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”?

God’s Foreknowledge and Predestination

Paul concluded his letter to the Romans, “according to the revelation of the mystery, which was kept secret since the world began” (16:25). This mystery from the beginning is the message hidden within the events of the creation and fall of man, “And the God of peace shall bruise Satan under your feet shortly” (16:20), “And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel” (Gen 3:15). Paul revealed the mystery of Adam as a type of Christ to come, “Adam’s transgression, who is the figure of him that was to come” (5:14).

“And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. For whom he did foreknow [proginōskō 4267], he also did predestinate [proorizō 4309] to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.” (8:28-30). This passage is about God’s chosen people, “them that love me, and keep my commandments” (Exo 20:6), shown figuratively in Adam’s wife.

The Greek verb proginōskō rendered “foreknow” simply means to know someone prior as Paul used it of himself, “Which knew [proginōskō 4267] me from the beginning” (Act 26:5). Likewise, the verb proorizō is to determine something prior. Paul was alluding to the dominion God determined for the man and the woman prior to creating them, “let them have dominionmale and female created he them” (Gen 1:26,27). Since God created the man before the woman, therefore He knew him prior to knowing her. However, He determined to make her for him prior to giving him dominion, “I will make him an help meet for him. And out of the ground the LORD God formed every beast of the field, and every fowl of the air; and brought them unto Adam to see what he would call them: and whatsoever Adam called every living creature, that was the name thereof.” (Gen 2:18-19). Adam and his wife were types of God’s Son and His chosen people. And the dominion given to Adam prior to their fall was determined for them both.

Adam naming every name foretold of Christ at God’s right hand with dominion over every name, “Thou madest him to have dominion over the works of thy hands; thou hast put all things under his feet” (Psa 8:6), “Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places, Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come: And hath put all things under his feet” (Eph 1:20-22).

To “them he also called” is that although He called to Adam after they sinned, “And the LORD God called unto Adam” (Gen 3:9), His call was to them both, “Unto the woman he said … And unto Adam he said” (Gen 3:16,17).

To “them he also justified [dikaioō 1344]” is that the dominion over “every beast of the field” (Gen 2:19,20) He gave to them both, “let them have dominion” (Gen 1:26), included dominion over the serpent, “And the LORD God said unto the serpent, Because thou hast done this, thou art cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field” (Gen 3:14). The serpent accuses God’s people before Him, “that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan … the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night” (Rev 12:9,10). But his charges against them are cast down. God justifies them from all accusations by His Son’s intercession for them at His right hand, “Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God’s elect? It is God that justifieth [dikaioō 1344] … who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us” (8:33,34).

To “them he also glorified” is that He clothed them both, “Unto Adam also and to his wife did the LORD God make coats of skins, and clothed them” (Gen 3:21). This woman “a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet” (Rev 12:1), is God’s people clothed by God in His Son, “But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ” (Rom 13:14), “put on the new man, which after God is created” (Eph 4:24), “put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him” (Col 3:10). Being made after the Son’s image, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness … So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them” (Gen 1:26,27), signified that they would be “conformed to the image of his Son” in glory.

God foreshowing His plan of salvation from the beginning—in whom He foreknew and what He determined prior—assures His people that He will bring it all to its fulfillment through His Son Jesus Christ.