Hebrews 6:1-3 - Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God, Of the doctrine of baptisms, and of laying on of hands, and of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment. And this will we do, if God permit. [Emphasis added are mine]
The Gospel of Jesus Christ
I Corinthians 15:1-4,14,17 - Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain. For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:
And if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain.
And if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins. [Emphasis added are mine]
The doctrine of baptisms is so intertwined with the gospel of Jesus Christ that I felt it necessary to introduce this doctrine with the gospel. Paul declared the gospel unto the Corinthians and the gospel was well received by them. Paul told them if they hold fast to it and abide in it, that it would ensure their salvation, unless they believed in vain. The gospel of Jesus Christ does not end at His death. He rose again in three days. The gospel of the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ was inseparable. They all are equally essential in fulfilling the salvation, healing, and deliverance of God’s people.
Paul stressed the importance of the resurrection of Jesus Christ and said if He never rose from the grave than our faith would be in vain (useless) and we would still be in our sins. The resurrection of Christ is so important that if it never took place, then we can say Jesus was merely a man, a false prophet, who led away many people to their own persecution and destruction, including us who believe in Him today. But the reality of it is that He was not just a man or false prophet. He was God come in the flesh prepared to die for our sins and pay the penalty for our transgressions. He came to abolish the works of the devil and set His people free. This is the glorious work of Jesus Christ and the cross.
The gospel is very simple. The death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ is the gospel to preach. Think specifically about what was preached to you when you entered into the New Covenant by the water and the Spirit. Think about what you hear preached today that supposedly represents the gospel. Is it different? Has something been added to it or taken away from it? Whatever you have experienced or have heard preached from the many different denominations that are out there, you need look no further than the scriptures to find out what was the gospel preached by the apostles. There is only one gospel and this is it: Jesus Christ died for our sins fulfilling many prophecies from the Old Covenant. He was buried for three days and on the last day He rose again.
The book of Acts has so many examples of how this gospel was preached and what the apostles said that it would be fairly easy for us to read Peter’s preaching, Paul’s preaching, Stephen’s preaching, Phillip’s preaching and compare them with what we hear preached today as “the gospel”. I encourage you to stick with what the apostles of the 1st century preached. You can’t go wrong.
Over the centuries many things have been added to and taken away from the simplicity of the gospel. The simplicity of the gospel has been clearly recorded and is undoubtedly the power of God that grants salvation to everyone that will believe in it (Romans 1:16) and Paul was not ashamed to preach this glorious truth.
The response of a believer to that gospel is just as simple and clear. Jesus said that a man could not see the kingdom of God unless he were born again. To clarify He also said that to be born again, and see and enter into the kingdom, one must be born of the water and the Spirit (John 3:1-5). Notice born of the water and the Spirit are both required. They are also inseparable as a testimony of being born again.
Hearers and Doers – Faith and Obedience
For the gospel of Jesus Christ to be applied to our lives, to be a relevant reality, we must hear it and obey. Some never get to hear. Fortunately, we have had the privilege of hearing the gospel. We must respond to hearing the gospel by obeying the gospel. What does it profit a man to hear the Word and do nothing? Or what does it profit a man to know that a furious hurricane is coming if he doesn’t board up his home or find shelter on a house of solid rock and fortitude to withstand the onslaught of the torrential storm?
Luke 7:28-30 - For I say unto you, Among those that are born of women there is not a greater prophet than John the Baptist: but he that is least in the kingdom of God is greater than he. And all the people that heard him, and the publicans, justified God, being baptized with the baptism of John. But the Pharisees and lawyers rejected the counsel of God against themselves, being not baptized of him. [Emphasis added are mine]
Jesus spoke to all the people, including the Pharisees and religious leaders of His day, that there was not a greater prophet to have lived than John the Baptist. All that heard Him, except those religious leaders, justified God. The people who justified God were baptized according to John’s baptism, but the religious leaders were not baptized of John. Those religious leaders, according to the Word of God, rejected “the counsel of God” given to John the Baptist to baptize unto repentance for the forgiveness of sins. Not only did the religious leaders not hear Jesus, but even in what they heard, they did not do. They did not obey the Word of God and this resulted in their judgment.
Instead of submitting to the Word of God, which is manifested as obedience to the Word, they came around another time to try to trip up Jesus concerning John the Baptist.
Matthew 21:23-27 - And when he was come into the temple, the chief priests and the elders of the people came unto him as he was teaching, and said, By what authority doest thou these things? and who gave thee this authority?
The religious leaders tried to confront Jesus through the back door. They recognized His authority (or acted as if they did) and asked Him where did He get His authority from?
