Jesus only for baptism

Are we to batize in the name of Jesus only?

This doctrine is used by “Oneness Pentecostals and the United Pentecostal Church”

Argument goes like this: There are only 4 texts used in support of this doctrine: Acts 2:38; 8:16; 10:48 and Acts 19:5 ‘”…in the name of Jesus”. The disciples did NOT say, “…In the name of the Father, Son and Holy Ghost…” The name is singular not three. The Father, Son and Holy Spirit all have just one name. Mark 16:15-17 (also a gospel commission text) said to baptize in my name. Luke 24:47 says to preach repentance “in His name”.

SOooooo there are three different accounts of the gospel commission. How did the disciples obey? Acts 2:38 they baptized in the name of Jesus (not the Father and the Holy Spirit)! The “Father” and the “Holy Spirit” are just titles used by Jesus.



Matthew 28:19 Jesus gives the COMMAND of how to baptize. That text is ignored by the “Holiness Pentecostal Jesus only” folks. They offer several explanations (excuses) replying that we do not see this formula used in the book of Acts. However they are in direct violation of Matthew 29:19. SO ask these folks “Did not Jesus Himself tell us how to baptize … in the NAME OF THE FATHER, SON AND HOLY SPIRIT?” Why don’t you follow what Jesus told us?

In the name of Jesus in Acts -- “…In the name of Jesus” occurs 17 times in the book of Acts. The name of Jesus was used as AUTHORITY as to why the disciples did something. The Jews believed in God but the issue was Jesus! They did not believe in Jesus or the Holy Spirit Acts 18:24 – 19:7 See also Acts 19:13, 17. In all 4 texts the issue was this new Jesus man.


Healing Acts 3:6; 4:10
Miracles Acts 4:30
Casting out Demons Acts 16:18
Preaching Acts 9:27, 29
Threatened with death Acts 15:26: 21:13

The same argument applied to other uses:

NOW, if this is true that it’s not right to use the name God or the Holy Spirit but ONLY JESUS in baptizing then I should find that I should only use the name of Jesus only for the other five items as well. BUT this is not the way the Bible instructs us, Notice,

The LORD also heals James 5: 14, 15; Psalm 30:2; Luke 17:15 (The leper glorified GOD)
Miracles were done by God (Not Jesus only) Acts 19:11 God wrought miracles
Devils were cast out IN THY NAME (They got the name right but something else was wrong and Jesus rejected them) Matt 7:22; 12:28 (devils cast out by the HOLY SPIRIT)
Preaching the kingdom of GOD Mk 1:14; Acts 8:14 etc., etc.

Command vs. report

Matt 28:19 is the COMMAND of how to baptize but Acts gives the REPORT of the event. Don’t confuse the command with the report. Let me explain. “I am going to Mary, Martha and Lazarus’ home to study the Bible.” That would lead you to think that there were three people who lived there. Later I mention that I went to Lazarus’ home and ate supper. Does that mean that Mary and Martha do not exist? This is just a brief report of what happened. Did they baptize but exclude “in the Name or the Father and also the Holy Spirit?” The text does not say so. Just because I did not mention Mary and Martha does not mean that it is not their house also.

Name of ?

We are to baptize in the NAME of the Father, Son and Holy Ghost. What is that NAME? Is that a certain formula? Pentecostals mistakenly say that name is Jesus.

But notice: Of the 4 texts used in support of this doctrine that use different designations.

Some say:

- in the name of Jesus Christ (2:38)
- in the name of the Lord Jesus (8:16)
- In the name of the Lord (10:48)
- baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus”
- Furthermore, Acts 8:12 mentions people were baptized but was not mentioned if it was in Jesus’ name or not. Strange!!!

So there is 5 texts mentioned but all are different designations. This is Luke’s way of distinguishing Christian baptism verses John’s Baptism (mentioned 7 times in Acts), The baptism of the Holy Spirit (what is that???), or the baptism of the dead (1 Cor 15:29).

In Jesus’ name means

We can gather in his name Matt 18:20;
We can give commands in His name Acts 9:27, 29; 2 Thess 3:6; James5:10;
We receive a child in Jesus name Mark 9:37;
Everything we do we do in Jesus name Col 3:17.
Thus in His Name means “with the authority of, in behalf of, by the power of…”

The name of Jesus ONLY?

Where does it say they were baptized in the name of Jesus ONLY??? The text is not there, it is MISSING!!! The name of Jesus was the issue. BUT that does not exclude the Father and the Holy Spirit.

Actual wording

The Bible does not always give us the actual wording used by the disciples. Example: The inscription on the cross. Every gospel writer has it different. The actual words used by the disciples in the baptismal service are not given in the Bible. Sometimes we push for the right words to say but Jesus looks at the heart. The prodigal son (Luke 15) decided to come home to the father but the father ran and received him when he was a great way off. Sometimes repentance can’t be put into words. Likewise we might say the exact wording but the heart may not right (Matt 7:22).

Baptism of the Holy Spirit

Mentioned as the gift or being filled with the Spirit. Sometimes it occurred before baptism (Acts 10) or sometimes after. Mentioned 7 times in the book of Acts. This was given to preach the Word of God with Boldness (Acts 4:31-33).

In addition, Peter was present with Christ, yet his way of baptizing was in one accord to Christ command:

Acts 2:38, 39
(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. (39) For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call."

Here we find mention of all three, just as Christ commanded:

(1) Jesus Christ - for the remission of sins.
(Matthew 26:28 Acts 10:43, Rom 3:25).
(2) Holy Ghost - the bearer of "the gift."
(I Corinthians 12:4, 8, 9, 10, 11, 28, 29, 30, Gal 5:22, 23).
(3) Lord our God - the giver of "the gift."
(James 1:17, Heb. 6:4, I Co 7:7, Rom 6:23)

Being an obedient disciple of Christ Jesus, Peter baptized his fellow Israelites in the name of Jesus Christ for the remissions of their sins, and the name of the Holy Ghost who is the bearer of "the gift", and the name of the Father (Lord our God) who giveth "every good gift and every perfect gift." - James 1:17.