baptism

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The Nature of Truth

John 18:37-38 KJV
“Pilate said to Him, ‘So You are a king?’ Jesus answered, ‘You say correctly that I am a king. For this I have been born, and for this I have come into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice. Pilate said to Him, ‘What is truth?'”

If you used to be in the UPC then let me ask you, How many times have you heard someone say that they are thankful “for the Truth”? Or perhaps they said that they were thankful that God revealed “the Truth” to them. Or maybe they talked about how anointed a non-UPC singer or minister was, and then they said that it was a shame that the person they were talking about “did not have the Truth…”

Matthew 28:19 (Misinterpreted Scriptures)

Matthew 28:19 KJV

Misinterpretation: The UPC points out that this Scripture says to baptize in the Name (singular). They go on to say that the Name is Jesus, and they quote Acts 2:38 as proof (because Peter instructed people to be baptized in the Name of Jesus). Unfortunately, the UPC believes that if a person was baptized in the Name of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, then their baptism was invalid and they are not truly saved.

Facts: I will not open up a debate on Oneness vs. the Trinity here, or a debate on whether or not baptism is necessary for salvation. Instead, I will say that I really do not think that Jesus is going to send the majority of His followers to hell for obeying Him…

Mark 16:16 (Misinterpreted Scriptures)

Mark 16:16 KJV

Misinterpretation: The UPC and some other groups often use this Scripture to say that a person must be baptized to be saved.

Facts: The purpose of this discussion is not to talk about whether or not baptism is necessary, but to point out that Mark 16:16 is almost certainly an apocryphal Scripture (meaning that it was probably not part of the original Book of Mark).

Acts 2:37-38 (Misinterpreted Scriptures)

Acts 2:37-38

Misinterpretation: This is the “flagship” Scripture of the UPC and of all Oneness Pentecostal churches. There are many ways that this Scripture is mistaught by the UPC, but the only error that I will point out here is that many Oneness Pentecostal preachers and saints misquote the Scripture by reciting, “Men and brethren, what shall we do to be saved.”

Facts: The careful reader will notice that the words “to be saved” are not found in Acts 2:37. Peter had already told the believers how to be saved in Acts 2:21, when he quoted the prophet Joel and said, “[W]hosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved…”

Acts 4:12 (Misinterpreted Scriptures)

Acts 4:12 KJV

Misinterpretation: This Scripture is often quoted by Oneness Pentecostals as a proof for the importance of baptism in Jesus’ Name. Their reasoning is that no one will be saved except by the Name of Jesus, so that means that people must be baptized in the Name of Jesus to be saved.

Facts: No true Christian doubts that a person will only be saved by the Name of Jesus. However, Peter was not talking about baptism in Acts 4:12. He was answering the question that the high priest had just asked him, “By what power, or by what name, have ye done this?” (Acts 4:7 KJV)…

Colossians 3:17 (Misinterpreted Scriptures)

Col. 3:17 KJV

Misinterpretation: This Scripture is used to teach that baptism in the Name of Jesus is necessary. The logic is that we are supposed to do everything in the Name of Jesus, and everything includes baptism. UPC preachers often go on to say that Trinitarian preachers will pray in the Name of Jesus, marry in the Name of Jesus, and do many other things in the Name of Jesus, but that they will not baptize in the Name of Jesus.

Facts: First, this Scripture has nothing to do with baptism. Paul is writing about living a godly life, and he is reminding people that they need to do everything “in the name of the Lord Jesus…”