of the Spirit
- Matthew 28:19
- "Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:"
- Since the passage mentions the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit this is taken to mean that the one God exists in three divine Persons.
- This passage makes no mention of the alleged co-eternity, co-equality or co-substance so hard pressed by the trinitarian.
- The baptismal formula given here by Jesus is unique by naming the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.1 In the Acts of the Apostles and Paul's letter's the corresponding formula is simply "baptized into (the name of) the Lord Jesus." (Acts 2:28; 8:16; 19:5; Romans 6:3; Galatians 3:27). It can be inferred then that the latter formula was a type of "shorthand" for the fuller one in Matthew's account and that Jesus is the focus of "the Name" (Acts 4:12).
- Jesus was given this name by God (Philippians 2:9-11; Hebrews 1:4) and therefore it was not his inherently but something given to him by the greater (John 14:28). The name was given to him after his crucifixion and therefore he didn't possess it from the beginning. This is why in Revelation 3:12 he calls it his "new name."
- Likewise, in the verse beforehand Jesus said, "All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth." (Matthew 28:18). The Father is the one who has given him this power (John 3:35; 17:2; 1 Corinthians 15:28) and he could have done nothing without it (John 5:30; 8:28).
- Why then are the three mentioned here together? The simple fact is that these three play an important role for a disciple.
- "But it is God who establishes us with you in Christ, and has commissioned us; he has put his seal upon us and given us his Spirit in our hearts as a guarantee." (2 Corinthians 1:21-22)
- "Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace unto you, and peace, be multiplied." (1 Peter 1:2)
It is God the Father who has used Jesus Christ and his Spirit to work in the life of a believer. There is no equality here but God the Father as being superior by his working through Christ and the Spirit.
- This is the only place that the Holy Spirit could possibly be said to have a name. Return
New entry added on 1/5/00 by Tim Young