People who wear the name “Baptist” claim that John was a Baptist and all whom John baptized became Baptists. John baptized Christ and that made Christ a Baptist. Now does the Bible teach that John was a Baptist? The expression a Baptist is not found in the entire Bible. John was called the Baptist. “In those days came John the Baptist, preaching in the wilderness of Judea” Matthew 3:1
Baptist is a title, and denotes or shows what John did. He introduced baptism and baptized people (Jews only). If all John baptized became Baptists because he was called the Baptist, then according to the same reasoning and logic all that Paul baptized became Apostles because he was called Paul the Apostle. All whom Luke baptized became physicians for he was called Luke the physician, and all whom Philip baptized became evangelists for he was called Philip the Evangelist. To illustrate: the blacksmith whose name is John would be called John the Blacksmith. So according to the position mentioned, every horse shod by him would become a Blacksmith. If not, why not?
The following scriptural reasons will show why John could not have been a Baptist.
- Baptists teach that one cannot fall from grace. John taught that people could fall and be lost. (Matthew 3:8-12.
- Baptists teach that baptism is not for remission of sin, but rather because of remission of sins. John taught baptism was for remission of sins. “John did baptize in the wilderness, and preach the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins” (Mark 1:4).
- John baptized Jews who confessed their sins, “Then went out unto him Jerusalem, and all Judea and all the region round about Jordon, and were baptized of him in Jordon, confessing their sins” (Matthew 3:5-6). Baptist preachers have people to confess their feelings, the church votes and if the vote is unanimous the candidate is then baptized.
- John did not baptize anyone except Jews. Matthew 3:7 Baptist preachers will baptize every Gentile that will confess their feelings tell their experience of grace, if the church votes for them to be received.
- Jesus said he (John) was not in the kingdom, or church, and that the least in the kingdom was greater than he (Matthew 11:10-11). But those who become Baptists say they are in the church or kingdom.
- John taught that his work would decrease, but Christ’s would increase (John 3:30). The work done by the authority of Christ under the great commission did increase (Matthew 28:19-20) And will continue to increase as the gospel is preached, believed, and obeyed until time shall be no more. On the day of Pentecost this great work of Christ began under his chosen Apostles. “Three thousand gladly received the word and were baptized” (Acts 2:41) and they continued to increase. “The Lord added to the church daily those that should be saved” (Acts 2:47). It continued to increase – 5000 were added unto them (Acts 4:4).
Now by what name were those called who were added to the church because of their obedience unto the gospel of Christ? “The disciples were called Christians first at Antioch” (Acts 11:26). Peter says that God can be glorified in this name (Christian) (1 Peter 4:16). Since we can glorify God in the name Christian, could we glorify him in any other name such as Baptist, Methodist, etc.? All will have to agree that it is infallibly safe to wear the name Christian because it is a worthy name; it honors Christ; it shows our relationship unto him; and it is a name that was given by the mouth
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