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Matthew 28:19  (King James Version)
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<< Matthew 28:18   Matthew 28:20 >>


Matthew 28:19

Baptism serves to induct us into God's church and Family. We are literally baptized into the name of God. It becomes our Family name, and we have a great responsibility to uphold it (see Exodus 20:7; Proverbs 22:1). Afterwards, when a minister lays his hands on us, God gives us of His Spirit, and we truly become Christians, members of the body of Christ. And because we have God's Spirit in us, we become God's children and heirs with Christ of all things (Romans 8:14-17; Hebrews 2:5-13)!

Richard T. Ritenbaugh
Basic Doctrines: Water Baptism



Matthew 28:19

We have been baptized into the name. Since being baptized and receiving God's Holy Spirit, we bear that same name! It is our spiritual Family name—God!

Does that have any effect on the way that we conduct our lives? Do we ever think that we bear that name? No, most of the time, we think only of the name that has been passed on to us by our fathers or the name that we have taken due to marriage. We are now immersed into the Family of God and bear the name of God. Even as a son physically bears the name of his father, we now have this spiritual family name.

The first commandment has to do with what we worship—the Almighty Creator. The second commandment deals with how we worship: We worship in spirit and in truth. The third commandment covers the quality of our personal witness to everything that the name we bear implies.

Proverbs 22:1 says, "A good name is to be chosen rather than great riches, loving favor rather than silver and gold." One's name might be considered a person's most valuable asset. Since we bear the name of God, it is most precious. The third commandment says, "You shall not bear the name of the LORD your God in vain."

What are we doing to uphold the Family name? Are we guiltless? Are we clean in our bearing of it? What is our witness like before men? What is our witness like before God? These questions need to be asked, now that we know that we bear that name. How high of a quality is our Christian lives?

John W. Ritenbaugh
Holiness (Part 1)



Matthew 28:19

Speaking "in the name of" something does not necessarily mean that one is speaking of the name of a personality. A cliché we hear frequently in old crime movies illustrates this. Sometime during the film, a policeman invariably comes running out with his gun drawn and aimed at the suspect, and he says, "Stop in the name of the law!" Does the law have personality? Is it a personality? No, it is an inanimate thing. The policeman was commanding the robber to stop in the name of an authority, the law.

So just because the baptism formula includes within it the authority of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit does not mean that the Holy Spirit is a Person. It is mentioned, undoubtedly, as the means through which the repentant sinner is brought to the point of being baptized. God tells us clearly that the Holy Spirit is given to convict us of sin (John 16:8-9). God stirs up our minds by the power of His mind, using His Spirit to lead us to think of things in a way that we never have before, and He thereby brings us to repentance.

By the same means, He also reveals to us the real Jesus, and by the same means, He gives us the power to believe in Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of sin. The Holy Spirit, then, is the power that God uses to bring us to that point.

John W. Ritenbaugh
The Holy Spirit



Matthew 28:19

To understand Jesus' command, we need to examine some other things that He said to the same people. We should also determine just whom He commissioned to preach the gospel in all the world. Many today believe that God divinely commissioned everyone who has ever heard or read this command to "witness for Christ" and make converts for his religion.

To whom did Jesus issue this command? Only to the eleven disciples (Matthew 28:16-19; Mark 16:14-15)! "And they went out and preached everywhere. . ." (Mark 16:20). These eleven disciples became Jesus' apostles, just as Jesus Himself was His Father's apostle (Hebrews 3:1-2). An "apostle" is one personally commissioned to deliver a message to someone else. Christ was sent with a message from His Father, and He, in turn, sent these eleven to convey the same message to yet other people! The message is the good news of the Kingdom of God (Mark 1:14-15).

Staff
'Go Ye Therefore Into All the World...'



Matthew 28:19

The word translated "in" is the Greek word eis. It means "into," "inside of." We are baptized into water, into the church, by means of the Holy Spirit. His name becomes ours by begettal (or adoption, as Paul says in Romans 8). It is our spiritual Family name! Therefore, our responsibility is to grow and uphold that name—to bring honor upon it by our words, attitudes, and deeds.

John W. Ritenbaugh
The Fourth Commandment (Part 1)



Matthew 28:19-20

At baptism, His name becomes our spiritual family name through regeneration by His Spirit, or adoption. Paul writes in Romans 8:14, 16: "For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. . . . The Spirit [it]self bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God." By God's adoption of us, it becomes our responsibility to grow in godly character, upholding His name and bringing honor upon it by our words, attitudes, and deeds.

John W. Ritenbaugh
The Fourth Commandment



Matthew 28:19-20

Clearly, baptism is a commanded ordinance for those who would be saved. Though it is strictly a physical ritual, our participation in it shows the sincerity of our repentance, our belief of His Word, our desire to obey God, and our acceptance of what Jesus Christ did on our behalf. It is such an important beginning to our Christian lives that Jesus says that "unless one is born of water [baptism] and the Spirit [by a laying on of hands (Hebrews 6:2; Acts 8:17)], he cannot enter the kingdom of God" (John 3:5).

