Welcome to Bible Answers
BAPTISM QUESTION 19:
Acts 2:38 speaks of being baptized in the name of the Jesus Christ. Why is this not practiced today?
This is not the formula of baptism, but the authority and object. The only authority in the New Testament for anybody to baptize, is in Matthew 28:19. "...baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and the Holy Ghost." Jesus received this authority in Matthew 28:18, "...all power (authority) is given unto me in heaven and in earth." References to being baptized in Acts and the Epistles in the name of the Lord Jesus are going back to the authority of Matthew 28:19.
The object of baptism is to "mark" a believer out as a disciple (follower) of Christ. In Matthew 28:19. the word "teach" means to make disciples. They are then to be "marked" by baptism. In Acts 19:3, Paul asked some disciples of John the Baptist, "...unto (toward) what were you baptized?" They answered, "Into (toward) John's baptism." This marked them out as John's disciples. He then re-baptized them "in" (the same words as in Acts 19:3, Paul asked some disciples of John the Baptist, "...unto (toward) what were you baptized?" They answered, "Into (toward) John's baptism." This marked them out as John's disciples. He then re-baptized them "in" (the same words as in Acts 19:3 "unto,") the name of the Lord Jesus.
In 1 Corinthians 10:2, the Israelites were all baptized "unto" Moses. That marked them out as disciples of Moses. In 1 Corinthians 1:13-14, Paul thanked God, he baptized none of them lest they should say he baptized them UNTO his own name. Marking them out as disciples of Paul.
Water baptism is a symbolic way of identification to your death, burial and resurrection with Christ. Romans 6:3, Hence, being baptized unto Him. However, it means nothing at all unless you have first been identified with Him as your Savior from sin. This only happens when you repent of sins and trust Him completely as your Savior and Lord.
Have you done that yet?
Dear reader, I hope you are not trusting water or works to grant you favor with God. There is only one way to get the value of His death for you and that is through faith alone. It is trusting in the blood of Christ. Ephesians 2:8, "For by grace are ye saved through FAITH..." Romans 5:1, "Therefore being justified by faith we have peace with God, through our Lord Jesus Christ." Have you trusted Him alone, or do you trust baptism or good works also?
All comments and questions to: Harold Smith
Updated September 23rd, 2013 by Sandra Felix