“Peter replied, ‘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
(Verse chosen from today’s Bible reading – Nehemiah 9-10 & Acts 2)
Baptism doesn’t directly connect to the forgiveness of my sins. However, it is something suggested to me that I do BECAUSE of the forgiveness of my sins.
I was giving additional thought to the baptismal part today and wondering that another meaning might be in play here also. Baptism is total immersion into the water. In recognizing myself as a sinner and turning to God’s solution completely for my sin problem, I am immersing my life into His control. My sins and my ways are washed away symbolically as I submerge in Him.
I think of baptism as a public declaration of your salvation and commitment to God. It might sound something like this: “I am about to be baptized. I want all of you to know why I’m doing this. I am a sinner. I now know that my sins are against God. I also know that my sins will separate me from God in the after-life. To put it mildly, I have a sin problem and I recognize it. I am sorry for my sins. I used to believe that I could do enough good to offset them. I now know that I can’t. That’s why I was so happy to hear the Good News – God sent Jesus to take care of my sin problem! How? Jesus died in my place on the cross and conquered death three days later. He took the punishment my sins deserved. He eliminated the consequences I would have gotten for my sins. All I have to do is believe that this was done for me. I do! By accepting what God did for me I have become acceptable to Him. So acceptable that I know that I can face Judgment Day with no worries. I will be spending my after-life in heaven with God. I am here to declare that to all of you.”
“Lord, I thank You that You love me. You know my needs. You know my sinfulness………..still. Help me, Lord. Fill me with You. Refill the parts of me that are not under Your control. I want every part of me; words, thoughts, and deeds to honor You. I have no Godly strength apart from You. Take me over, I beg, Lord.”
Are you acceptable to God?
+19 – Lack of discipline.