Title: Repent and Be Baptized
Acts 2:37-41 (ESV)
Now when they heard this they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “Brothers, what shall we do?” And Peter said to them, “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. For the promise is for you and for your children and for all who are far off, everyone whom the Lord our God calls to himself.” And with many other words he bore witness and continued to exhort them, saying, “Save yourselves from this crooked generation.” So those who received his word were baptized, and there were added that day about three thousand souls.
Faith can be challenging at times, but Jesus was clear on the steps that we can take to initiate or re-initiate a relationship with Him. It’s always rooted in the belief that Jesus is who He says He is, and will do what He says He is going to do. This is the essence of our faith, and it’s this understanding that fuels our step to then be a person of repentance. Repentance, or more accurately, godly repentance, is when we are “cut to the heart” about our sin or brokenness apart from Christ…AND this pushes us to accept the love and salvation of Christ, to move forward in our pursuit to make disciples, and to be more like Christ in every way. There is movement to it. A worldly repentance, apart from Christ, is where we find ourselves stricken by guilt and regret and too ashamed to receive the love of Christ.
My friends, it is for freedom that Christ died the way He did (Galatians 5:1). This grace isn’t a reason to continue to sin or abuse that right in Christ; it’s a reason to continue in our sanctification. It starts with repentance. But a powerful step of not only accepting the forgiveness of sin, but also sharing in Christ’s death and resurrection and becoming entirely new creations in Him, is baptism. The best place to be is being found in Christ. It’s in Him that we find security, provision, hope (just to name a few), and our deepest needs met. Baptism is a great step to foster that connection.
- Why is it a command by Jesus not only to repent but to be baptized as well?
- In your own words, explain the difference between a godly repentance and a worldly repentance. Give personal examples of each.
- Why is repentance not only a one-time thing before baptism? What role does repentance play in our ongoing relationship with Christ?
- Why does baptism matter to you?