A Formula or a Pledge?

 

Do we really grasp the full meaning of being in Christ?  To be a Christian is much more than a responsibility.  To be a Christian is a privilege made possible by the grace of God.  When God created man He created man in His image.  Man was created to have fellowship and relationship with God.  Sadly, man sinned and because of that sin separated himself from God.  Isaiah 59:1-2 tells us that it wasn’t the fault of God that man separated himself from the Lord.  In fact it was the sin of man that brought this separation to pass.

If God wanted man to be lost God could have done nothing and man would have remained in a lost state.  God wanted man to be reconciled unto Him.  God loved the world so much that He was willing that Jesus be our sin payment.  Jesus, the innocent Son of God, died so we might be reconciled to God.  Jesus paid for the sins of all man.  It is up to man to accept the sin payment provided by God.  Man has no part in salvation except his acceptance of the gift given by God’s grace.  God has provided complete payment for sin, our responsibility is to accept by faith what God has done.  It is up to man to either accept or reject the gift.

In Acts 2:37 the Jews asked the question, “Men and brethren what shall we do?”  This wasn’t a question about providing restitution.  They weren’t asking about church membership.  At this point they weren’t concerned about blueprints or patterns. This was a question about what could be done concerning the mess they had made of their lives.  This was a totally selfish question.  By their own merit they were hopeless.  Correction of their terrible mistakes was totally out of their hands.  Today, we have made similar messes in our lives.  Making things right is not in our hands.  Correcting the mess in our lives rests in the hand of God.

In answering the question Peter told them they needed to repent and be baptized.  Peter wasn’t telling them that repentance and baptism could be traded for salvation.  Peter was telling them that repentance would be changing the direction of their lives.  He was assuring them that their only hope was to give their hearts to the very one they had crucified.  In order for them to accept the sin payment brought about by the death of the Christ they had to submit to baptism.  Baptism was acknowledging publicly the pledge they were making that would change direction of  their lives.  No longer were they going to be followers of Moses law, now they were submitting to the very one they had crucified.  The mess they had made of their lives could stand corrected.  This mess in their lives wasn’t corrected because they followed a magic formula.  Their lives were changed because by faith they had given their hearts to the one called Jesus.  Their faith was strong enough that they admitted their pledge in the public confession of baptism. I Peter 3:21 tells us, “and this water symbolizes baptism that now saves you also – not the removal of dirt from the body but the pledge of a good conscience toward God.  It saves you by the resurrection of Jesus Christ.”  Baptism was a public  admission of the pledge they had made by faith to follow the one called Jesus. 

Do you have the faith today to publicly pledge to follow in the footsteps of Jesus?

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: