Should we be baptized in the name of
the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit or in the Name of Jesus?
The Bible clearly declares that there is only one Christian baptism (Ephesians 4:5) First this was told to the church in Ephesus who were baptized in Acts 19:1-6 by Paul.
According to Matthew 28:19, the Lord Jesus’ instruction to Peter and the other Apostles says, “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:” Then on the day of Pentecost the disciples received the Holy Spirit, and spoke in other tongues based on the promise of the Lord (Acts 1:8; Acts 2:1-4).
Acts 2:38 records the Apostle Peter’s words, saying, “…Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.’’ Just on that commencement day of the Church of the living God (Matthew 16:18; Acts 20:28), “…they that gladly received his (Peter’s) word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls’’ (Acts 2:41). Followed by the day of Pentecost event all new converts were baptized only in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ (see Acts 8:12-16; Acts 10:43-48; Acts 19:1-5).
In addition to this biblical truth about Jesus name baptism, there is no one in the Bible who was baptized in any other name/s/ but only in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Moreover, when the apostles were baptizing in his name, the Lord, who commanded them to go and preach then baptize, was with them (See Mark 16:20; Matthew 28:20). Not only that, but they themselves say, “We are of God: he that knoweth God heareth us; he that is not of God heareth not us. Hereby know we the spirit of truth, and the spirit of error’’ (1 John 4:6).
Why did they baptize all new converts in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ instead of saying ‘‘I baptize you in the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost’’ as some people do today? Here the answer lies in the harmony of Matthew 28:19 with Acts 2:38 and other dozens of scriptures which clearly assert Jesus name baptism. So, let us see the important details and consider the real and biblical connection and harmony of these scriptures:-
#1⇨ The Lord Jesus immediately after his great commission in the next verse he promised, “…lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world” (Matthew 28:20). Therefore, it is better to realize that on the day of Pentecost, Peter, as well as the rest of the apostles, were not alone (Acts 2:14; Mark 16:20; Romans 8:9,10). Likewise, the Lord Jesus was with Philip in Samaria (Acts 8:12-16), with Paul in Ephesus (Acts 19:1-6), with Peter in Casarea (Acts 10:43-48).
In all occasions, the Spirit of God came upon the believers that is a real confirmation from heaven for their right interpretation and application of Matthew 28:19. That is why Hebrews 2:4 says, “God also bearing them witness, both with signs and wonders, and with divers miracles, and gifts of the Holy Ghost, according to his own will.” This asserts that God himself is the witness for their perfect missionary work of the Apostles (See also Matthew 18:20; Acts 16:6,7; 2 Corinthian 3:17). Therefore, He was with his servants on the day of the first baptismal experience of the New Testament church and throughout their ministry, since they were led by the Spirit of truth (John 16:12-14; 14:7) there was not any confusion.
#2 ⇨ According to Luke 24:45-48 which recorded the words of Jesus Christ as Matthew did after the resurrection of the Lord, “Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures, And said unto them… repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.’’ and he added on that saying “…ye are witnesses of these things” (See also Acts 10:34-48). Finally, they went out with open understanding of the word of God.
#3 ⇨ The Lord Jesus to his disciples, in Matthew 13:11, says, “…it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them, it is not given.” Therefore for them, it was clear but for those who are outside the same revelation, it must be hard to grasp.
#4 ⇨ The Lord Jesus sets up in Luke 10:16 this order of hearing about salvation, declaring, “He that heareth you heareth me; and he that despiseth you despiseth me; and he that despiseth me despiseth him that sent me.” If you just hear Peter, you hear the Lord himself.
#5 ⇨ They are chosen by the Lord Jesus himself to be his true witnesses after receiving the power from above. He said to them, “But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judæa, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth” (Acts 1:8). So, one should understand that they received authorization and endorsement from heaven for whatsoever they did and spoke. Who dares accuse those whom God has chosen for his own (Romans 8:33). So that they declared the right and only application of Matthew 28:19 by saying, “..Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins…” (Acts 2:38).
In Acts 2:21 the prophecy of Joel is quoted saying, “And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved” (Joel 2:32), and this was a strong affirmation of the only one saving name of the Lord is Jesus. That is why Peter said, “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved” (Acts 4:12). What Peter says is confirmed also by Apostle Paul in his message to the Colossians saying, “And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him” (Colossians 3:17). Notice there that “All” means including baptism.
