In 1 Corinthians 1 Paul starts off commending the people for their testimony and faith in Jesus Christ and consoles them that they will not fall behind in any of the gifts God has to offer them for their faith. Then he calls attention to the fact that factions have formed causing disagreements among them as each one claims, “I am of Paul; and I of Apollos; and I of Cephas; and I of Christ.” (1 Corinthians 1:12) He then says how grateful he is that he didn’t actually baptize any of them himself (1 Corinthians 1:14-15) so that no one could claim he had gone about baptizing in his own name.
Why is this important? Why would it be important that the people not be baptized in the name of Paul or someone else? Well, for the same reason it matters what name His Church has – because no one but Jesus has the power to save (see Mosiah 3:17)
During His ministry on earth Jesus referred to baptism as being “born again.” He said, “Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.” (John 3:3, 5) When He later sent His apostles out into the world after His resurrection He gave them the following instruction:
And so it seems that at least to Jesus Christ it is really important in whose name we are baptized – and ultimately with whose name we are “born again.”
The Book of Mormon teaches very clearly that not only is baptism the gateway into the kingdom of God (as taught by the Savior in the passage from John), it is also the means by which we take upon ourselves the name of Christ (see 1 Nephi 31:13, Mosiah 5, Mosiah 25:17-24, Mosiah 18:8-17). In other words – when we are baptized in Christ’s name and by His authority we are “reborn” as it were with His name.
When the Savior responded to the request of the Nephite disciples regarding what to call His church Jesus said the following:
“Verily, verily, I say unto you, why is it that the people should murmur and dispute because of this thing?
“Have they not read the scriptures, which say ye must take upon you the name of Christ, which is my name? For by this name shall ye be called at the last day;
“And whoso taketh upon him my name, and endureth to the end, the same shall be saved at the last day.
“Therefore, whatsoever ye shall do, ye shall do it in my name; therefore ye shall call the church in my name; and ye shall call upon the Father in my name that he will bless the church for my sake.” (3 Nephi 27:4-7)
Pretty clear. We must take upon us His name – the name of Christ – if we hope to be saved, “at the last day.” Why? Because there is “no other name given . . . whereby salvation can come . . . only in and through the name of Christ, the Lord Omnipotent.” (Mosiah 3:17)
Paul was reborn after his miraculous vision of the Lord Jesus Christ (Acts 9). Alma the Elder was reborn after the preaching of Abinadi (Mosiah 18 (ch 12-18)). His son Alma testified on multiple occasions (Mosiah 27:24-29, Alma 36:5, 12-23) that he too had been reborn of God through Jesus Christ. And many, many others – mentioned in the scriptures and not – have been reborn over the centuries by taking on themselves the name of Christ. And so it is only fitting that I too – or my blog rather – should be “reborn” by taking on it the name of Christ.
Welcome to A Russty Follower of Christ! Thank you to everyone who contributed to renaming my blog – most especially to my wife and my mother who contributed the best insights for choosing the right name. I truly hope that under this name the process of cleaning up the rust in our faith and our way of living may lead us closer to God and the Savior than we were previously able to do!