What Paul the Apostle meant when he said “I Thank God that I baptized None of You”

Baptism2In 1 Corinthians 1:13-15 (NKJV), Paul writes:

13 Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Or were you baptized in the name of Paul?

14 I thank God that I baptized none of you except Crispus and Gaius, 15 lest anyone should say that I had baptized in my own name.

As we examine the text and earlier verses we see that Paul wanted to avoid what is quite common today: “denominational” or “divided thinking”.

In fact, let’s look at some of the earlier verses which lead to Paul’s comment in verse 14:

10 Now I plead with you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment. 11 For it has been declared to me concerning you, my brethren, by those of Chloe’s household, that there are contentions among you. 12 Now I say this, that each of you says, “I am of Paul,” or “I am of Apollos,” or “I am of Cephas,” or “I am of Christ.”

Notice in verse 12, that some people weren’t satisfied with being baptized into Christ.  Instead, some thought that there baptism was something special depending on who baptized them?  Ridiculous right?  Not anything that we haven’t seen before.  This is exactly how denominations get started.

It’s not God that messes things up, but mankind.  Christian churches are split into multiple denominations, because people have opinions rather than sticking to the word and the intended teaching of scripture.  Yes, there is a right way of understanding scripture and not misinterpreting the text.  Consider 2 Timothy 2:15 which states:

15 Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

Unfortunately, many people who debate over scriptures might say: “you see it your way” and “I see it my way”.  However, few ask “what is God’s way”?

One other prevailing thought about this scripture is that it is some sort of proof that baptism is not essential for one’s soul salvation.  However, this could not be further from the truth.

Again, the scripture in summary is saying don’t get caught up on who baptizes you because whomever is not important since they didn’t die for your sins.

All “Faith Healers” Today Are False

wheelchairWe often see self-proclaimed faith healers on television who claim to be able to heal the sick.  However, this is not something that can be performed today.  This is not to say that God cannot perform a miracle today if he chooses to do so.  However, we can see from scripture that Christ performed miracles during his mission, his 12 apostles were able to do so because the Holy Spirit was upon them and only they were able to give these miraculous gifts to others.

Let’s explore two main reasons why so-called faith-healers are false:

  • The evidence of scripture indicates that miracles performed through people was just for a certain period of time and not forever.
  • Your own senses combined with scripture

We will start with scripture.

The Purpose of Physical Healing in the New Testament

The answer concerning the purpose of New Testament healing can be found in Jesus’ statement to his followers in Mark 16:17-20 (NKJV):

17 And these signs will follow those who believe: In My name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues;

18 they[b] will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.

19 So then, after the Lord had spoken to them, He was received up into heaven, and sat down at the right hand of God. 20 And they went out and preached everywhere, the Lord working with them and confirming the word through the accompanying signs. Amen.

The reason why this power to heal, cast out demons, speak in tongues, etc. was demonstrated by Christ and his early followers was as verse 20 states: “confirming the word.

The student of the Bible must be aware that Jesus came to earth to bring the good news of eternal life through his shed blood for mankind’s sins, and to demonstrate how to be pleasing and acceptable to the God.

In other words, up to the point of the Apostolic Age, only the old testament existed.  If Jesus and his followers would bring clarity about God and salvation, the miracles and signs helped to confirm that Christ and his followers represented God.

However, this was for a time as we see in I Corinthians 13:9-10

9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part.

10 But when that which is perfect has come, then that which is in part will be done away.  Another way of looking at the term “perfect” is completeness or being adequate enough.  The scriptures (old & new) are perfect or complete.  

Since the Word has been confirmed by the early work of the church, so these signs are no longer.  Now God expects us to live by faith; Hebrews 10:38:

38 Now the just shall live by faith: but if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him.

Use Your Own Senses

I attended a denominational church many years ago and there was a session for anyone who wanted to healed to come up and have a certain man heal them by laying his hands upon them and praying.  Now all of the people who came up had conditions that none of the audience members could confirm which included: pains in certain areas of the body, someone reported having one leg slightly shorter than the other, etc.

Interestingly enough, there was an elderly lady in the back of the auditorium who could not get down to the main floor for her healing.  When the alleged healer called for anyone else, she waved her hand and yelled out, but he completely ignored her.

Folks, the apostles who had the gift of healing in the scripture did not hesitate to use the gift for all who would have been present. Take a look at: Acts 5:12:

12 And through the hands of the apostles many signs and wonders were done among the people.

Nowhere in scripture will you find the utterance of these phrases used by false healers today:

  • God just partially healed you today
  • You didn’t have enough faith for me to heal you
  • There is something that you need to get rid of in your life for God to heal you

In fact, in order for someone else at the time of the Apostles to be able to perform miracles, only an Apostle could share the gift as we see in Acts 19:5-7:

5When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.

6And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Spirit came on them, and they began speaking with tongues and prophesying.

7There were in all about twelve men.