And Jesus answered and said unto them, I also will ask you one thing, which if ye tell me, I in like wise will tell you by what authority I do these things.
Jesus answered that He would answer their question if they answered His.
The baptism of John, whence was it? from heaven, or of men? [Emphasis added are mine]
He confronted them concerning the baptism of John. Remember that the Word of God said that they had rejected the counsel of God. So Jesus asks them if the baptism of John was from heaven or from men? By heaven, he meant was the baptism of John from God? By men, He meant did the baptism of John originate as a man-made idea?
And they reasoned with themselves, saying, If we shall say, From heaven; he will say unto us, Why did ye not then believe him? But if we shall say, Of men; we fear the people; for all hold John as a prophet. And they answered Jesus, and said, We cannot tell. And he said unto them, Neither tell I you by what authority I do these things.
The religious leaders counseled among themselves as to what to answer. If they would say from heaven, meaning the baptism of John came from God, then their words would judge them for they had not obeyed the command of John to be baptized for the remission of sins, hence disobedience to God. Notice this passage says that if they would have chosen to answer that it was from God, then it would be asked of them, why did they not believe? In this context, believing was tied to obeying. In other words, if they had believed John they would have been baptized. Since they didn’t believe John, they didn’t get baptized.
If they would say from men, then the people would “have at them” because the people recognized that John was a prophet of the Most High (Luke 1:79). Sheepishly, they answered, “We don’t know.” For their cowardice, Jesus did not tell them by what authority He did these things.
These events alone should testify of the importance of baptism in water.
Baptize (or Baptism) – What is it?
Noun: Baptisma – Consist of the process of immersion, submersion and emergence (from the word bapto - to dip)
Verb: Baptizo – to baptize, to dip, (like the dyeing of a garment), to be overwhelmed or swamped under
Precedents for the Baptism in Water
We already studied in “Repentance from Dead Works” how baptism was tied to repentance, forgiveness of sins and confessing of sins.
Matthew 3:1,6,11 - In those days came John the Baptist, preaching in the wilderness of Judaea,
And were baptized of him in Jordan, confessing their sins.
I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire:
What we also see is John the Baptist did not separate the truth that there would come One that was mightier than he that would baptize with the Holy Spirit and with fire. So we clearly see the legitimacy of a water baptism and of a spiritual baptism: one that would immerse us in water for the forgiveness of sins and one that would immerse us in the Holy Spirit. For the latter, however, we do not know the reason yet according to the scriptures we have shared.
Continuing in Matthew we read of this:
Matthew 3:13-16 - Then cometh Jesus from Galilee to Jordan unto John, to be baptized of him. But John forbad him, saying, I have need to be baptized of thee, and comest thou to me? And Jesus answering said unto him, Suffer it to be so now: for thus it becometh us to fulfil all righteousness. Then he suffered him. And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him: [Emphasis added are mine]
The question must be asked at this point, why was Jesus baptized? Jesus said that he needed to be baptized of John to fulfill all righteousness. That is the first and most important reason.
If we are to attain the righteousness of God in Christ by faith, and it says that He needed to be baptized to fulfill all righteousness, then baptism is to be viewed as a requirement to obtain the righteousness of God. “Thus it becometh us to fulfil all righteousness.”
In this passage, John the Baptist, saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and lighting upon Jesus. This was a type or foreshadow of the baptism in the Spirit. John told Jesus that he needed to be baptized by Him. John knew that Jesus was the One that would come after him that would baptize in the Holy Spirit and fire. So when Jesus answered John the Baptist, He was not only referring to the baptism in water, but also the baptism in the Spirit. These “baptisms” were needed to fulfill all righteousness.
Why then was Jesus baptized?
I Peter 2:21-24 - For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps: Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth: Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously: Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed. [Emphasis added are mine]
Philippians 2:5-8 - Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. [Emphasis added are mine]
Jesus did not “need” to be baptized in water for He had no sins to repent of or confess. He did not “need” to be baptized in the Spirit for in Him (that is, the spirit which was inside the body) dwelt all the fullness of the Godhead from the moment of His birth (Isaiah 9:6; Isaiah 7:14; Matthew 1:20-23; John 4:24; Colossians 2:9). He, as the Son of Man, was an example to us of what was expected of man in response and relation to God.
The reason we see Jesus praying was because he was a man. He depended upon the Spirit of God, just as all men need to be dependent upon the Spirit of God. Though all the fullness of God indwelt him, he was still a man. If He were not man, like us, He would not be an appropriate sacrifice.
