Spotlight On A Bible Verse: Acts 2:38
“Then Peter said unto them, 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.” These words were spoken on the day of Pentecost following the Lord’s death, burial, and resurrection. On this day, when the Jews were rightly accused of killing Christ (Acts 2:23), they then asked what they could do (Acts 2:36). Acts 2:38 is the answer to this question, and by extension, the answer to our question when we ask what we must do to be saved from our sins! Have you repented of your sins? Have you been baptized? If not, why not? Repentance and baptism is necessary to remit (forgive) your sins and put you in a right relationship with God. Why are you waiting?
- Jarrod Jacobs
Spotlight On A Bible Verse: Mark 16:16
“He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.” These words are the Lord’s plan for saving man in a “nutshell.” If one wishes to be forgiven of sins, he needs to believe on Christ and be baptized. In a world that teaches that salvation is by “faith only,” or by praying a prayer, etc., let us be satisfied with the words of our Lord on this subject. These words are often called “The Great Commission” because Christ sent His apostles to preach this message to the world (Mk. 16:15). In like manner, we who are Christ’s disciples need to continue spreading the word (II Tim. 2:2). We need to let folks know that in order to be saved, we need to believe on Christ (Jn. 8:24) and be baptized (I Pet. 3:21). Be warned that if we reject Christ’s words, there is no other way to be saved from sin.
- Jarrod Jacobs
First The Cross, Then The Crown
Before Christ received His crown, He had to die on the cross. This is seen in passages like Philippians 2:5-11 and Hebrews 2:9, as well as Ephesians 1:20-23 and I Timothy 6:15.
In like manner, if we today are going to receive the “crown of life” (Rev. 2:10), we must first die at the cross. Our old man of sin must be put to death (Col. 3:5). Paul said, “I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me” (Gal. 2:20). He later wrote, “But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified to me, and I to the world” (Gal. 6:14). The letter to the Romans made it clear that those who “obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine” delivered to them were “then made free from sin” (Rom. 6:17-18).
What did they do? They portrayed Christ’s death, burial and resurrection in their putting to death the old man of sin, being buried in the waters of baptism, and rising to walk in newness of life (Rom. 6:3-4). In doing so, Paul said they were “buried” with Christ in baptism, “risen with Christ” and “are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God” (Col. 2:12, 3:1, 3). Based on this, they could look forward to their crown. Friend, are you looking forward to your crown? First comes the cross!
The word “almost” is used several times in the Bible. Some of the times when this word is used include: 1) When the people were thirsty, Moses asked God, “What shall I do with this people? They are almost ready to stone me.” (Ex. 17:4). 2) When Asaph was frustrated when he saw the prosperity of the wicked, he said: “But as for me, my feet had almost stumbled ...” (Ps. 73:2). 3) When Paul preached the gospel to Agrippa, he responded by saying, “Almost you persuade me to be a Christian” (Acts 26:28). What does “almost” imply?
The word “almost” implies failure. In the case of Moses being stoned, or Asaph stumbling, that is good that it “almost” happened, but did not come to pass. However, in the case of Agrippa, it is different. Agrippa failed to believe and obey God. Therefore, he failed to be saved from his sins (Mk. 16:16). This is a tragedy!
Also, the word “almost” implies sadness. In the case of Agrippa, it was sad to think he was so close to being saved, but he refused, and we never read in the Bible where he repented and was saved.
Friend, don’t let your family follow your casket to your grave knowing that you were “almost” saved from your sins! Don’t die with your family knowing you failed at this! Truly great sadness is the result for the family left behind when someone dies in sin. Christ said, “He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved” (Mk. 16:16). Please be more than “almost persuaded” but be “altogether” saved! (Acts 26:29) Become a Christian today!
Are You Free From Sin?
Salvation is something that is on people’s minds today. Certainly, the salvation of one’s own soul ought to be our concern (II Cor. 4:16; Ecc. 12:7). When Paul wrote the Romans, he told them that they were “set free from sin” (Rom. 6:18). When did this happen? Paul explains: “Do you not know that if you present yourselves to anyone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin which leads to death, or of obedience which leads to righteousness? But thanks be to God, that you who were once slaves of sin, have become obedient from the heart to the standard of teaching to which you were committed, and having been set free from sin, have become slaves of righteousness” (Rom. 6:16-18).
Notice that the Romans WERE the servants of sin, but NOW have been made free from sin. What happened? They were “obedient from the heart to the standard of teaching.” What is this? The standard of teaching can be found in Romans 6:3-5. Here, Paul talks about the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Those who are Christians have been “united with him in a death like his” to be raised “in a resurrection like his” (Rom. 6:5). When is one “planted” and “raised”? This happens when one is baptized for the remission of sins (Mk. 16:16; Acts 2:38; 22:16; 8:35-39; 16:30-34)!
Therefore, when one is “obedient from the heart” to the “standard of teaching” (not merely an “outward sign”); and is baptized for the remission of sins, he is THEN made free from sin. Are you free from sin?