In the Name of Jesus When God chose to manifest Himself in flesh as our savior He chose a name that would signify the essence of who He is. The name He chose would not only reveal who He was, but also what His mission on Earth was. The name Jesus means Jehovah-Savior, meaning that Jehovah is our Savior. We are told in scripture that God would dwell with us. Isaiah 7:14 Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel. Jesus is the fulfillment of this prophecy. Matthew 1:21-23 21 And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins. 22 Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, 23 Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us. Jesus died on the cross to provide salvation for those that will accept it. The gospel (His death, burial, and resurrection) is the new birth experience that includes being born of the water and of the Spirit. John 3:3-5 3 Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. 4 Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother’s womb, and be born? 5 Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. The new birth is given to us in the name of Jesus. Jesus is the name given to us for salvation. Acts 4:12 Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved. Jesus is the name that is above every name. Philippians 2:9 Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: We are to do everything in the name of Jesus. Colossians 3:17 And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him. This includes water baptism. We are to be baptized in the name of Jesus. There are five baptismal accounts in the book of Acts. In each account, the name of Jesus is the name used for the baptismal formula. The first account is Peter’s sermon to those that had heard the disciples of Jesus speaking of other tongues as they received the Holy Ghost. This is the account of the Jews receiving the gospel. Acts 2:21 And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved. Acts 2:36-39 36 Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ. 37 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. 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. The Jews recognized that Jesus was their savior – God manifest in the flesh to become their sacrifice. They accepted that baptism was in Jesus name and 3000 were baptized that day. Acts 2:41 Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls. The second account is the Samaritans receiving the gospel. Acts 8:12-17 12 But when they believed Philip preaching the things concerning the kingdom of God, and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women. 13 Then Simon himself believed also: and when he was baptized, he continued with Philip, and wondered, beholding the miracles and signs which were done. 14 Now when the apostles which were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent unto them Peter and John: 15 Who, when they were come down, prayed for them, that they might receive the Holy Ghost: 16 (For as yet he was fallen upon none of them: only they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.) 17 Then laid they their hands on them, and they received the Holy Ghost. The first thing Phillip did was preach Christ unto them. Acts 8:5 Then Philip went down to the city of Samaria, and preached Christ unto them. When they had accepted Christ as their savior, they were baptized in His name. The third account is the Gentiles receiving the gospel. Acts 10:43-48 43 To him give all the prophets witness, that through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins. 44 While Peter yet spake these words, the Holy Ghost fell on all them which heard the word. 45 And they of the circumcision which believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because that on the Gentiles also was poured out the gift of the Holy Ghost. 46 For they heard them speak with tongues, and magnify God. Then answered Peter, 47 Can any man forbid water, that these should not be baptized, which have received the Holy Ghost as well as we? 48 And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord. Then prayed they him to tarry certain days. The oldest Greek manuscripts say ‘in the name of Jesus Christ’ (Bernard, p. 45). We know that the Lord is Jesus. Philippians 2:11 And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. Peter recognized that God had opened the door for the Gentiles to receive salvation. This includes baptism in Jesus name, as we see from his command to them to be baptized. The fourth account is the disciples of John. Acts 19:1-6 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. The disciples of John had been baptized unto repentance. It was necessary for them to be rebaptized in the name of Jesus. If the name of Jesus wasn’t important at baptism, Paul would not have rebaptized the disciples of John. The fifth account is Paul. Acts 22:16 And now why tarriest thou? arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord. Calling on the name of the Lord means to invoke (Bernard, p. 48). This literally means to say the name of Jesus at baptism. Paul knew what this name was because he met the Lord on the road to Damascus. Acts 9:5 And he said, Who art thou, Lord? And the Lord said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest Paul knew that the name of the Lord was Jesus. It was only natural for Paul to understand that baptism was in the name of Jesus. It is clear these passages that baptism is in the name of Jesus. This means that we should orally invoke the name of Jesus at baptism (Bernard, p. 75). Some say that the phrase ‘in the name of Jesus’ means ‘by the authority of’, and that we should be baptized in titles according to Matthew 28:19. We see the same phrase in Matthew 28:19- ‘in the name of’. If the phrase means ‘by the authority of’ in one verse then the same phrase will have the same meaning in another verse. The phrase ‘in the name of’ literally means ‘in the name of’. The key to understanding Matthew 28:19 is to understand that the one name is Jesus (Bernard, p. 61). Using the name of Jesus is exercising power and authority (Bernard, p. 72). This includes using His power and authority in baptism. The proper way to use the power and authority of God is to use His name. We use His name when we invoke the name Jesus. We should use the name of Jesus because he died for our sins. 1 Corinthians 1:13 Is Christ divided? was Paul crucified for you? or were ye baptized in the name of Paul? Paul was demonstrating that we should be baptized in the name of the person that died for our sins. The formula for New Testament baptism has always been in the name of Jesus (Bernard, p. 74). All through history, Jesus was the name used because that’s how the Apostles baptized. Even Martin Luther knew of baptism in Jesus name (Bernard, p. 74). The natural reading of the phrase ‘baptized in the name of Jesus Christ’ would not allow us to baptize any other way than in the name of Jesus Christ. Matthew 28:19 states that baptism is in one single name. Matthew 28:19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: All we need to do is look at how the Apostles obeyed this command. We’ve already seen in the baptismal accounts in the book of Acts that the Apostles baptized in Jesus name. We also find baptism in the name of Jesus alluded to in the Epistles. Romans 6:3-4 3 Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? 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. 1 Corinthians 1:13 Is Christ divided? was Paul crucified for you? or were ye baptized in the name of Paul? 1 Corinthians 6:11 And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God. Galatians 3:27 For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ. 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. The indication from these verses is that baptism includes the name of Jesus. We see this again in the book of Acts. Acts 15:17 That the residue of men might seek after the Lord, and all the Gentiles, upon whom my name is called, saith the Lord, who doeth all these things. How is Jesus’ name called over us? The name of Jesus is called over us when we are baptized in Jesus name. We see the name being called again in James 2:7. James 2:7 Do not they blaspheme that worthy name by the which ye are called? Both of these verses, Acts 15:17 and James 2:7, point to a specific account where the name was orally invoked over each believer (Bernard, p. 76). Some of these verses say Lord while others say Christ. The significance is the name of Jesus. Jesus is both Lord and Christ. Acts 2:36 Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ. It is a privilege to be identified with the name of Jesus. We get that identification through baptism in Jesus name. Romans tells us to call on the name of the Lord Jesus for salvation. Romans 10:9-13 9 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. 10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. 11 For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed. 12 For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him. 13 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. We call on the name of the Lord Jesus by repenting in the name of Jesus, being baptized in the name of Jesus, and being filled with the Holy Ghost in the name of Jesus. 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. We then walk with Jesus, living clean, holy lives that are set apart for His glory. Everything we do, we do in the name of Jesus. Colossians 3:17 And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him. If we are to truly recognize Jesus as our savior and make Him the Lord of our lives, we must follow the new birth experience of being born of the water and of the Spirit. This includes being baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ for the remission of sins.
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