GROW Part 1 – Lesson 4 of 5

 

GROW Part 1 / Lesson 4 – BORN AGAIN BY FAITH

 

1 Corinthians 15:1-4
1  Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand;
2  By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain.
3  For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures;
4  And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:

The commandments of God fall into three categories.

  1. Mishpatim: These are literally translated judgments which are ethical or moral laws. We can easily understand them as they are part of our moral and civil disciplines. They include scriptures such as: thou shalt not kill; thou shalt not steal; thou shalt not lie; etc…
  2. Edos: These are literally translated witnesses. They are a “witness” because they are commands that relate to rituals and festivals. These teach us important truths from their types and shadows. A good example of this is Jesus being the Passover lamb, or His death happening on Passover. Through the study of the Edos commands of Passover we could better understand what significance these occurrences would have for us.
  3. Chukim: These are literally translated decrees. These “Chukim/Decree” commandments are hard for us to understand because they don’t always make sense to our minds since they do not seem to have a logical reason as to why we must obey them. Yet we should obey them because God commands us to. The Children of Israel understood this to be true. That is why they responded to the giving of God’s commands by saying, “All that God says, we will do and we will obey.” (Exodus 24:7) The word “obey” is the Hebrew word “Shema.” Shema literally means to hear, listen, or obey (see Deuteronomy 6:4). Therefore, repentance, baptism in Jesus’ name, and receiving the Holy Ghost is of FAITH! Even though we don’t see it by sight, or understand it by our intellect, we are still commanded by the Lord to obey. Obedience doesn’t always come from understanding thereby causing it to be through faith.

“Chukim/Decree” commandments are hard for man to understand because they don’t always make sense to their minds since they do not seem to have a logical reason as to why they must obey them.

Exodus 24:7
7 All that God says, we will do and we will obey.

Even though we don’t see it by sight, or understand it by our intellect, we are still commanded by the Lord to obey. Obedience doesn’t always come from understanding thereby causing it to be through faith.

John 14:15
15   If ye love me, keep my commandments.

1 John 5:3
3 For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous.

 

REPENTANCE
BY FAITH

Repentance is the act in which one turns away (repents) from his or her sin, and then, by faith, they walk toward a relationship, which is built upon the assurance they are forgiven by the work of Jesus Christ.

In Acts 20:21, Paul is quoted as saying that he was, “Testifying both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks, repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ.” Where he mentions faith and repentance, is he saying that they are two things totally distinct and different? Or are they somehow one in the same?

The reason why the question is important is that both great Reformers, Martin Luther and John Calvin, taught that sola fide (“faith alone”) was all that was necessary for salvation. They taught that repentance was only needed to bring one into a more harmonious relationship with the Lord. Yet that is not the testimony of the biblical witness. There we find that repentance and faith are two sides of the same coin. This can be more easily seen in the following examples:

Acts 20:21
21 Testifying both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks, repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ.

Repentance and faith are two sides of the same coin. This can be more easily seen in the following examples:

Matthew 3:2
2 And saying, Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.

Matthew 4:17
17 From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.

Mark 1:15
15 And saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel.

Mark 6:12
12 And they went out, and preached that men should repent.

Luke 13:3
3 I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.

Acts 2:38
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.

Acts 3:19
19 Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord;

Acts 17:30
30 And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent:

Revelation 2:5
5 Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent.

Revelation 3:19
19 As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.

Defining Repentance

  • Repentance is a religious term that denotes a redirection of a person’s mind, will and actions as indicated in the Greek word metanoia-a change of mind. (Webster’s Third New International Dictionary
  • Repentance is both sorrow for sin and the act of turning away from it. (Encyclopedia Americana, Edition 1983, Vol. 21, pg. 495
  • The turning from sin is emphatically a matter of conduct, but it is also a matter of the heart. (Dictionary of the Bible, by James Hastings, Vol. IV, pg. 225)
  • Repentance in the ethico-religious sense is turning away from sin and back to God. (Interpreters Dictionary of the Bible, Edition 1962, Vol. IV, pg. 33)

The Jews believed that repentance caused the Messiah to draw nigh. John the Baptist, a Jew, was sent as the forerunner to the Messiah, Jesus. What was John’s message? Repentance! Jesus’ message paralleled John’s. He taught: “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel” (Mark 1:15).

Rabbi Eli’ezer is credited with saying: “Repent one day before you die.” Being confused his students asked: “Does anyone know on what day he will die?” Eli’ezer responded: “Then he should certainly repent today lest he die tomorrow. Thus, one will be in constant repentance” (See Avot 2:11).  Eli’ezar’s words are not referring to repenting repeatedly about the same sins. He is talking about men and women focusing daily on their mortality through open communication with God. Such interaction can turn a believer away from their sin and toward a walk of Christlikeness. Without doubt, such repentance was occurring over 2,000 years ago on the Day of Pentecost. The Jews there were looking for Jesus’ promised arrival. They knew for them to draw near to Him, they must first turn (repent) toward Him and then—by faith—move forward into His presence. This they did and it resulted in the arrival of Jesus’ Spirit infilling several thousand people.

God said that a turning, returning, or a conversion is necessary for entrance into the kingdom of God.

Matthew 18:3
3 And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.

Luke 13:3
3 I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.

Repentance is a turning away from our sin, disobedience, and rebellion and a turning back to God and His ways.

Matthew 9:13
13 But go ye and learn what that meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice: for I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.

In a more general sense, repentance is to change one’s mind.

Genesis 6:6-7
6 And it repented the LORD that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart.
7 And the LORD said, I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth; both man, and beast, and the creeping thing, and the fowls of the air; for it repenteth me that I have made them.

It’s a feeling of remorse or regret for past conduct.

Matthew 27:3
3 Then Judas, which had betrayed him, when he saw that he was condemned, repented himself, and brought again the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and elders,

True repentance is a “godly sorrow” for sin. It is an act of turning around and going in the opposite direction. This type of repentance leads to a fundamental change in a person’s relationship to God.

2 Corinthians 7:10
10 For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death.

Restitution

Many times, the subject of restitution comes up when speaking on repentance. This is due to people having things (mistakes/sins) in their past for which they feel guilty or responsible. These feelings or thoughts cause them to desire a way to “make things right.” Noah Webster’s 1828 Dictionary of American English defines “restitution” as:

  1. The act of returning or restoring to a person some thing or right of which he has been unjustly deprived; as the restitution of ancient rights to the crown.
    • Restitution is made by restoring a specific thing taken away or lost.
  2. The act of making good, or of giving an equivalent for any loss, damage or injury; indemnification.
    • He restitution to the value makes.
  3. The act of recovering a former state or posture. [Unusual.]
    • Restitution of all things, the putting the world in a holy and happy state. Acts 3.

Nave’s Topical Bible lists several areas where the biblical principle of restitution is found.

This last one (Luke 19:8) is dealing with Jesus and Zacchaeus. This was a story about a tax collector who was short on honesty and stature. Remember, this occurred during the time of Law, as were all the other examples given by Naves. The Law is for sinners, and when you wrong or defraud a person, you are sinning against them and against God.

