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#6. BAPTIZED INTO (εἰς) THE NAME OF THE LORD JESUS

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This bible study explains the meaning of being baptized into the name of the Lord Jesus. It uses a Unicode Greek font and is printer friendly.

Greek Word Study βαπτίζω baptizo baptize.
Greek Word Study βάπτισμα baptizma baptism.

Introduction 6.1

There are two scriptures which mention being baptized into the name of the Lord Jesus.

Greek - Acts 8:14-17 - English
Ἀκούσαντες δὲ οἱ ἐν Ἱεροσολύμοις ἀπόστολοι ὅτι δέδεκται ἡ Σαμάρεια τὸν λόγον τοῦ θεοῦ ἀπέστειλαν πρὸς αὐτοὺς τὸν Πέτρον καὶ Ἰωάννην 14 Now when the apostles who were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent to them Peter and John:
οἵτινες καταβάντες προσηύξαντο περὶ αὐτῶν ὅπως λάβωσιν πνεῦμα ἅγιον 15 Who, when they came down, prayed for them, that they might receive the Holy Spirit:
οὔπω γὰρ ἦν ἐπ᾽ οὐδενὶ αὐτῶν ἐπιπεπτωκός μόνον δὲ βεβαπτισμένοι ὑπῆρχον εἰς τὸ ὄνομα τοῦ κυρίου Ἰησοῦ 16 (For as yet he was fallen upon none of them: only they were baptized into the name of the Lord Jesus.)
τότε ἐπετίθουν τὰς χεῖρας ἐπ᾽ αὐτούς καὶ ἐλάμβανον πνεῦμα ἅγιον 17 Then they laid their hands on them, and they received the Holy spirit.

Greek - Acts 19:3-5 - English
εἶπέ τε πρὸς αὐτοὺς, Εἰς τί οὖν ἐβαπτίσθητε; οἱ δὲ εἶπον, Εἰς τὸ Ἰωάννου βάπτισμα. 3 And he said to them, Into what then were you baptized? And they said, Into John's baptism.
εἶπε δὲ Παῦλος, Ἰωάννης μὲν ἐβάπτισεν βάπτισμα μετανοίας, τῷ λαῷ λέγων εἰς τὸν ἐρχόμενον μετ᾽ αὐτὸν ἵνα πιστεύσωσι τουτ’ ἔστιν, εἰς τὸν Χριστὸν Ἰησοῦν. 4 Then Paul said, John indeed baptized with the baptism of repentance, saying to the people, that they should believe in him who would come after him, that is, in Christ Jesus.
ἀκούσαντες δὲ ἐβαπτίσθησαν εἰς τὸ ὄνομα τοῦ κυρίου Ἰησοῦ. 5 When they heard this, they were baptized into the name of the Lord Jesus.

This needs to be explained. In both of these scriptures, "they were baptized into (Gr. εἰς) the name of the Lord Jesus." (Acts 8:16; 19:5), and the same preposition εἰς meaning "into", together with the same accusative case is used as when the apostles were told to go baptizing "into (Gr. εἰς) the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit:" (Matthew 28:19). Yet it seems obvious that these two scriptures (Acts 8:16; 19:5) refer to water baptism, and this being so, why does it not just refer to water baptism in Matthew 28:19? First let us make one thing clear, these scriptures do not indicate that they were baptized using the name "the Lord Jesus", this would require the dative case in the Greek (See #4. Baptism Lord Jesus Christ), and these are both in the accusative case. The fact, that "the Lord Jesus Christ" (See #4) is the correct name to use, is established by other scriptures, and although it must have been used here, these scriptures do not indicate whether it was or not. Secondly we have two baptisms under discussion here, the real spiritual baptism, and water baptism which is not only part of that real baptism, because it is an act of obedience to God's word, but is also a "type" of it, and represents it until the true baptism is fulfilled. Therefore, if the real baptism is being baptized into the Lord Jesus Christ, it is also correct to refer to the "type" (water baptism) using the same terminology. This is because, when we are being water baptized, we are symbolically being "baptized into Jesus Christ" (See #8), and "into his name" (See #6.1). If this were not so, there would be great difficulty in explaining why Jesus instructed baptism "in (Gr. εἰς) the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit:" (Matthew 28:19), and the apostles did it "in (Gr. εἰς) the name of the Lord Jesus." (Acts 8:16; 19:5).

#6.1 What is the name of Jesus that we are baptized into?

We have already seen that the "name" can mean "character", so this indicates that we are baptized "into the character of Jesus Christ" (See #5.12). This is to think the word of God as the Father established his thoughts, and to speak and confess only these thoughts, which are God's word (John 3:34; 8:28; 8:38; 12:50; 14:10; 17:8). Proof that we are expected to reach this place is evidenced by many scriptures:

(Deuteronomy 6:6-7) "And these words which I command you this day, shall be in your heart:
And you shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise up."

