Peter said to them, "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.
Acts 2:38 NASB
Peter makes it clear in his response to his hearers on the day of Pentecost that baptism is essential for the forgiveness of sins and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit.
Baptism followed after several things occurred first. They had heard the gospel message about Jesus. When Peter finished his gospel sermon they believed in Jesus. “Now when they heard this, they were pierced to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, " Brethren, what shall we do?" Acts 2:37 NASB That is when Peter gave them the answer in verse 38. Peters audience had become convicted of their sins and wanted to know what to do about it. Peter gave them a straight forward answer. He told them to do just what Jesus had told His apostles to do to make disciples. Read Mark 16:15,16 and Matthew 28:19,20. The day of Pentecost is the first time we observe the disciple making process.They were making disciples from all around the world that day, “Now there were Jews living in Jerusalem, devout men from every nation under heaven.” Acts 2:5 NASB
That first gospel sermon produced thousands of new disciples. “So then, those who had received his word were baptized; and that day there were added about three thousand souls.” Acts 2:41 NASB Visualize that, thousands converted in one day.
The apostles also followed through on the other part of the great commission, “teaching them to observe all that I commanded you” Matthew 28:20a NASB The apostles got right to work on teaching all of these new disciples what Jesus had taught them. “They were continually devoting themselves to the apostles' teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.” Acts 2:42
As we look at the making of disciples we have to realize it's not the teacher that really makes a disciple and it's not the individual that adds themselves to the body it is the Lord that does the adding. “And the Lord was adding to their number day by day those who were being saved.” Acts 2:47b Did you catch the last part of verse 47 it says “those who were being saved”? So it appears the way one is saved is through baptism. Peter wrote about this later in his letter to the church. Read 1st Peter 3:20,21 “baptism now saves you”.
It is obvious that baptism is significant for the removal of sins. If one wants to be free of their sins, one must be baptized.
Tomorrow we look at the importance of remaining faithful to Jesus.
© 2012 Leo J. Woodman