The New Testament
Recovery Version Online

Table of Contents

Matthew 28:19

19 Go 1therefore and 2disciple all the anations, 3baptizing them 4into the 5name of the 6Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,

193 Baptism brings the repentant people out of their old state into a new one by terminating their old life and germinating them with the new life of Christ that they may become the kingdom people. John the Baptist's recommending ministry began with a preliminary baptism, a baptism by water only. Now, after the heavenly King had accomplished His ministry on earth, had passed through the process of death and resurrection, and had become the life-giving Spirit, He charged His disciples to baptize the discipled people into the Triune God. This baptism has two aspects: the visible aspect by water and the invisible aspect by the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:38, 41; 10:44-48). The visible aspect is the expression, the testimony, of the invisible aspect, whereas the invisible aspect is the reality of the visible aspect. Without the invisible baptism by the Spirit, the visible baptism by water is vain, and without the visible baptism by water, the invisible baptism by the Spirit is abstract and impractical. Both are needed. Not long after the Lord charged the disciples with this baptism, He baptized them and the entire church in the Holy Spirit (1 Cor. 12:13), the Jewish part on the day of Pentecost (Acts 1:5; 2:4) and the Gentile part in the house of Cornelius (Acts 11:15-17). Then, based on this, the disciples baptized the new converts (Acts 2:38) not only into water but also into the death of Christ (Rom. 6:3-4), into Christ Himself (Gal. 3:27), into the Triune God (v. 19), and into the Body of Christ (1 Cor. 12:13). The water, signifying the death of Christ with His burial, may be considered a tomb in which the baptized ones' old history is ended. Since the death of Christ is included in Christ, and since Christ is the very embodiment of the Triune God (Col. 2:9) and the Triune God eventually is one with the Body of Christ, to baptize new believers into the death of Christ, into Christ Himself, into the Triune God, and into the Body of Christ is to do just one thing: on the negative side, to terminate their old life, and on the positive side, to germinate them with new life, the eternal life of the Triune God, for the Body of Christ. Hence, the baptism ordained by the Lord here baptizes people out of their life into the Body life for the kingdom of the heavens.