Richard T. Ritenbaugh
Basic Doctrines: Water Baptism

Related Topics:



Matthew 28:19-20

The third commandment involves the quality of our personal witness of everything God's name implies. His name represents His position as Creator, Lifegiver, Provider, Ruler, and Sustainer, as well as His character, power, and promises. As Matthew 28:19-20 shows, "God" became our spiritual Family name upon regeneration by His Spirit, and thus we have a responsibility to grow and uphold that name's reputation by bringing honor upon it by our words, deeds, and attitudes.

John W. Ritenbaugh
The Fourth Commandment (Part One) (1997)



Matthew 28:19-20

The word "in" is better translated "into." At baptism, we are immersed into the name of the Father. We now bear that name and all it implies! As sons of God, we bear our Father's name. "God" is our spiritual family name!

Are we living up to it? Are we "walking" as God would walk were He living our lives so we do not tarnish the reputation of His name? The third commandment concerns the quality of our personal witness in everything that name we bear represents, as it applies to humans.

John W. Ritenbaugh
The Third Commandment (1997)



Matthew 28:19-20

If one stopped with verse 19, one would have a solid case for asserting that unless a church is preaching to the unconverted, one is not really preaching the gospel as Christ intended. Making disciples and baptizing certainly refer to conversions from the world into Christianity. But Christ also says, ". . . teaching them to observe all things I have commanded you." Teaching the fullness of God's way of life cannot be done before baptism and the receipt of the Holy Spirit.

If that is not so, why did Christ inspire the writers of the New Testament to discuss refinements to basic truths and deeper knowledge and understanding with already converted people? Why all the admonitions to grow and to overcome our sins? Why does Paul say, "Leaving the discussion of the elementary principles of Christ, let us go on to perfection" (Hebrews 6:1)? Why does he later say in the same book, "not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching" (Hebrews 10:25)? Why all the encouragement to hope in God and His promises? Why all the strong correction?

John W. Ritenbaugh
Get the Church Ready!



Matthew 28:19-20

Matthew 24:14 is not a commission to anybody in particular—not to the first-century apostles nor to anyone else. It is simply a statement of fact by Jesus Christ, prophesying that the gospel will be preached in all the world as a witness and then will the end come.

Matthew 24:14 and Matthew 28:19-20 are not synonymous. In the latter verses, though preaching as a witness is included within the scope of the commission, it actually places more emphasis upon the entire process of conversion, feeding, growing, and overcoming than merely witnessing, as in Matthew 24:14. The key word here is "process."

The word "teach" in Matthew 28:19 is the key to this understanding. Many Bibles have a marginal reference beside it: "make disciples." "Go you therefore into all the world and make disciples."

"Teach" is not wrong as long as we understand that it implies a process. All the teaching required to make a disciple cannot occur merely in making a witness. There are major differences between the two. At best, preaching the gospel to the world begins the process of teaching. Disciples are created through steady feeding, a believing response in those who hear combined with overcoming.

The second factor appears in verse 20: "Observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you." The key here is "all things." That cannot be done merely through a witness. As we are learning, observing all things is a lifelong project requiring the structure of a church. This is the reason why the church exists.

What is being emphasized in verses 19-20, though witnessing is included in it, is the feeding of the flock because it is the called, the elect—God's childrenwho are His greatest concern. These are the ones who are being prepared for the Kingdom of God. It takes a great deal of feeding and experiences with God for Christ to be formed in us.

John W. Ritenbaugh
What Is the Work of God Now? (Part 1)

Related Topics:



Matthew 28:18-19

In verse 18, the emphasis is on the word "all." His authority is no longer as it was when He was a man preaching in Galilee and Judea but is once again universal. It is "as it was when He was with the Father" before. He has died and been resurrected, and all authority is once again His. Therefore, His disciples are to understand that wherever they go, everything is subject to His authority. This is a good thing to remember: Everything is subject to Christ's authority.

As they go, they are to make disciples. Teaching and baptizing do not make a person a disciple, though they play a part. Just because a person is baptized does not mean he is converted. Nor does it mean he is a member of the church of God or part of the Family of God. Just because he has been taught the way of God does not mean that he has fully accepted and committed himself to what has been taught.

This is why the emphasis must be on "making disciples." Baptism and obedience to instruction will be a response a person will make who is being made a disciple.

The preaching of the gospel brings a person to faith, repentance, baptism, and seeking further instruction. These are outward responses.

At this point, baptism is very important because it is the outward sign of something exceedingly more important than the fact that one has been "dunked." Baptism is the outward sign of commitment—of coming under the authority of the Father and the Son. Disciples are baptized into the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. It is only when a person comes under or is committed to the authority of the Family of God that he is truly a disciple. This marks the difference between one who is truly a disciple and another who has only been dunked.

Once a person has been truly baptized and has truly committed himself to be under the authority of the Family of God, the issue for the disciple is continued learning as a student and loyalty as a member of the Family—as a new creation to the One he has committed himself to.

John W. Ritenbaugh
Revelation 2-3 and Works




Other Forerunner Commentary entries containing Matthew 28:19:

Matthew 13:52
Matthew 13:52
Matthew 23:15
Matthew 24:14
Matthew 24:14
Matthew 28:19
Matthew :
Matthew :
Matthew 28:19-20
Mark :
Mark 16:17-18
John 17:3
Acts 1:6-8
Hebrews 7:1-17

 

<< Matthew 28:18   Matthew 28:20 >>
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