Concerning Zacchaeus’ act of restitution, the translation notes in the 1599 Geneva Bible states: “The example of true repentance is known by the effect.

Restitution is a New Covenant principle that should always happen when and where it can; because making things right with man is a BIG part of making things right with God!

Matthew 3:8
8  Bring forth therefore fruits meet for repentance:

Acts 26:20
20  But showed first unto them of Damascus, and at Jerusalem, and throughout all the coasts of Judea, and then to the Gentiles, that they should repent and turn to God, and do works meet for repentance.

Acts 26:20 AMP
20  But made known openly first of all to those at Damascus, then at Jerusalem and throughout the whole land of Judea, and also among the Gentiles, that they should repent and turn to God, and do works and live lives consistent with and worthy of their repentance.

“’That they should repent.’ He preached more than a theory; he preached a new life.” (The People’s New Testament [1891] by B. W. Johnson)

The positive, or merciful, side of repentance is seen in these words:

Luke 15:10
10 There is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.

Repentance is a turning from wickedness and dead works.

Acts 8:22
22 Repent therefore of this thy wickedness, and pray God, if perhaps the thought of thine heart may beforgiven thee.

Without repenting of our sins, we cannot be saved.

Luke 13:3
3 I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.

Jesus’ disciples continued His message of repentance and faith. (See Acts 2:38; 3:19; 20:21; 26:20).

Repentance is more than telling God you’re sorry for sin. It’s a mindset whose goal is to purposefully remove any obstacle that causes one to stray from the straight and narrow, and then to deliberately walk toward the salvation and maturity that’s found only in Jesus Christ. Sometimes a person needs to repent more than once to turn their lives toward Jesus’ direction. That doesn’t mean any repentance they did before was unacceptable to God, but that they still had issues blocking them from completely moving away from their sin and toward God. For a man or woman to walk the straight path and go through the narrow gate, they must live a life of repentance, for repentance helps correct variances they will have on their journey to Christlikeness.

 

BAPTISM IN JESUS’ NAME
BY FAITH

Baptism was the LAST MESSAGE preached by Jesus, which was a COMMAND to baptize all nations (see Matt 28:19), and it was the FIRST MESSAGE preached by the Apostles, which resulted in a command for EVERYONE to be baptized for salvation (Acts 2:38).

Defining “Baptism”

The word Baptism is the Greek word “BAPTIZO,” which means “to immerse.” Sprinkling is the Greek word “RANTIZO.”

  • Baptism taken from Greek word Baptizo – to dip, immerse. (Greek-English Lexicon by Liddel, Scott & Thayer)
  • Greek word baptizo means to dip under. (Classic Greek-English Dictionary By Pollet)
  • Greek word baptizo—to immerse (Greek-English Dictionary By Divry’s)
  • Baptism was always a burial. The command to baptize was a command to immerse. (Schaff-Herzog Religious Encyclopedia, Vol. 1. Pg. 451)
  • Immersion was oldest method employed. Buried in baptism. Romans 6:4 (Catholic Biblical Encyclopedia, Pg. 61, Paragraph 2)
  • It is evident that the action performed in baptizing was immersion. (Encyclopedia Dictionary of the Bible, Pg. 202)
  • The early church practiced immersion or submerging under the water. (World Book Encyclopedia, Volume 2, Pg. 70.)
  • Martin Luther preferred immersion as more true to original practices. (Encyclopedia of Lutheran Church, Volume 1, Pg. 188)
  • Romans 6:4, “Buried in baptism.” The reference is to baptism by immersion. (Pulpit Commentary by Imminent Scholars, Volume 18, Pg. 156)

The Origins of Baptism

The Old Testament contains several references to baptism. There it was known as a “MIKVAH.” A mikvah is a pool or a gathering of water.

Leviticus 11:36
36 Nevertheless a fountain or pit, wherein there is plenty of water, shall be clean: but that which toucheth their carcase shall be unclean.

There are different types of immersions found in the Old Testament. Here are some of those:

The True Mikvah

Jesus is the “hope of Israel.” The word HOPE in the Hebrew is the word MIKVAH. The following verse is literally saying that Jesus will be the “BAPTISM” of Israel!

Jeremiah 17:13
13 O LORD, the hope of Israel, all that forsake thee shall be ashamed, and they that depart from me shall be written in the earth, because they have forsaken the LORD, the fountain of living waters.

The DAY of the Messiah was to be a time of cleansing from sins and disobedience.

Zechariah 13:1
1 In that day there shall be a fountain opened to the house of David and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem for sin and for uncleanness.

Baptism, Jewish Encyclopedia.com, by Kaufmann Kohler and Samuel Krauss
To receive the spirit of God, or to be permitted to stand in the presence of God (His Shekinah), man must undergo Baptism (Tan., Meẓora’, 6, ed. Buber, p. 46), wherefore in the Messianic time God will Himself pour water of purification upon Israel in accordance with Ezek. xxxvi. 25 (Tan., Meẓora’, 9-17, 18, ed. Buber, pp. 43, 53).

Ezekiel 36:25-27
25  Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean: from all your filthiness, and from all your idols, will I cleanse you.
26  A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you a heart of flesh.
27  And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them.

This is exactly what the scriptures said of Jesus’ purpose.

Matthew 1:21
21 And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins.

John 7:38
38 He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.

John 19:34
34 But one of the soldiers with a spear pierced his side, and forthwith came there out blood and water.

Infant Baptism

Infant baptism cannot be found in the New Testament. The very mode (immersion) makes it illogical and impractical, and the teaching surrounding baptism automatically prohibits it.

  • That the first recipients of baptism were adults. Infant baptism was a later development that led to sprinkling. (Chambers Encyclopedia, Vol. 2, Pg. 112)
  • There’s no direct evidence in the New Testament for infant baptism. (Interpreters Bible Dictionary, Vol. 1, Pg. 352)
  • The earliest Christian literature makes no reference to baptism of infants. (Encyclopedia Britannica, Vol. 3, Pg. 138)
  • The first mention of infant baptism was about 185 A.D. Not universal until 6th Century. (History of Church, by Walker, Pgs 87, 88)
  • 350 Lutheran pastors of W. Germany wish to abandon infant baptism. Many of these same pastors refused to baptize their own infants. They felt that baptism should be understood first by the recipient. (Time Magazine 58-May, 1968)
  • Karl Barth of Switzerland, the best known Theologian of 20th Century said, “There is not biblical basis for infant baptism-this tradition is simply an old error of the church.” (Time Magazine, Pg. 58-May, 1968)

The Bible gives scriptural directives as to when candidate is ready for baptism, each of which first requires a person be mature before carrying them out.

  1. Luke 18:15-17, Matthew 19:13-15 ……. A child should be old enough to receive teaching, believe, and repent of sin before being baptized.
  2. Matthew 28:19……. “Teach all nations, baptizing them…” Teaching or preaching must precede baptism. (Also see Acts 2:41)
  3. Acts 8:36, 37……. “What doth hinder me to be baptized?” Philip, “If Thou believest with all thine heart.” Believing is a prerequisite of baptism. (Also see Mark 16:16)
  4. Acts 2:38……. “Repent and be baptized everyone of you.” Repentance must precede baptism.