The point is that as a man, He needed the Spirit of God like any other man. Secondarily, He was an example to us of a man being completely dependent upon God. We see that in His humility and obedience to His Father, even when it meant His death.
John 1:29-34 - The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world. This is he of whom I said, After me cometh a man which is preferred before me: for he was before me. And I knew him not: but that he should be made manifest to Israel, therefore am I come baptizing with water. And John bare record, saying, I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and it abode upon him. And I knew him not: but he that sent me to baptize with water, the same said unto me, Upon whom thou shalt see the Spirit descending, and remaining on him, the same is he which baptizeth with the Holy Ghost. And I saw, and bare record that this is the Son of God. [Emphasis added are mine]
John the Baptist was the only one who saw the Spirit of God descending upon Jesus as a dove. John the Baptist saw this because God said to him that on whomever he saw the Spirit descending and remaining upon, that is the one who would baptize in the Holy Spirit. This was the witness John the Baptist needed to identify who truly was the promised Messiah and manifest Him to all Israel. Thus John the Baptist concludes and testifies that Jesus is this promised Messiah, the Son of God.
This baptismal event does not show that Christ received the Spirit of God at this point. It merely was a witness to John the Baptist of who Jesus really was - the Son of God, the Messiah. God used this event as a confirmation to John the Baptist who saw the Spirit descending and resting upon Jesus.
To reiterate, Jesus did not need to be baptized in water for the forgiveness of sins (He knew and did no sin – II Corinthians 5:21, I Peter 2:22) and He did not need the baptism in the Holy Spirit for the Spirit of God already indwelt Him, even from His birth. The following scriptures testify to the latter:
Luke 2:11 - For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. [Emphasis added are mine]
The angels spoke to the shepherds that Christ (the Messiah) the Lord, the Savior, was born. He was to be recognized as Lord. If the Spirit of God in all His fullness did not indwell that body, He could not be considered “Christ the Lord”. But the reason He was considered “the Lord” is because God indwelt Him without measure (John 3:34). If this were not true, than Jesus, at His birth, was at best nothing but a mere mortal man. Hence He would not and should not have been recognized as "the Lord" by the angels or the shepherds.
Isaiah 7:14 - Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel. [Emphasis added are mine]
Matthew 1:21-23 - And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins. Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us. [Emphasis added are mine]
It was prophesied in the Old Covenant that a virgin (Mary) would bear a son and that this son shall be called Immanuel. When that Son was brought forth (New Covenant), He was called Jesus, thus fulfilling the prophecy that his name will be called Emmanuel – meaning God with us. These scriptures testify that, even at His birth, He was God with us – meaning God with humanity. Again, if the Spirit of God was not in Him without measure, the He would be nothing more than a mere mortal man and not worthy to be worshipped as Lord.
Isaiah 9:6 - For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counseller, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.
This prophecy is speaking of a child that would be born who is, none other than, Jesus Christ. It was prophesied that this child, at His birth, would be called, "The mighty God, The everlasting Father." The reason why they could call Him this is because the eternal Spirit of the Father, who is none other than the Holy Spirit Himself, was within the spirit of the man Jesus Christ without measure.
John 3:22,26 4:1,2 - After these things came Jesus and his disciples into the land of Judaea; and there he tarried with them, and baptized.
And they came unto John, and said unto him, Rabbi, he that was with thee beyond Jordan, to whom thou barest witness, behold, the same baptizeth, and all men come to him.
When therefore the Lord knew how the Pharisees had heard that Jesus made and baptized more disciples than John, (Though Jesus himself baptized not, but his disciples,) [Emphasis added are mine]
Some say water baptism is unimportant. However, Jesus set the example for us to follow, not only by partaking in water baptism (which for Him was personally unnecessary), but also in that He baptized others. Let us now look into the precedents for the baptism in the Spirit.
Precedents for the Baptism in Spirit
Jesus, after His resurrection, for 40 days was teaching and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God. Before He ascended, He told the disciples to not depart from Jerusalem and wait for the promise of the Father.
Acts 1:5,8 - For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence.
But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.
The promise of the Father was the baptism in the Holy Spirit. When they received the indwelling of the Holy Spirit they received power and became witnesses to all nations starting from Jerusalem throughout the world.
In Acts chapter 2, we see that the 120 waiting in the upper room, received the promise of the Father and began to speak in tongues and look like drunken people. Peter was the first to preach the gospel in the anointing of the Spirit. During his preaching, he testified of the man named Jesus that God raised from the dead, has been exalted at the “right hand of God”. But Peter explained, that what everyone now sees and hears (speaking in tongues and seeming in some manner to be drunk) was the promise of the Father spoken to them that they would receive.
