Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
September 6, 1951

Baptism In Name Of Jesus Only

Floyd Thompson, Santa Ana, California

This idea is not new, but it is newer than the New Testament. Because some have said that certain brethren "baptize in the name of Jesus only," in the first place, does not prove that they do. In the second place it does not prove that the Scriptures teach such an idea, even if they did so baptize. The word of the Lord should always be our guide.

This doctrine of man is like another doctrine of man, namely, "saved by faith only." Each theory has one too many words and that word in both cases is "only." "When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus." (Acts 19:5) "Who, when they were come down, prayed for them, that they might receive the Holy Spirit: (For as yet he was fallen upon none of them: only they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.)" (Acts 8:15, 16) "Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ . . . " (Acts 2:38) In all of the above cited verses "in the name of Jesus" means by His authority, or in accordance with the command of Jesus. The command of Jesus can be read in Matt. 28:19, 20 "Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen." It would be interesting to hear some of those who teach "baptism in the name of Jesus only" tell when this command was in force. It would also be interesting to hear them explain what Jesus meant by "I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world?" If not, why not? The truth is the disciples of the Lord were doing what he commanded here when they baptized.

Titus 1:6 — Children . . . Child

Must a bishop have a plurality of children to meet the requirements of the Lord laid down in Titus 1:6?

It is proper and right for one to study carefully God's word in order that he does not come short of any teaching given by the Lord. It is also just as important that one does not bind more upon men than the Lord bound. If we hold the standard lower than God held it, we are wrong; but if we hold it higher than God held it, we are just as wrong.

In this particular question, it would be well to ask ourselves what qualification is being demanded in the verse. Is it the ability to have children, or is it the ability to direct and control children? Certainly it is the latter.

The next thing to consider is whether or not a plural noun is ever used by the Lord when the singular number is also included in his statement. Possibly a few scriptures and some questions will bring out the idea. Concerning the statutes and commandments of the Law, Deut. 6:7 says "And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children . . . " What if a family had but one child? Would they be exempt from teaching it? But someone says, "That was a general command and was to be observed by all Israel." True, but did not the responsibility fall upon each home? " . . . when thou sittest in thine house . . . " What about the house that had but one child? Was there an obligation to teach it?

In Eph. 6:1 we have "Children, obey your parents in the Lord . . . " Is there no obligation where there is but one child?

Another plural term is used in Matt. 10:32. "Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men . . . " Did the eunuch in Acts 8 confess Christ before men or man? Who can prove that there were more present than the eunuch and Philip? Who will say that Christ did not at this time confess the eunuch before the Father?

Here is another. 1 Cor. 7:14 says, "For the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband: else were your children unclean; but now are they holy." I know this is one home! What if they had but one child? Would the little thing be unholy?

Again: 1 Tim. 5:16, "If any man or woman that believe have widows, let them relieve them . . . " Is there no obligation to "relieve" if you have but one widow?

I am certain that if 1 Tim. 1:6 had said " . . . having a faithful child.. . " someone would have said that an elder would be disqualified when another child was born!

Let us suppose a case. There is in your family but one child. You are looking for an apartment. On the office door of the apartment house is a sign "No Children." You have reason to believe that no exceptions are made. Would you apply?

Suppose another case. A law reads: "If a man desires to stay out of the county jail, he must have his cattle dipped." You have one cow. Would you have her dipped?

Let God's word mean all that it says, never more than it says.