There is not one account of infant baptism in the Bible. Dedicating children to God and asking Him to bless them can be found, and is therefore an acceptable practice in the New Covenant Church of Jesus Christ.

The Womb and
the Tomb

John 3:3
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.

John 3:5
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 following Bible commentaries all agree that the words that Jesus spoke in John 3:5 refer to the waters of baptism: Matthew-Henry, Adam Clark, History of the Christian Church, Walker, Catholic Encyclopedia, Oxford Dictionary of Church, Interpreters Dictionary of Bible, and Temples Bible Dictionary

The idea behind such an expression can be found in the Jewish Talmud: “…a proselyte is like a newborn infant.” (b. Yevamot 62a; see also b. Yevamot 48b).

The scripture also shows us that water represents the tomb.

Romans 6:4
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
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.

It is not contradictory to describe baptism as both a Womb and a Tomb. Both are places of non-breathing and end points of the cycle of life. When a person emerges from baptism’s waters, they are raised-up in a new status, position, or existence, because the “Old Man” dies there, and the “New Man” becomes alive.

1 Peter 2:9
9 But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light:

Romans 6:6
6 Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.

Baptism in
the Name of Jesus

Here are several reference books that agree baptism is to be administered in the all-powerful name of Jesus Christ:

American Encyclopedia Dictionary, (Page 4189)

  • The word Trinity is not found in the scriptures, and is said to have been first used by Theophilus, Bishop of Antioch, in the second century.
  • But from texts quoted, the early church recognized that the sacred writings taught (1) THAT THERE IS ONE GOD; (2) THAT CHRIST WAS CALLED GOD; AND (3) THAT THE HOLY GHOST WAS ALSO CALLED GOD: AND FROM THE COMBINATION OF THESE TRUTHS, THE DOCTRINE OF THE TRINITY WAS DEDUCTED.

The Beginnings of Christianity, The Acts of the Apostles Volume 1, Prolegomena 1, F. J. Foakes Jackson and Kirsopp Lake 1979 version (Pages 335-337)

  • It is not even certain whether this verse ought to be regarded as part of the genuine text of Matthew. NO OTHER TEXT, indeed, is found in any extant manuscripts, in any language, but it is arguable that Justin Martyr, though he used the trine formula, did not find it in his text of the Gospels; Hermas seems to be unacquainted with it; the evidence of the Didache is ambiguous, and Eusebius habitually, though not invariably, quotes it in another form, “GO YE INTO ALL THE WORLD AND MAKE DISCIPLES OF ALL THE GENTILES IN MY NAME.
  • Would they have baptized, as Acts says that they did, and Paul seems to confirm the statement, in the name of the Lord Jesus if the Lord himself had commanded them to use the (Catholic Trinitarian) formula of the Church? ON EVERY POINT THE EVIDENCE OF ACTS IS CONVINCING PROOF THAT THE (CATHOLIC) TRADITION EMBODIED IN MATTHEW 28:19 IS A LATE (NON-SCRIPTURAL CREED) AND UNHISTORICAL.
  • Neither in the third gospel nor in Acts is there any reference to the (Catholic Trinitarian) Matthaean tradition, nor any mention of the institution of (Catholic Trinitarian) Christian baptism. Nevertheless, a little later in the narrative WE FIND SEVERAL REFERENCES TO BAPTISM IN WATER IN THE NAME OF THE LORD JESUS AS PART OF RECOGNIZED (EARLY) CHRISTIAN PRACTICE. Thus we are faced by the problem of a Christian rite, not directly ascribed to Jesus, but assumed to be a universal (and original) practice. That it was so is confirmed by the Epistles, but the facts of importance are all contained in Acts.” 

The Bible Commentary 1919, Dr. Peake (Page 723)

  • “The command to baptize into the threefold name is a late doctrinal expansion. Instead of the words baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost we should probably read simply – ‘INTO MY NAME.’”

Canney’s Encyclopedia of Religions 1970 (Page 53)

  • PERSONS WERE BAPTIZED AT FIRST ‘IN THE NAME OF JESUS CHRIST’ . . . OR ‘IN THE NAME OF THE LORD JESUS: . . . . Afterwards, with the development of the doctrine of the Trinity, they were baptized ‘in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost’.” 

The Catholic Encyclopedia, Vol. II New York: Robery Appleton Co., 1907

  • OWING TO THESE TEXTS SOME THEOLOGIANS HAVE HELD THAT THE APOSTLES BAPTIZED IN THE NAME OF CHRIST ONLY.

Christian Institutions, New York, Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1897, Allen, Alexander V. G

  • After the third century the formula of baptism was the name of the Trinity, and baptism otherwise performed was declared invalid. But in the early church, as also in the Apostolic age, there is evidence that THE BAPTISMAL FORMULA OF THE NAME OF JESUS ONLY WAS NOT UNUSUAL.
  • In his treatise, de Spir Sanc., Ambrose seems aware of the significance of this issue regarding baptism. “HE WHO IS BLESSED IN CHRIST IS BLESSED IN THE NAME OF THE FATHER AND OF THE SON AND OF THE HOLY SPIRIT, BECAUSE THE NAME IS ONE AND THE POWER IS ONE; SO THEY WERE BAPTIZED IN THE NAME OF JESUS CHRIST; FOR WHEN IT IS SAID, IN THE NAME OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST, THE MYSTERY IS COMPLETE THROUGH THE ONENESS OF THE NAME… 

The Demonstratio Evangelica” by Eusebius, Church historian and Bishop of Caesarea, (260 – 340 AD) Pg.152 Eusebius quotes the early book of Matthew that he had in his library in Caesarea. In that copy Eusebius says Jesus’ actual words to his disciples in the original text of Matthew 28:19:

  • “With one word and voice He said to His disciples: ‘go, and make disciples of all nations IN MY NAME, teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you.’

Dictionary of the Bible, James Hastings  – Pg. 88 

  • “It has been customary to trace the institution of the practice to the words of Christ in Matthew 28:19, but the authenticity of this passage has been challenged on historical as well as textual grounds. It must be acknowledged that the formulas of the threefold name, which is here enjoined, DOES NOT APPEAR TO HAVE BEEN USED BY THE PRIMITIVE CHURCH, which so far as our information goes, BAPTIZED “IN” OR “INTO” THE NAME OF JESUS, JESUS CHRIST, OR THE LORD JESUS, WITHOUT ANY REFERENCE TO THE FATHER OR THE SPIRIT. 

Dictionary of the Bible by Scribners, Vol 1 pg 241

  • “The original form of words was INTO THE NAME OF JESUS CHRIST OR LORD JESUS. Baptism into the Trinity was a later development.

Encyclopedia Biblica (1899), I, 473: 

  • “It is natural to conclude that baptism was administered in the earliest times ‘IN THE NAME OF JESUS CHRIST,’ or in that ‘OF THE LORD JESUS’.” “This view is confirmed by the fact that the earliest forms of the baptismal confession appear to have been single-not triple, as was the later creed.” 

Canney Encyclopedia Of Religion, Page 53  

  • THE EARLY CHURCH ALWAYS BAPTIZED IN THE NAME OF THE LORD JESUS until development of Trinity Doctrine in the Second Century.”

