Unto what were you baptized?
That is quite a question to ask today. Many will get their fur up when you do. But we need to ask it. The Lord has given us a very specific formula for baptism, as for everything else. We, however, seem to always think we know things better.
Line upon line, precept upon precept, here a little, there a little the Bible says. We must then take the Word of God and study it to see exactly what it says.
What’s in a name?
Now Jesus did say:
Matthew 28: Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:
But let us look at it a little closer. Jesus said to baptize in the “NAME” (singular, not names plural). So there is one NAME that is the name of the Father. Father is not a name, it is a title. Son is also a title. Holy Ghost is a description. So what is the one, singular “NAME” that is the Name of the Father and is also the same NAME as the Son, and is also the same NAME as the Holy Ghost?
Peter gives us the revelation of that question here:
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. 39 For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.
Here Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, having the keys in his hands tells us quite plainly what the one, singular name is. That “NAME” is the Lord Jesus Christ. It is the only Name given where we are to be baptized. If you search the Bible and search church histories and even secular histories, you will not find one single Christian baptized in any other way than in exact accordance to Acts 2:38-39. What’s in a name?
Acts 4: 10 Be it known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom God raised from the dead, even by him doth this man stand here before you whole.11 This is the stone which was set at nought of you builders, which is become the head of the corner.12 Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.
That is what is in the “Name”. Salvation is in that Name. Salvation is found in the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in no other name under heaven. If we reject His Name, then the Lord, obligated to His Word, must then reject us.
Buried in Baptism!
We should also dismiss the idea of sprinkling here as well. Look what the Bible says about baptism.
Romans 6: 4 Therefore we are buried with him by baptism 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.
Colossians 2: 12 Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead.
We are to be “buried” in baptism. Full immersion in water! Sprinkling is not burying.
Repent, and be baptized.
Baptism is an adult activity, not for children for Peter clearly states that we are to “repent” and be baptized. How can a child, or especially a baby repent? It cannot. We must first repent. To repent is not just to be sorry, it is to make right the things that you did wrong. If you told a lie, go tell the truth. If you stole something, go give it back. We must repent else we simply to into the water a dry sinner and come out a wet sinner.
Matthew 3: 5 Then went out to him Jerusalem, and all Judaea, and all the region round about Jordan, 6 And were baptized of him in Jordan, confessing their sins. 7 But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees come to his baptism, he said unto them, O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come? 8 Bring forth therefore fruits meet for repentance:
John was not saying this in vain. We MUST first repent, then be baptized in full immersion in water in the name of Jesus Christ. Then, and only then, we will receive the Holy Spirit.
How important is it? How specific must we be?
Proverbs 14: 2 There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.
Traditions! Creeds! Dogmas! Canons!
“Oh but brother we have a long tradition in our church and our pastor says we are doing it right with sprinkles, with babies, with titles. We have a long standing tradition of doctrine and we have some of the fines people in the world at our church” That is fine, but what does God say? What did Jesus say about your traditions?
Mark 7: 6 He answered and said unto them, Well hath Esaias prophesied of you hypocrites, as it is written, This people honoureth me with their lips, but their heart is far from me. 7 Howbeit in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men. 8 For laying aside the commandment of God, ye hold the tradition of men, as the washing of pots and cups: and many other such like things ye do. 9 And he said unto them, Full well ye reject the commandment of God, that ye may keep your own tradition.
When we reject the Word of God in favour of our traditions, our creeds, our denominations, then we are rejecting Jesus Christ himself.
So what do we do?
Well there was a fellow in the Bible, who in Acts 18 was called a mighty preacher, and he found out that he could not receive the Holy Spirit until he obeyed Acts 2:38-39 to the letter. He was baptized. And he was baptized by John the Baptist. The Lord God, however, would not accept that baptism and he and his congregation all had to be rebaptized.
Acts 19: 1 And it came to pass, that, while Apollos was at Corinth, Paul having passed through the upper coasts came to Ephesus: and finding certain disciples, 2 He said unto them, Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed? And they said unto him, We have not so much as heard whether there be any Holy Ghost. 3 And he said unto them, Unto what then were ye baptized? And they said, Unto John’s baptism. 4 Then said Paul, John verily baptized with the baptism of repentance, saying unto the people, that they should believe on him which should come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus. 5 When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. 6 And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Ghost came on them; and they spake with tongues, and prophesied. 7 And all the men were about twelve.
Now you know the truth. You now know beyond a shadow of a doubt that you need to repent and be baptized in full immersion in water in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ for the remission of sins. Then you shall receive the Holy Spirit. How vital is it?
Romans 8: 9 But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.
Without the proper baptism we have no remission of sins. That means we still carry every single sin and will have to account for them. Without the proper baptism and remission of sins, we cannot receive the Holy Spirit. Without the Holy Spirit, we do not belong to Christ. Without the proper baptism we are simply not yet Christians. And if we do not belong to Christ, then there is only one other that we can belong to be default.
What will you do about it?
Will you humble yourself as Apollos did and obey the Word of God and receive the Holy Spirit? Will you seek out a pastor that will baptize you in the proper Christian baptism of full immersion in the name of Jesus Christ? Will you get remission of your sins? Will you follow the prescription for receiving the Holy Spirit and become a born again, Spirit filled Christian? Will you do what is right in the eyes of the Lord?
Or will you reject it in favour of your traditions and creeds.
It is up to you now. Choose.