REPENT and BE BAPTIZED

by: Bill Bratt

Email: info@icogsfg.org

 


The Apostle Peter in his first sermon on the Feast of Pentecost told his listeners to "Repent" and "be Baptized!" Letís look at this account beginning in Acts 2:22: "Men of Israel, hear these words: Jesus of Nazareth, a Man attested by God to you by miracles, wonders, and signs which God did through Him in your midst, as you yourselves also know; {23} "Him, being delivered by the determined purpose and foreknowledge of God, you have taken by lawless hands, have crucified, and put to death; {24} "whom God raised up, having loosed the pains of death, because it was not possible that He should be held by it" (Acts 2:22-24 ).

We all are responsible for the death of Jesus Christ. We have to look at this from a personal point of view: Jesus was crucified and He died for me! Letís continue with Peterís sermon: "he, foreseeing this, spoke concerning the resurrection of the Christ, that His soul was not left in Hades, nor did His flesh see corruption. {32} "This Jesus God has raised up, of which we are all witnesses. {33} "Therefore being exalted to the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, He poured out this which you now see and hear" (Acts 2:31-33 ).

Letís skip ahead to verse 36: "Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly that God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ." {37} Now when they heard this, they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, "Men and brethren, what shall we do?" {38} Then Peter said to them, "Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. {39} "For the promise is to you and to your children, and to all who are afar off, as many as the Lord our God will call. {40} And with many other words he testified and exhorted them, saying, "Be saved from this perverse generation" (Acts 2:36-40 ).

The men of Peterís day asked the question: What shall we do? Peterís answer was to "Repent" and "be Baptized!" Notice that before we can be baptized, we must repent.

What is Repentance?

Websterís Dictionary defines the word "Repent" as: " to turn from sin and dedicate oneself to the amendment of one's life, to feel regret or contrition, to change one's mind".

Strongís Concordance #3340 defines the word "Repent" as: "to think differently or afterwards, i.e. reconsider (mor. feel compunction):--repent".

Repent means to "turn from sin" and "change oneís mind."

(Request our free article: REPENT! to explain more about repentance.)

What Is Sin?

The Bible definition of sin is: "Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law" (1 John 3:4 KJV).

The law being referred to here is Godís Ten Commandments. They are listed in Exodus 20:3-17 and repeated in Deuteronomy 5:6-21.

Repent: Turn from Sin!

Letís notice in the following example what Jesus told the woman who was caught in the act of adultery. "But Jesus went to the Mount of Olives. {2} Now early in the morning He came again into the temple, and all the people came to Him; and He sat down and taught them. {3} Then the scribes and Pharisees brought to Him a woman caught in adultery. And when they had set her in the midst, {4} they said to Him, "Teacher, this woman was caught in adultery, in the very act. {5} "Now Moses, in the law, commanded us that such should be stoned. But what do You say?" {6} This they said, testing Him, that they might have something of which to accuse Him. But Jesus stooped down and wrote on the ground with His finger, as though He did not hear. {7} So when they continued asking Him, He raised Himself up and said to them, "He who is without sin among you, let him throw a stone at her first." {8} And again He stooped down and wrote on the ground. {9} Then those who heard it, being convicted by their conscience, went out one by one, beginning with the oldest even to the last. And Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst. {10} When Jesus had raised Himself up and saw no one but the woman, He said to her, "Woman, where are those accusers of yours? Has no one condemned you?" {11} She said, "No one, Lord." And Jesus said to her, "Neither do I condemn you; go and sin no more"" (John 8:1-11 ).

Jesus admonished the woman to "go and sin no more." In other words, turn your life around to a direction that does not lead to sin. Go the opposite way than that of sin, which leads to the way of death. "For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord" (Rom 6:23 ).

Repent: Change Oneís Mind!

In order to repent we must change our attitude toward God! We must learn to love God. We must become a new man: "and have put on the new man who is renewed in knowledge according to the image of Him who created him" (Col 3:10 ).

We must have a renewing of our mind: "I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. {2} And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God" (Rom 12:1-2 ).

How Do We Repent?

We must accept Jesus as our personal savior and walk as He would walk.

We must let Jesus live in us: "To them God willed to make known what are the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles: which is Christ in you, the hope of glory" (Col 1:27 ). To let Jesus live in you, you must give yourself to Him. You must serve Him, obey Him, live as Christ lived, follow Him and imitate Him. Thatís what it means to let Jesus live in you.

We must ask God to forgive us of our sin of breaking His commandments and ask Him to give us strength in keeping His commandments. We should ask God for grace and mercy because salvation is a gift (Eph 2:8-10). Repentance is an ongoing process and we must bear fruit.. "Therefore bear fruits worthy of repentance" (Mat 3:8 ).

Once you have repented, you should be baptized!

Jesus was Baptized!

Jesus set a right example for us to follow. "For to this you were called, because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow His steps" (1 Pet 2:21 ).

Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist: "Then Jesus came from Galilee to John at the Jordan to be baptized by him. {14} And John tried to prevent Him, saying, "I need to be baptized by You, and are You coming to me?" {15} But Jesus answered and said to him, "Permit it to be so now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness." Then he allowed Him. {16} When He had been baptized, Jesus came up immediately from the water; and behold, the heavens were opened to Him, and He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting upon Him. {17} And suddenly a voice came from heaven, saying, "This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased"" (Mat 3:13-17 ).

Jesus Baptized Many!

"After these things Jesus and His disciples came into the land of Judea, and there He remained with them and baptized" (John 3:22 ). "Therefore, when the Lord knew that the Pharisees had heard that Jesus made and baptized more disciples than John {2} (though Jesus Himself did not baptize, but His disciples)" (John 4:1-2 ).

This is interesting. Jesus baptized more disciples than John, but did not physically baptize them. His disciples did the physical act of getting in the water and performing the actual act of baptism. His disciples baptized for Him, in His name, by His authority, which is the same as Jesus doing the baptism.

Jesus Commanded Baptism!

Matthew closes his gospel with the following verses: "And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, "All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. {19} "Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, {20} "teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age." Amen." (Mat 28:18-20 ).

In a sense, this is a prophetic statement. Notice it says: "make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them"... "even to the end of the age."

The "end of the age" is referring to the time just before Jesus Christ returns to this earth to rule all nations as "king of kings and lord of lords."

The servants of God are to make disciples of all the nations and baptize them.

Apostle Peter Commanded Baptism!

As mentioned above, the Apostle Peter in his first sermon on the Feast of Pentecost told his listeners to "Repent" and "be Baptized!" Letís notice how many were baptized on that Feast of Pentecost: "Then those who gladly received his word were baptized; and that day about three thousand souls were added to them" (Acts 2:41 ).

Philip Preached Christ and Baptized!

"Then Philip went down to the city of Samaria and preached Christ to them." (Acts 8:5 ).

"But when they believed Philip as he preached the things concerning the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, both men and women were baptized" (Acts 8:12 ). {14} "Now when the apostles who were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent Peter and John to them, {15} who, when they had come down, prayed for them that they might receive the Holy Spirit. {16} For as yet He had fallen upon none of them. They had only been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus" (Acts 8:14-16 ).

The Gospel and Baptism Goes to the Gentiles!

The Apostle Peter was sent by God to preach the Gospel to the gentiles. Notice that the first gentile that the gospel went to was a Roman soldier, whose name was Cornelius. "There was a certain man in Caesarea called Cornelius, a centurion of what was called the Italian Regiment, {2} a devout man and one who feared God with all his household, who gave alms generously to the people, and prayed to God always" (Acts 10:1-2 ).

Letís continue in verse 44: "While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit fell upon all those who heard the word. {45} And those of the circumcision who believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out on the Gentiles also. {46} For they heard them speak with tongues and magnify God. Then Peter answered, {47} "Can anyone forbid water, that these should not be baptized who have received the Holy Spirit just as we have?" {48} And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord. Then they asked him to stay a few days" (Acts 10:44-48 ).

Notice in verse 47, that water is required for baptism.

Baptizo

The word "baptize" is not an English word, but is a Greek word. The translators of the Bible left this Greek word untranslated. In the Greek the word is "baptizo" and the definition of this word is "immerse" or "to dip." (By the end of this article we will see why "immersion" is a valid form of baptism and "sprinkling" or "pouring" are not valid forms of baptism).

Baptism Requires Lots of Water! John the Baptist was in an area of much water.

"Now John also was baptizing in Aenon near Salim, because there was much water there. And they came and were baptized" (John 3:23 ).

Why did John the Baptist need a lot of water? When immersing someone for baptism, you have to have enough water to completely cover the person being baptized. A cup of water wonít do it.

Philip and the Eunuch!

Through an angel of God, Philip was inspired to preach Jesus to an Ethiopian eunuch: {26} Now an angel of the Lord spoke to Philip, saying, "Arise and go toward the south along the road which goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza." This is desert. {27} So he arose and went. And behold, a man of Ethiopia, a eunuch of great authority under Candace the queen of the Ethiopians, who had charge of all her treasury, and had come to Jerusalem to worship, {28} was returning. And sitting in his chariot, he was reading Isaiah the prophet. {29} Then the Spirit said to Philip, "Go near and overtake this chariot." {30} So Philip ran to him, and heard him reading the prophet Isaiah, and said, "Do you understand what you are reading?" {31} And he said, "How can I, unless someone guides me?" And he asked Philip to come up and sit with him. {32} The place in the Scripture which he read was this: "He was led as a sheep to the slaughter; And as a lamb before its shearer is silent, So He opened not His mouth. {33} In His humiliation His justice was taken away, And who will declare His generation? For His life is taken from the earth." {34} So the eunuch answered Philip and said, "I ask you, of whom does the prophet say this, of himself or of some other man?" {35} Then Philip opened his mouth, and beginning at this Scripture, preached Jesus to him. {36} Now as they went down the road, they came to some water. And the eunuch said, "See, here is water. What hinders me from being baptized?" {37} Then Philip said, "If you believe with all your heart, you may." And he answered and said, "I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God." {38} So he commanded the chariot to stand still. And both Philip and the eunuch went down into the water, and he baptized him. {39} Now when they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord caught Philip away, so that the eunuch saw him no more; and he went on his way rejoicing" (Acts 8:26-39 ).

