Salvation Part 2 – Repentance, Baptism, and the Holy Ghost

Nicodemus was a ruler of the Jews that believed Jesus was sent from God. He came to see Jesus by night and Jesus told him about being born again.

John 3:3  Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.

Nicodemus didn’t understand what Jesus meant.

John 3:4  Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother’s womb, and be born?

Jesus explained what he meant by being born again.

John 3:5  Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.

Jesus was telling Nicodemus that to be born again is to be born of the water and of the Spirit. To be born of the water and Spirit is what Peter preached on the day of Pentecost.

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.

This is the gospel of Jesus Christ- his death, burial, and resurrection.

1 Corinthians 15:1-4  Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand;  2 By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain.  3 For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures;  4 And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:

In order to apply the gospel to our lives, we partake of the death, burial, and resurrection in repenting of our sins (death to sin), being buried with him in baptism, and resurrecting as a new creature by being filled with the Holy Ghost (Bernard, p. 61).

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.

Romans 6:1-7  What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound?  2 God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?  3 Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death?  4 Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.  5 For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection:  6 Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.  7 For he that is dead is freed from sin.

Romans 7:6  But now we are delivered from the law, that being dead wherein we were held; that we should serve in newness of spirit, and not in the oldness of the letter.

Romans 8:2  For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.

To be born again is to become a new creature in Christ (Bernard, p. 83).

2 Corinthians 5:17  Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.

The new birth message, the Acts 2 experience, places us into the body of Christ. This is his death, burial, and resurrection applied to our lives in repentance (death to sin), water baptism (burial of the sinful man), and Spirit baptism (resurrection to a new, Godly life).

On the day of Pentecost, 120 people were praying in the upper room when a sound from heaven as a rushing mighty wind filled the house. They were filled with the Holy Ghost and spoke with tongues as the Spirit of God gave them utterance.

Acts 2:1-4  And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place.  2 And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting.  3 And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them.  4 And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.

This was the birth of the Church (Bernard, p. 209). Others heard them speak with tongues and began to laugh and make fun of them. Peter stood and preached to the crowd that this is the new birth experience that Jesus, whom they crucified on the cross, provided that we might have salvation. When Peter preached to them who Jesus was and what they had done, they were convicted and asked what they should do.

Acts 2:37-39  Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do?  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.  39 For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.

This is the salvation message in a nutshell. Other groups were told the message throughout the book of Acts.

Acts 8:12-17  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.  13 Then Simon himself believed also: and when he was baptized, he continued with Philip, and wondered, beholding the miracles and signs which were done.  14 Now when the apostles which were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent unto them Peter and John:  15 Who, when they were come down, prayed for them, that they might receive the Holy Ghost:  16 (For as yet he was fallen upon none of them: only they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.)  17 Then laid they their hands on them, and they received the Holy Ghost.

Acts 10:43-48  To him give all the prophets witness, that through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins.  44 While Peter yet spake these words, the Holy Ghost fell on all them which heard the word.  45 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.  46 For they heard them speak with tongues, and magnify God. Then answered Peter,  47 Can any man forbid water, that these should not be baptized, which have received the Holy Ghost as well as we?  48 And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord. Then prayed they him to tarry certain days.

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,  2 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.  3 And he said unto them, Unto what then were ye baptized? And they said, Unto John’s baptism.  4 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.  5 When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.  6 And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Ghost came on them; and they spake with tongues, and prophesied.

These verses show that the New Testament salvation message is to repent, be baptized in the name of Jesus, and be filled with the Holy Ghost with the evidence of speaking in tongues. Let’s look at each element of salvation.

Repentance is essential to salvation.

Luke 13:3  I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.

Acts 17:30  And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent:

2 Peter 3:9  The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.

Repentance is to turn from sin to God.

Acts 26:18  To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me.

True repentance will make us sorrowful for the sins that we’ve committed. We must confess our sins to God and make a decision to turn from sin.

Forgiveness and remission of sins comes through repentance and water baptism.

Water baptism is essential to salvation.

1 Peter 3:21  The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ:

Mark 16:16  He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.

Baptism is a burial of the sinful man and requires full emersion in water.

Acts 8:36-38  And as they went on their way, they came unto a certain water: and the eunuch said, See, here is water; what doth hinder me to be baptized?  37 And Philip said, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.  38 And he commanded the chariot to stand still: and they went down both into the water, both Philip and the eunuch; and he baptized him.

Romans 6:4  Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.

Baptism must be accompanied by faith. It does no good to baptize someone that doesn’t have faith that baptism is necessary for remission of sins. Our sins are remitted at water baptism (Bernard, p. 261).

Baptism must be administered in the name of Jesus.

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.

Acts 4:12  Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.

Acts 8:16  (For as yet he was fallen upon none of them: only they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.) 

Acts 19:5  When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. 

Acts 22:16  And now why tarriest thou? arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord.

Water baptism is part of the one baptism that includes water and Spirit.

Ephesians 4:5  One Lord, one faith, one baptism,

Spirit baptism is essential to salvation.

John 3:5  Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.

Romans 8:9  But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.

1 Corinthians 12:13  For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.

Ephesians 1:13-14  In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise,  14 Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.

Titus 3:5  Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;

Spirit baptism is seen in the book of Acts.

Acts 2:1-4  And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place.  2 And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting.  3 And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them.  4 And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.

Acts 10:44-46  While Peter yet spake these words, the Holy Ghost fell on all them which heard the word.  45 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.  46 For they heard them speak with tongues, and magnify God.

Acts 11:15-17  And as I began to speak, the Holy Ghost fell on them, as on us at the beginning.  16 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.  17 Forasmuch then as God gave them the like gift as he did unto us, who believed on the Lord Jesus Christ; what was I, that I could withstand God?

Acts 19:6  And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Ghost came on them; and they spake with tongues, and prophesied.

The evidence of being filled with the Holy Ghost (Spirit baptism) is speaking in other tongues.

Mark 16:17  And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues;

Acts 2:4  And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.

Acts 2:17-18  And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams:  18 And on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy:

The gift of the Holy Spirit gives power to live holy and overcome sin.

Acts 1:8  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.

Through the power of the Holy Spirit we are able to bear the Fruits of the Spirit.

Galatians 5:22-23  But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,  23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.

The new birth experience includes repentance from sin, baptism in water by emersion in the name of Jesus, and being filled with the Holy Ghost with the evidence of speaking in other tongues. This is seen in Acts chapter 2, which is the fulfillment of John chapter 3:

John 3:5  Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.

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.

 

References

Bernard, David K. (1984). New Birth, The

            Hazelwood: Word Aflame Press

 

David Bernard The New Birth

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