Catholic Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger on the origins of Matthew 28:19

  • “The basic form of our (Matthew 28:19 Trinitarian) profession of faith took shape during the course of the second and third centuries in connection with the ceremony of baptism. So far as its place of origin is concerned, the text (Matthew 28:19) CAME FROM THE CITY OF ROME.” 

The Catholic Encyclopedia, II, page 263: 

  • “The baptismal formula WAS CHANGED FROM THE NAME OF JESUS CHRIST to the words Father, Son, and Holy Spirit by the Catholic Church in the second century.”

The Doctrine of Baptism, page 28, Edmund Schlink

  • “The baptismal command in its Matthew 28:19 form CAN NOT BE THE HISTORICAL ORIGIN OF CHRISTIAN BAPTISM. At the very least, it must be assumed that the text has been transmitted in a form expanded by the [Catholic] church.” 

Doctrine and Practice in the Early Church, 1992, pages 20 & 21, Dr. Stuart G. Hall

  • “’In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,’ although those words were not used, as they later are, as a formula. Not all baptisms fitted this rule.
  • More common and perhaps more ancient was the simple, ‘IN THE NAME OF THE LORD JESUS OR, JESUS CHRIST.’ This practice was known among Marcionites and Orthodox; it is certainly the subject of controversy in Rome and Africa about 254, as the anonymous tract De rebaptismate (‘On rebaptism’) shows.”

Encyclopedia Britannica, 11th ed., (1920) vol.3, pg 365-366

  • “The Trinitarian formula and trine immersion were not uniformly used form the beginning, nor did they always go together. The teaching of the Apostles, indeed, prescribes baptism in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, but on the next page speaks of those who have been BAPTIZED INTO THE NAME OF THE LORD—the normal formula of the New Testament.” 

Encyclopedia of Religion and Ethics (1951). II, 384, 389:

  • “The formula used was ‘IN THE NAME OF THE LORD JESUS CHRIST’ or some synonymous phrase; there is NO EVIDENCE FOR THE USE OF THE TRIUNE NAME… The earliest form, represented in the Acts, was simple immersion… in water, the use of the name of the Lord, and the laying on of hands. To these were added, at various times and places which cannot be safely identified, (a) the triune name (Justin)…”

For Christ’s Sake, Pg. 103, Tom Harpur, Religious Editor for the Toronto Star 

  • “All but the most conservative scholars agree that at least the latter part of this command [Triune part of Matthew 28:19] was inserted later. The [Trinitarian] formula occurs nowhere else in the New Testament, and we know from the only evidence available [the rest of the New Testament] that the earliest Church did not baptize people using these words (“in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost”) baptism was “INTO” OR “IN” THE NAME OF JESUS ALONE. Thus it is argued that the verse originally read “baptizing them in My Nameand then was expanded [changed] to work in the [later Catholic Trinitarian] dogma. In fact, the first view put forward by German critical scholars as well as the Unitarians in the nineteenth century, was stated as the accepted position of mainline scholarship as long ago as 1919, when Peake’s commentary was first published: “The Church of the first days (AD 33) did not observe this world-wide (Trinitarian) commandment, even if they knew it. The command to baptize into the threefold [Trinity] name is a late doctrinal expansion.”

Hastings Dictionary of Bible, pg.83

  • IT MUST BE ACKNOWLEDGED THAT THE THREE FOLD NAME OF MATT. 28:19 DOES NOT APPEAR TO HAVE BEEN USED BY THE PRIMITIVE CHURCH, BUT RATHER IN THE NAME OF JESUS, JESUS CHRIST OR LORD JESUS.”

Hastings Dictionary of the Bible (1898), I, Pg. 241

  • “[One explanation is that] the ORIGINAL FORM OF WORDS WAS “INTO THE NAME OF JESUS CHRIST” OR ‘THE LORD JESUS, “Baptism into the name of the Trinity was a later development.”

Hastings Dictionary of the Bible (1963), page 1015: 

  • “The Trinity.-…is not demonstrable by logic or by Scriptural proofs,…The term Trias was first used by Theophilus of Antioch (c AD 180),…(The term Trinity) not found in Scripture…” “The chief Trinitarian text in the NT is the baptismal formula in Mt 28:19…This late post-resurrection saying, NOT FOUND IN ANY OTHER GOSPEL OR ANYWHERE ELSE IN THE NT, has been viewed by some scholars as an interpolation into Matthew. It has also been pointed out that the idea of making disciples is continued in teaching them, so that the intervening reference to baptism with its Trinitarian formula was perhaps a later insertion into the saying. Finally, Eusebius’s form of the (ancient) text (“IN MY NAME” rather than in the name of the Trinity) has had certain advocates. (Although the Trinitarian formula is now found in the modern-day book of Matthew), this does not guarantee its source in the historical teaching of Jesus. It is doubtless better to view the (Trinitarian) formula as derived from early (Catholic) Christian, perhaps Syrian or Palestinian, baptismal usage (cf Didache 7:1-4), and as a brief summary of the (Catholic) Church’s teaching about God, Christ, and the Spirit:…”

Hastings Encyclopedia of Religion, Volume 2 Pg. 378

  • The use of the Trinitarian formula of any sort was not suggested in early church history.”

Hastings Encyclopedia of Religion, Volume 2 Pg. 389

  • Baptism was always in the name of the Lord Jesus until the time of Justin Martyr when Triune Formula was used.”

A History of the Christian Church, 1953 by Williston Walker former Professor of Ecclesiastical History at Yale University. Pg. 95 

  • “With the early disciples generally baptism was ‘IN THE NAME OF JESUS CHRIST.’ There is NO MENTION OF BAPTISM IN THE NAME OF THE TRINITY IN THE NEW TESTAMENT, except in the command attributed to Christ in Matthew 28:19. That text is early, (but not the original) however. It underlies the Apostles’ Creed, and the practice recorded (*or interpolated) in the Teaching, (or the Didache) and by Justin. The Christian leaders of the third century retained the recognition of the earlier form, and, in Rome at least, baptism in the name of Christ was deemed valid, if irregular, certainly from the time of Bishop Stephen (254-257).”

A History of the Christian Church (1947), page 58, Williston Walker

  • “The Trinitarian baptismal formula . . . was displacing THE OLDER BAPTISM IN THE NAME OF CHRIST.”

A History of Christian Thought (1965), I, 53, Otto Heick, 

  • AT FIRST BAPTISM WAS ADMINISTERED IN THE NAME OF JESUS, but gradually in the name of the Triune God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia, Vol. 4, page 2637, “Baptism”

  • Matthew 28:19 in particular only canonizes a later ecclesiastical situation, that its universalism is contrary to the facts of early Christian history, and its Trinitarian formula (is) foreign to the mouth of Jesus.”

