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Matthew's gospel ends with the Great Commission of Jesus to baptize "in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit" (Matthew 28.18-20).

However, in the Book of Acts, the Apostle Peter performs baptism in the name of Jesus Christ only (Acts 2:38, 10:4819:5).

Receiving the gift of the Holy Spirit apparently followed Peter's one-name baptism in Acts 2:38 anyway, although Acts 8:14-17 suggests that being baptized in the name of Christ does not automatically lead to receiving the Holy Spirit.  And Acts 10:45-48 suggests, conversely, that the Holy Spirit can descend on believers even before being baptized in the name of Christ alone.

I'd welcome some insight on how all this can be harmonized. 

Baptism in one-name (Jesus' name) only; or, in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit (Holy Trinity)?

Does it matter?  Why or why not?

"The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all" (2 Corinthians 13:14). 

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But I never experienced what I saw others experiencing there who were receiving it.

Don't believe that everyone you see who claims to be experiencing something is truly receiving the infilling.  It's the preachers who go around giving that little push on your forehead as if they can push the Holy Spirit into you.  If you don't fall back slain in the spirit, they'll push a little harder.  I've actually had to catch my balance to keep one of these from pushing me down.  Pathetic.  If the Holy Spirit gets you, you'll know it.  You don't need any push. 

Now what I believe on this is, you may be filled and maybe not know it or just have a hard time believing it, especially when you find yourself acting unseemly.  Even filled, we don't always walk in the Spirit.  You can have moments where you don't stop to pray before you speak or before you do something.  I think it's when we can reach a point of understanding that and just letting God be God, realizing we do mess up and work with Him to correct it, that we can stop struggling with the question of it.  God will fill us when we're ready to be filled if he hasn't already.  It's sometimes the struggling with questions about our behavior patterns that can keep us feeling as if we're not succeeding or weren't saved or don't have the Holy Spirit. 

I've stopped asking God to fill me with the Spirit.  Instead I ask Him to show me how to walk in the Spirit at all times.  He hasn't done that yet, but I'm still praying for it.  ;-)

Was reading Matthew and found Gills commentary on 8:2 appropriate here:

saying, Lord, if thou wilt, thou canst make me clean:

he was fully assured of his power, that he could make him clean, entirely rid him of his leprosy, which the priest could not do; who could only, according to the law, pronounce him clean, so that he might be admitted to company, but could not heal him of his disease: this the poor man was persuaded Christ could do for him, and humbly submits it to his will; of which, as yet, he had no intimation from him.

And thus it is with poor sensible sinners under first awakenings; they can believe in the ability of Christ to justify them by his righteousness, cleanse them by his blood; and save them by his grace to the uttermost: but they stick at, and hesitate about his willingness, by reason of their own vileness and unworthiness.


I think it's similar here. People believe in God's ability (to grant the Holy Spirit, to heal, to help them in any way). It's His willingness to do so they question, and not because of His character but because of their own. Like my hatred and disgust about times I'm unable to keep my emotions in check or when I get irritable. I have thought God wouldn't help me until I learned to control these better, yet I look at when He has and know He is willing because of His compassion and mercy and grace and our acceptance of Christ, and in His eyes our sins were cleansed. We are convicted of them and disgusted by them, but that's why God gave up His only Son, because He knew our weaknesses and can see the inside, our desire to do good and the Spirit within us. And therefore He is willing and for all we know may already have filled us. But we question His willingness and our own disgust with our ability to always do good, and that keeps us from believing it or accessing it.
I think, in my case, it never had anything to do with whether or not God would heal me based on my character. But it's always a question in my mind, Will He? I've never doubted He could or believed I could earn it or deserve it.
I've gone back and forth on this. Thinking Jesus always healed when asked then thinking He didn't remove Paul's thorn then thinking that if we ask anything in His name....

Until we know fully then, it's something we'll never understand.

Greetings Brothers and Sisters,

Yes, in the Trinity, the oneness is the same.........Three in One, One in Three......Amen.

And LT, I agree totally with your explanation of - "one receives the indwelling of the Holy Spirit at salvation (regeneration, new birth). One is later (could be almost immediately at salvation or separated by a large amount of time) is filled with the Holy Spirit. Two separate events and neither instance requires water baptism which too is a separate event."

Consider Galatians 5: 17-18," For the flesh sets its desire against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; for these are in opposition to one another, so that you may not do the things that you please. (18) But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law."(N.A.S.B.).