Acts 2:32,33 - This Jesus hath God raised up, whereof we all are witnesses. Therefore being by the right hand of God exalted, and having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Ghost, he hath shed forth this, which ye now see and hear.
The Holy Spirit is the Spirit that raised up Jesus from the dead. This was the Spirit that now indwelled the 120 disciples and quickened (made alive) their mortal bodies to live for God (Romans 8:11). They could now walk in the Spirit because the Spirit of God dwelled in them. Paul said if you do not have the Spirit of Christ (which is the Spirit of God) you are not His (Romans 8:9).
Peter then spoke to them saying that this promise was also for them, but that they needed to obey the gospel he just preached. The listeners asked Peter and the apostles, “Men and brethren, what shall we do?” for having crucified the Lord of Glory Himself. Peter answered:
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.
The promise was not only for the disciples (turned apostles of Jesus Christ). The promise was for all men who would obey the gospel. Peter answered them to repent (turn from their sin and turn toward God), get baptized in the name of Jesus so their sins would be forgiven, and receive the same promise of the Holy Spirit that they had. This was the fruit of that response.
Acts 2:41 - Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls.
Almost 3000 lives were ushered into the kingdom. The Holy Spirit is akin to the kingdom of God (Luke 17:21) that now indwells His people and is manifest to the rest of the world through His people. We are the witnesses of Jesus Christ by His Holy Spirit. Though, we were not there to witness His resurrection with our own eyes, we witness of His resurrection by the Holy Spirit of resurrection that now dwells in us. “Blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed” (John 20:29). Therefore, we are witnesses of Jesus to the whole world (Acts 1:8).
We will also note, in this first account, that baptism in water and Spirit were not separated (John 3:3-5).
Acts 8:5,12,14-17 - Then Philip went down to the city of Samaria, and preached Christ unto them.
But when they believed Philip preaching the things concerning the kingdom of God, and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women. [Emphasis added are mine]
Here we read of Phillip preaching to the Samaritans. Phillip preaches Christ (the gospel of Jesus) and the things concerning the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ. They received what he preached and were baptized, both the men and the women. We see here that even baptism in water in Jesus’ name is still the required, even for the half-Jews.
Now when the apostles which were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent unto them Peter and John: Who, when they were come down, prayed for them, that they might receive the Holy Ghost: (For as yet he was fallen upon none of them: only they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.) Then laid they their hands on them, and they received the Holy Ghost.
Notice the required response did not end with water baptism though. Peter and John were sent all the way from Jerusalem to pray and lay hands on them to also receive the Spirit, for they had not received the promise as of yet. They had only been baptized in the name of Jesus. So they laid their hands on them and the Samaritans also received the Holy Spirit. No one, at this point, was exempt from responding to the gospel in this manner; repenting, which leads to baptism in water and in Spirit. They are undeniably inseparable responses according to these scriptures.
Acts 10:44-48; 11:16 - While Peter yet spake these words, the Holy Ghost fell on all them which heard the word. And they of the circumcision which believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because that on the Gentiles also was poured out the gift of the Holy Ghost. For they heard them speak with tongues, and magnify God. Then answered Peter, Can any man forbid water, that these should not be baptized, which have received the Holy Ghost as well as we? And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord.
Then remembered I the word of the Lord, how that he said, John indeed baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost. [Emphasis added are mine]
Here Peter preaches to Cornelius and his household. They represent the Gentiles. Before he could finish preaching, before he could baptize them in Jesus’ name or lay hands on them to receive the Spirit, Jesus immersed them in His Spirit. They spoke in tongues and magnified God. The Jews who accompanied Peter could not believe it. They were completely awestruck. The Holy Spirit had been poured on the Gentiles - the unclean! But they could not argue the matter because they spoke in tongues, supernaturally, just like they did when they received the Spirit. God had declared the Gentiles chosen and able to take part in the kingdom of God by this very act.
Notice here also, that even though they were not baptized in water, Peter commanded them to be baptized in the name of Jesus afterward. He would not separate the two. He would not say, “Oh, they got the Spirit just like we did. The work is complete.” He continued regardless of the order of experience and baptized them in the name of Jesus. This is now the third testimony showing that Peter would not allow the separation of the baptism in water and the baptism in the Spirit when obeying the gospel (to the Jews, half-Jews/Samaritans, and Gentiles).
