What’s in the Name?

Below is a comment that was submitted to me by a member of the Apostolic Church. A heretical church who denies the Trinity, believes in being baptized in the “name of Jesus” is the only correct way, and believes that speaking in angelic utterances is evidence of the Holy Ghost therefore evidence that you are saved (i.e. A Christian).

“The book of Romans was written to the church in rome. Again you get into the church through JESUS CHRIST Acts 2:38. So the church in Rome had received that conversion experience that Rome is lacking today. Right, not all of Isreal is Isreal same principle when JESUS said in Mat7:21 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. How can HE be LORD if you are not baptized in the name of JESUS?”

So let’s look closely at what you’ve said. You get into the church through JESUS CHRIST” and you cite Acts 2: 38. A popular passage promoting the baptismal formula with the “name” being the indication to see if the sacrament of baptism was administered correctly.

look at the baptismal passages in Acts using this “in the name of Jesus Christ.

“And Peter said to them, “Repent and be baptized 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 ESV)
“for he had not yet fallen on any of them, but they had only been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.” (Acts 8:16 ESV)
“And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. Then they asked him to remain for some days.” (Acts 10:48 ESV)

While these baptismal formulas are popular the other instruction on baptism comes from the mouth of our Lord himself as recorded in the Gospel of Matthew.

Matt 28:19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,

In Matthew we see the Lord telling the disciples who would soon be apostles how to baptize. However later we see them baptizing in the name of Jesus. The argument to resolve this apparent tension is that these phrases are not opposite but the same. The understanding is that in a person’s name their character is represented. The character and attributes of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit is the same as the “name” (character and attributes) of Jesus Christ.

Let’s take this discussion to the exegetical “mat”.

Matt 28:19:
πορευθέντες οὖν μαθητεύσατε πάντα τὰ ἔθνη, βαπτίζοντες αὐτοὺς εἰς τὸ
ὄνομα τοῦπατρὸς καὶ τοῦ υἱοῦ καὶ τοῦ ἁγίου πνεύματος,

here we see the standard greek of the text. Assuming you don’t know Greek because if you did we wouldn’t be having this discussion take note of the phrase “τὸ ὄνομα” “noma”  literally “in the name” however take note that this is singular and not plural. Another way of saying this is that it isn’t written “in the names”.

This indicates that the Father, Son and Holy Spirit share one “name”. This word “name” is seen as the authority however to be baptized into that name is a sign of identifying with that name and taking on Christ’s character. I hope this is helpful as you grow in your understanding.

One thought on “What’s in the Name?

Comments are closed.