The name of Jesus Christ was critical in Original Christianity. Paul wrote that the name of Jesus [Christ] was the most powerful authority on heaven and earth, and everything that was done by a believer was to be done in the name of Jesus Christ:
that in the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven and things on earth and things under the earth, (Philippians 2:10)
Being So powerful, Paul wrote that all things in word or deed should be done in the name of Jesus Christ:
And whatsoever ye do, in word or in deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. (Colossians 3:17)
If ye are reproached for the name of Christ, blessed are ye; because the Spirit of glory and the Spirit of God resteth upon you. (1 Peter 4:14)
men that have hazarded their lives for the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. (Acts 15:26)
that the name of our Lord Jesus may be glorified in you, and ye in him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ. (2 Thessalonians 1:12)
And this is his commandment, that we should believe in the name of his Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, even as he gave us commandment(1 John 3:23)
Calling on the name of the Lord Jesus Christ was part of the instruction to the people on how to be saved:
And it shall be, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved. (Acts 2:21)
for, Whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. (Romans 10:13)
These things have I written unto you, that ye may know that ye have eternal life, even unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God. (1 John 5:13)
Calling on the name of the Lord Jesus Christ was part of the instruction to the people on how to be washed (baptized):
Go ye therefore, and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them into the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit: (Matthew 28:19)
And Peter said unto them, Repent ye, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ unto the remission of your sins; and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. (Acts 2:38)
But when they believed Philip preaching good tidings concerning the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women.(Acts 8:12)
for as yet it was fallen upon none of them: only they had been baptized into the name of the Lord Jesus (Acts 8:16)
And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. Then prayed they him to tarry certain days. (Acts 10:48)
And when they heard this, they were baptized into the name of the Lord Jesus. (Acts 19:5)
Ministering And Healing
When the Apostles ministered healing and miracles it was in the name of Jesus Christ:
But Peter said, Silver and gold have I none; but what I have, that give I thee. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk. (Acts 3:6)
be it known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel, that in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom God raised from the dead, even in him doth this man stand here before you whole. (Acts 4:10)
while thy stretchest forth thy hand to heal; and that signs and wonders may be done through the name of thy holy Servant Jesus. (Acts 4:30)
And this she did for many days. But Paul, being sore troubled, turned and said to the spirit, I charge thee in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her. And it came out that very hour. (Acts 16:18)
But certain also of the strolling Jews, exorcists, took upon them to name over them that had the evil spirits the name of the Lord Jesus, saying, I adjure you by Jesus whom Paul preacheth. (Acts 19:13)
And this became known to all, both Jews and Greeks, that dwelt at Ephesus; and fear fell upon them all, and the name of the Lord Jesus was magnified. (Acts 19:17)
in the name of our Lord Jesus, ye being gathered together, and my spirit, with the power of our Lord Jesus, to deliver such a one unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus. (1 Corinthians 5:4-5)
Is any among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord: (James 5:14)
Speaking and Preaching
When the Apostles and Disciples spoke and preached it was in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ:
And they called them, and charged them not to speak at all nor teach in the name of Jesus. (Acts 4:18)
And to him they agreed: and when they had called the apostles unto them, they beat them and charged them not to speak in the name of Jesus, and let them go. (Acts 5:40)
But Barnabas took him, and brought him to the apostles, and declared unto them how he had seen the Lord in the way, and that he had spoken to him, and how at Damascus he had preached boldly in the name of Jesus. (Acts 9:27)
preaching boldly in the name of the Lord: and he spake and disputed against the Grecian Jews; but they were seeking to kill him. (Acts 9:29)
Prayer and Thanksgiving
Is prayer is to be done in the name of the trinity? No, it is be done in the single name of Jesus Christ!
unto the church of God which is at Corinth, even them that are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, with all that call upon the name of our Lord Jesus Christ in every place, their Lord and ours: (1 Corinthians 1:2)
giving thanks always for all things in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God, even the Father; (Ephesians 5:20)
Notice in the above that Paul directs that prayer is in the name of Jesus Christ to God the Father, not in the name of God the Father!
Used in Commands to the Disciples to Charge Them to Do Things
When the Apostles commanded things they did it in the name of Jesus Christ, not the trinity.
Now I beseech you, brethren, through the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfected together in the same mind and in the same judgment. (1 Corinthians 1:10)
Now we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye withdraw yourselves from every brother that walketh disorderly, and not after the tradition which they received of us. (2 Thessalonians 3:6)
The Oddity of Matthew 28:19
Now, notice that every one of the above verses except Matthew 28:19 specifies the name of Jesus Christ, and doesn’t mention the name of the Father, or the Spirit. So, let’s look at that famous verse that some call the Great Commission:
Go ye therefore, and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them into the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit: (Matthew 28:19)
Some people teach that there is no difference between “the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit” and the name of Jesus Christ. Yet the latter is used exclusively for everything in the rest of the New Testament, and the Apostles are very specific that “the name of Jesus Christ” is the name of authority. They NEVER use “the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit”. The practice of doing everything in the name of Jesus Christ including baptism appears to be the norm for Original Christianity up until the time of Justin Martyr.
Bible teachers and pastors will tell not to make a doctrine out of a single verse, but that is what is being done here!
So what is the answer? We need to follow the instruction of the apostles and do everything in the name of Jesus Christ. And concerning the oddity of Matthew 28:19 we will look more at that in another article.
© copyright 2011 Mark W Smith, All rights reserved. Revised 2021.