The phrase ‘in the name of’, as applied to baptism, has sparked many debates over the years. The Popular view of the baptismal formula comes from Matthew 28:19, which uses the titles Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. An argument that is used against the formula ‘in the name of Jesus’, as seen in the book of Acts, is that the phrase ‘in the name of’ means ‘by the authority of’. This study will look at the Greek words in this phrase to see what was meant when Jesus and the Apostles said “in the name of’.
One argument against baptism in the name of Jesus is that the phrase ‘in the name of Jesus’ only refers to the authority of Jesus. It is true that ‘in the name of’, and ‘in his name’, is in reference to the power and authority of Jesus (Bernard, p. 72). It is by Jesus’ authority that we use His name, because Jesus has all power.
When God chose to manifest Himself in flesh as our savior He chose a name that would signify the essence of who He is. The name He chose would not only reveal who He was, but also what His mission on Earth was. The name Jesus means Jehovah-Savior, meaning that Jehovah is our Savior.
We are told in scripture that God would dwell with us.
Isaiah 7:14 Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.
Jesus is the fulfillment of this prophecy.
Matthew 1:21-23 21 And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins. 22 Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, 23 Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.