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Scripture Reading: Acts 4:5-12

In the Name of the Lord


1.  “In the name of” is used 30 times in the New Testament.

2.  Some turn it into a baptismal formula necessary to validate baptism, Matt. 28:19.

  a.  Others demand “in the name of Jesus (Christ)” be said, Acts 2:38.

  b.  A man asked me which baptism is correct, Matt. 28:19 or Acts 2:38?

  c.  They are one and the same, and necessary for salvation (Mk. 16:15-16).

3.  What does the phrase “in the name of” mean? How is it used regarding baptism? Of what practical importance is this expression to us?



  A.  To Act in Someone’s Name Means to Act Under their Authority and with their Approval (strength, power, endorsement), Acts 4:7.

    1.  It was not the words themselves that healed, it was the power of Jesus Christ that healed the man, Acts 3:6; 4:10. cf. Acts 16:18

    2.  Likewise, power to save belongs only to Jesus, Acts 4:12 (1 Cor. 6:11).

    3.  To teach “in the name of” Jesus: Teach of His power to heal and save, Acts 4:18 (12).

      a.  Reply: They saw the “name of” Jesus (His power), and would continue to preach it, Acts 4:19-20 (4:2).

      b.  The power of Jesus worked miracles and authorized the word of God that they spoke, Acts 4:30-31 (cf. 5:40-42).

      c.  It was an expression of power, not a “formula” spoken ritually.

  B.  Other Scriptural Illustrations that “in the Name of” means “by the Strength, Power, or Authority” of that Person.

    1.  Jesus: Came in His Father’s name (with His Father’s authority, power and endorsement), Jno. 5:43.

      a.  Contrasted with the “name of” men (cf. Matt. 21:23).

      b.  The works of Jesus were done “in the Father’s name,” Jno. 10:25.

    2.  Receiving others, Matt. 10:41-42.

      -To accept and/or act with the approval, endorsement, power or authority of a prophet, a righteous man, a disciple.

    3.  Preaching, Acts 9:29.

      a.  Paul was not speaking a formula boldly.

      b.  Preaching boldly by the power/authority of Jesus, Acts 9:27.

    4.  Apostolic commands, 2 Thess. 3:6. (Binding authority of Jesus)

    5.  Prophets spoke, Jas. 5:10. (Their words were authorized by God.)



  A.  Baptism “In the Name of” is Not a Baptismal Formula.

  B.  Baptized in the name of Christ is a Statement of the Power by Which One is Baptized, Matt. 28:19; Acts 2:38; 8:16; 10:48; 19:5.

    1.  The one who gives baptism its power, 1 Cor. 1:13.

    2.  Jesus endorses and empowers baptism of those who believe, repent of their sins and confess their faith that He is the Christ, Acts 8:37-38.

  C.  Water is the Element Used for Baptism “in the Name of” Jesus.

    1.  Commanded baptism in His name, Acts 2:38.

    2.  The element is not the Holy Spirit, Acts 8:14-17.

    3.  The element is water, Acts 10:47-48.

  D.  The Result (Purpose) of Baptism “in the Name of” Jesus Christ.

    1.  Remission of sins, Acts 2:38.

    2.  Become a disciple, Matt. 28:19-20 (relationship of salvation, Gal. 3:27; Rom. 6:4-7).

    3.  The power of Christ saves you, Acts 22:16.



  A.  To be Saved One Must Believe in the Name of the Son of God, Jno. 3:18 (Believe who He is and in His authority, Matt. 28:18).

  B.  One Must be Baptized in the Name of Jesus Christ to be Saved (by His authority), Acts 2:38.

    1.  Baptisms authorized by others (churches, creeds, etc.) do not save, Acts 4:12.

    2.  John’s baptism had no power to bring them under the authority of Christ and into a saved relationship with Him, Acts 19:3-5.

  C.  Whatever We Do Must be “in the Name of” the Lord, Col. 3:17.

    1.  Giving thanks, Eph. 5:20.

    2.  Living by faith, 1 Jno. 5:13.



1.  The Lord has not commanded a formula to be spoken that validates what we do (baptism or giving thanks).

2.  He has taught that only when we act under His authority (which is revealed in His gospel) will He bless us with salvation and eternal life.

3.  Will you be baptized “in the name of Jesus Christ,” and be saved by Him? Matt. 28:19; Acts 2:38



By: Joe R. Price

Posted June 11, 2019