|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
19:1-7 Paul, at Ephesus, found some religious persons, who looked to Jesus as the Messiah. They had not been led to expect the miraculous powers of the Holy Ghost, nor were they informed that the gospel was especially the ministration of the Spirit. But they spake as ready to welcome the notice of it. Paul shows them that John never design that those he baptized should rest there, but told them that they should believe on Him who should come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus. They thankfully accepted the discovery, and were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. The Holy Ghost came upon them in a surprising, overpowering manner; they spake with tongues, and prophesied, as the apostles and the first Gentile coverts did. Though we do not now expect miraculous powers, yet all who profess to be disciples of Christ, should be called on to examine whether they have received the seal of the Holy Ghost, in his sanctifying influences, to the sincerity of their faith. Many seem not to have heard that there is a Holy Ghost, and many deem all that is spoken concerning his graces and comforts, to be delusion. Of such it may properly be inquired, Unto what, then, were ye baptized? for they evidently know not the meaning of that outward sign on which they place great dependence.
Verse 5. - And when for when, A.V.; into for in, A.V. Into the Name of the Lord Jesus (see Acts 8:16). So too Acts 10:48 of Cornelius and his company, "He commanded them to be baptized in the Name (ἐν τῷ ὀνόματι) of Jesus Christ" (R.V.). The formula of baptism, as commanded by the Lord Jesus himself, was, "In [or, 'into'] the Name (αἰς τὸ ὔνομα) of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost" (Matthew 28:20). But the candidate always first made a profession of his faith in Jesus Christ, as in the A.V. of Acts 8:37; and the effect of baptism was an incorporation into Christ so as to partake of his death unto sin and his life unto righteousness. It was, therefore, a true and compendious description of baptism, to speak of it as a baptism in (or into) the Name of Jesus Christ. (See the Baptismal Service in the Book of Common Prayer.) There does not seem to be any difference of meaning between ἐν τῷ ὀνόματι and εἰς τὸ ὄνομα.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
When they heard this,.... That is, the people to whom John preached, his hearers; when they heard of the Messiah, and that Jesus was he, and that it became them to believe in him:
they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus; not the disciples that Paul found at Ephesus, but the hearers of John; for these are the words of the Apostle Paul, giving an account of John's baptism, and of the success of his ministry, showing, that his baptism was administered in the name of the Lord Jesus; and not the words of Luke the Evangelist, recording what followed upon his account of John's baptism; for then he would have made mention of the apostle's name, as he does in the next verse; and have said, when they heard this account, they were baptized by Paul in the name of the Lord Jesus: the historian reports two things, first what Paul said, which lies in Acts 19:4 then what he did, Acts 19:6 where he repeats his name, as was necessary; as that he laid his hands upon them, which was all that was needful to their receiving the extraordinary gifts of the Holy Ghost, having been already baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus: which sense is the more confirmed by the particles and which answer to one another in verses 4 and 5, and show the words to be a continuation of the apostle's speech, and not the words of the historian, which begin in the next verse. Beza's ancient copy adds, "for the remission of sins".
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
5-7. When they heard this—not the mere words reported in Ac 19:4, but the subject expounded according to the tenor of those words.
they were baptized—not however by Paul himself (1Co 1:14).
in the name of the Lord Jesus—into the whole fulness of the new economy, as now opened up to their believing minds.
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