Process Toward Salvation: (2) Repent
We have thus so far studied the importance of “faith” and how “grace” works with that “faith”. Faith in God is not just an affirmation or belief in a god, but to acknowledge the guidance of God through His Word, the Bible, and only the Bible, Romans 10:17. When I finally realize the seriousness of not only knowing God’s Will, but keeping God’s Will, I know I have work to do, His work to do.
I realize my life has sin to deal with. Rather than continue to live a life of sin, which will condemn me, according to God’s Word, I read and learn more about God’s purpose for me, to serve Him and do His works. Sin endangers my soul, so why would I want more? Faith in men and the works of men will not help me at all. But faith and obedience in God’s Word will change me to what God wants me to be. Change must take place, Luke 13:3, 5, if not, I will perish at God’s hand in judgment. 2 Corinthians 7:10 explains what brings me to repentance, “For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death.” I repent, change the direction and purpose of my life, because I have offended God by my actions, my thoughts, perhaps even my tongue, and I am now sorry for my actions. This brings about a major change in my life. I want to please God, to have His favor once again, and to be granted “salvation”, even though I don’t deserve it now because what I have done.
John the Baptist’s (baptizer) teaching was that of repentance. His baptism that Jesus obeyed was a start of people repenting. It didn’t have the power of Jesus’ baptism as He and the Apostles taught. Christ’s has the power of His blood, His sacrifice, and as such had the power for remission of sin. In Acts 2, the apostles were in Jerusalem, and the Jews had gathered for Pentecost. After the Apostles’ sermon, some of the Jews believed the message, and knew they had crucified the Son of God. Vs. 37, they asked what they could do about their guilt. Peter’s statement in vs. 38, was to “repent and be baptized ....for the remission of your sins...”, and 3,000 souls, not only heard, but followed what they were told. They would change their lives, and were baptized, and knew doing so, they “should be saved”. They started living right, were baptized to be forgiven on the sins they had committed, and by living right following this, would be saved. They continued to learn and built their fellowship by following God’s Word from then forward. Each were added by Christ to His church, and all believed the same teaching, vs. 40-47. Reader, every example throughout the book of Acts, involved the same path to salvation. They learned how to live by hearing God’s Word, changed their life, putting God’s Word to practice in their life, but never got rid of their sin until baptism. But baptism alone was no good, without the faith giving the reason it worked.
We will look at the next step toward salvation next week.