‘To water baptise in ‘the Godhead’ or the name of Jesus Christ?’

(Matthew 28:18-20):

18 ‘Then Jesus came to them (disciples) and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to Me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age” ‘.

Christians, let’s not be unhappy or confused that some believers baptise people ‘in the name of Jesus Christ’ only. They are doing the right thing.

Unlike the ‘traditional belief’, we should bear in mind that Matthew 28:19 is not at all referring to water baptism. Instead, it refers to ‘immersing’ nations as a whole as disciples in the fullness of ‘the Godhead’, that is, the presentation of the full nature of God and His Work from Genesis to Revelation.

The derivation of the Greek word, “baptizo”, used in verse 19 (“baptizontes”) means, to ‘dip’, or more precisely ‘immerse’. That is, Jesus is saying “immerse” the nations in the Fullness of God and the Word of God. In the Book of Acts below the apostles water baptised or ordered that people be water baptised only in the name of Jesus Christ. This is because they knew that all things had to be done in the name of Jesus Christ being that all things were made through Him (John 1:2) and Jesus also told them things would and are to be done specifically in His name (Mark 16:17; Mark 9:39; John 14:13-14; Acts 3:1-7; Acts 16:16-18; Col 3:17).

Jesus then was not at all referring to ‘baptising’ in water in verse 19, but rather ‘saturating’ the nations with the full knowledge of the nature of the Creator God and the holy Scriptures.

In this context, it is therefore error to water baptise in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Even so, in saying this, the expression of the ‘Triune’ God here represents and embodies the name and nature of Jesus Christ in totality. Then, to this writer’s mind, it would not mean that a believer needs to ‘rebaptise’ in the name of Jesus Christ only though this is a matter of individual consideration.

Finally, baptising ‘in the name of Jesus Christ’ (Acts 10:48) did not at all also mean that the apostles alternatively baptised in the ‘Godhead’ but evidently ‘in Jesus Christ’ only according to these four ‘Acts’ passages below:

1) Peter replied, “Repent and be baptised, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit” ‘ (Acts 2:38).

2) 14 ‘When the apostles in Jerusalem heard that Samaria had accepted the word of God, they sent Peter and John to them. 15 When they arrived, they prayed for them that they might receive the Holy Spirit, 16 because the Holy Spirit had not yet come upon any of them; they had simply been baptised into the name of the Lord Jesus. 17 Then Peter and John placed their hands on them, and they received the Holy Spirit’ (Acts 8:14-17).

3) 44 ‘While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit came on all who heard the message. 45 The circumcised believers who had come with Peter were astonished that the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out even on the Gentiles. 46 For they heard them speaking in tongues and praising God. Then Peter said, 47 “Can anyone keep these people from being baptised with water? They have received the Holy Spirit just as we have.” 48 So he ordered that they be baptised in the name of Jesus Christ. Then they asked Peter to stay with them for a few days’ (Acts 10:44-48).

4) 1 ‘While Apollos was at Corinth, Paul took the road through the interior and arrived at Ephesus. There he found some disciples 2 and asked them, “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?” They answered, “No, we have not even heard that there is a Holy Spirit.” 3 So Paul asked, “Then what baptism did you receive?” “John’s baptism,” they replied. 4 Paul said, “John’s baptism was a baptism of repentance. He told the people to believe in the one coming after him, that is, in Jesus”. 5 On hearing this, they were baptised into the name of the Lord Jesus’ (Acts 19:1-5).