The first time the Gospel is ever preached is in Acts chapter 2. Peter preaches Jesus as a miracle-working teacher whom the Jews had crucified. But, Peter says, God has raised Jesus from the dead (Acts 2:24).
Peter offers three forms of proof: King David prophesied the resurrection in the Psalms (Acts 2:22-31); the apostles have seen Jesus alive (Acts 2:32); and Peter says Jesus is responsible for the miracles the Jews see and hear (Acts 2:33). Then he reaches the climax of his sermon in Acts 2:36: “Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ.” Many of the people in the audience believe this message and cry out, “Men and brethren, what shall we do” (Acts 2:37)?
These Jews believe the Gospel message of a crucified and resurrected savior and want to make things right. But they’re still lost. Peter tells them in Acts 2:38 to “Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins.” They believe the Gospel, but they need to obey the Gospel to have their sins forgiven.
Acts 2:41 says those who received Peter’s message were baptized. That day, about 3,000 souls were “added.” To what? Verse 47 says the Lord added daily to the church those who were being saved. When believing, repentant sinners are baptized into Christ, the Lord simultaneously saves them and adds them to His church.
Many New Testament passages teach the necessity of faith in order to be saved. But saving faith leads sinners to comply with the Gospel commands to repent, confess Christ, and be baptized.
Until those of you reading this article are willing to submit to Christ in Gospel obedience, you still bear the guilt of your sins. According to the Bible, even if you believe in Jesus as Savior, and even if you want to make things right, until you contact His blood in baptism you’re still lost.
Faith alone is not enough. What Peter commands in Acts 2 still stands today, and will stand until the Lord comes again. “Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins.”
If you’re willing to do this, Christ will save you and add you to His church.
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