Let’s study the testimony of Paul, Aquila, and Priscilla in Acts 18 and 19:
Acts 18:24 - And a certain Jew named Apollos, born at Alexandria, an eloquent man, and mighty in the scriptures, came to Ephesus. This man was instructed in the way of the Lord; and being fervent in the spirit, he spake and taught diligently the things of the Lord, knowing only the baptism of John. And he began to speak boldly in the synagogue: whom when Aquila and Priscilla had heard, they took him unto them, and expounded unto him the way of God more perfectly. And when he was disposed to pass into Achaia, the brethren wrote, exhorting the disciples to receive him: who, when he was come, helped them much which had believed through grace: For he mightily convinced the Jews, and that publickly, shewing by the scriptures that Jesus was Christ. [Emphasis added are mine]
A certain man named Apollos came to Ephesus preaching the things of the Lord. It says that he was “Instructed in the way of the Lord” and very articulate when he spoke concerning the scriptures. However, he knew only of the baptism of John. During his preaching a man and woman named Aquila and Priscilla heard him and when he was finished preaching, they took him quietly aside and expounded to him the way more perfectly. It doesn’t say exactly what they told him, but they gave him some greater revelation that went further than the baptism of John.
To find out what they told him, we must realize that Aquila and Priscilla were traveling companions with Paul, the apostle (Acts 18:2,18), as he went to Syria. They went about with him as he preached the gospel to the Jews and the Gentiles. In knowing this, they heard the truth from an apostle - called and sent of God. They picked up what he taught and shared it with Apollos. What exactly they shared is not recorded in detail for us, but the next few verses, which followed this event with Apollos, should shed even more light on this question.
Acts 19:1-6 - And it came to pass, that, while Apollos was at Corinth, Paul having passed through the upper coasts came to Ephesus: and finding certain disciples, He said unto them, Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed? And they said unto him, We have not so much as heard whether there be any Holy Ghost. And he said unto them, Unto what then were ye baptized? And they said, Unto John's baptism. Then said Paul, John verily baptized with the baptism of repentance, saying unto the people, that they should believe on him which should come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus. When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Ghost came on them; and they spake with tongues, and prophesied. [Emphasis added are mine]
This account immediately follows the account recorded of Apollos, Aquila, and Priscilla. Paul came to the upper coasts of Ephesus. He ran into some “apparent” disciples. During there conversation, Paul asks, “Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed?” They answered they never even heard of such.
Paul then asks, “Unto what then were you baptized?” Just by looking at these two questions, Paul is showing that he is in complete agreement with Peter. He would not separate the baptism in water in Jesus’ name and the baptism in the Spirit. They were both essentially important to Paul in identifying who were these “apparent” disciples. They answered that they were baptized into John’s baptism.
At this point, we realize that these “apparent” disciples were in the same predicament as Apollos. They only knew of John’s baptism. This account of Paul’s encounter with the “apparent” disciples shed’s light on what Aquila and Priscilla “expounded” to Apollos.
Paul then said to them that the baptism of repentance, which John carried out, was good and well. However, even John the Baptist told the people to focus on the one that would come after him, referring to Jesus Christ. He is one who that would baptize in Spirit and in fire. The “apparent” disciples heard this and believed the words the Paul spoke to them and were immediately baptized in the name of Jesus. Paul then laid hands on them and they received the Spirit as evidenced by speaking in tongues.
If Paul spoke this to them, and Aquila and Priscilla traveled and learned under Paul the things to preach and teach, then it is a safe assumption to say that what Paul did with these “apparent” disciples is what Aquila and Priscilla did with Apollos. This “way of God more perfectly” was what Aquila and Priscilla expounded to Apollos. Jesus is the Christ that died, was buried and rose again. You need to get baptized in Him for the remission of sins now and receive His most precious Holy Spirit.
The testimonies are overwhelmingly in favor of the inseparableness of water baptism in Jesus’ name and the baptism in the Spirit. Jesus didn’t die and stay dead. He didn’t die and remain buried. Jesus died, was buried, and rose again. To obey the gospel of Jesus Christ you must obtain for yourself the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. From the first New Covenant gospel preaching, it was expected that you must “… 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).
The initial willingness to repent and change your ways is a beautiful thing. Repentance in your own strength is doomed to fail, though. However, God has made a way. If you will die with Him and in Him, since He already died in your place, and if you will resurrect with Him and in Him, since He has already resurrected in your place, then you can obtain mercy, forgiveness of sins, and grace (divine empowerment) to walk free from sin and death and walk according to the new law of the Spirit of Life in Jesus Christ (Romans 8:2). In contrast to your previous manner of life, walking in the flesh, you can now do something that you could never do before and that’s walk in the Spirit – a life completely dependent on the Spirit of God.
© copyright 2001 Jesus M. Ruiz