The institution of water baptism is given by Jesus to His disciples in Matthew 28:19;
Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit
This statement of Jesus has caused serious division among believers! Because there are no record of one single place in the Bible where someone is baptised in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit only in the name of Jesus (Acts 2:38, 8:12-16, 10:47-48, 19:5).
Many believers do not even believe that someone baptised in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are saved. They are essentially saying that your sins are not forgiven and you have not received the gift of the Holy Spirit, if you are not baptised in the name of Jesus, quoting Acts 2:38.
So in which name should water baptism be done in?
To understand this we have to know what it means to be baptised in the name of Jesus. The words ”in the name of Jesus” means that we baptize in the authority of Jesus- the same authority that is given to us in Matt 28:19.
An exampel is when the Bible tells all believers to pray in the name of Jesus (John 14:13-14,16:23-26). It doesn’t literally mean that we end our prayers with the words ” in the name of Jesus”? It rather means that we are coming in His authority (Matt 18:1-5, 20, Mark 13:6, 16:17-18, Apg 19:14-16, 1 Cor 1:2, 30, Ja 5:14.
Another example of this is when we preach in the name of Jesus “And he spoke boldly in the name of the Lord Jesus and disputed against the Hellenists” Acts 9:27. It doesn’t mean that Paul were going around only preaching and saying “in the name of the Lord Jesus.” No, it meant that he were preaching what he were commanded to preach; in Jesu` authority (Acts 26:12-20).
Other verses that verify that the term “in the name of Jesus” is used as in His authority is:
1 Cor 5:4-5
In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, when you are gathered together, along with my spirit, with the power of our Lord Jesus Christ, deliver such a one to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.
1 Cor 6:11
And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God.
Giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.
2 Thess. 3:6:
But we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you withdraw from every brother who walks disorderly and not according to the tradition which he received from us.
So a correct baptism should be performed in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, as Jesus commanded us to do in His authority – and in His name.