I never know what I am going to end up blogging about until the day happens.
I would like to preface this blog by saying that I am NOT trying to "pick on anyone" But I have a few thoughts about something that happened today.
Today I had to go to wal-mart to pick up a few desperately needed items. As I was waiting for the bus, a lady said something, and I felt prompted to just share my personal testimony with her and about salvation through Jesus Christ alone. Well, she basically brought it up that she was of a particular denomination, and she brought up the subject of baptism.
Now I found this interesting considering that I had just been baptized yesterday, but I had never said a word about that to her.
She said, "well, those people that baptize in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are just wrong! We believe in baptism according to Acts 2:38 and it's suppose to be done only in the name of Jesus. The people that baptize in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are making it up."
I was just like "wow!" and I prayed about how to respond to her.
One thing I feel like I need to say is that if we base our theology on certain portions of the Bible without looking at it not only from it's context according to that passage but also looking at that passage in line and in light of what the rest of scripture clearly teachers, we have the possibility of coming up with some really incorrect ideas."
I did not believe that this lady was saying that baptism was a requirement for salvation, but rather that she was concerned about the "correct way of doing it."
Obviously, Salvation is NOT achieved by baptism. The ABSOLUTE ONLY WAY that anyone receives salvation is by trusting in Jesus Christ alone, and trusting that his payment for their sin personally, was a sufficient payment and that there is nothing that we can do to earn favor or make our sin "right" before God. We must individually trust that Jesus Christ died on the cross on our behalf and that He rose from the dead proving that He is God.
Now, to be honest, I've spent awhile studying this afternoon but do not know all of the different mechanics of Acts 2:38.
But are we "making it up" when we baptize in the Name of the Father and the Son, and the Holy Spirit?
Of course we are not! This dear lady needs more discipleship and accurate teaching as to the whole counsel of Scripture.
Matthew 28:18-20 says, "Then Jesus came to them and said, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 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, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age."
Jesus very clearly gave a command to the disciples to baptize in the name of all three--the Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit.
Secondly, another thought that came to my mind was that when Jesus Himself was baptized (NOT that any of us even compare to Him) He Himself was obviously present at his baptism as well as the Father and the Holy Spirit, who made their presence known to those that were there directly after he was baptized.
Take a look.
Matthew 3:13-17 "Then Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to be baptized by John. But John tried to deter him, saying, "I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?" Jesus replied, "Let it be so now; it is proper for us to do this to fulfill all righteousness." Then John consented. As soon as Jesus was baptized, he went up out of the water. At that moment heaven was opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and lighting on him. And a voice from heaven said, "This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased."
Mark 1:9-11 "At that time Jesus came from Nazareth in Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. As Jesus was coming up out of the water, he saw heaven being torn open and the Spirit descending on him like a dove. And a voice came from heaven: "You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased."
So what is Acts 2:38 really saying? I want to study that some more and not just give some quick answer. I want to rightly divide the word of truth. And this post is getting long, so I'll save it for another day.