(Joshua 1:8) "This book of the law shall not depart out of your mouth;"

(Isaiah 59:20-21) "And the redeemer shall come to Zion, and to those who turn from transgression in Jacob, says Yahweh.
As for me, this is my covenant with them, says Yahweh; My spirit that is upon you, and my words which I have put in your mouth, shall not depart out of your mouth, nor out of the mouth of your seed, nor out of the mouth of your seed's seed, says Yahweh, from now on and forever."

(Ephesians 4:29) "Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying,"

(1 Timothy 6:3-4) "If any man teach otherwise, and does not consent to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, ... He is proud, knowing nothing,"

(Titus 2:1) "But you speak the things which become sound doctrine:"

(1 Peter 4:11) "If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God;"

#6.2 How does the name meaning Physical Characteristics apply to us?

We have also seen that "the name" can refer to physical characteristics See #2.11, so we need to examine how this can apply to us. If we take Paul as an example, he said:

(Galatians 2:20) "I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ lives in me:"

This showed that he had died to self, and had the resurrected Christ in him, having thus completed the death, burial, and resurrection parts of the baptism process in a spiritual sense. How then did this affect him physically? The scriptures show how:

(2 Corinthians 4:10-11) "Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body.
For we which live are always delivered to death for Jesus' sake, that the life also of Jesus might be manifest in our mortal flesh."

(2 Corinthians 11:23-25) "in stripes above measure, in prisons more frequent, in deaths often.
Of the Jews five times received I forty stripes save one.
Thrice I was beaten with rods, once I was stoned, thrice I suffered shipwreck, a night and a day have I spent in the deep."

(Galatians 6:17) "From now on let no man trouble me: for I bear in my body the marks of the Lord Jesus."

(Colossians 1:24) "Who now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ in my flesh for his body's sake, which is the church."

The result of his conformity to the character of Christ brought Paul much persecution (Acts 13:50; 2 Corinthians 12:10; Galatians 5:11; 2 Timothy 3:11). He was beaten, stoned, and flogged, amongst other things, which he referred to as "a thorn in the flesh" (2 Corinthians 12:7), and left him with "the marks of the Lord Jesus" (Galatians 6:17) on his body. Thus his body bore similar physical characteristics to those of Jesus, and Paul was conformed to the character of Jesus both spiritually and physically. This ought also to apply to us, to some degree, for "all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution." (2 Timothy 3:12), which Jesus also confirmed (Matthew 5:10-11; 5:44; Mark 10:30; Luke 21:12; John 15:20).

#6.3 I have come in my Father's name

One meaning of Jesus' statement "I have come in my Father's name," (John 5:43), is that he came in his Father's authority (See #2.112; John 3:35; 5:26-27; 13:3). He came in full obedience to the Father (cf. Ephesians 2:2 with John 14:30). He always did those things that pleased him (John 8:29). He spoke only the Father's words (John 3:34; 8:28; 8:38; 12:50; 14:10; 17:8). He came in complete submission to the Father's will (Matthew 26:39; 26:42; Mark 14:36; Luke 22:42; John 4:34; 5:30; 6:38), he did the Father's work (John 5:36; 9:4; 17:4), and he could do nothing without the Father (John 5:19; 5:30; 8:28). So after the process of being baptized into (Gr. εἰς) Jesus Christ and his name is completed, we will be fully baptized into the Word of God, we will be "in (Gr. ἐν) Jesus Christ", we will be "in (Gr. ἐν) his name", and we will have his character. We will be obedient to Jesus (Matthew 28:20; John 14:15), and we will stand by faith (Romans 11:20; 1 Corinthians 16:13; 2 Corinthians 1:24). We will walk by faith (Romans 4:12; 2 Corinthians 5:7), live by faith (Habakkuk 2:4; Romans 1:17; Galatians 2:20; 3:11; Hebrews 10:38), and fight the good fight of faith (1 Corinthians 9:26; 1 Timothy 6:12; 2 Timothy 4:7), which is how we will please him (Hebrews 11:6). We will speak only God's words (Deuteronomy 6:6-7; Joshua 1:8; Isaiah 59:21; 58:13; Ephesians 4:29; Titus 2:1;  1 Peter 4:11). We will be in complete subjection to Christ's will by being dead to self, and letting him live a resurrected life through us (Romans 6:3-6; Galatians 2:20;  1 Peter 3:21). We will do the works of Jesus (John 14:12), and we will be able to do nothing without him (John 15:1-5).

#6.4 Baptized into the Word of God

Jesus was a manifestation of the word of God (John 1:1; 1:14; 1 John 3:5; 3:8), and his name is the Word of God (Revelation 19:13). So being baptized into his name also means being baptized into the word of God, into obedience to it, and is fully discussed in other passages (See #7.3 Baptized into One Body; #8 Baptized into Jesus Christ). So in conclusion then we can summarize like this, that when we are baptized completely "into the name of the Lord Jesus", we will be fully baptized into his character. We will be thinking, speaking, and doing the word of God from the heart, and we will be fully baptized into his authority, which will enable us to do his work (John 14:12). Because we will be living a godly life, we may suffer persecution, and bear the marks of it in our physical body. Until we reach this state, the complete process of baptism "into the name of the Lord Jesus' has not been completed.

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