As we approach the subject of baptism, I will begin by first stating that this post will not be pointing out the different methods and formulas used today. Instead, it will simply state what the Bible has to say about the topic, and we will look at how the first church baptized. My hope is as we dive into God’s word that we will allow God’s word to speak for itself.
First we must understand as we study baptism that there is only one correct way. Ephesians 4:5 states there is, “One Lord, one faith, one baptism.” This one way is given by the One who is the ultimate judge. James 4:12 states, “There is one lawgiver, who is able to save and to destroy…” Mathew 10:28 states, “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” As we can see it is obvious we want to follow God’s plan as He is the judge and one day we will be held accountable to His word.
Looking further into the subject of baptism, we will stick to the gospels of Mathew, Mark, Luke, and John. Which will first bring us to John. Now, during the time of the gospels we were still under the law, but John was sent to prepare the way for Jesus. In Mathew 3:11 we find him doing just that, “I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, Whose shoes I am not worthy to bear; he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire:” We find here that this first baptism was to pave the way for Jesus. In Mathew 28:19 which states, “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.” Jesus gives the formula for the baptism that will be preached in the book of Acts, as Peter (who was given the keys to the kingdom and understood the identity of Jesus) delivers the formula given by Jesus; and in Acts we are able to see this formula put into action.
As we continue on our search of how the first church baptized there is only one book we can turn to and that is Acts. This is a book solely about the actions of the apostles. This book is where we find salvation! The books to follow from Romans all the way to Jude are letters written to churches that have already experienced salvation which, as we will see shortly, includes baptism! However, the book of Acts will focus on how we are able to go from sinner to delivered!
In Acts chapter 2 we find Peter preaching. Verse 37-38 states, “Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do? 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. In this scripture we are given the plan of salvation.
Finally we must view this message in action to see exactly how this is to be carried out.
1.) Acts 8:12, “But when they believed Philip as he preached the things concerning the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, both men and women were baptized.”
2.) Acts 8:16, “For as yet He had fallen upon none of them. They had only been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.”
3.) Acts 10:48, “And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord.”
4.) Acts 19:5, “When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.”
5.) Acts 22:16, “And now why tarriest thou? arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord.
It is very obvious leaving out man’s opinions and looking strictly at the inspired Word of God that when baptized we must call upon the name of Jesus! Acts 4:12, “Neither is there salvation in an other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.”
In conclusion, Jesus gave the formula for baptism in Mathew 28:19. He told us to baptize in the singular name (Jesus) that is given to the Almighty God that manifest himself in many ways for in every situation He is the solution! He is our heavenly father but He also became the son of man and took upon himself the sins of man, and allows his Holy Spirit to move in our lives. This saving name of Jesus is what every soul is to be baptized in as seen in the book of Acts!
Acts 22:16, “And now why tarriest thou? arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord.”
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