The Beautiful Bride - Week 1, Day 3

Repentance and Baptism

IF… “Peter replied, Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins.  And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” Acts 2:38 (NIV)

THEN… I will turn away from my sin and selfishness and turn toward God, and I will obey the command to be baptized. I will humbly receive the gift of his Spirit, learning to be led by his spirit rather than by my sinful nature.

Repent…when I was a little girl, I remember my dad trying to teach me the concept of the word repent. As the family sat around the table, he asked me to stand and begin walking in a direction away from them. Whenever he said the word, “Repent,” I was to turn 180 degrees and begin walking in the new direction.  Time after time we replayed this game. As an adult and mother of children, I finally grasp the importance of this exercise.  God calls us to turn completely away from, to repent of, our sin.  It is easy to say we are sorry, but often, it is hard to turn away from the thought or behavior. Repentance does both.  Another truth about repenting is that we must remember to do so whenever we sin against God.

With five children, we often discuss the difference between repentance and regret. According to Merriam-Webster Dictionary, those words are defined this way:

Repent: to turn from sin and dedicate oneself to the amendment of one's life

Regret: to feel sad or sorry about (something that you did or did not do);  to have regrets about (something)

Repentance includes the action of turning away from the sin, while regret often includes only the sorrow of being caught.  God calls us to repent from our sin.  He says that we must turn away from our wrong choices and set our path in His direction. 

When my children say they are sorry, but do not change their behaviors, they show that they are only sorry that they were caught and punished for their choice, but when they change their behavior, they show their complete sorrow and submission to the direction that I have given them.  A heart of repentance is what God requires.

…and be baptized. When we have chosen to commit our lives to Christ, the Bible instructs us to identify with Him in baptism. Jesus himself modeled this for us with his own baptism. Baptism is an outward sign of an inward change, the intentional commitment to transfer control of our life to the hands of God. It is a symbol of the death and burial of our old way of life and the resurrection/rebirth of our new life in Christ.  When we submit to God in repentance and baptism, we are given another gift – the gift of the Holy Spirit (the third person of the Trinity).  What a precious gift – God living inside of us! In return for our complete surrender, we receive so many blessings from the Holy Spirit, including His power, His protection, His encouragement, His peace, His voice and His discernment. Have you been baptized in Christ and are you repenting of your sin on a regular basis?

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