Interpreter’s Dictionary of the Bible (1962), I 351 

  • “The evidence of Acts 2:38; 10:4-8 (cf. 8:16; 19:5), supported by Galatians 3:27, Romans 6:3, suggests that baptism in early Christianity was administered, not in the three-fold name, but “IN THE NAME OF JESUS CHRIST” or “IN THE NAME OF THE LORD JESUS:” –

The Jerusalem Bible [a Catholic work] 

  • “It may be that this formula, (Triune Matthew 28:19) so far as the fullness of its expression is concerned, is a reflection of the (Man-made) liturgical usage established later in the primitive (Catholic) community. It will be remembered that ACTS SPEAKS OF BAPTIZING IN THE NAME OF JESUS,’…”

Kyrios Christianity, page 295, Wilhelm Bousset

  • “The TESTIMONY FOR THE WIDE DISTRIBUTION OF THE SIMPLE BAPTISMAL FORMULA [IN THE NAME OF JESUS] DOWN INTO THE SECOND CENTURY IS SO OVERWHELMING that even in Matthew 28:19, the Trinitarian formula was later inserted.”

James Moffett’s New Testament Translation Pg. 64 “Matthew 28:19

  • “It may be that this (Trinitarian) formula, so far as the fullness of its expression is concerned, is a reflection of the (Catholic) liturgical usage established later in the primitive (Catholic) community, It will be remembered that ACTS SPEAKS OF BAPTIZING ‘IN THE NAME OF JESUS,’ cf. Acts 1:5 +.”

New Revised Standard Version Bible on Matthew 28:19 

  • “Modern critics claim this formula is falsely ascribed to Jesus and that it represents later (Catholic) church tradition, for NOWHERE in the book of Acts (or any other book of the Bible) is baptism performed with the name of the Trinity…”

New Testament Studies Number 5, The Catholic University of America in Washington, D. C. 1923, Bernard Henry Cuneo page 27

  • “The passages in Acts and the Letters of St. Paul. THESE PASSAGES SEEM TO POINT TO THE EARLIEST FORM AS BAPTISM IN THE NAME OF THE LORD.
  • Is it possible to reconcile these facts with the belief that Christ commanded his disciples to baptize in the trine form? Had Christ given such a command, it is urged, the Apostolic Church would have followed him, and we should have some trace of this obedience in the New Testament. NO SUCH TRACE CAN BE FOUND. The only explanation of this silence, according to the anti-traditional view, is this THE SHORT CHRISTOLOGICAL (JESUS NAME) FORMULA WAS (THE) ORIGINAL, and the longer trine formula was a later development.”

The Tyndale New Testament Commentaries, I, 275

  • “It is often affirmed that the words in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost are not the ipsissima verba [exact words] of Jesus, but…a later liturgical addition.”

The Schaff-Hertzog Religious Encyclopedia, (1957) Vol 1, pg 435

  • “Jesus, however, cannot have given His disciples this Trinitarian order of baptism after His resurrection; for THE NEW TESTAMENT KNOWS ONLY ONE BAPTISM IN THE NAME OF JESUS (Acts 2:38; 8:16; 10:43; 19:5; Gal. 3:27; Rom. 6:3; 1 Cor. 1:13-15), which still occurs even in the second and third centuries, while the Trinitarian formula occurs only in Matt. 28:19, and then only again (in the) Didache 7:1 and Justin, Apol. 1:61…Finally, the distinctly liturgical character of the formula…is strange; it was not the way of Jesus to make such formulas… the formal authenticity of Matt. 28:19 must be disputed…” page 435.

Theology of the New Testament, 1951, Pg. 133, R. Bultmann 

  • “As to the rite of baptism, it was normally consummated as a bath in which the one receiving baptism completely submerged, and if possible in flowing water as the allusions of Acts 8:36, Heb. 10:22, Barn. 11:11 permit us to gather, and as Did. 7:1-3 specifically says. According to the last passage, [the apocryphal Catholic Didache] suffices in case of the need if water is three times poured [false Catholic sprinkling doctrine] on the head. THE ONE BAPTIZING NAMES OVER THE ONE BEING BAPTIZED THE NAME OF THE LORD JESUS CHRIST, later expanded [changed] to the name of the Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit.

World Book Encyclopedia, Vol XXVI, -Pg 7270 

  • “This (Trinity) doctrine is a development of Christian theology, not being taught in the Old Testament, but capable of being deducted from passages in the New Testament. The first authoritive statement of belief in Father, Son, and Holy Ghost (as separate persons) was made by the earliest general council of churches held in Nice in 325 AD, which also declared the Son to be equal substance with the Father. With regard to the Holy Spirit, the East and West subsequently divided.”

Baptism, Jewish Encyclopedia.com, by Kaufmann Kohler and Samuel Krauss  

  • “The Baptism of the proselyte has for its purpose his cleansing from the impurity of idolatry, and the restoration to the purity of a NEW-BORN MAN. This may be learned from the Talmud (Soṭah 12b) in regard to Pharaoh’s daughter, whose bathing in the Nile is explained by Simon b. Yoḥai to have been for that purpose. The bathing in the water is to constitute a rebirth, wherefore ‘the ger is like a child just born’ (Yeb. 48b); and HE MUST BATHE ‘IN THE NAME OF GOD’—’leshem shamayim’—that is, assume the yoke of God’s kingdom imposed upon him by the one who leads him to Baptism (‘maṭbil’), or else he is not admitted into Judaism (Gerim. vii. 8). For this very reason the Israelites before the acceptance of the Law had, according to Philo on the Decalogue (‘De Decalogo,’ ii., xi.), as well as according to rabbinical tradition, to undergo the rite of baptismal purification (compare I Cor. x. 2, ‘They were baptized unto Moses [the Law] in the clouds and in the sea’).”

Why Call On
“The Name”?

Baptism, Jewish Encyclopedia.com, by Kaufmann Kohler and Samuel Krauss  

  • “The Baptism of the proselyte has for its purpose his cleansing from the impurity of idolatry, and the restoration to the purity of a NEW-BORN MAN. This may be learned from the Talmud (Soah 12b) in regard to Pharaoh’s daughter, whose bathing in the Nile is explained by Simon b. Yoai to have been for that purpose. The bathing in the water is to constitute a rebirth, wherefore ‘the ger is like a child just born’ (Yeb. 48b); and HE MUST BATHE ‘IN THE NAME OF GOD’—’leshem shamayim’—that is, assume the yoke of God’s kingdom imposed upon him by the one who leads him to Baptism (‘mabil’), or else he is not admitted into Judaism (Gerim. vii. 8). For this very reason the Israelites before the acceptance of the Law had, according to Philo on the Decalogue (‘De Decalogo,’ ii., xi.), as well as according to rabbinical tradition, to undergo the rite of baptismal purification (compare I Cor. x. 2, ‘They were baptized unto Moses [the Law] in the clouds and in the sea’).”

Colossians 3:17
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.

Matthew 11:28-30
28  Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
29  Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.
30  For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.

The People’s New Testament (1891) by B. W. Johnson

  • Mat 11:29Take my yoke upon you and learn of me. He has first asked us to come, and made a gracious promise. He next shows us how to come. We are to come by taking his yoke upon us. Taking on the yoke is a symbol of submission. The two steps by which we come, and secure the promise of “rest unto our souls” are then 1. Submission to Christ. 2. Becoming his disciples.

