The Message of Repentance and Remission of Sins in the Name of JESUS CHRIST

by Rev. MF Blume


Before Jesus left this world after His resurrection He walked the world one more time for the duration of 40 days and performed many wonders in order to prove that He truly had risen from the dead.


  The reference to preaching the message of repentance and remission of sins in Jesus' name specifically involved a starting or beginning point. The apostles would BEGIN to preach this message IN JERUSALEM. It had not yet been preached before the time of the great commission, otherwise Jesus would not have stated that it must BEGIN at Jerusalem. It was a message to be preached AFTER Jesus left this world.

Before this beginning point, many people had experienced Christ's influence of forgiveness. The thief on the cross asked Jesus to remember him in His Kingdom and then died with his sins forgiven, for example. However, we must recall that this occurred BEFORE the message of repentance and remission of sins ever BEGAN to be preached at Jerusalem. Jesus said that this message "should" be preached "beginning" at Jerusalem. This tells us that it had not yet been preached when Jesus gave this final commission. The thief had already died, for Jesus spoke this after He resurrected!

From today's standpoint, since the message indeed did begin in Jerusalem after His resurrection and ascension, we cannot expect to bypass obedience to this message. We cannot look to "pre-ascension" examples of how people received salvation, for the message that began after His ascension is to ever be preached until Jesus comes again.

Thinking of the penitent thief, how could he obey this message before it was even preached? Jesus had not even told anybody about the command to be baptized before the final commission. His disciples did baptize people, but it was not commanded as such until His final commission. That is the reason the penitent thief died without being baptized, and then entered paradise. And baptism is a burial under water indicating our burials with Christ, who was buried after He died on the cross. If Jesus was not buried yet, (and not even dead yet!), how could the thief on the cross have been baptized beforehand?

Jesus said the message must begin to be preached at Jerusalem AFTER He ascended on high. He gave no time limit when the message must end, but simply gave a starting point of time. Today we YET must obey this message of Repentance and Remission of Sins in Jesus' name!

We will discover that it is the great message of the Church Age.


Jesus gave this Command long after He died on the cross.    As mentioned, the thief died in a justified state with Christ on the cross.  Jesus was then laid in the tomb for three days from which He rose again on the third day.  Forty more days passed until Jesus gave the command that we originally referred to.  The accounts of the Gospels end at this point.

The Acts of the Apostles pick up the story at this point where the Gospels end, and carries it onward.


Compare Luke with Acts:

Like Luke, Acts mentions Jesus' command for the Apostles to go to Jerusalem.  There they would be endued with POWER and there they would preach the first message of Repentance and Remission of Sins in Jesus' Name.

According to Acts 1:4-5, the promise they were to receive of the Father was the Baptism of the Holy Ghost.  And, like the reference to Jerusalem, the news of the great promise was mentioned in both Acts and Luke.  The promise was the power.

Jesus gave this promise to the apostles quite a while earlier.
  The accounts listed above refer to the promise Jesus gave of the Holy Ghost baptism.

Acts mentions commandments which Jesus gave:

We know what these commandments were.  By reading Luke and Matthew, we find that the commandments involved the command to baptize people and to preach Repentance and Remission of Sins in Jesus' Name.

Again, to recapitulate, not only did the Apostles begin to preach the message at Jerusalem, as we will see, but they also were to wait for the promise of the Father at Jerusalem.  Let us continue reading in Acts in order for us to discover how the Apostles actually preached this message, and how they received the promise of the Holy Ghost.

We do know that the apostles would receive the Holy Ghost "not many days hence".

It was to be soon.


  They awaited power.  They were not to know the times when the Kingdom would be restored since that was in the Father's power alone.  But, speaking of "power", they would receive power when the Holy Ghost would be given to them.  This power would enable them to witness of Jesus.
  This is an alternate way of saying:
  Preaching about Jesus is witnessing of Him!  The apostles would be endued with power to preach the message.  The Holy Ghost would inspire them after filling them.  That is the reason they would both receive the promise at Jerusalem, and also begin preaching the message at Jerusalem, for the power was given as power to witness or to preach.  They had no need to fear not knowing what to actually preach, for the Holy Ghost would empower them to witness or preach of Jesus.

We find that Peter indeed did witness of Jesus:

According to Luke, they were to preach remission of sins in His Name.  According to Acts they were to witness of Jesus Christ.  Both accounts speak of the same thing.


