The previous sections have presented scriptural discussions with the Lord Jesus and His Apostles Peter and Paul. The information gathered in these sections will serve as the basis for a summary. This summary is presented in an effort to arrive at one common, universal formula for attaining salvation.
The Lord Jesus Christ taught:
1. BELIEVE - THAT JESUS CAME FROM GOD
2. BE BAPTISED (BORN AGAIN) OF WATER
3. BE BAPTISED (BORN AGAIN) OF THE SPIRIT
The apostle Peter taught:
2. WATER BAPTISM - ADMINISTERED IN THE NAME OF THE LORD JESUS CHRIST
3. HOLY GHOST BAPTISM - EVIDENCED BY SPEAKING WITH OTHER TONGUES
The Apostle Paul taught:
1. BELIEVE - ON THE LORD JESUS CHRIST
2. WATER BAPTISM - IN THE NAME OF THE LORD JESUS
3. RECEIVE THE HOLY SHOST - EVIDENCED BY SPEAKING WITH OTHER TONGUES
Comparing step one in each instance indicates that the Apostle Peter differs from that of Jesus and Paul in that he required repentance, whereas they stipulated belief in the divine mission of Jesus to be the first requirement. This apparent difference quickly disappears with the realization that to be truly convinced of the divine nature of Jesus and His unconditional sacrifice for all sin will bring a person to repentance. In other words, to really and truly believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, will naturally result in repentance or a turning away from a life of sin. When it is realized that repentance is the end result of true belief in Jesus Christ it is possible to state the first requirement for salvation in final form:
BELIEVE ON THE LORD JESUS CHRIST AND REPENTANCE FROM SINS
Step number two in the plan of salvation concerns water baptism (sometimes referred to by Jesus as water birth) and perhaps the first item to be settled when considering this step is how is baptism to be accomplished? The answer is quickly arrived at by referring to the Apostle Paul's letter to the Colossians (Chapter 2, verse 12). Paul writes to these people that they are BURIED with Jesus in baptism. The word bury carries with it the idea or conception of being totally enclosed or covered with the substance being used to accomplish burial. In presenting this concept in association with water baptism, Paul is obviously requiring that immersion be used.
The second difference in the three statements is the use of the Lord's name (Jesus) by Peter and Paul and the absence of any name at all in the Lord's. That the Lord Jesus did consider the use of a name important is shown in Matthew's gospel:
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:Matthew 28:19 (KJV)
This subject seems to be important, somewhat controversial, and worth looking into in more detail. An analysis of this scripture reveals first of all that the Lord Himself is speaking and secondly that He is presenting His formula for administering water baptism that MUST be followed. What did Jesus COMMAND to be done?
1. People to be baptized MUST be baptized in the Father's name, the Son's name, and the Holy Ghost's name. Substitutes for the actual name CANNOT be used, therefore the name in each instance must be determined.
2. The Son's name is Jesus, the only begotten son of the living God and many scriptures are available to establish this fact. In this portion of the Lord's commandment, the name Jesus is clearly commanded to be used.
3. To determine the name of the Father is not really difficult because Jesus said in John 5:43 that His Father's name is the same as His name:
43 I am come in my Father's name, and ye receive me not: if another shall come in his own name, him ye will receive.John 5:43 (KJV)
6 I have manifested thy name unto the men which thou gavest me out of the world: ...John 17:6 (KJV)
The only name that the Lord manifested to the world was the name Jesus and this name, according to the Lord, must be used when water baptism is administered.