Hastings Encyclopedia of Religion, Volume 2 Pg. 377

  • NAME WAS AN ANCIENT SYNONYM FOR ‘PERSON.’ Payment was always made in name of some person referring to ownership. THEREFORE ONE BEING BAPTIZED IN JESUS NAME BECAME HIS PERSONAL PROPERTY. ‘YE ARE CHRIST’S.’”

“In The Name Of”

Acts 4:10-13
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.
13 Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were unlearned and ignorant men, they marvelled; and they took knowledge of them, that they had been with Jesus.

Proverbs 22:1
A good name is rather to be chosen than great riches, and loving favour rather than silver and gold.

The Bible makes a big deal of names. Jacob wrestled an Angel and would not let go until he blesses him. The angel complies by asking him, “What’s your name?” The angel responds with a new name for Jacob, which also signifies a new identity and status in God. Moses encounters the Lord in the desert in the form of a burning bush. Moses’ request? “What is your name?” To which God said, “I AM!” That was more a promise than a name to which Moses held throughout his life.

James Bruning, a psychologist at Ohio University, has studied naming for over 30 years, and he knows that names can carry the weight of expectations. His advice to parents testing a name for their baby is to put some adult signifier in front of the name to see how it works. Like Mr., Mrs., Doctor, or President. Not that a name disqualifies you necessarily, but that names can carry a message that may not be desirable. For instance, consider how these names changed the person to which they are attached:

  • John Wayne, Film actor Marion Michael Morrison (USA 1907-1979).
  • Boxcar Willie, Country singer/songwriter, Lecil Travis Martin, (USA, 1931-1999)
  • Tiger Woods, Golfer; Eldrick Woods (USA 1975).
  • Alan Alda, Television/Movie actor, Alphonse d’Abruzzo (USA, 1936).
  • Muhammad Ali, Boxer, Cassius Marcellus Clay (USA 1942).
  • Elton John, Singer, songwriter  Reginald Kenneth Dwight (1947).
  • Gene Simmons, Rock Musician, Chaim Witz, (Israel, 1949).
  • Nikki Sixx, Bassist, ‘Motley Crûe’ ; Frank Carlton Ferrano (USA 1949).
  • Snoop Dogg, Rap Singer and movie actor, Calvin Broadus, (USA, 1972).
  • John Denver, Singer; Henry John Deutschendorf Jr. (U.S.A. 1943-1997).
  • Bo Derek, Movie actor, Mary Cathleen Collins (Long Beach, California, 1956).
  • Bo Didley, Rock n’ Roll star, Otha Elias Bates (USA, 1928).
  • Cher, Singer/Television/Movie Actor, Cherilyn Sarkisian (USA, 1946).
  • Chubby Checker, Singer, Ernest Evans (USA 1941).
  • Spiderman, All-American Superhero (So say Marvel Comics) Peter Parker.
  • Sting, Singer, songwriter, Gordon Matthew Sumner (1951).
  • Bill Clinton, President of the United States; William Jefferson Blythe III (Hope, Arkansas, USA 1946).

But the One that offers mankind salvation was foretold to also have a special name…

Philippians 2:9-11
 9 Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name:
10 That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth;
11 And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Isaiah 9:6
6 For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counseller, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.

Matthew 1:21
21 And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins.

Mark 16:16-18
16  He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.
17  And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues;
18  They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.

The New Testament Church
and Jesus Name Baptism

At the beginning of Christianity, the New Testament Church was formed by those who were baptized by faith in the name of Jesus Christ.

Acts 2:38-40
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.
40  And with many other words did he testify and exhort, saying, Save yourselves from this untoward generation.

We see this “in the name of Jesus” formula used in following accounts:

  1. Church at Jerusalem…3000 added by baptism in the name of after receiving the word. (Acts 2:41)
  2. Church at Samaria…..Believed and were baptized, men & women. (Acts 8:12-16)
  3. Church at Caesarea….Peter commanded them to be baptized (Acts 10:48)
  4. Church at Philippi…….Lydia & the Philippian jailer baptized (Acts 16:14-33)
  5. Church at Corinth…….Chief ruler of the synagogue, Crispus and his household. (Acts 18:8)
  6. Church at Corinth……Paul preached. They believed and were rebaptized. (Acts 19:1-6)

“‘In the name of’ Jesus” is a Jewish phrase that speaks of:

  • “for the sake of Jesus”
  • “for the purpose of Jesus”
  • “with reference to Jesus”

Using this phrase is a proclamation of the inner motives of the man or woman obeying the act of baptism. It speaks of their confession of surrendering to the Lordship of Jesus. It is their promise of dedication to their new life in Christ. It also speaks of the belonging they will receive from being birthed anew into the collective Body of Christ.

When Pagans were taken into a Jewish house as slaves, they were baptized “in the name of slavery.” Literally, they were immersed into slavery. But when the time came for their release, they were baptized again with “in the name of freedom.” Thus, they were first immersed into the identity of being a slave, and then they were rebaptized into the identity of freedom. From this we see this “in the name of” phrase speaks of the person being baptized entering the relationship into which they are immersed. Thus, baptism “into the name of” communicates the purpose of the baptism action.

In Acts 19:1-7 we see disciples of John the Baptist stating they were baptized “into the name” of John. Paul explained Jesus to them and then rebaptized them “in the name of the Lord Jesus.” Once they entered into this relationship in Jesus, they were filled with the Holy Ghost with evidence of speaking in tongues.

The Children of Israel were similarly baptized into Moses in the cloud (Holy Ghost) and in the sea (immersion/Mikveh) (see 1 Corinthians 10:1-2). Paul mentioned how the Jewish understanding of “into the name” was causing some division within the New Covenant assembly of believers (see 1 Corinthians 1:10-17). Some who were weak in their faith were identifying with their teacher rather than their Savior.

The New Covenant assembly of believers is to be baptized into the name of the Lord Jesus. Why? Because Jesus’ name baptism defines the type baptism in which these believers are to partake. This baptism different than all other Jewish cleansing Mikvahs including the one done by John the Baptist. I believe Paul proclaimed this uniqueness in the following verses:

Philippians 2:6-11
6  Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God:
7  But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:
8  And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.
9  Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and GIVEN HIM A NAME WHICH IS ABOVE EVERY NAME:
10  That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth;
11  And that every tongue should confess that JESUS CHRIST IS LORD, TO THE GLORY OF GOD THE FATHER.

Ephesians 1:18-21
18  The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints,
19  And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power,
20  Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places,
21  Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and EVERY NAME that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come:

The people who welcomed Jesus in to Jerusalem with a path of palm branches may have thought they were welcoming a “King” Jesus, but what they didn’t realize is they were welcoming the one who would deliver them from their old namesake—Adam. The one they welcomed as a savior came to deliver them from their “stony” heart and give them a “fleshly” heart like His! No wonder John the Baptist introduced Him by saying, “Behold, the lamb of God who comes to take away the sins of the world.” This savior was named right for He was called “Jesus”—the one who came to “save” His people from their sins.

The first Christians adhered to the command to be baptized in the name of Jesus. They knew that through their obedience to this name, they were promised to be made anew, and that through this name they would receive forgiveness for their past sins. They understood that the usage of “in the name of” was more than just good sentence structure, for in Acts 2:38 it acts as a conduit connecting the command to repent with the promise of remission of sins through baptism in Jesus’ name. Therefore, these First Century men and women were gladly baptized – by faith – in the name of Jesus!

