Matthew 28:19 Commentary - Whedon's Commentary on the Old and New Testaments
19. Go ye therefore Therefore, that is, because all power is given unto me. Being, as I am now, the fountain of all authority; crowned, as I now am, with a rightful dominion, go forth and win it to a willing subjection by grace. All nations Both organically and individually. Teach Literally, Disciple them. And he shows how: First, by baptizing them into the faith, and then teaching. Of course, if they are at responsible age, they must become willing subjects of a true conversion. And a true baptism cannot take place unless the subject be a justified person, either by faith, or, as an infant, without faith. As infants are a large part of all nations, they are to be discipled by baptism, and subsequent teaching as soon as susceptible of it.
Upon this we may remark, 1. That our Lord here adds baptism to the Lord’s Supper as permanent institutes of the Christian Church. He is commissioning his apostles to preach among all nations. He is confirming them in their duty to that effect by a promise that shows that he is commissioning to the end of the world. To the end of the world their commission includes baptism. 2. Baptism, being the first part of the process of disciplining, is the proper initiating rite into the Christian Church. It is to circumcision what the Lord’s Supper is to the passover the substitution of a milder rite to answer the same purpose. 3. As baptism and the Lord’s Supper are obligatory institutions in the Christian Church, binding upon every individual Christian, so it is the obligation of every Christian to be a member of the visible Church of God. There are those who imagine that they can be good Christians just as well without the Church as in. Such persons are probably self-deceived. They imagine to themselves a religion which does not intend to obey the plain commands of Christ. So far as they are concerned, the ordinances of Christ would perish. The death of Christ would never be commemorated. A piety of so loose a kind is never-likely to save the soul.
In regard to the inclusion of all nations, we may remark that it includes the idea that all nations, and every creature, as another evangelist expresses it, shall be discipled, baptized, and taught. As Christ is a universal Saviour, so his Gospel is framed to be a universal Gospel, and his religion a universal religion. It knows no distinction of race, clime, or colour. It belongs to man, and holds that humanity is a unit; and claiming to be a blessing for all, and to possess a right over all, it designs to spread that blessing and assert that right.
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Whedon's Commentary on the Old and New Testaments
Daniel D. Whedon (1808-1885) was a prominent university professor, theologian, and author. He served as Professor of Ancient Languages at Wesleyan University in Connecticut; as Professor of Rhetoric at the University of Michigan; and as editor of the Methodist Quarterly Review from 1856 to1884. He authored numerous books including Commentary on the New Testament (New York: Carlton & Porter, 1860); Commentary on the Old Testament (New York: Nelson & Phillips, 1873); What is Arminianism? (Toronto: W. Briggs, 1879); and Essays, Reviews, and Discourses (New York: Phillips & Hunt, 1887).