Are We Baptised In The Name Of Jesus Christ Or In The Name Of The Father, The Son And The Holy Spirit?


‘Therefore, go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.’ Matthew 28:19

I received a phone call one evening by a total stranger, and the very first thing he said to me was in the form of a question, he asked, ‘if we, that is the church, baptise in the Name of Jesus or in the Name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit?’

At first, I was wondering why he would ask such a question but after he explained his thoughts behind the question, he became very aggressive and stated that ‘if anyone in ‘my’ church has been baptised ‘in the Name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit’ then their baptism was invalid and therefore they are still in their sins and bound for hell.’

Sadly, I didn’t get a chance to explain what the Bible actually says to him, as he just hung up the phone. The clear command of Jesus is to baptise In the Name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, but, why do we see so many instances in the New Testament where people were baptised ‘in Jesus’ name’?

I think it’s important to understand words and their meanings in the Scriptures, especially the original text in Hebrew or Greek, otherwise, we can get ourselves into all kinds of problems concerning what any passage of Scripture means.

Notice the Greek word for ‘into’ that Matthew uses, he writes, ‘baptizing them into ‘eis’ the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit’ Matthew 28:19

Luke in the Book of Acts uses the same Greek word but also uses different Greek words.

‘Baptized in ‘epi’ the name of Jesus Christ’. Acts 2:38

‘Baptized into ‘eis’ the name of the Lord Jesus’. Acts 8:16

‘Baptized in ‘en’ the name of Jesus Christ.’ Acts 10:48

‘Baptized into ‘eis’ the name of the Lord Jesus.’ Acts 19:5

The reason they were baptized ‘in the name of Jesus’ isn’t because the words were some kind of magical formula, but because the phrase, ‘in the name of’ means in the authority of, Acts 4:7-10.

‘In the name of Jesus Christ’ is simply by the authority of Jesus, we are immersed by His authority, Acts 2:38 but ‘baptizing them ‘in’ the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit,’ Matthew 28:19 means something else.

Look at the footnote of your Bible for Matthew 28:19, the word ‘in’ can also mean ‘into’.

What difference does that make?

Well, we’re baptised ‘in’ the Name of Jesus but at the same time, we’re baptised ‘into’ a relationship with the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

‘So, IN Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith, for all of you who were baptized INTO Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ.’ Galatians 3:26-27

‘What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? By no means! We are those who have died to sin; how can we live in it any longer? Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized INTO Christ Jesus were baptized INTO his death? We were therefore buried with him through baptism INTO death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.’ Romans 6:1-4