Luke 20:1-8 “The baptism of John, was it from heaven, or of men? …they answered, that they could not tell whence it was. And Jesus said unto them, Neither tell I you by what authority I do these things.”
Who gave you or your church permission to baptize? When John flinched at baptizing the Lord Christ, Jesus told Him in Matthew 3:15, “Suffer it to be so now: for thus it becometh us to fulfil all righteousness.” John’s baptism was not a vain tradition of men. Immediately after the baptism of the Son of God, the Spirit of God and God the Father visibly and audibly declared their approval (Matthew 3:16-17). God sanctioned, authorized and approved of John’s Baptism.
John was the first to baptize in the Bible, but certainly was not the only one. By what authority did the disciples baptize believers? John 3:22, “ After these things came Jesus and his disciples into the land of Judaea; and there he tarried with them, and baptized.” John 4:1-2, “…Jesus made and baptized more disciples than John, (Though Jesus himself baptized not, but his disciples).” How did Jesus baptize when John said he didn’t? Christ baptized through His church, using men as His representatives to immerse believers under the water. The apostles baptized for Jesus, in His name. The process and authority to baptize was from Heaven, commissioned by God to John. Jesus then commissioned and authorized His disciples to baptize believers in His name. Though the men put people under the water, the authority to do so was from God. Jesus baptized by authorizing His disciples to do it for Him.
The divine ordinance of baptism began when God sent John. Next, Jesus authorized His disciples, to baptize in His name. So then, who can baptize today? Matthew 28:18-20, “And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost…”. All power is Christ’s and all authoritative, kingly power is Christ’s and in divine royal authority He commissions the church to go and teach and baptize in the name of the Trinity, in observance of all things He had commanded. Just as the Trinity sanctioned, authorized, and approved of John’s Baptism in Matthew 3, and just as the apostles baptized for Jesus, in His name, the church is commissioned to carry out this same practice in Matthew 28 in name of the Trinity. Just as God sent and authorized John alone, and just as Christ authorized the disciples alone to baptize, God authorizes His church, and His church alone to baptize. The Lord’s church baptizes in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ carrying out the commission with His authority, in His church. Baptizing in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit is more than saying the words, but by their authority.