Have you been baptized? If so, how was your baptism it performed? Did you have water sprinkled on you or were you fully immersed? Were you baptized as an infant or an adult? What was spoken over you during your baptism? Were you baptized in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost or in the name of Jesus Christ? Does it matter in which one of these formulas a person is baptized into? The truth is, that it does matter. It is clearly seen in scripture beginning from the book of Acts onward, that every believer who was baptized was done so in the name of Jesus Christ. Where does that leave the formula of Matthew 28:19?

Matthew 28:19
Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:

Since no scripture is for private interpretation, we will let scripture interpret scripture and see what this verse means. The Bible tells us that all should repent and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ and there is no other way to be baptized.

Acts 2:38
Then Peter said unto them, 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.

Acts 4:12
Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.

Colossians 3:17
And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus

If this is the biblical foundation of baptism for all believers in Jesus Christ, then it behooves us to understand what Matthew 28:19 is telling us. For it is not uncommon for many churches to teach that there are two ways of baptizing. In a nutshell, what Matthew 28:19 is saying is that the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost is Jesus Christ. It is clearly spelled out in the language of the verse. So let’s take a closer look at this language, then search the scriptures to see what that name is.

Name VS Titles

Without a doubt, we understand that a name and a title have different purposes. A name is given to a person as a unique way of identifying them while a title is a role a person can play. So with that context, we can look at the verse and by examining at the grammar, we can gather that there are two requirements expected for baptism. The first requirement is to immerse, which is the literal translation of “baptize”, and the second is to do the baptizing in a name. However, what is given to us in Matthew 28:19 are three titles and no name. We must not ignore the call to baptize in a name so let the scriptures tell us what the name is.

What Is The Name in Matthew 28:19?

In order to understand the name in which Matthew is referring to, we must go back to the Old Testament for the foundation. We know that God setup his plan before the foundation of the world. Everything he does has a purpose to it.

Deuteronomy 12:5
But unto the place which the LORD your God shall choose out of all your tribes to put his name there, even unto his habitation shall ye seek, and thither thou shalt come:

We see here that the prophecy to God’s people was that He would choose a place or habitation to dwell in and that habitation would have His name. As we have learned in previous studies such as “The Word of God” we know that the body of Jesus was the habitation of God. And God placed His name on that habitation.

John 5:43
I am come in my Father’s name, and ye receive me not: if another shall come in his own name, him ye will receive.

Now Jesus came on the scene as the habitation of God and claimed to only do what the one who sent told him to do. He was the mouthpiece of God on earth. He said that His Father (creator, establisher) was in him. This is exactly what we see in the previous verse. That God would have a habitation to dwell in. Jesus said that He came in his Father’s name. What is the name Jesus came in? Jesus.

John 14:26
But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.

After the resurrection of Jesus Christ, we see according to scripture that the Comforter was promised to come in place of the man Jesus and that the Holy Ghost would dwell in us. This Comforter or Holy Ghost was to come in Jesus’ name. So the Holy Ghost according to this is always to be referred to as “Jesus Christ”.

Acts 2:38
Then Peter said unto them, 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.

Jesus specifically said that one should be baptized in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Ghost. Peter, on the day of Pentecost, exercised the command by baptizing the people in the Name of Jesus Christ. This revelation was given to Peter through the Holy Ghost that was freshly on him. Every person in the book of Acts and even throughout history until the 325 A.D was baptized in the name of Jesus Christ.

Learn more about baptism on our About Baptism page or watch a lesson from the “Searching the Scripture” series, “Power In The Water“.

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