Go you therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:
In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Sometimes the Name of the Lord Jesus only is mentioned in the formula. Here our Lord gives one Name with three sounds. Each separate Name giving a distinct relation of the one Being to men. Our Lord did not say, "in the names," but "in the Name." However we may present the threefoldness, we must keep it manifestly consistent with the Divine unity. "The union of the three names in one formula (as in the benediction of 2 Corinthians 13:14) is in itself a proof at once of the distinctness and equality of the three Divine Persons." The apostles were to go forth, and disciple all nations, that is, bring them all into the full joy of sonship with God, into which they had themselves been brought; and they were to receive their pledge and seal their sonship by baptizing them into the Name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Ghost. The significance of the threefold Name is seen in the light of this recovered sonship of men.
I. THE NAME OF THE FATHER, WHO CLAIMS THE SONSHIP. It is the relation to himself in which God set his creatures. They are his children. He designed to give them fatherly care; he expected from them sonlike obedience. Men are sons of God, and they ought to have lived and served like sons. Man's sin lay in refusing his sonship. But man's wilfulness could not affect God's claim. God still demands sonship of every child born in his image.
II. THE NAME OF THE SON, WHO SHOWS THE SONSHIP. In his own earth life of trust and obedience. Men who, in their wilfulness, refused their sonship, came at last to lose their sense of sonship; they needed to have the very idea recovered; they needed to see it as an actual realized fact, and that is the meaning of Christ's living through a Son's life here on earth.
III. THE NAME OF THE HOLY GHOST, WHO WORKS THE SONSHIP. For the sonship must not he a mere external fact, a formal ordering of the conduct and relations. True sonship is a cherished spirit, which finds expression in outward relations. And the Holy Ghost is God working within us, in the spheres of thought, Of motive, and of feeling. He ever freshly inspired the spirit of sonship. One Name - God who asks response in sonship. - R.T.
Parallel VersesKJV: Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: