What words are used in baptism and what do they mean?

A question from a reader: What words are used in baptism and what do they mean?

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5 Responses to “What words are used in baptism and what do they mean?”

  • sparc77 says:

    It differs from denomination to denomination, but essentially will be something like this:

    The pastor will ask “Do you freely confess that you are a sinner and repent of your sins? Do you place your trust in Christ as your savior and repent of your sins?”

    The candidate for baptism will answer, “yes”.

    The pastor will place his hands on the candidate and speak to the witnesses. “In accordance to our Lord’s teachings and by His command, I baptize you my Christian brother/sister in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit”.

    The pastor will then baptise whether by total immersion or by sprinkling with water.

    It is a very simple and straight forward ceremony. It is something to remember and cherish if you are a Christian.

  • SJC says:

    “Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins…” (Acts 2:38).

    Christian baptism is to be administered “in the name of Jesus.” This means to invoke the name Jesus orally at water baptism.

    The Biblical Record

    The Book of Acts contains five examples of baptism in the name of Jesus, while no biblical account mentions any other name or formula in connection with an actual baptism. Below are six indisputable references in the New Testament to baptism in the name of Jesus.

    (1) After the first sermon of the New Testament church, Peter commanded baptism “in the name of Jesus Christ” with the support of the rest of the apostles (Acts 2:14, 37-38). Those who accepted his message were baptized according to this commandment – that is, in the name of Jesus (Acts 2:41).

    (2) After the Samaritans believed Philip’s preaching concerning “the name of Jesus Christ,” they were baptized “in the name of the Lord Jesus” (Acts 8:12,16).

    (3) After Cornelius and his fellow Gentiles received the Holy Ghost, Peter “commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord” (Acts 10:48). The most ancient Greek manuscripts contain the name “Jesus Christ” in this verse, as later translations indicate: “So he ordered that they be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ” (NIV); “And he ordered that they be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ, the Messiah” (TAB).

    (4) When Paul met certain disciples of John the Baptist at Ephesus, he asked about their baptism. When he found out they had only received John’s baptism, he baptized them again, this time “in the name of the Lord Jesus” (Acts 19:5).

    (5) Paul himself was baptized in the name of Jesus, for Ananias told him, “Arise and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord” (Acts 22:16).

    (6) In addition to these five accounts in Acts, I Corinthians shows that the Gentile believers in Corinth were baptized in Jesus’ name. The church there was full of divisions, with various groups claiming to be followers of Paul, Peter, Apollos, or Christ. When Paul rebuked them for their divisions, he asked, “Is Christ divided? was Paul crucified for you? or were ye baptized in the name of Paul?” (I Corinthians 1:13). The obvious answer to the last question is, “No, we were baptized in the name of Christ.” Since the Corinthians were baptized in (literally, “into”) the name of Christ, not Paul, they belonged to Christ, not Paul. Paul was saying this: Jesus died for the whole church and the whole church was baptized in His name, so the church should unite in following Him. If the Corinthians were not baptized in Jesus’ name, Paul’s argument makes no sense.

    Identification with Christ

    Baptism is a personal identification with Jesus Christ, for we are baptized into Christ (Romans 6:3; Galatians 3:27). We are baptized in His name to identify ourselves personally with Him and to take on His name. To become part of the body of Christ, which is the church, we must take on Christ’s name.

    In the Old Testament God identified His Temple by investing His name in it (I Kings 8:29). In the New Testament the church is God’s temple (I Corinthians 3:16-17), and it must bear His name. The saints of God in the Book of Revelation have His name written on them as a mark of identification (Revelation 3:12; 14:1; 22:4).

    That the name serves to identify us with Jesus becomes even more apparent when we study the Greek word eis, which the KJV translates as “into” in Galatians 3:27. This word also appears in Acts 8:16, Acts 19:5, and I Corinthians 1:13. In these three verses the KJV translates the relevant phrase as “baptized in the name,” but the NIV conveys its true meaning more strongly by translating it as “baptized into the name.” W. E. Vine explained the significance of this phrase: It “would indicate that the baptized person was closely bound to, or became the property of, the one into whose Name he was baptized.” Another Protestant author wrote, “The Name stands for the person, authority, and power, so that baptism in the Name of the Lord Jesus is into citizenship or membership in His Person, authority, and power.” “To be baptized into the Name of Jesus means to be baptized into His Body, His Life, into citizenship and membership in His kingdom.”

    Baptism identifies us with Jesus, and it is specifically baptism in His name that identifies us with Him, makes us His property, and places us into His body. We should not be reluctant to identify with the One who died for us, and to become His property by calling His name at baptism.


  • midgie2040 says:

    SJC gave a WONDERFUL answer!If we are going to live for Jesus,we must take on His name in everything!The word of God also says,”whatsoever you do in word or deed,do ALL in the name of Jesus.”

  • Bill C says:

    Too many churches complicate baptism, and most don’t baptize the way the early church did. Baptism in the first century church took place after a person believed in Jesus and repented of their sins. Baptism was always by immersion, and the baptizer would say “I baptize you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of sins.” There might be minor variations on the wording. The only essential part was that baptism was always done in Jesus’ name. No one in the first century was baptized using the titles Father, Son and Holy Ghost. This is because Jesus told His disciples to baptize in the NAME of the Father, Son and Holy Ghost, not in those titles. The apostles understood the command, and thus, always baptized in the NAME of Jesus. See Acts chapters 2, 8, 10 and 19, as well as Acts 4:12 and Col. 3:17.

    It wasn’t until the 4th century that much of the church began using the titles in baptism, which only repeats the command of Jesus, without actually obeying it.

  • ELMO says:

    Matthew 28:19 was a command by Jesus to baptize in the NAME. The Apostles did not repeat the word of the command, but they did obey it. Since Father, Son, and Holy Ghost are titles of the manifestations of the Almighty Spirit and His body, the Apostles understood His SAVING NAME to be JESUS. Can any dare say that the Apostles disobeyed the Lord, or failed to baptize properly? THE NAME OF THE FATHER, SON, AND HOLY GHOST IS LORD JESUS CHRIST. The actions of the Apostles in the Book of Acts prove this to be true.

    HEBREWS 9:22 – The application of the blood of Christ is necessary to remit sin. What then is the Biblical way to receive remission of sin? The answer to this question will also be the only way to get the Saviour’s blood applied.

    LUKE 24:47 – “And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name….” (Jesus)

    ACTS 2:38 – “Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins…” The blood of Jesus is applied ONLY through water baptism in the name of Jesus. [Also see 1 John 5:8 and Acts 22:16]

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