Baptism is administered after the apostolic pattern with those who believe according to the Word of the resurrected Lord, »he that believeth and is baptised shall be saved …« (Mk. 16:16). »Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing of the Word of God.« (Rom. 10:17). Baptism takes place by immersion as it was also done through the first centuries after apostolic times. The sprinkling and the pouring of water and the reciting of a triune formula came about in the epoch when Christianity was forced upon nations and are therefore rejected not having a Bible foundation.
Let us call upon some witnesses of the early church: Peter, the man of the first hour, said on the first day when the New Testament Church was established with divine authority under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, »Repent, and be baptised, everyone of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of your sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.« (Acts 2:38). For thus it is written, »and that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name among all nations.« (Lk. 24:47).
Also after the preaching ministry of Philip in Samaria those who believed were baptised as we can read in Acts 8:16, »… only they were baptised in the name of the Lord Jesus.«
To establish this important teaching we shall call upon a third witness to complete the testimony. After the Apostle Paul preached, of course baptism took place, as stated in Acts 19:5, »When they heard this, they were baptised in the name of the Lord Jesus«. In baptism the believers testify that they have received the forgiveness of their sins and are now confirming it in obedience to the great commission.
The early apostles and Philip as well as Paul preached and administered baptism precisely according to Mt. 28:19. They did not repeat the text as a formula, but rather had apparently understood what the Lord meant when He said, »… baptising them into the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit …«, namely that the New Testament covenant name Jesus was the emphasis in the commission. The one true God revealed Himself as Father, Son and Holy Ghost, to Whom applies the name which is above every name and all salvation lies. God is Father, but that is not His name. “Son” is not a name but what He is and “Holy Ghost” is not a name. The one name of the Father, the Son and Holy Ghost into which the apostles were commissioned to baptise then and now and forever is Lord Jesus Christ. That is the true doctrine and practice of the apostles documented by the witnesses in the New Testament. At the beginning of Christianity all believers were baptised in the name of Jesus Christ, even Paul himself (Rom. 6:3). This baptism is also confirmed in church history of being practised long after the apostles. There is not a single place in the Bible where baptism was administered by just repeating the text of Mt. 28:19.