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.