Baptism in Jesus’ name is an essential and valuable practice in the Christian faith. It is a public declaration and testimony of a believer’s faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. Jesus Himself was baptized in the Jordan River by John (Matthew 3:13–17) to be fitting for them to fulfill all righteousness (Matthew 3:15).
Jesus gave the Great Commission to His disciples: “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit” (Matthew 28:19), while the apostle Peter also directed the believers from Caesarea to be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. There has been discussion over the years regarding the proper method of baptism and the name under which it should be performed.
Why Should We Have A Baptism In Jesus’ Name?
The practice of baptism in Jesus’ name can be traced back to the early Christian church, and there are several reasons for this, according to the Bible.
- Declaration of faith in Christ Jesus: In the book of Acts, we see that the apostles baptized new converts in the name of Jesus (Acts 2:38, 8:16, 10:48, 19:5). It is a public declaration of their faith in Jesus and a commitment to follow Him as the Lord and Savior of their lives. The believer acknowledges what Jesus Christ has done on the cross of Calvary.
- Baptism into a new life through Jesus’ death and resurrection: Water baptism is a spiritual cleansing associated with repentance. When a person is baptized, they identify with the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
Romans 6:4–5 says, “We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life. For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his.”
Death in Christ means that those who were baptized in Christ have died and buried the old, sinful life, while resurrection in Christ means that those who were baptized in Christ will have the newness of life. 1 Corinthians 5:17 says, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!”
- Power to receive the Holy Spirit: Acts 2:38 says, “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.'” When the vessel (the human body and soul) is cleansed by water, there is a spiritual rebirth that takes place in the believer’s life. It is called being born again in the spirit.
John 3:5 says, “Jesus answered, ‘Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.'” The believer will receive the indwelling and sanctifying power of the Holy Ghost. This is the power of God that rests upon the believer to access God’s kingdom and righteousness, blessings and favor, and the gift of eternal life.
Should We Be Baptized In Jesus’ Name Only?
While discussions on the necessity of baptism for salvation continue, many agree that it represents a significant spiritual milestone.
In addition, the question of whether we should be baptized in Jesus’ name has been a point of contention among Christians. Some believe that baptism in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit is necessary, while others argue that baptism in Jesus’ name alone is sufficient.
Jesus commanded that disciples be baptized “in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit,” which does not necessarily mean that a Trinitarian formula is required for water baptism. This concept can be interpreted as representing the authority and power of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, rather than a specific formula for baptism.
It also means that the believer or disciple who wants to be baptized in water comes into knowledge and a covenant relationship with the Father through the sacrifice of His Son, Jesus, and the indwelling power of the Holy Spirit. 2 Corinthians 5:19 says that “God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation.” Jesus is the way to the Father.
We see in the book of Acts that the apostles baptized the believers in the name of Jesus, and there is no record of them using the Trinitarian formula. But John’s baptism does not explicitly state the Trinitarian formula or Jesus’ name.
In the Old Testament, Israelites were symbolically baptized with water through the cloud and the sea (1 Corinthians 10:2). So, Christian baptism, whether in the trinitarian citation or in Jesus Christ’s name, signifies the same authority and power of God.
What Is The Importance Of Being Baptized In Jesus’ Name Today?
All the world is subject to Jesus’ authority and power, as it is the will of the Father to subject the world to and through Him. His name is above all names. John 13:3 says, “Jesus knew that the Father had put all things under his power and that he had come from God and was returning to God.”
John 17:2–3 also says, “For you granted him authority over all people that he might give eternal life to all those you have given him. Now this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.” Baptism in Jesus’ name has an important impact on the life of every believer.
- Forgiveness of sins: Baptism in Jesus’ name signifies the washing away of sins and the beginning of a new life in Christ. It brings a sense of peace and assurance that one’s sins have been forgiven. There is the cleansing of the heart and mind and the removal of guilt and shame.
- Eternal life: Baptism in Jesus’ name is an essential step for receiving the gift of salvation and eternal life.
- Become children of God: Through baptism in Jesus’ name, believers become children of God the Father and begin a right relationship with Him. It provides a clear identity as a follower of Christ and unites other believers with Christ, creating a sense of spiritual family, community, and fellowship.
- Empowerment by the Holy Spirit: Baptism in Jesus’ name is often accompanied by the infilling of the Holy Spirit, providing power for spiritual growth, transformation, and living a godly life.
Being baptized in Jesus’ name is a vital act of obedience and a public declaration of faith. It is a way of openly expressing a believer’s dedication to following Jesus and living a life devoted to serving Him. Such a declaration can serve as a potent testimony to others, inspiring them to reflect on their own relationship with God.
The act of being baptized in the name of Jesus holds the transformative ability to wash away the curse of sin from humanity. As we rise out of the water, we are given a new life in Christ, resurrected and free from the weight of our past transgressions.