People's Commentary (NT)
Matthew 28:19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations. "Go ye therefore and make disciples of all nations" (Revised Version). There are several things to be noticed: (1) "Go", implies an aggressive warfare. The Gospel army must move upon the nations. The Lord seeks universal empire, and sends forth his armies to conquer the world. Every church and every disciple must understand that they have marching orders. (2) Not only is every saint commanded to "go", or to take steps to make the gospel go, but the object is stated. They are to make "disciples", or pupils, and scholars of Christ; not great philosophers, but "babes in Christ Jesus" (I Corinthians 3:1), who have entered the school of Christ and are to be taught afterwards. (3) Who are to be made disciples is next indicated. Not the Jews only, but "all nations". Christ came to be the Savior of the world. His is a universal religion. In the Great Commission he looks beyond Judea, and commands that the Gospel shall be offered to all nations. The test of eighteen centuries shows that Christianity is not local or national, but is adapted to the needs of all mankind. (4) It is next stated how disciples shall be made. Baptizing them. The rite by which those who believe upon him should be formally enlisted and enrolled in the school of Christ is baptism. It is a baptism of the Spirit that he means, because it is one that those whom he addresses are commanded to administer. He alone baptized with the Spirit; his apostles and disciples baptized in water, and it is to this rite that he refers. Hence, when we turn to the preaching of the apostles under this commission, we find that all converts were at once baptized (Acts 2:38-41 8:12-18). (5) The end or result of baptism is also given. Converts were to be baptized into the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. It is a positive affirmation of the Old Testament that where the name of the Lord is recorded there will he meet his disciples, or there will be his presence. See Exodus 20:24. The Lord declares that the three names, that of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, are recorded in baptism. In this rite, then, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit meet the believer; the Father to receive him as a child, the Son to welcome him as a brother, and to cover him with the mantle of his own purity; the Holy Spirit to endow him with that Spirit by which he can say, "Abba, Father". "Into the name of" is equivalent to "into the presence of", or "into the Father, and into the Son, and into the Holy Spirit".
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