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, (Matthew 28:19)
Jesus commanded us to baptize in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, yet there is no recorded instance where the believers did so. Instead, the instances of baptism that are recorded in the book of Acts show people being baptized in the name of Jesus only. Because of this noticeable difference, doctrines have arisen that teach there is no Trinity, and that unless water baptism is administered in the name of Jesus only, a person cannot be saved. This is a false teaching that has led many people astray.
Water baptism is an outward witness of the inner change that has already taken place in our spirits at the new birth. In Acts 10:44-48, Cornelius and his friends were filled with the Holy Ghost and spoke in tongues, proving that they were already born again before they were baptized in water.
The harmony between the commission of Jesus and the practice of the early church is simple. When we baptize people in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, we are baptizing them in the name of Jesus because “in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily” (Col. 2:9). Therefore, baptizing in the name of either the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, or in the name of Jesus, is correct as long as Colossians 2:9 is understood.
This is just one example where the Word of God will always agree with itself. Sometimes we just haven’t studied it enough. Today, if you have any questions about something in the Word that seems to present a contradiction, just study it out. Get with your pastor—he will be thrilled you asked! The Word always explains itself.