Notice that in verses 38-39, that both Philip and the eunuch went down into the water for the eunuch to be baptized and then they both came up out of the water.

Now why would Philip have to go down into the water with the eunuch unless he was going to "dip" or "plunge" the eunuch down under the water by "immersion."

This story of Philip and the eunuch is a beautiful story of evangelism and preaching the gospel. God used Philip to make a disciple of the Ethiopian eunuch, preach Jesus to him and then he was baptized, thus fulfilling the commission of Matthew 28:18-20. Letís notice the 3 part commission in Mat 28:18-20 : "And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, "All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. {19} "Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, {20} "teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age."

The Meaning of Baptism!

Baptism is a burial and a resurrection from a grave. Col 2:12  explains this: "buried with Him in baptism, in which you also were raised with Him through faith in the working of God, who raised Him from the dead."

Only baptism by "immersion" can symbolically picture this burial, and then you are raised up out of the water which pictures a type of resurrection.

We are buried with Jesus in this baptism. "Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? {4} Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. {5} For if we have been united together in the likeness of His death, certainly we also shall be in the likeness of His resurrection" (Rom 6:3-5 ).

Symbolically, baptism pictures the death and burial of Jesus and the death and burial of "our old man", the old way of living in sin and being influenced by our dirty rotten human nature. Coming up out of the water pictures Jesusí resurrection and our resurrection as a new creature who "should walk in newness of life."

Rom 6:6-7  says: "knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin. {7} For he who has died has been freed from sin."

Notice that through baptism that we are no longer "slaves of sin" but have been "freed from sin."

Baptism is a beautiful experience and full of meaning.

Baptized Into Jesus!

Letís notice Rom 6:3 again that we are baptized into Jesus: "Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death?"

We are also to be baptized "in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit": "Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit" (Mat 28:19 ).

We are NOT baptized into a particular Church or denomination. We are baptized (plunged into) the "body of Christ" - the spiritual Church.

"For as the body is one and has many members, but all the members of that one body, being many, are one body, so also is Christ. {13} For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body; whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free; and have all been made to drink into one Spirit. {14} For in fact the body is not one member but many. {15} If the foot should say, "Because I am not a hand, I am not of the body," is it therefore not of the body? {16} And if the ear should say, "Because I am not an eye, I am not of the body," is it therefore not of the body? {17} If the whole body were an eye, where would be the hearing? If the whole were hearing, where would be the smelling? {18} But now God has set the members, each one of them, in the body just as He pleased. {19} And if they were all one member, where would the body be? {20} But now indeed there are many members, yet one body. {21} And the eye cannot say to the hand, "I have no need of you"; nor again the head to the feet, "I have no need of you." {22} No, much rather, those members of the body which seem to be weaker are necessary. {23} And those members of the body which we think to be less honorable, on these we bestow greater honor; and our unpresentable parts have greater modesty, {24} but our presentable parts have no need. But God composed the body, having given greater honor to that part which lacks it, {25} that there should be no schism in the body, but that the members should have the same care for one another. {26} And if one member suffers, all the members suffer with it; or if one member is honored, all the members rejoice with it. {27} Now you are the body of Christ, and members individually" (1 Cor 12:12-27 ).

The Gift of the Holy Spirit!

The Apostle Peter gave a New Testament command to "Repent" and "be baptized." Letís look at Acts 2:38 again: "Then Peter said to them, "Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit."

Notice the order that the Apostle Peter gave in this verse: first, you must repent, second, you must be baptized and then third, you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. There is no promise that you will receive the Holy Spirit until you "repent" and are "baptized." The Thief on the cross may be a rare exception to this rule about not being baptized. In his case it was impossible for him to be baptized.

Get Baptized As Soon As Possible!

Referring back to the Apostle Peterís inspired sermon on Pentecost, Peter told them to "repent" and be "baptized." Do your remember what happened then? "Then those who gladly received his word were baptized; and that day about three thousand souls were added to them" (Acts 2:41 ).

Three thousand people "repented" and were baptized on that Feast day of Pentecost. They were baptized as soon as possible.

Philip baptized the Ethiopian eunuch after a short period of time during a chariot ride, after preaching Jesus to him.

In Conclusion: After we repent and are baptized, we will then receive the gift of the holy spirit. We then should have a desire to worship God in spirit and in truth, and to obey Him and serve Him.

Letís close with John 13:17  "If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them."



For more information on "sin" and "repentance" read our articles titled:  
What is Sin?
             Repent             Bible Study on Baptism