Matthew 28:19

Matthew 28:19  •  3 min. read  •  grade level: 9
The formula which I have used in baptizing is, In the name of the Lord Jesus I baptize thee unto the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost. My reason is, that two things are thus owned —the Lordship of Christ, and the full and Christian revelation of the name of God, which is thus called upon the baptized person. Surely baptism is connected with these two important truths. “To us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in Him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by Him.” (1 Corinthians 8:66But to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him. (1 Corinthians 8:6))
“I quite admit that Scripture gives us no historical account of any carrying out of the commission in Matthew 28 to the nations; but that does not alter the significance of the form, as to baptism, there given by our Lord especially for Gentiles. They had previously no connection with the name of God —i.e., the Jehovah of, Israel (Isaiah 63:1919We are thine: thou never barest rule over them; they were not called by thy name. (Isaiah 63:19)) —though Amos (9: 12) prophesied of Gentiles who would be called by His name. Acts 15:14,1714Simeon hath declared how God at the first did visit the Gentiles, to take out of them a people for his name. (Acts 15:14)
17That the residue of men might seek after the Lord, and all the Gentiles, upon whom my name is called, saith the Lord, who doeth all these things. (Acts 15:17)
, shows how that part of the prophecy had received a kind of accomplishment by Peter baptizing Cornelius and his household. This use of the full name of God is important to my mind or there would be no administrative bringing of the Gentiles into connection with it; and I confess I do not feel happy in any one using a formula which omits it. Surely it is of moment that there should’ be a people upon earth thus formally connected with the name of God, as fully revealed in Christianity. We see the principle of this as early as Genesis 4:2626And to Seth, to him also there was born a son; and he called his name Enos: then began men to call upon the name of the Lord. (Genesis 4:26), in the family of Seth.
The whole administration of the ways of God is in His hands, all ministry and power is there; all authority and rule are made subject to Him. It was therefore necessary for Jews, who were already in connection with the name of Jehovah by circumcision, to own Him whom God had made Lord and Christ It is stating too much to say that the apostles never used the formula of Matthew 28. We know that negatives are dangerous statements to make; in fact, I judge there is no record given of the formula they used; for we cannot gather it from the various expressions which the Spirit records. ‘In (εν) the name of Jesus Christ’, or ‘the Lord Jesus,’ connects baptism, I think, with the power and authority of that name; while ‘Unto the name’ would be to the confession of His name as Lord, and this has to be confessed and owned to the glory of God the Father.
Ιt would be a mistake to take the words, ‘In the name of Jesus Christ,’ or, ‘Unto the name of the Lord Jesus,’ as a formula. There is much implied in baptism which is not expressed in the formula used, such as moral cleansing, salvation, and being planted in the likeness of Christ’s death; but to me the real formula is in the words of our Lord, in Matthew 28. But then His Lordship is distinctly connected with it there; for. He states that all power is given to Him in heaven and earth, though baptism only refers to His authority as, administered upon earth. The form of this administration on earth, so far as Scripture tells us, has not been carried out yet according to Matthew 28, but according to Luke, and in the way described in the Acts. Still our Lord’s words remain, that baptism was to be in the name of Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.”
T. H. R.