Baptism in the Name of Jesus

There’s evidence from church history that the statement “baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost” (Mat 28:19), is a corruption by the Roman Catholic Church into this Trinitarian formula. That Matthew wrote his Gospel originally in Hebrew was attested by Ireneus, Eusebius, Epiphanius, and Jerome. And the Hebrew says nothing about baptism or any name, “To me has been given all power in heaven and earth. Go and (teach) them to carry out all things which I have commanded you forever” (“The Hebrew Gospel of Matthew” George Howard, Mercer University Press 1995). Christ’s commission in Mark, however, includes both baptism and His name: “He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned. And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils” (Mar 16:16-17). And in Luke, His name: “And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem” (Luk 24:47).

That baptism is in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ is what the apostles and early church practiced without exception: “Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ” (Act 2:38); “they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus” (Act 8:16); “And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord” (Act 10:48); “they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus” (Act 19:5); “be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord” (Act 22:16).

In the very first evangelistic sermon, Peter quoted Joel, “whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved” (Act 2:21), then instructed, “Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins” (Act 2:38). He later declared that salvation is in the name of Jesus Christ, “the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth … there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved” (Act 4:10,12). Paul himself called upon the name of the Lord when he was baptized, “be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord” (Act 22:16). And Paul also quoted Joel, “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved” (Rom 10:13). Baptism isn’t someone else calling a name over us, but us calling upon the name of the Lord.

It’s in His name that we must believe or trust for salvation: “to them that believe [trust] on his name” (Jhn 1:12); “many believed [trusted] in his name, when they saw the miracles which he did” (Jhn 2:23); “because he hath not believed [trusted] in the name of the only begotten Son of God” (Jhn 3:18); “and that believing [trusting] ye might have life through his name” (Jhn 20:31); “To him give all the prophets witness, that through his name whosoever believeth [trusts] in him shall receive remission of sins” (Act 10:43); “That we should believe [trust] on the name of his Son Jesus Christ” (1Jo 3:23); “you that believe [trust] on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe [trust] on the name of the Son of God” (1Jo 5:13).

Furthermore, servants of the Lord Jesus Christ suffer for His name: “And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake” (Mat 10:22); “Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name’s sake” (Mat 24:9); “And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake” (Mar 13:13); “they shall lay their hands on you, and persecute you, delivering you up to the synagogues, and into prisons, being brought before kings and rulers for my name’s sake” (Luk 21:12); “But all these things will they do unto you for my name’s sake, because they know not him that sent me” (Jhn 15:21); “rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for his name” (Act 5:41); “For I will shew him how great things he must suffer for my name’s sake” (Act 9:16); “Men that have hazarded their lives for the name of our Lord Jesus Christ” (Act 15:26); “I am ready not to be bound only, but also to die at Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus” (Act 21:13); “If ye be reproached for the name of Christ” (1Pe 4:14).

Finally, Christ commended three of the churches in Asia for upholding and not denying His name: “And hast bourne, and hast patience, and for my name’s sake hast laboured, and hast not fainted” (Rev 2:3); “I know thy works, and where thou dwellest, even where Satan’s seat is: and thou holdest fast my name” (Rev 2:13); “and hast kept my word, and hast not denied my name” (Rev 3:8).

The name of “the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost” isn’t the name of one person but three—the name “Trinity.” And Jesus taught nothing about a name of three persons. Peter declared, “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” Salvation is limited exclusively to the name of one person—the Lord Jesus Christ while excluding all other names entirely. Where does that leave the name “Trinity”?

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