  So they obeyed the Lord and went to Jerusalem.  Matthew 28 also points to JESUS since Jesus says, "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."

He has all power, and due to that fact, the apostles should baptize in His Name.

One might ask,  "Why did Jesus not simply say, 'Baptizing them in my name,' rather than, 'Baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost'?"

The answer lies in the fact that we can ask the same question in reference to Luke 24 when Jesus said, "And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His Name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem."  Why did He not say, "In my name"?  For whatever reason Jesus had to not say "my Name" is not the issue at this time.  We do know, however,  that Luke referred to Jesus' name when it said, "in His Name."  Therefore, both accounts refer to Jesus' own name.  They must, for they refer to the same instructions when Jesus gave His last commission.  They each give a vairation of what Jesus actually meant and said.

Since Jesus spoke of His own name in the third person tense in Luke 24:47, we can see that the reference to the single name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost is Jesus Christ, too.

Do not limit the name Jesus to the Son alone.  Those who do limit that name to the Son do look at baptism in Jesus' Name as a means of excluding the Father and the Holy Ghost.  The fact is, though, that the Father, Son and Holy Ghost is One God whose single name is Jesus, which name refers to the Father and the Son and the Holy Ghost.  Does God consist of three persons?  No.  There is only One.  And Jesus is that One God.  Is there a God beside Jesus?  Of course not.

The One, single Person of the Godhead has three titles describing the various manners or offices in which He works in dealing with man.  One cannot get closer to believing in One Single God, while at the same time understanding that Jesus is that One God Almighty, than by believing in the doctrine of the oneness of the Godhead.



Jesus left.  The apostles were in Jerusalem.  They awaited the promise of the power of the Holy Ghost and the indication to begin preaching repentance and remission of sins in Jesus' name.  They waited in an upper room, prayed while there and cast lots to choose the replacement apostle of Judas amongst the other eleven.  And then, ten days after Jesus left, the Day of Pentecost arrived.

It hit!  The "POWER" - the "promise" - came!  They were filled with the Holy Ghost.  People gathered around from the city.
  These gatherers wondered how the apostles could speak in the languages of all foreigners who witnessed the miracle that day.

Then Peter preached!!  Having just been filled with the Holy Ghost, He was empowered and inspired.  He commenced preaching the message of Repentance and Remission of Sins in Jesus Name!!

After explaining that the Holy Ghost was the "promise" spoken by Joel, Peter preached about Jesus' death, burial and resurrection - the Gospel.

This message gripped the hearts of the people.  The Holy Ghost, then within Peter, empowered the man of God to speak words which cut through the hardest-shelled hearts of the listeners.  And they believed Peter's words.
  Before we continue, recall that Jesus told the apostles, including Peter, to begin preaching Repentance and Remission of Sins in Jesus' Name beginning at Jerusalem.  He did not mention anything about a subsequent time when the  message should no longer be preached.  You are about to read the very passage where Peter obeyed this commandment.  What Peter preached on that day must continue to be preached so long as the Church is in this world.  Every minister of the Gospel, like Peter, must obey Jesus' command and likewise preach these following words as the plan of salvation.

Peter answered the question, "What shall we do," with the message Jesus told Him to preach.  Notice that not too many preachers today will answer the question these people asked in the same manner Peter answered it.

Ask various preachers how they would answer the question, "What shall we do, now that we know Jesus died and was raised from the dead by God?"

Most will not tell them what Peter told them.  Most will disobey Jesus and take some of the following elements out, saying they are not necessary.

Now let us ensure we are treating this very serious subject properly.  Let us carefully compare this statement of Peter's with Jesus' command for the apostles to preach a certain message as follows, and see clearly that we, too must preach Peter's message since it is commanded of Jesus, Himself!:
  Repentance is mentioned in both cases!

And remission of sins is also mentioned in both cases.  However, Acts 2:38 says, "...Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins"

Baptism is included in Peter's response regarding remission of sins.  Why did not Jesus mention baptism in conjunction with the remission of sins as mentioned in Luke 24?  Well, the conversation of the final commission according to Luke did include baptism.  And we must blend both pictures together to get the full story.  Do not simply go by one account and forget the elements mentioned in the other accounts of the same event!  Matthew's account shows this!

