Friday, August 19, 2011

Much More On : Should the Name of Jesus or Trinity Be Invoked During Water Baptism?

Not Sure Whether I Should Take Water Baptism using the Name of Trinity Again?

Q: I read your recent posting on "Should the name of Jesus or Trinity be invoked during water baptism?". I had a question from that. I actually got baptized "in the the name of Jesus" with the understanding that one person Jesus is in three different forms (Father Son and Holy Spirit). I am little confused now if I had to be baptized again "in the name of Father, Son and Holy Spirit". I was asking God to help me with this confusion and that's when I got to see your posting. I would like you to guide me here in this.

Few say (including a pastor), that I need to be again baptized in the "name of the Father, Son and the Holy Spirit" because it is not mentioned. But baptizing again I feel its not needed. Not sure what should be done in this situation. Hoping to see your reply.

A : See when we come in to faith, we are not great theologians to understand the whole concept of Trinity. But as the word of God says, we are born as God's child in our spirit and then slowly start to take the milk of the word day by day
(John 1:12; 1 Peter 2:2). We are born again of the will of God and not just by our own will (John 1:13). So we being the child of God is the one thing that will clinch the deal for the favour of God to come in to our lives.

We take baptism as a confession to all people that we have faith of Jesus in our heart and to tell them that we have chosen to walk as the child of God
(Gal 3:26). Spiritually we are baptized in to Christ by the Spirit of God the moment we receive Jesus as our Lord and Savior (Gal 3:27; 1 Cor 12:13). The only prerequisite to take external baptism is a belief and confession of Jesus Christ as the Son of God. External baptism is just a sign of declaring to all the people around us of what happened to us internally (Acts 8:35-38). A spiritual baby has no much chance and capacity to understand all the details of faith before taking the plunge to obey a command of their parent in the Lord (Gal 4:19). But a good parent will always be pleased with a child that obeys their word and also they will not expect their child to know everything it does. But when it grows it automaticaly learns certain things and becomes mature, this does not in any way affect the position of the child who has been declared as a son or daughter on the day it was born (John 1:12). In the same way, God does not expect us to understand every detail about doctrine and belief on the day we were born again. But as we grow as God's child we automatically come to understand more and more about Him and his wonderful character.

So you need not be too specifically concerned about having taken baptism in the name of Jesus. God understands it. It is also as you have said, need not be taken again if you have taken the first time with a belief in Jesus as your Lord and Saviour who has died to take away all your sins
(John 1:29, 36; Heb 9:26; 10:12). The real faith of Jesus have come in to you when you have first believed Him (John 6:40), so I think you will do very well as you continue in this faith.

Even in the first century the Church people just like in our generation were so involved and concerned about keeping the tradition and right words that Paul saw the division in the Church and was so fed up with it and finally said,
"13 Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Or were you baptized in the name of Paul? 14 I thank God that I baptized none of you except Crispus and Gaius, 15 lest anyone should say that I had baptized in my own name. 16 Yes, I also baptized the household of Stephanas. Besides, I do not know whether I baptized any other. 17 For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel, not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of no effect." (1 Cor 1:13-17). In other words, the Church elders were ready to accuse Paul of teaching wrong doctrine, because he did not concentrate in giving baptism but was concentrating to create faith in the heart of people and save them for eternity. There is "one Lord, one faith, one baptism" in Christ and so He cannot be divided through difference in our semantics (Eph 4:5). The Lord who is the Spirit baptizes us in to Christ by our spiritual faith that is beyond our words (2 Cor 3:17; 1 Cor 12:13; Col 2:12), so to get baptized in water as a external testimony of this internal faith, we should not be divided by simple semantics.

The apostles baptized people in Jesus name, but Jesus himself instructed them to baptize all people in
"the name of the Father, Son and the Holy Spirit" (Matt 28:18-20; Acts 2:38; 19:5). Were the apostles obedient to Jesus instruction? Yes indeed by all means. When Jesus spoke directly to the apostles He said “"18....All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age." Amen." (Matt 28:19-20). In other words, Jesus is saying that the authority of the Trinity has been given to me [i.e. Jesus Christ the Son of God in the flesh (1 John 4:2)]. As a proxy ambassadors who were empowered with the presence of Jesus, they used the name of Jesus to baptize in water the people who were saved. It was right for them to baptize in Jesus name because they perfectly understood the authority of the Trinity deposited in the name of Jesus (John 14:14; 16:23). It also means if some one uses "the name of the Father, Son and the Holy Spirit" directly as Jesus said, it is also not wrong because the whole Trinity is involved in the salvation of every believer. Both are right, it is up to us to understand the concept of Trinity involved in Jesus name. The Trinity is three in person, but one in essence of their Character. Jesus is the fleshly representation of the whole Trinity in the flesh among whom He too is one in Character and one among them in Person.

Much Blessings.....


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