Jesus’ baptism, the
Trinity should be involved in our baptism.
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