Obviously the "teaching" in Matthew 28:19 not only included all power being given to Jesus, but referred to the same preaching Jesus referred to in Luke 24:47:
  Blend all three of these references of the message together and you see that the Apostles would teach or preach repentance and remission of sins in Jesus' name.  The reference to remission of sins in Jesus' name points to BAPTISM IN THE NAME OF JESUS CHRIST FOR THE REMISSION OF SINS, as commanded by Jesus in Matthew 28:19.  It only correlates when you realize THE NAME Jesus referred to was HIS OWN NAME - JESUS!

Notice the two alternate ways in which remission of sins is mentioned:

(1) (ACTS 2:38) baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins...


(2) (LUKE 24:47) ...remission of sins should be preached in his name

Both "remission" and the "Name" are mentioned in each account.  And they come together in water baptism.

Remission of sins is preached in Jesus' Name.  This is the baptism in the name of Jesus Christ which Peter speaks about, for Peter said baptism in Jesus' name was for the remission of sins.

Recapitulate.  The mention of the Name in Matthew 28:19's reference to Baptism is referring to the same Name mentioned in Luke 24:47 because the two accounts refer to the same conversation.  And Luke mentioned the Name of Christ in conjunction with remission of sins.   This latter point of "remission of sins" involves water baptism in the name of Jesus Christ.   Therefore, since Matthew 28:19 links with Luke 24:47 and, in turn, Luke links itself with Acts 2:38, we discover through comparison of these passages that the Name of the Father, Son and Holy Ghost that is used in Baptism is actually "Jesus Christ".  It must be.  Otherwise the passages have no correlation with one another. The only way to see no contradiction between these verse is to understand that the Name spoken about in Matthew 28:19 is Jesus.  They do have correlation.  All bible students recognize that.  They each refer to the great commission and the fulfilling of that great commission.  Peter obeyed Jesus' great commission when He told the people to be baptized in Jesus' name for the remission of their sins.  And the context of the great commission as found in Luke 24 clearly shows that the name is Jesus Christ.

Acts 2:38 fulfills the great commission!


Some say that they would rather obey Jesus than obey Peter when they see the reference to the Name of Jesus in water baptism as found in Acts 2:38, when comparing it to Jesus' reference to the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost in Matthew 28:19.  They mistakenly think that Peter did not actually obey Jesus' words and that Peter's words are not a direct fulfillment of Matthew 28:19.  Such people are ignorantly saying that Peter, in fact, disobeyed Jesus.  That is folly.  Of course Peter obeyed Jesus, but in order to recognize this you must see that the Name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy is Jesus.  Otherwise there is a contradiction in the great commission.

Those who refuse to believe that people must do what Peter said in Acts 2:38 in order to be saved (as Peter responded to the people's inquiry about what indeed they must do), not only contradict explicit scriptural command to obey Acts 2:38, but also overlook the words of Jesus in Luke 24:47! In effect, they disobey Jesus' own words!

In Acts 10:48 we find that baptism in Jesus' name was not an option.

Those who say they would rather obey Jesus than Peter, and refuse to obey Acts 2:38, completely overlook the fact that Jesus said repentance and remisison of sins should be preached in His Name beginning at Jerusalem..

Should they refer to the thief on the cross who was not baptized nor filled with the Spirit, in order to substantiate their "salvation without baptism in Jesus' name, they blatantly overlook the fact that the message of repentance and remission of sins in Jesus' name was not to be preached until after Jesus ascended, which would, at that time, begin to be preached at Jerusalem.

However, if you obey Acts 2:38, you are doing what every preacher should be telling people do, and you are also obeying the Message which Jesus commanded the Apostles to preach, beginning at Jerusalem.


Let us once again quote this often overlooked and all important passage of Scripture:



The same day in which the message was first preached, and when the power of the Holy Ghost was given to the believers, was the day in which the Church was born.

The thief on the cross died before the Church existed.

Jesus had not yet built His Church when He spoke these words to Peter.  Significantly, the one to whom Jesus gave the keys - Peter - was the one who first preached the message of repentance and remission of sins in Jesus' name!
  Peter also practiced this same command of Jesus after the day of Pentecost.


    2) IN SAMARIA:
This is precisely the order of locations Jesus said the message would be preached.
  Cornelius was of the Italian nation, representing a GentileAll the World.  Thank God the message has reached us!  Unfortunately, too many ministers are not telling the whole story.  Too many refuse to preach repentance and remission of sins in Jesus' name, for they say that baptism in Jesus' name is unnecessary.  And if they indeed do baptize they refuse to invoke "Jesus Christ's" name.

May we tell all those who will listen that Acts 2:38 is "the" message to be preached until Jesus comes again!