The Truth About Water Baptism
Q: Does it really matter whether we use the name of Jesus in baptism?
Every single act of Baptism in the New Testament was done in the name of Jesus.
We know that there is only one way to baptize: "One Lord, one faith, one baptism," (Ephesians 4:5).
Many get confused by 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:"
Notice the word "name." Jesus does not say "names" or "titles," he says name, in the singular. Jesus had all power under heaven and earth (Matthew 28:18).
Jesus was simply fulfilling the prophecy in Zechariah 14:9
And the LORD shall be king over all the earth: in that day shall there be one LORD, and his name one. (Zechariah 14:9)
Jesus is the only name given for salvation: "Neither is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name given among men whereby we must be saved." (Acts 4:12)
Jesus is the name of the Father, Son and Holy Ghost.
Jesus is the name of the Father...
I and my Father are one. (John 10:30)
I have manifested thy name unto the men which thou gavest me out of the world: thine they were, and thou gavest them me; and they have kept thy word. (John 17:6)
Jesus is the name of the Son...
And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins. (Matthew 1:21)
Jesus is the name of the Holy Ghost...
16 And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever.
17 Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.
18 I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you. (John 14:16-18)
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. (John 14:26)
Just as prophesied, Jesus was God manifest in the flesh...
For unto us a child is born, for unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace. (Isaiah 9:6)
How is it possible for Jesus to be God? Remember, God is a spirit, having no limits or boundaries, he encompasses all.
God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth. (John 4:24)
And without controversy, great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory. (1 Timothy 3:16)
Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God: (1 John 4:2)
Remember, Jesus came in the flesh. He is not flesh.
Peter knew what Jesus meant, Peter was given the keys to the kingdom of heaven, and the first commandment the Apostles preached was to repent and be baptized in Jesus' name:
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 2:38)
It's important to follow the commandment exactly as it was given, remember, there is only one baptism:
One Lord, One Faith, One Baptism. (Ephesians 4:5)
There were disciples of John, who were believers and had been baptized, but they had not been baptized correctly. We read how that even though they were baptized, they were commanded to be baptized correctly to follow Jesus' commandment.
1 And it came to pass, that, while Apollos was at Corinth, Paul having passed through the upper coasts came to Ephesus: and finding certain disciples,
2 He said unto them, Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed? And they said unto him, We have not so much heard whether there be any Holy Ghost.
3 And he said unto them, Unto what then were ye baptized? And they said, Unto John's Baptism.
4 Then said Paul, John verily baptized with the baptism of repentance, saying unto the people, that they should believe on him which should come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus.
5 When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. (Acts 19:1-5)
Jesus is the only name given to us for salvation. It is obvious that Jesus' disciples understood the name they needed to use because all those who heard Jesus at "The Great Commission" used his name.
If there is any confusion about Matthew 28:19, let's look at another disciple's perspective:
46 And said unto them, Thus it is written, and thus it behoved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day:
47 And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.
48 And ye are witnesses of these things. (Luke 24:46-48)
Again, Matthew 28:19 is simply telling us that Jesus is the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.
Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and [of] the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.