Baptized in the Name of Whom and What?

Go, therefore, and make disciples of people of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the holy spirit,…

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JERUSALEM was bustling with crowds from many lands. On the day of Pentecost 33 C.E., an important festival was in progress and many visitors were sharing in it. But something unusual occurred, after which the apostle Peter gave a stirring discourse that had an amazing effect. Some 3,000 Jews and proselytes were touched by his words, repented, and got baptized in water. Thus they were added to the newly formed Christian congregation. The baptism of so many in the pools or reservoirs around Jerusalem must have caused considerable commotion!

What led up to so many getting baptized? Earlier that day, “there occurred from heaven a noise just like that of a rushing stiff breeze.” In the upper chamber of a house, some 120 of Jesus’ disciples were filled with holy spirit. Thereafter, reverent men and women gathered and were intrigued to hear these disciples “speak with different tongues.” Upon listening to what Peter said, including his pointed comments about Jesus’ death, many “were stabbed to the heart.” What should they do? Peter answered: “Repent, and let each one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ . . . , and you will receive the free gift of the holy spirit.”

Think of the religious situation of those Jews and proselytes who heard Peter. They had already accepted Jehovah as their God. And from the Hebrew Scriptures, they knew about the holy spirit, God’s active force used during creation and thereafter.

But they needed something more. It was vital for them to understand and accept God’s means of salvation the Messiah, Jesus. Hence, Peter highlighted their need for being “baptized in the name of Jesus Christ.” Some days before, the resurrected Jesus commanded Peter and others to baptize people “in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the holy spirit.” That had profound meaning in the first century, and it still does. What is it?

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~ by DJ Camstar on 29/03/2017.

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