Into the Name of the Father, the Son,
and the Spirit
After His resurrection and before His ascension, the Lord Jesus charged His disciples to go and disciple the nations, "baptizing them into the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit" (Matt. 28:19); that is, they were to baptize people into the very Person of the Triune God.
In Acts and in the Epistles, however, there is not one verse indicating that the apostles baptized people into the name of the Father, the Son, and the Spirit. Rather, those who repented and believed in the Lord were baptized into the name of the Lord Jesus (Acts 8:16; 19:5). To be baptized into the name of the Lord Jesus equals to be baptized into the name of the Father, the Son, and the Spirit. And to be baptized into the Lord’s name is to be baptized into His Person, the very Christ (Gal. 3:27; Rom. 6:3). To be baptized into Christ equals to be baptized into the Triune God because the very Christ into whom we have been baptized is the embodiment of the Triune God. The Triune God is embodied in Christ the Lord, the Son of God.
Furthermore, when we were baptized into Him, we were baptized into His death (Rom. 6:3). Baptism unites us with Him in His death and in His resurrection. Water baptism should not be the performance of a ritual. It should signify that we are putting those being baptized into the Triune God, into Christ, and into His death and resurrection.
In the Spirit into the Body of Christ
We have also been baptized into the Body, the church. "For also in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body" (1 Cor. 12:13).
We have been baptized, then, into the Triune God, into Christ, into the death and resurrection of Christ, and also into the Body, the church. Actually, all these "intos" are one. When we are baptized into Christ, we are baptized into His death and resurrection, and we are also baptized into the Triune God and into Christ’s Body. This means we are now in Christ, in His death and resurrection, in the Triune God, and in Christ’s Body. When we baptize people, we should point out to them that they are now in Christ, in His death and resurrection, in the Triune God, and in the Body.
We need the reality of the spiritual fact that when we baptize people we put them into Christ. We can put them into Christ because Christ today is the very Spirit. When we baptize people, we put them into the Spirit, who is the reality of Christ. This is what baptism should be. Baptism gives us the position to say that we are people in Christ, in His death, in His resurrection, in an organic union with the Triune God, and also in the living Body of the living Christ. To have this realization of baptism makes a great difference in our lives.
(The Basic Revelation in the Holy Scriptures, Chapter 4, by Witness Lee)