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
“Are You Feeling Pressure?”
At times, when I talk with people about the Bible, some folks will say, “Don’t pressure me.” Let me begin by saying it is certainly not anyone’s intention to coerce a person into obeying the Lord. It does no spiritual good to “pressure” people into doing something that they do not wish to do. God does not force people to obey Him. He wants willing servants, not forced labor (Ex. 35:29; Isa. 1:18-19; II Cor. 8:12; I Tim. 6:17-18; I Pet. 5:2)!
Yet, pressure can be a good thing. Physically, pressure is a warning sent by the nerves to the brain that some part of the body is in stress or trauma. One feeling pressure physically will take measures to prevent further harm if this is possible. Spiritually, we feel pressure at times. If someone wishes to speak to you about the Bible, and you feel “pressure,” perhaps it is because you’re in the wrong! Instead of fighting against this, why not take steps to get yourself out of spiritual jeopardy (i.e., repent), and prevent further spiritual damage by returning to the Lord while you can (II Cor. 6:2; Heb. 3:7-8).
There is something to be said for pressure being applied in the right way. The apostle Paul did this with Philemon when he told him to accept Onesimus back (Phile. 8-22). Pressure was applied in the right way when Peter and the apostles told the Jews to “repent and be baptized … for the remission of sins” (Acts 2:38, 40).
How will we respond to God’s pressure?
“Defiling The Body”
In the Bible, we read about how one may defile his body. Let us look at some things that defile us. We may be surprised at the ways that one may become defiled.
First, my thoughts can defile me (Matt. 15:18-20)! If I think on sinful, evil things, they will defile me! This is because if I begin thinking about some sin, it is usually not long before I do that very thing! Evil, filthy thoughts can lead to me being lost in a devil’s Hell!
Next, if we say things we shouldn’t, we can defile our bodies. James said, “the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of hell” (Jas. 3:6). The small tongue can defile a man if he does not have control of it! “Filthy communication” must be put away from us (Col. 3:8). Lying has no place in our lives, either (Eph. 4:25; Col. 3:9; Rev. 21:8). Let us never forget that we what we say can condemn us to Hell just like our actions!
Last, our actions can defile us! God has spoken plainly and given clear warning that defiling the body results in an eternity in Hell. Let us do all we can to keep ourselves pure in God’s sight (I Tim. 5:22; I Cor. 6:19).
When asked what God’s greatest commandment was, Jesus said, “The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord: And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment” (Mk. 12:29-30). In essence, Christ was saying that we need to love God with our entire being. It is not enough to love God “sometimes” or “most of the time.” Our love to God needs to be shown to its fullest extent at all times.
Why should this be? The command of Mark 12:29-30 is my response to God’s love. God loved us to the infinite degree by sending Jesus Christ into the world (Jn. 3:16). God loved us and showed it before we ever showed our love for Him (I Jn. 4:8-10).
Thus, the question is not, “Does God love us?” The question is, “Do we love God?” Are we showing it? How do we show our love to the God of Heaven? We show it by keeping God’s commands (Jn. 14:15, 23, 15:14; I Jn. 5:3). Do you love God? Are you keeping His commandments? Start today! Love God with all your being and do what He says, and reap the benefits!
“Proverbs To Ponder”
Regardless of our age, we are never too old to learn, nor too old to be reminded of things we once knew. The proverbs below are not based upon man’s wisdom, but were penned by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit for our learning and admonition (II Pet. 1:20-21).
1. “If sinners entice thee, consent thou not” (Prov. 1:10). The worst thing we can do is follow those who are wicked. Let us be interested in what God wants, and follow Him!
2. “Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the LORD, and depart from evil” (Prov. 3:7). Arrogance and pride will bring us down quickly (Prov. 14:12). Let us fear God and keep His commandments (Ecc. 12:13).
3. “Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life” (Prov. 4:23). If we will guard, or watch our heart, we will be able to control our actions and speech as well. Our speech and actions (good or bad) begin in the heart (Matt. 15:17-19; Phil. 4:8).
4. “Cease, ... to hear the instruction that causeth to err from the words of knowledge” (Prov. 19:27). Let us stop listening to the foolish advice of others, and listen to God. His word is the truth (Jn. 17:17)!
5. “Let not thine heart envy sinners” (Prov. 23:17). Being envious of sinners can do nothing but bring us down. Their end is destruction, and we want no part of that (Ps. 73:18).
6. “Boast not thyself of to morrow; for thou knowest not what a day may bring forth” (Prov. 27:1). All we are assured of is now. Do not squander the time you have upon this earth (II Cor. 6:2; Heb. 3:7-8)!