WHAT DOES "BAPTISM IN THE NAME OF JESUS" MEAN?
Part of the church has a creed that says a convert must be baptized in the NAME of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Another group's dogma says that the convert must be baptized in the NAME of Jesus Christ. Each sect quotes scripture to authenticate its doctrine.
Since we know that the scriptures are truth --and truth never contradicts itself, we must come to the conclusion that these two verses have a shared meaning: baptism INTO the authority of God.
"Go ye therefore, and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them INTO the NAME of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit: teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world." Matt 28:19-20 (ASV)
"Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you IN the NAME of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost." Acts 2:38
"Name" does not refer to a person; rather, it refers to power. The error (and division) comes from making the words said at baptism an incantation that is required for salvation. On the contrary:
SALVATION COMES FROM THE EXPERIENCE THAT THE WORDS REPRESENT --NOT THE WORDS!
"To be baptized in the NAME of Jesus Christ" is to be baptized into His authority.
"To be baptized into the NAME of The Father, The Son, and The Holy Spirit" means exactly the same thing! We are baptized into the authority of JESUS CHRIST who was
sent by the FATHER to rule Israel.
BAPTISM DELIVERS PEOPLE TO A NEW AUTHORITY
The words spoken at baptism represent a powerful spiritual experience similar to the deliverance of ancient Israel from its bondage to Pharaoh. The children of Israel had been slaves of Pharaoh until they were baptized INTO Moses.
When Moses stretched out his hand over the sea, the LORD caused the sea to go back and the children of Israel went into the midst of the sea upon the dry ground. Later, when the Egyptians pursued them to the midst of the sea, the LORD said unto Moses, stretch out thine hand over the sea, that the waters may come again upon the Egyptians. At the Red Sea, The LORD saved Israel from the rule of Pharaoh and baptized them INTO the authority of Moses:
"I want you to know, brethren, that our fathers were all under the cloud, and all passed through the sea, and all were baptized INTO Moses in the cloud and in the sea." 1 Cor 10:1-2 (RSV)
The baptism of Israel in the Red Sea INTO the authority of Moses delivered them from the power of Pharaoh INTO the authority of God. In the same way, the baptism of believers delivers them from the power of Satan INTO the protection of the kingdom of God.
"...Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us INTO the kingdom of his dear Son.". Col 1:13
Harold and Donna Kupp