Galatians 3:27
27 For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.

Acts 4:12
12 Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.

Mark 16:16
16 He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.

Acts 2:37-41
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.
40  And with many other words did he testify and exhort, saying, Save yourselves from this untoward generation.
41  Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls.

 

RECEIVING THE GIFT OF THE
HOLY GHOST BY FAITH

The gift of the Holy Ghost was the crowning event that Jesus gave to His Church. It is His Spirit, which was given to live and function within our bodies. He possesses our bodies to give us a NEW SPIRIT; one that is not like our old human nature, but is CHRISTLIKE in its nature. All the prophets of old looked forward to this promise of God, the New Testament saints witnessed its arrival, and we today can receive its transforming power in our lives!

Joel 2:28
28 And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions:

Isaiah 28:11-12
11  For with stammering lips and another tongue will he speak to this people.
12  To whom he said, This is the rest wherewith ye may cause the weary to rest; and this is the refreshing: yet they would not hear.

To the Jews…

The Holy Ghost’s outpouring was first fulfilled after Jesus’ resurrection (See Acts 2).

Acts 1:14-15
14  These all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication, with the women, and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brethren.
15  And in those days Peter stood up in the midst of the disciples, and said, (the number of names together were about an hundred and twenty,)

To the Samaritans…

The Spirit was also for all those who came to Jesus in the Bible records of the New Testament.

Acts 8:4-8
4  Therefore they that were scattered abroad went every where preaching the word.
5  Then Philip went down to the city of Samaria, and preached Christ unto them.
6  And the people with one accord gave heed unto those things which Philip spake, hearing and seeing the miracles which he did.
7  For unclean spirits, crying with loud voice, came out of many that were possessed with them: and many taken with palsies, and that were lame, were healed.
8  And there was great joy in that city.

Acts 8:12-19
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.
18  And when Simon saw that through laying on of the apostles’ hands the Holy Ghost was given, he offered them money,
19  Saying, Give me also this power, that on whomsoever I lay hands, he may receive the Holy Ghost.

To the Gentiles…

Acts 10:44-46
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,

To the disciples of John the Baptist…

Acts 19:1-6
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.

The Holy Ghost
is a gift

Luke 11:9-13
9  And I say unto you, Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.
10  For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.
11  If a son shall ask bread of any of you that is a father, will he give him a stone? or if he ask a fish, will he for a fish give him a serpent?
12  Or if he shall ask an egg, will he offer him a scorpion?
13  If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?

Jesus’ Word testifies to the fact that we MUST have the Spirit to be born again.

John 3:5
5 Except a man be born of the water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the Kingdom of God.

Romans 8:9
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.

1 Corinthians 12:3
3 Wherefore I give you to understand, that no man speaking by the Spirit of God calleth Jesus accursed: and that no man can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost.

Jesus said that those born of the Spirit would be like the “wind.” This is the same as “Spirit.” These can describe a current of air, a breath, a breeze, or a spirit whether it is a human, superhuman, angel, demon, or Christ’s spirit which is the Holy Spirit.

John 3:5-8
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.
6  That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.
7  Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.
8  The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.

Regardless of where a person receives the Holy Ghost throughout the world there is a recognizable and consistent sign.

Mark 16:17
17 And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues;

Acts 2:38-39
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.

Scriptures gives us a lot of information on the “sign” that would accompany the gift of the Spirit.

  • Isaiah 28:11……. Speak in another tongue.
  • Acts 2:1-2……. The Holy Ghost came as a “rushing mighty wind” that they “heard”.
  • Acts 2:3-4……. All the Apostles, Disciples, Women, and Mary, the mother of Jesus spoke in tongues.
  • Acts 2:5-13……. Some spoke in other languages, but others acted like they were drunk.
  • Joel 2:28……. A prophecy that Peter said was fulfilled on the day of Pentecost
  • Acts 2:16-33……. Peter’s Old Testament message that the people there could “see and hear.”
  • Acts 8:5-25……. The Samaritans are baptized in Jesus’ name but still need the Holy Ghost.
  • Acts 10:44-48……. The Holy Ghost is given to the first Gentiles, Cornelius.
  • Acts 11:15……. Peter testifies of the promise to the Gentiles as well as the Jews.
  • Acts 19:1-6……. The Ephesians believed, but still needed to receive the Holy Ghost.

Why Tongues?

Why would God chose “Speaking in Tongues” to be the sign that we received His Spirit? The first reason is that God chose the unruliest member in our body to show His Lordship over our lives.

James 3:2-10
2  For in many things we offend all. If any man offend not in word, the same is a perfect man, and able also to bridle the whole body.
3  Behold, we put bits in the horses’ mouths, that they may obey us; and we turn about their whole body.
4  Behold also the ships, which though they be so great, and are driven of fierce winds, yet are they turned about with a very small helm, whithersoever the governor listeth.
5  Even so the tongue is a little member, and boasteth great things. Behold, how great a matter a little fire kindleth!
6  And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of hell.
7  For every kind of beasts, and of birds, and of serpents, and of things in the sea, is tamed, and hath been tamed of mankind:
8  But the tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison.
9  Therewith bless we God, even the Father; and therewith curse we men, which are made after the similitude of God.
10  Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not so to be.

The second reason is that tongues are a universal sign that crosses all nationalities and borders.

Acts 10:46
46 For they heard them speak with tongues, and magnify God. Then answered Peter,

Acts 19:2
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.

Mark 16:17
17 And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues;

The gift of the Holy Ghost is still for today. It has never ceased. God has not taken it away. It is still available to all those believers who seek Him in spirit and in Truth.

1 Corinthians 13:8-10
8  Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away.
9  For we know in part, and we prophesy in part.
10  But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away.

The phrase “when that which is perfect is come” is from a Greek phrase “teleion,” which refers to Jesus’ coming. This can be proven by reading further into Paul’s 1 Corinthian letter.

1 Corinthians 13:12
12 For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.

Paul’s “NOW” and “THEN” statements could be a referring to the time when saints die to go on to be with the Lord, or to the maturity level saints obtain in Christ Jesus. Either way these issues are continual so the Holy Ghost with speaking in tongues could not have yet departed from men.

Jesus also said this sign would follow believers.

Mark 16:17
17 And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues;

There is a difference between speaking “IN” tongues and the gift “OF” tongues.

1 Corinthians 12:8-10
8  For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit;
9  To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit;
10  To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues:

The gifts “OF” the Spirit can be divided up into three categories. They are as follows:

  1. Gifts of Revelation:
  • The Word of Wisdom….Supernatural revelation of divine purpose
  • Word of Knowledge……Supernatural revelation of facts in the divine mind
  • Discerning of Spirits……Supernatural insight into the realm of spirits
  1. Gifts of Power:
  • Faith…………………….Supernatural trust in God for the miraculous
  • Working of Miracles……Supernatural intervention in the ordinary course of nature
  • Gifts of Healing…………Supernatural power to heal diseases
  1. Gifts of Inspiration:
  • Prophecy…………………Supernatural utterance in a known tongue
  • Divers kinds of Tongues…Supernatural utterance in a foreign tongue
  • Interpretation of Tongues…Supernatural showing forth of the meaning of other tongues

Some have made a doctrine out of tarrying for the Holy Ghost. But tarrying shows a lack of faith in God’s Word concerning His promises to you. Whether praying for yourself or for someone else, the steps to receive the Holy Ghost are still the same.

