Tom Trask and I had a Bible study last week, with a very
kind person from another church in Lutz. We had a good discussion
from God's word, which quickly turned to the topic of salvation.
During our study, we talked about the question asked of
Peter on Pentecost, "Brethren, what shall we do" (Acts 2:37)?
Peter concisely stated his answer. "Repent, and each of
you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness
of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy
Spirit. For the promise is for you and your children and
for all who are far off, as many as the Lord our God will
call to Himself" (Acts 2:38-39).
Repent and be Baptized
To receive God's gift, which He promised long ago through
Abraham, we must repent, and be baptized in the name of
Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of our sins.
Before we can repent, we must believe (Jn. 8:24; Rom.
10:17; Heb. 11:6), or else we do not know what to repent
of. And before we can be baptized, we must communicate our
faith, that we believe Jesus is God's Son (Acts 8:36-38;
The people who received God's word that day, believed and
obeyed (Acts 2:41; Jn. 1:12-13; 8:24; Heb. 5:9).
- They obeyed the Lord in baptism and were saved (Acts
- Their sins were forgiven and they were added to the
church (Acts 2:38, 47).
Those who rejected God's word, remained lost in their sins.
- They didn't save themselves from that perverse generation
Expressing this thought, many years later, Peter says,
"Corresponding to that, baptism now saves you -- not the
removal of dirt from the flesh, but an appeal to God for
a good conscience -- through the resurrection of Jesus Christ"
(1 Pet. 3:21).
Nine Examples of Conversion
There are nine examples of conversion in the Bible. Although
we're not given every detail about every conversion, we're
told one thing that occurred each time. Do you remember
what it was?
- Acts 2:5-47 repented, baptized
- Acts 8:4-13 believed, baptized
- Acts 8:26-40 confessed Jesus, baptized
- Acts 9:1-20; 22:16 baptized to wash away sins
- Acts 10:34-48 believed, baptized
- Acts 16:13-15 heeded the things spoken by Paul,
- Acts 16:25-34 believed, immediately baptized
- Acts 18:8 heard, believed, and baptized
- Acts 19:1-7 baptized
We don't have every detail about every conversion in the
New Testament, but we're told that every person was baptized.
They could believe, repent, and confess Jesus; but if they
didn't obey the Lord in baptism:
- their sins were not remitted (Acts 2:38).
- their sins were not washed away in the blood of the
Lamb (Acts 22:16; Rev. 7:14).
- they were not saved (1 Pet. 3:21).
The gospel message has not changed (Gal. 1:8-9). We must
obey the Lord to be saved, just like people in the first
century (Heb. 5:9).
- If we do, we're saved.
- If we don't, we're lost in our sins.