I believe the Spirit is always the same size, strength, and depth......no matter what we're thinking or doing. And He is always indwelling the believer. He doesn't diminish in size, or leave for a while from us........He just gets "blocked out" by the wrong thoughts and desires in one's heart, mind, and soul.( Please see the prescription for this in Matthew 22:37-40).

In the beginning of a new believer's walk, Sanctification begins. The Holy Spirit is indwelling the person......so is all the worldly baggage that person is still carrying.....like Galatians tells us above.

So, the only way, or time, one can be full of the Spirit in their walk with the Lord  - is when they allow themselves to be led by Him...........after discontinuing trying to be good on their own.......and closing their heart, soul, and mind to the world.

Like = Stephen in Acts 7:55.......The disciples in Acts 4:31......A drunkard in Ephesians 5:18.

Romans 12: 1-2," I urge you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. (2) And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect. (N.A.S.B.).

................And you shall be filled with the Holy Spirit.....................Grace and Peace.

Cher,

Amen to your posting, re: the palm-pushers.

Grace and Peace.

Sqeek,

Well said in your post yesterday.

Sorry for calling you Cher........gettin' old and forgetful........please forgive.

Your mention of His willingness and our conditional receiving has been a question for over 2000 years.............

Grace and Peace.

So I'm not Cher now but Sqeek? LOL

I don't care what ya call me as long as you don't call me late for dinner.

I think all that means is that God doesn't give a hoot about formulas. 

When you did something "in the name of" someone, in that time, you were simply doing it by their authority. You have to picture a Centurion or General coming to do something in the Province of Judea. Would it matter if he said he has come to do that in the name of "Caesar", or in the name of "Caesar Augustus"? Sure, if Caesar had granted that authority. But, if Caesar Augustus was already dead, it would be meaningless. But if he said "in the name of the great Caesar Augustus", would it mean any more? No. If Augustus is Caesar, and IF that Centurion has authority granted from Caesar Augustus, then he has authority. Period. If he has not been granted that authority, it wouldn't matter if he said "the great and majestic and wonderful Caesar Augustus". 

There's no formula. God doesn't have a formula. That's not the point of what Jesus said in Matthew 28. What Jesus did was GIVE AUTHORITY. I've seen churches split over which formula to use. I've also seen Pastors go through mental gyrations trying to please both factions over a dumb formula. 

I was personally baptized "in the name of the Father, the Son (Jesus Christ) and the Holy Spirit." because the Pastor didn't want me to doubt, and there had been a controversy come through our church at that time. You know what? It didn't matter. The only thing that mattered was - did that Pastor have the authority to baptize me into the body of Christ as a new believer? I'm pretty certain he did. 

I'm also pretty certain that anyone who gets hung up on a formula is missing the point. So, you may want to consider why has this issue come up and ask the Lord for some insights to how He sees it. I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that you won't hear the Spirit tell you that it has to be one or the other of those formulas, but it does need to be by authority from Jesus. (aka The Christ, The Son of the Living God :)

On my Idea is that; God, Jesus, and Holly spirit are the same and water act as a physical symbol of process of baptism. When we look to the Gospel according to john 10:30 he say "I and the father are one" also in John 14:9 he also say "any one who has seen me has seen the father". Also when we look to the book of revelation 22:13 he said " I am Alfa and the Omega the firist and the last, the beginning and the end" we can compare it with the book of Exodus when God tell Moses "I am who I am". So we can find out Jesus is GOD. Also we can take a look to the gospell of john 8:58 when he says "I tell you the truth before Abraham was born I am. When we on act 1:4-11 during ascention of Jesus he was promice them not to depart from Jerusalem until they receive a gift of holy spirit which complete the Trinity. When we look to Mathew 3:11. We see that john paptised with water but there is the one who is powerfully and he will baptized them with Holly spirit and fire who is Jesus.

In Matthew, Jesus first described Baptism as proper. How I interpret this is He saw it as good to honor God by performing a ritual which symbolizes and declares in a physical way their rebirth as a follower of God.

How I make sense of it not guaranteeing anything is that it is a good, proper deed. One which would definitely strengthen one's connection to God. But it is not the only factor. You could probably list more, but righteous conduct, understanding God's word, loving God, all these factors contribute to spiritual development. Just as their inverses would contribute to spiritual decline.

I believe baptism is unique amongst righteous deeds, due to it's special nature , and so offers someone a higher chance of igniting the Holy Spirit than through other means.

Zachary James Gott,

Nicely put.

Lord Bless,

LT

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