  1. A person must have faith in God’s promise of His Spirit. (Galatians 3:2, 5)
  2. You must desire to receive the gift and ask for it. (Luke 11:13)
  3. You must believe that the gift of the Holy Ghost is for you and claim it by confession to God.
  4. Then act upon the promise as God gives the utterance. (Acts 2:4)
  5. After receiving the Holy Ghost, pray in it daily. (Jude 20; 1 Corinthians 14: 2, 4, 15, 39; Ephesians 6:18)

 

The Saving Gospel
of Jesus Christ

The Gospel of Jesus Christ is a foundational truth of Christianity. Without its promise, believers would have no basis for their faith. Through it men and women find a key by which they can find true salvation for their natural man and deliverance for their carnal man. I listed how Paul describes the Gospel in the first verses of this study. Here is what he said there:

1 Corinthians 15:1-4
1  Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand;
2  By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain.
3  For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures;
4  And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:

Many Christians miss out on what the Gospel of Jesus Christ holds for them simply because they either cannot receive what it promises, or they misunderstand what it is. Paul said that because of our sins, we must believe Jesus died, was buried, and was resurrected. Notice he said he “preached” this gospel,” and the hearers “received” it and “stand” in what they received. From that position, he said, “you are ‘saved.'” So, this Gospel is a means through which men and women find the salvation in Jesus Christ.

Paul then describes this gospel is the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. These “acts” require no work on our part, but instead necessitates us seeing– by faith – ourselves participating, through “receiving” and “standing” in what Jesus already completed. We must not only believe Jesus completed these steps, but also, since we are to be engrafted into His body, Paul indicated we must participate in Jesus’ “acts” of death, burial, and resurrection.

In Acts 2, Peter spoke of “the gospel” to a group of sinners. At the conclusion of his sermon, the men he spoke to asked him how to be forgiven of sin (see Acts 2:37). This is Peter’s reply:

Acts 2:38
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.

So, Peter’s acts of salvation includes: Repentance. Baptism. Holy Ghost. Paul’s acts of the Gospel includes: Death. Burial. Resurrection. Peter’s command answers the question of how a person can “receive,” and “stand” to be “saved” by what Paul said is the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Look at the simplicity of this: Paul’s “Christ died” is obeyed in Peter’s “repent.” Paul’s “was buried” is obeyed in Peter’s “be baptized” “in the name of Jesus Christ.” Paul’s “he arose again” is obeyed in Peter’s “ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.”

Peter’s plan of salvation may sound like a Chukim commandment to many. They may see it this way saying it doesn’t make sense since there seems to be no logical reason why repentance, baptism in Jesus name, and receiving the Holy Ghost must obeyed to receive the gospel’s salvation. However, since Peter’s instruction is an inspired command of God, true believers will – by faith – obey what Peter (and Paul) said regardless what they may or may not feel. We see this type faith happening also in Acts 2.

Acts 2:41
41  Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls.

 

CONCLUSION

Salvation is more than a ticket to heaven; it is a freely-given supernatural transformation that emancipates a man from his sins, disconnects him from his old nature, reconciles him to his God, and empowers him to walk in the perfection of the Lord. Salvation is offered to all men—Jew, Samaritan, and Gentile—exclusively through the world’s Savior, Jesus Christ! Jesus said one must be “born again” of the “water” and the “Spirit” to “see” and “enter” His Kingdom. The Bible shows salvation in Jesus Christ coming through: faith in His work; obeying His Word; repentance of sins; baptism by water immersion in the Name of Jesus Christ; the infilling of the Holy Spirit with manifested evidences of speaking in other tongues and the fruits of the Spirit being: “love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance,” being evidenced and active in a believer’s life. (See Romans 6:6; Ephesians 4:22-24; Acts 1:8, Acts 2:38; Colossians 3:11; John 3:3, John 3:5, John 14:23; 1 John 3:21-24; Galatians 5:22-23)

 

The next lesson in the GROW Discipleship Course Part 1 is entitled: Saved, Now What?

 

Copyright © 2000 TK Burk. All Rights Reserved.
www.tkburk.com

GROW P1 / L 1 – THE CHURCH
GROW P1 / L2 – THE ETERNAL ONE GOD
GROW P1 / L3 – WHAT IS FAITH?
GROW P1 / L4 – BORN AGAIN BY FAITH

, , , , ,

4 Responses to GROW Part 1 – Lesson 4 of 5

  1. Clyde Randall June 22, 2017 at 5:37 am #

    Jesus said “Seek and ye shall find”, right? Can you please, please, please, PLEASE make bible study podcasts/audio files pretty much of as much of the bible as possible that anyone can download and listen to/use to study the bible as they listen to it (thus they can pause and play as they go, look at Strong’s when you mention it, and look at other sources when you reference them, etc.)? From one Jesus name baptized to another I ask. I need bible studies and it is SO hard to find things like that out there that have solid doctrine including Jesus already came. It’s hard to trust most churches and church leaders who attempt to teach the bible with futurism and misinterpretations, and weird and exaggerated Pentecostal traditions/doctrines; and the teachers that can usually are hard-pressed for time. Good luck getting their help. But if you made podcasts, they could be reused for ANY student/churchgoer without having to constantly repeat bible studies of the same ideas with new individuals for hours and hours. Much more efficient for all parties. And you’d spend less time than typing/proofreading. Please test this idea in Jesus’ name!

    • TK Burk June 28, 2017 at 3:07 pm #

      Bro Randall, thank you for your suggestion. Doing more audio is something I have considered doing for some time. I have also considered doing the same with video. How do you feel about that? I will look into the best way to do these studies. It is also good to see your dedication to the study of God’s word. I pray the Lord blesses you greatly in that pursuit. I appreciate your input and hope to hear from you again.

  2. Clyde Randall July 4, 2017 at 2:06 pm #

    Please do. Video. Audio. I cannot convey to you how desperately in need that area is across the whole Pentecostal Church. It’s one of the greatest blessings of the last two thousand years. Technology has not only put a Bible in pretty much everyone’s hand that’s willing in the first world, but video and audio has made it possible for busy Church elders and ministers to be able to bring wisdom and doctrine to an unlimited number of willing people without causing major interruptions for you guys. This is especially important for those of us who have been made aware of the fact that many teachers in the Pentecostal Church are teaching futurism and bizarre doctrines like how women need to cook certain things for their husbands on his demand as submission of a wife. I go to a church where I cannot fully trust their doctrine. And I feel sorry for others in the same boat.

    • TK Burk July 4, 2017 at 6:12 pm #

      Thanks again for your input. I will be working on doing exactly what you asking. In the next weeks I will learn what I need to know to produce these videos. After that, I will post them. Thank you for giving me the push I needed to move in this direction.

Leave a Reply