It is written:
“Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.” (Matthew 28:19)
The phrase “into the name” carries incredible connotations with it. One author has written:
“What this means can be more precisely explained when we understand how the expression “into the name” was used in New Testament times. Many feel that Jesus probably spoke the Aramaic language; thus the phrase should be understood in its Semitic sense. The basic Semitic equivalent had a quite general meaning, viz., “with respect to or with regard to.” In Rabbinic usage, though, it commonly had the more specific final sense. In this sense an action done “in the name” of something was done for a certain end or intention relating to it. Thus Jesus commissioned us to baptize people for a specific purpose relating to the Trinity, or into a specific relationship with the Trinity. 1 The precise nature of this relationship can be learned from the usage of the Greek phrase chosen by Matthew (and approved by the Holy Spirit via inspiration) to translate whatever Semitic original may have preceded it. The phrase is “eis to onoma,” which was a technical term used in the world of Greek business and commerce. It was used to indicate the entry of a sum of money or an item of property into the account bearing the name of its owner. 2 Its use in Matthew 28: 19 indicates that the purpose of baptism is to unite us with the Triune God in an ownership relation; we become his property in a special, intimate way. 3 As M.J. Harris says, since the phrase denotes transference of ownership, in Matthew 28: 19 it means that “the person being baptized passes into the possession of the Triune God.”” (Jack Cottrell, Baptism: A Biblical Study, 160-172 (Kindle Edition); Joplin, Missouri; College Press Publishing)
Therefore, Matthew teaches us two beautiful truths about what takes place in the act of baptism.
First, baptism is the point where we are purchased by the Godhead. It is in the act of baptism that we are redeemed, washed, sanctified, justified, and cleansed (1 Corinthians 6:9-11).
How anyone can know this and deny the fact that baptism is part of God’s plan of salvation is beyond my understanding! Especially considering that every place in the New Testament which mentions baptism and salvation always places baptism before salvation (cf. Mark 16:16; Acts 2:38; 1 Peter 3:20-21, etc.)
Second, the entire process of salvation is primarily about restoring relationship. God made the universe as an extension of His love (1 John 4:8). He lovingly reaches out to sinful man, to restore that relationship through the blood of the Cross (Colossians 1:20).
Have you been saved from your sins (Matthew 28:19-20)?