The fifth book in the New Testament is the book of Acts. This book is the only book of the Bible that records the beginning of the Church. This is Acts, Chapter 2. The apostle Peter was the spokesman for the actions of the beginning church. When his defense was concluded, he was asked, “What must we do?” (Acts 2:37). Then he spoke the immortal words, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost!” (Acts 2:38). Acts 2:38 is the fulfillment of a proper relationship with God as pointed out in the types and shadows of the Old Testament truths.
The steps into the tabernacle of God were the brazen altar, the brazen laver of water and the entrance into the fellowship of power (Exodus 27). Acts 2:38 is following Jesus in his death, burial and resurrection. In John 13:36 Jesus said, “Where I’m going now, you cannot follow, but afterwards you shall!” Repentance is death to the old nature. Baptism is the burial (Col. 2:2). Receiving the Holy Ghost is the resurrection (Romans 6:4). Luke is the first one to record Acts 2:38 and it was spoken by Jesus himself! “Repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations beginning at Jerusalem. (Luke 24:47).
Repentance – Brazen Altar
Baptism in Jesus Name – Laver of Water
Entrance into Power – The infilling of the Holy Ghost
Isaiah 28:10-12 – Was fulfilled in Acts 2:38
Joel 2:28 – Was fulfilled in Acts 2:38
John 3:5 – Being Born of Water and of Spirit was fulfilled in Acts 2:38
Repentance is one of the greatest experiences of the Gospel story. You acknowledge your sins and you ask Jesus to forgive you (1 John 1:9). “Forgive me of my sins and cover them with your blood.” The great truth is He will! (1 John 1:7).
Then there must be a commitment on your part to change your lifestyle and adhere to all the teachings of Jesus Christ. Turn around and walk the other way! This time you will not walk alone: “…old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new!” (1 Corinthians 5:17)
The word baptism means to “immerse.” Since baptism is burial, it stands to reason that you must be “put under!” The purpose of baptism is to remit, or wash away, your sins. Where does the power lie in baptism to wash away every sin you have committed? It is not in the preacher, nor is it in the water!
Something must be said over you that has all power. The name of the Lord Jesus Christ is the only name with all power! (Matthew 28:18). This is the only way the apostle baptized: in the name of Jesus (Acts 2:38, Acts 8:6, Acts 10:47-48). Even if you have been baptized another way, you need to be baptized again in the name of Jesus (Acts 19:5).
Now your sins have been forgiven – they are “under the blood!” Your sins have been washed away in the waters of baptism! You are ready now for the empowerment of Acts 2:38, the receiving of the Holy Ghost! The teachings of Jesus are very pointed about remaining empty after you have been “swept and garnished.” You must be filled with the Spirit! (Matthew 12:43).
The Holy Spirit is:
- The Comforter (John 14:26)
- A well of Living Water (John 4:14)
- A river of Living Water (John 7:37-39)
- The Kingdom fulfilled (Romans 14:17
- Knowing you have a right relationship with Jesus Christ (Romans 8:9, 1 Corinthians 12:3)
Acts 2:38 is the ultimate experience – repentance, baptism in Jesus name, and the infilling of the Holy Ghost. It is so great, the prophets desired to have it (1 Peter 1:10). It is so great the angels desire to experience it (1 Peter 1:12). It makes such a difference in a person’s life that it changed those vacillating, denying, betraying apostles – in Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John – into world changers and destiny directors.
Acts 2:38 will make a difference in your life also. You alone cannot have power over habits, mistakes, abuses and failures of the past! Acts 2:38 will accompany you to you past, your present and also your future! “That which hath been is now; and that which is to be hath already been; and God requiter that which is past!”
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