This study explains the good news of how we go from those “not receiving mercy” to those who “have received mercy” like we looked at in 1 Peter 2:9-10.
Acts 2:22-24, 2:36-41
In our previous study, we focused on how damaging sin can be in our lives. This scripture helps reinforce that by showing it was our sin that is responsible for Jesus’ death. Learning the truth of this helps us to be “cut to the heart” like these men were. What did Peter instruct those to do who believed the message about Jesus? When do we receive the forgiveness of sins? When do we receive the Holy Spirit? Those who accepted this message were baptized for the forgiveness of sins, thus they were saved. Let’s look at some passages that describe more fully what takes place in baptism…
We are baptized into Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection. Baptism allows us to participate in the miracle of the resurrection. (Thus, Peter directed his hearers to be baptized in response to the cross – Act 2:38). Baptism is not simply symbolic or an outward sign of an inward decision. Baptism is an actual participation in the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus. We, too, will be raised to a new life through baptism. Thus, we are born again.
We are buried with Jesus at baptism. The Greek word that is translated baptism means to be immersed (buried). Being buried is not an action or a work of our own, it is an act belonging entirely to God. Our faith allows God’s grace to save us through baptism.
When we humbly consider our own sinfulness, it becomes obvious that we are saved because of God’s mercy, not because of righteous things we have done. Those who have trusted God for salvation, however, will devote themselves to doing his will. God’s grace is AMAZING! He generously accepts us as a result of Jesus’ sacrifice on our behalf. To enter into this saving relationship with God, we must be washed of our sins and renewed by the Holy Spirit.
Even after encountering Jesus personally, repenting, praying, fasting (Acts 9:9-11), being healed, and being called by God, Paul still needs to be forgiven of his sin. What was left for him to do? Why the urgency? What is so pressing about the need for baptism? What remains for you to do or consider before you are ready to be united with Christ in baptism?
John 3:1-7 – Nicodemus. We must be born again of water and the Spirit.
Ephesians 2:1-10 – We are saved through grace and not by works
James 2:14-26 – Faith without deeds is useless
1 Peter 3:18-22 – Baptism saves you
Galatians 3:26-27 – We are sons of God through faith and baptism