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Scripture Reading:  Acts 4:5-12


"In the Name of the Lord"



1.  “In the name of” is an expression found 30 times in the NT.

2.  Some have turned it into a baptismal formula necessary to validate the baptism – Matt. 28:19.

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

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

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

3.  What does the phrase “in the name of” mean?  How is it used regarding baptism?  What practical importance is it to you & me?



  A. To Act in Someone’s Name Means to Act Under Their Authority (Strength, Power, Endorsement) – Acts 4:7.

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

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

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

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

      b.  Acts 4:30-31 – The power of Jesus worked miracles & authorized the word of God which they spoke!  (cf. 5:40-42)

      c.  Clearly, not a “formula” to be spoken;  Expression of power.

  B.  Other 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 & endorsement) – Jno. 5:43.

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

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

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

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

    3.  Preaching Acts 9:29.

      a.  Paul was not boldly speaking a “formula”.

      b.  He was preaching by the power/authority of Jesus – Acts 9:27.

    4.  Apostolic commands 2 Ths. 3:6.  (Binding authority of Jesus!)

    5.  Prophets spoke Jas. 5:10.  (Their word was authorized by God.)



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

  B.  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 & empowers baptism of those who believe, repent of their sins & confess their faith that He is the Christ – Acts 8:37-38.

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

    1.  Commanded – Acts 2:38.

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

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

    4.  Someone who claims HS baptism has not been baptized in the name of Jesus Christ!

  D.  The Result 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 youActs 22:16.



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

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

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

    2.  Acts 19:3-5 – Though baptized into John’s baptism, it had no power to save (to bring them under the authority of Christ & into relationship with Him)!

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

    1.  cf. the giving of 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 with salvation & eternal life!

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