Must a Believer Be Baptized in the Name of Jesus Alone?

Baptism in Jesus name alone

Oneness Pentecostals believe that a believer should not be baptized in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.  They believe that

the scriptures teach that one should only be baptized in the name of Jesus.  Is this biblical?  No it’s not.

Oneness Pentecostals have several scriptures that they will point at to support this belief.

Act 2:38  “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.”

Act 8:16  “(For as yet he was fallen upon none of them: only they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.)”

Act 10:48  “And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord. Then prayed they him to tarry certain days.”

Act 19:5  “When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.”

Act 22:16  “And now why tarriest thou? arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord.”

What’s rarely mentioned is the famous scripture in Mathew 28:19 where Jesus said  “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.”

So which is it?  Should we baptize in the name of the Father Son and Holy Ghost, or should we only baptize in Jesus’ name?  First it should be mentioned that not one scripture in the Bible says that we should be baptized in Christ’s name only.  Whereas we do have the words of Jesus that say we should be baptized in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.

In the Name

What does the Bible mean when it says the words “in the name”?  A careful look at the scriptures reveals that the phrase “in the name” can mean “in the power or authority.”  Consider the following scriptures.

Acts 4:7-10  “And when they had set them in the midst, they asked, By what power, or by what name, have ye done this?  (8)  Then Peter, filled with the Holy Ghost, said unto them, Ye rulers of the people, and elders of Israel,  (9)  If we this day be examined of the good deed done to the impotent man, by what means he is made whole;  (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.”

Acts 4:17-18  “But that it spread no further among the people, let us straitly threaten them, that they speak henceforth to no man in this name.  (18)  And they called them, and commanded them not to speak at all nor teach in the name of Jesus.”

Act 8:12  “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.”

Act 16:18  “And this did she many days. But Paul, being grieved, turned and said to the spirit, I command thee in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her. And he came out the same hour.”

As you can see when the scriptures speak about doing something “in the name of Jesus Christ” it’s not necessarily saying that we do these things while saying Jesus’ name.

{ 4 comments… add one }
  • roland McKnight December 8, 2014, 4:55 pm

    I was Baptized in Jesus name back in 1976 during this time We were. called cults for praying in Jesus name lol as a 15 yrs old kid i can’t tell ya how confusing that was now 38 yrs later every one is praying in Jesus name The change came because of Jesus not from arrogant stubborn men arguing and debating scripture if its not Love God is not in it … Here in Birmingham Alabama one of the leading radio stations here stopped allowing anyone to preach just music The debates were back and forth Maybe not in my Life time Im 53 …but One day I Pray All will be Baptized in Jesus name not so The Apostolic and One God Ppl can brag but because Acts 2:38 is right God bless you Thank you for allowing me to comment

  • Grasshopper October 14, 2014, 5:47 pm

    Actually, there is much controversy over Matt 28:19. Many biblical historians and scholars have uncovered evidence that Matt 28:19 is spurious. Please do your own research into the matter. (1 Thessalonians 5:21)

  • Mike October 5, 2014, 1:28 pm

    Matthew 28:19 KJV
    [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:
    Father, Son and Holy Ghost are TITLES!!! The name is JESUS!!!!

  • james auton August 19, 2013, 1:20 am

    I don’t agree with your teachings, as you should be baptized in name of Jesus. It was written in Jesus command to teach all nations and to baptize in the name of the Father (God) and of the son (Jesus) and the Holy Spirit. I understand you don’t believe in the Trinity, but all of the three is one living God. When John the Baptist baptized Jesus was Jesus baptized in the name of Jesus? Also to be fully saved we are justified by Faith and not by acts of man. (Romans 5:1) But Jesus wanted us to be baptized but it is not a requirement for salvation that it is a ceremony that represents an outward representation of an inward reality. I believe in Jesus with all my heart and that your teachings of telling someone that they have to be baptized to be saved is wrong. Please reconsider your teachings of the Bible and the actual word of God. Saying that baptism is necessary for salvation is dangerous because it is saying that there is something we must do to complete salvation.


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