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Baptism of water and Spirit

Submitted: 6/6/2005
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Question: I am at the moment in the Church of England but wanting to move on as I found some things about the church I'm not in agreement with. However, I have been to a service at an Apostolic church and finding out things about it. You say that we should be baptised in Jesus name only. While I have no qualm about the Lord, in Matthew 28-verse 19 why does it say,'Go then to all peoples everywhere and make them my disciples:baptize them in the name of the Father,the Son,and the Holy Spirit'(Good News Bible) I'm not trying to score points,I just would like to know because I know now that I was 'christened' as a baby, but I don't think that counts as baptism. If I were to be baptised I would like to be baptised properly! Also, I don't think you HAVE to be baptised to recieve the Holy Spirit as in Acts 10 verses 44-48(GNB). Peter witnessed 'While Peter was still speaking,the Holy Spirit came down on all those who were listening to his message. The Jewish believers who had come from Joppa with Peter were amazed that God had poured out his gift of the Holy Spirit on the Gentiles also. For they heard them speaking in strange tongues and praising God's greatness.' I didn't mean that people should not be baptised as in the next passage Peter says 'Can anyone stop them from being baptised with water?' I guess what I'm trying to say is that although I have not had a full immersion baptism and have never had the urge to speak in tongues, it doesn't mean that when I surrendered myself to Jesus Christ some three years ago that I did not recieve the Holy Spirit, as I am a changed person than the one I was three years ago. I am just on a search for answers to questions, can you help?

Answer: We believe that, taken as a whole, our articles in the Apostolic Free Library on the Doctrine shelf make our position on these matter very clear. We suggest you read through them all carefully.

To summarize: Matthew 28:19 instructs the apostles to baptize 'in the name' of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. One name, not three. We believe the name Jesus had in mind was His own: the name JESUS. This is confirmed by the way the apostles followed this instruction. They always baptized by calling the name Jesus! (see Acts 2:38, 4:12; 8:16; 10:48; 19:5; 22:16; and Romans 6:3)

The proper biblical baptism is by full imersion in water in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of sins. It is the only biblical way to have sins removed (i.e. remitted, forgiven, blotted out, washd away).

Your experience of a changed life is wonderful and speaks to the power of repentance. But it is not the biblical evidence of receiving the Holy Spirit. It may reflect the fact that the Spirit is working in your life, but when people received the Spirit in the Bible, the evidence was speaking in other tongues as the Spirit gives utterance (see Acts 2:1-4; Acts 10:44-48; Acts 19:1-6).

We fully support your desires to do the right thing and get closer to the Lord. Please right back if you have any other questions or if we can help you in some way.