Being baptized in the name of Jesus indicates an understanding of the identity of Jesus Christ. The name Jesus is not only the name of the Savior, but also the name of the Wonderful, the name of the Counselor, the name of The mighty God, the name of The everlasting Father, and the name of The Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6).
The name of the Child is not ‘child’ but Jesus. The name of the son is not ‘Son’ but Jesus (Luke 1:31). The name of the mighty God is Jesus (Matthew 1:23); the name of the everlasting Father is Jesus (John 14:8-10). The name of the prince of peace is also Jesus (Romans 8:10; John 14:27; Colossians 3:15). That is the clear and the real meaning of Matthew 28:19.
So we must be baptized in this name. Being baptized in this manner simply means we are identifying ourselves with the Lord Jesus. We belong to the Son, the mighty God, the everlasting Father, the prince of peace and indwelt by the Spirit of truth who is the Lord Jesus himself (See Romans 8:9). It is essential to know and realize that there is only one true God (Mark 12:29-32) who has a name, not names (see Zechariah 14:9). That is why Matthew 28:19 says ‘in the name’ but not in the ‘names’
The bottom line is that the name in which we are baptized is as important as the recognition that baptism identifies us with the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ, who is our Lord and Savior (Isaiah 43:10-12 and Titus 2:13-14). We are buried with Him and risen with him to walk with Him in newness of life (Romans 6:3-6). Anyone believes in Christ Jesus must also be baptized “in Jesus’ name.” There is no other name for salvation but only the Name Jesus. That is what the first Church leader and Apostle of the Lord Jesus Christ strongly declared that (Acts 4:12). The first Apostle to the Gentiles, Paul also affirmed the only name that all things should be performed is the name Jesus (1Corinthians 1:2 see also Colossians 3:17).
The phrase, “in the name of Jesus” is a reference to a baptismal formula as well as the authority in the name since the authority comes in the calling of the name (Luke 10:17; Mark 9:38). That is why Peter to the lame man said, “…In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk.” And after that, the Jews asked Peter saying, “…By what power, or by what name, have ye done this?” (Acts 4:7). Peter answered them saying, “…by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth…” (Acts 4:10).
To baptize in Jesus’ name is to baptize in the authority of Jesus by calling His name! (Acts 4:17,18). That is why the Jews said, “But in order that it may not spread any further among the people, let us warn them to speak no more to any man in this name” then “…they commanded them not to speak or teach at all in the name of Jesus.” (See also Acts 5:28,40; Acts 9:27,28; Acts 16:18). Likewise, in baptism call the name Jesus (Acts 22:16); that is why they were calling upon the name Jesus who has all authority in heaven and on earth (Matthew 28:18). The church is supposed to “call upon the name of the Lord Jesus” (1 Corinthians 1:2) because it is by His authority (John 1:12) that we Christians have the hope and right of forgiveness of sins and be born again as His children (Romans 8:15).
Therefore, One will be simply in error by demanding that baptism is done with the formula “in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit” without realizing the power and authority in the name which is “Jesus” (Matthew 1:21). If one would like to have fellowship with the apostles of Jesus Christ and all Christians who were mentioned in the Bible, the proper way we should be baptized is in the name of Jesus. That is what the Bible teaches and that is what the followers of the Lord Jesus Christ practiced with the confirmation from heaven.
The declaration says, “How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation; which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed unto us by them that heard him; God also bearing them witness, both with signs and wonders, and with divers miracles, and gifts of the Holy Ghost, according to his own will? (Hebrews 2:3,4).
In the kingdom of heaven, there is no other Name except the Name Jesus that is far above all names! ( Philippians 2:9-10; Isaiah 45:23; Ephesians 1:21).See the connection among the following scriptures:-
Isaiah 9:6 leads us —- to —-> Matt. 28:19 —-to —-> Acts 2:38 —-> then Joel 2:32 —- to —-> Acts 2:21 — to —> Acts 4:12.
Therefore, if you were not baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus, the Bible declares this “…now why do you delay? Arise, and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on His name.” (Acts 22:16).