Acts 2:38 - Repentance, Baptism And Power. (updated)
Acts 2:38 - Repentance, Baptism And Power. (updated)
Acts 2:38 (NIV) Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the
name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will
receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.
Acts 2:38 (CWB) Peter answered, "You need to confess and forsake
your sins and turn your lives over to God. Then be baptized in the
name of the Lord Jesus Christ as a sign that you've been forgiven,
and you, too, will receive the Holy Spirit.
"I," said Jesus, "when I am lifted up from the earth will draw
all men to myself" (Jn 12:32). Every man has had a hand in that
crime. Once a missionary told the story of Jesus in an Indian village.
Afterwards he showed the life of Christ in lantern slides thrown
against the white-washed wall of a house. When the Cross appeared on the
wall, one man rose from the audience and ran forward. "Come down from
that Cross, Son of God," he cried. "I, not you, should be hanging
there." The Cross, when we understand what happened there, must pierce
the heart. [Barclay Commentary]
The nearer we come to Jesus, and the more clearly we discern the
purity of His character, the more clearly shall we see the exceeding
sinfulness of sin, and the less shall we feel like exalting ourselves.
There will be a continual reaching out of the soul after God, a
continual, earnest, heartbreaking confession of sin and humbling of the
heart before Him. At every advance step in our Christian experience
our repentance will deepen. We shall know that our sufficiency is in
Christ alone and shall make the apostle's confession our own: "I know
that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing." "God
forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ,
by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world."
Romans 7:18; Galatians 6:14. AA561
What does repentance mean? The word originally meant an
afterthought. Often a second thought shows that the first thought was wrong;
and so the word came to mean a Change of mind. But, if a man is
honest, a change of mind demands a change of action. Repentance must
involve both change of mind and change of action. A man may change his
mind and come to see that his actions were wrong but be so much in
love with his old ways that he will not change them. A man may change
his ways but his mind remains the same, changing only because of
fear or prudence. True repentance involves a change of mind and a
change of action.
When repentance comes something happens to the past. There is
God's forgiveness for what lies behind. Let us be quite clear that the
consequences of sins are not wiped out. When we sin we may well do something
to ourselves and to others which cannot be undone.
When repentance comes something happens for the future. We
receive the gift of the Holy Spirit and in that power we can win battles
we never thought to win and resist things which by ourselves we
would have been powerless to resist. [Barclay Commentary]
If you want to follow Christ, you must "turn from sin . . . and
be baptized." To "turn from sin" means changing the direction of
your life from selfishness and rebellion against God's laws. At the
same time, you must turn to Christ, depending on him for forgiveness,
mercy, guidance, and purpose. We cannot save ourselves-only God can
save us. Baptism identifies us with Christ and with the community of
believers. It is a condition of discipleship and a sign of faith. [Life
One day while I was sailing, the wind went down and the sea
became calm and flat. There was nothing to do but sit in irons and
wait for the wind. "Irons" is a sailing term for a windless time of
drifting. While waiting for the wind, I drifted past another sailboat
that was floating aimlessly. The people on board the craft waved and
made a flat of the hand gesture of complaint about the lack of wind.
One man stood by the sail and blew on them.
I thought about that for a long time afterward. How like many
Christians and far too many churches. Human breath blowing on the sails -
no wonder we make so little progress!
The Spirit of God in Hebrew is ruach, meaning "breath" and
"wind." At Pentecost that power of the Holy Spirit was like a mighty
wind. The Spirit filled the disciples and got them moving again.
What we need is a mighty wind - a fresh, bracing wind of a new
So stop blowing your own breath into the sails of your life or
your church. Ask for a fresh wind to fill the sails. Without the
Holy Spirit, we'll drift in irons and be lost at sea. Lloyd Ogilvie
[Time with God SB]
A baseball coach understands that games are won or lost by
positions. He keenly studies scouting reports and knows the abilities of
each of his fielders. He selects the right lineup, and he places his
defensive players to maximize their efficiencies against the opposition.
At a crucial moment he signals the catcher, who moves a few inches
to the left. The ball meets him just on the inside corner of the
strike zone, and the game is won.
I am in a chess game with God. He sets up the board. I get the
first move. God never fails to move next. In the book of Acts, God
uses Peter to instruct us to take the right position: Repent. Turn to
God. Be baptized. These are clear instructions. I do exactly what the
Bible tells me and then wait for his move. He responds with
forgiveness and overflowing grace. My next move is to give thanks for this
Yet even as I find joy in my new position as an heir to the
Kingdom, I still allow myself to get into the wrong position on a daily
basis. When a problem comes up that I cannot solve, instead of trusting
God, I try to solve it anyway. Peace eludes me. Finally I surrender
it to him, and he moves, solving it his way. I come back into
position to receive his blessings once again, and the game goes on. If I
do things his way--by listening to the coaching of the Holy Spirit--I
win every time.
Judy Parrott is a freelance writer, a Bible study teacher, and
an active member of the Christian Motorcyclist Association (CMA).
[The One Year Bible Live Verse Devotional]
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