Matt.28:18-20 – All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to Me. Go, therefore, and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to follow all that I commanded you; and behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

Acts 2:38 – Peter said to them, “Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.

When I was a new Christian I lived in the San Joaquin Valley near Fresno, California. There were many different types of Christian groups as well as cults that were fairly strong and carried influence in that region. One Of the Christian groups was the Apostolic or Oneness churches. These were Pentecostal groups that had split from the other Pentecostal churches not many years after the Azusa Street Revival. They believe in what they call oneness and were very strict in the formula for baptism. I stress the word formula for a reason. They believe that you have to say the phrase “in the Name of Jesus” while baptizing for it to be valid. Their dogmatism caused me to search and find out what I believed was the truth about baptism. I don’t think there is a formula, so to speak, but a glimpse into the beauty of baptism seen in today’s verses. Jesus said to baptize in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Peter said to baptize in the Name of Jesus. Could it be they were both saying the same thing? I believe they are. Here is what I believe is the meaning of using the Name of Jesus.

WHEN YOU SPEAK OF SOMEONE’S NAME YOU ARE SPEAKING OF THEIR REPUTATION OR GLORY – WE ARE BAPTIZED FOR THE GLORY OF HIS NAME.

So when you are baptized its not the formula of exactly what is spoken by the person baptizing you, the key is that your baptism and testimony brings glory to His Name. You are being baptized for His glory, for the sake and glory of His Name.

  1. NAME IS ALSO CONNECTED TO AUTHORITY – WE ARE COMMISSIONED WITH THE AUTHORITY OF THE LORD JESUS TO BAPTIZE IN HIS NAME (AUTHORITY). This is another aspect of what it means to operate in the Name of Jesus. It means you baptize not in your authority or name but in the authority and Name of Jesus.

So let’s glorify His Name as we go into our world, make disciples, and baptize them in His Name.

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