What's in a Name?
1 John 3:23
And this is his commandment, That we should believe on the name of his Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, as he gave us commandment.
The old movies seemed to always have this line from the police as the bad guy was attempting his escape, "Stop, in the name of the Law!"
I used to wish the bad guy would turn around and ask, "Really? And what name is that?"
This seems to be the common misconception that comes to mind when the word "name" appears in scripture. It is not so much the name, but the authority of the name.
Understanding the concept of the authority of the name is important when we read our Bibles. Due to a lack of understanding (or pure deception!), there are those who will attempt to throw doubt on a Christian's salvation because of what was said at their water baptism.
First of all, water baptism is not some sort of mystical ritual, nor are the words spoken a magic incantation that bestows salvation upon the candidate. Salvation comes by faith in Jesus Christ, not in water baptism no matter the mode, nor the words spoken. We submit to water baptism as a public declaration and demonstration of what has already taken place.
I was baptized in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit at the ripe old age of nine years old. Years later, a denominational zealot attempted to throw doubt on my salvation by quoting scripture, out of context! Sound familiar? The antichrists seldom rest! He told me that my baptism was no good because I was not baptized in Jesus' name only.
Here is the scripture which he misquoted...however I am including the context:
1 And it came to pass, that, while Apollos was at Corinth, Paul having passed through the upper coasts came to Ephesus: and finding certain disciples,
2 He said unto them, Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed? And they said unto him, We have not so much as heard whether there be any Holy Ghost.
3 And he said unto them, Unto what then were ye baptized? And they said, Unto John's baptism.
4 Then said Paul, John verily baptized with the baptism of repentance, saying unto the people, that they should believe on him which should come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus.
5 When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.
This does NOT say we are to be baptized in Jesus' name only. It is clear that the context is reporting a meeting with the disciples of John the Baptizer. They were followers of John the Baptizer so these disciples were baptized in the AUTHORITY of John.
They knew nothing of the indwelling Holy Spirit. It is equally important to read the preceding chapters to realize the Holy Spirit first indwelt the Jews who believed, then the Gentiles who believed, and now the followers of John. You could accurately say that salvation and the indwelling
Holy Spirit is available to the Jew, the Gentile, and everyone else! This is demonstrative of the AUTHORITY of the One Who came after John, the Lord Jesus Christ. John's Baptism was demonstrating a cleansing of sin. The baptism in the authority of Jesus Christ demonstrates a co-death, co-burial and co-resurrection with the Lord Jesus Christ.
This is what happens when deceivers meddle with the scriptures, by distorting, misquoting and ignoring clear passages. They prey on those who are ignorant or not well versed in the scriptures. They are remiss the way they "read into" the scriptures things they do not say.
This is one place where religion has its roots. Distracting people away from the salvation that is freely given by faith in Jesus Christ and leading them to follow rituals and good works to attain the salvation they already possess or are seeking. Evil. Where is the love in that?
We are saved exclusively by the authority of the name that is above every name! The Lord Jesus Christ!
Have a Blessed Day!