4. The name of the Holy Ghost is presented in John 14:26:
26 But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.John 14:26 (KJV)
26 But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me:John 15:26 (KJV)
7 Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you.John 16:7 (KJV)
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 2:38 (KJV)
16 (For as yet he was fallen upon none of them: only they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.)Acts 8:16 (KJV)
48 And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord. Then prayed they him to tarry certain days.Acts 10:48 (KJV)
16 And now why tarriest thou? arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord.Acts 22:16 (KJV)
5 When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.Acts 19:5 (KJV)
12 Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.Acts 4:12 (KJV)
43 To him give all the prophets witness, that through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins.Acts 10:43 (KJV)
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.Colossians 3:17 (KJV)
These scriptures not only demonstrate that water baptism administered in the name Jesus is the only biblically acceptable formula but bring to light the fact that salvation is possible only through the NAME of Jesus. When this fact is considered along with the many other scriptures stating that salvation is possible only through the SHED BLOOD of Jesus it becomes obvious that BOTH the blood and the name of our Lord are necessary for salvation. Since both are required for salvation and since the name is applied specifically (or individually) in water baptism then the blood of Jesus must have been shed for all sins in a generalized sense. This one glorious sacrifice of our Lord met and defeated the stigma of sin in an all-encompassing sense for the entirety of mankind and made it possible for the application of the name of Jesus in a specific or individual sense in water baptism. In other words, without the blood of Jesus
This concept, although startling at first, becomes easier to understand and loses its strangeness when divine healing is considered. Isaiah 53:5 and I Peter 2:24 are scriptures stating that the sacrifice of the Lord's body paid the price for all healing and yet in Acts 3:6-16 and James 5:14 healing comes through the name of Jesus. Here is another example whereby a sacrifice (the Lord's body) paid the price in a general sense but must be followed by the use of the Lord's name to accomplish results in a specific instance. Without the sacrifice of the body of Jesus, the name cannot bring healing and without the name of
In the final analysis it is clearly evident that the Lord Jesus Christ and His two Apostles; Peter and Paul all three agree that salvation is possible only through the name of Jesus and since water baptism is a step in the plan of salvation it follows that this baptism must be administered in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. The final
WATER BAPTISM-BY IMMERSION-IN THE NAME OF THE LORD JESUS CHRIST
The third step in the plan of salvation is the phenomenal Baptism of the Holy Ghost otherwise referred to as the Spiritual birth into the Kingdom of God. This Baptism is administered by none other than the Lord Jesus Christ:
6 And John was clothed with camel's hair, and with a girdle of a skin about his loins; and he did eat locusts and wild honey;Mark 1:6-8 (KJV)
7 And preached, saying, There cometh one mightier than I after me, the latchet of whose shoes I am not worthy to stoop down and unloose.
8 I indeed have baptized you with water: but he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost.
Since the scriptures undeniably teach the necessity for a spiritual birth (or baptism) as being essential for salvation the obvious question is how can an individual know that the baptism has been performed. All instances recorded in the New Testament were accompanied by supernatural signs and the only sign that was common to all instances was the speaking in tongues by those being baptized.
4 And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.Acts 2:4 (KJV)
46 For they heard them speak with tongues, and magnify God. Then answered Peter,Acts 10:46-47 (KJV)
47 Can any man forbid water, that these should not be baptized, which have received the Holy Ghost as well as we?
6 And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Ghost came on them; and they spake with tongues, and prophesied.Acts 19:6 (KJV)
The question to be answered is: "Will all speak with other tongues when the Holy Ghost is received?" The answer is contained in the eighth verse and the third chapter of John:
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.John 3:8 (KJV)
The importance of the Lord's words in this scripture is best understood by noticing the last part: "so is every one that is born of the Spirit." Jesus seems to have anticipated the future difficulty in understanding the Spiritual re-birth process and takes a familiar example from the natural world to illustrate how to recognize when the new birth has been accomplished.
The Spirit, like the wind, cannot be seen. The observer cannot tell where it blows from or where it blows
The only sound that the Bible speaks of that was common to all instances of the moving of God's Spirit on the early church was the speaking with other tongues as the Spirit gave the utterance. Comparing these instances with the truth of the Lord's teaching about the wind presents the fact that it is as impossible to receive the Holy Ghost without speaking in tongues as it is for the wind to blow upon objects without making a sound. It is now possible to present step number three in its final form:
BAPTISM OF THE HOLY GHOST - EVIDENCED BY SPEAKING WITH OTHER TONGUES AS THE SPIRIT GIVES THE UTTERANCES.
This summary has examined all three teachings in detail in order to discover the one true way to be saved. This truth was preached by Jesus prior to His crucifixion and practiced by His apostles afterward. That this truth has been and is presently being changed by man to suit his own purposes or through ignorance of the scriptures is abundantly evident in the world of Christianity today. The only answer to be given as a warning to all who practice anything other than that contained in the Holy Bible is best spoken by the Apostle Paul in his writing to the Galatians:
8 But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.Galatians 1:8 (KJV)
1. BELIEVE ON THE LORD JESUS CHRIST AND REPENTANCE FROM SINS.
2. WATER BAPTISM-BY IMMERSION-IN THE NAME OF THE LORD JESUS CHRIST.
3. BAPTISM OF THE HOLY GHOST-EVIDENCED BY SPEAKING WITH OTHER TONGUES AS THE SPIRIT GIVES THE UTTERANCES.