Matthew 28:19 Matthew 28:19Go you therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:
American King James Version×is a biblical passage sometimes misunderstood with regard to the Trinity doctrine. Jesus is quoted as telling His disciples, “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in [‘into,’ Greek eis ] the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.”
Remember the important principle that the Bible interprets the Bible. What this particular passage shows us is that the process of baptism and entering God’s family involves the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. It is not a description of the nature of God.
Notice Acts 2:38 Acts 2:38Then Peter said to them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.
American King James Version×: “Then Peter said to them, ‘Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” After real repentance and being baptized, the example from Scripture is that a minister lays his hands on the repentant person and he or she receives the Holy Spirit directly from God (Acts 8:14-17 Acts 8:14-17 14 Now when the apostles which were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent to them Peter and John: 15 Who, when they were come down, prayed for them, that they might receive the Holy Ghost: 16 (For as yet he was fallen on none of them: only they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.) 17 Then laid they their hands on them, and they received the Holy Ghost.
American King James Version×).
Important as it is, baptism alone is not sufficient. It must be followed by the biblically mandated laying on of hands for the receiving of the Holy Spirit—the seed of eternal life (Acts 19:1-6 Acts 19:1-6 1 And it came to pass, that, while Apollos was at Corinth, Paul having passed through the upper coasts came to Ephesus: and finding certain disciples,
2 He said to them, Have you received the Holy Ghost since you believed? And they said to him, We have not so much as heard whether there be any Holy Ghost.
3 And he said to them, To what then were you baptized? And they said, To John’s baptism.
4 Then said Paul, John truly baptized with the baptism of repentance, saying to the people, that they should believe on him which should come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus.
5 When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.
6 And when Paul had laid his hands on them, the Holy Ghost came on them; and they spoke with tongues, and prophesied.
American King James Version×). We cannot partake of God’s nature (2 Peter 1:4 2 Peter 1:4Whereby are given to us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these you might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.
American King James Version×) without first being begotten of the Father by the Holy Spirit, which imparts that divine nature.
Christ’s instruction in Matthew 28:19 Matthew 28:19Go you therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:
American King James Version×presumes that, before being baptized, believers will learn of God the Father, His Son and the Holy Spirit. At baptism, they enter into a personal family relationship with God the Father and the Son through the Holy Spirit, thereby receiving the name of God (compare Ephesians 3:14-15 Ephesians 3:14-15 14 For this cause I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, 15 Of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named,
American King James Version×).
Note again that all three—Father, Son and Holy Spirit—are acknowledged as being involved in this process. But that does not mean all three are divine persons in a Trinity. To claim that Matthew 28:19 Matthew 28:19Go you therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:
American King James Version×establishes one God in three persons goes far beyond the actual words of the verse. And other verses show such a notion to be utterly false.