The True Foundation Of The Believer
The Bible clearly teaches us how to become a believer. By the end of this lesson you will understand exactly what the Apostles understood and taught as to how someone becomes a believer.
Here we see Peter who has just had a fresh experience of the baptism of the Holy Ghost from the day of Pentecost and begins to preach the first gospel message of Salvation. He begins by telling the people that they need to repent and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of their sins so that they would receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. The first thing we must do is turn to Jesus and recognize who he is and what he has done for us and that he paid the price for our sins. We confess that we are a sinner and believe that Through the death burial and resurrection of Jesus we now have access to the father. Jesus gave us an example on how to be reconciled to the father. We turn from our old ways and get baptized in Jesus name for the remission of our sins and arise and walk in newness of life through the power of the Holy Ghost.
How do we know that the people that heard the word believed his message? Well in Verse 41 it says they that gladly received his word were baptized. In verse 44 and all that believed were together and all things common. We begin to understand that a believer is someone that heard the message and repented and got baptized in hopes to receive the Holy Ghost.
In Verse 12 is says when they believed philips preaching about Jesus and the kingdom they got baptized. In verse 13 we see Simon when he believed he got baptized. They obviously were told that baptism was for the remission of sins. In verse 14 we hear about the apostles that were in Jerusalem had heard that Samaria had received the word. They understand that the word that was received was the same word that Peter preached about repentance and baptism in Jesus name for the remission of sins from the beginning. They knew that they had repented and been baptized but had not yet received the Holy Ghost so they sent Peter and John to go lay hands on them that they might recieve the Holy Ghost and when they had laid hands on them they received the Holy Ghost. So we see that when a person receives the Holy Ghost there is a sign or manifestation that can be seen because it says that Simon saw that through the laying on of hands the Holy Ghost was given. So just because you have repented and been baptized you must still receive the Holy Ghost with evidence of and outward sign.
Here we see Philip meeting the eunuch in the desert which believed in God and was heading to worship him in Jerusalem. Philip sees the eunuch reading Gods word out of Isaiah and asks him if he understands what he is reading? He says how can he except some one shows him so Philip begins to teach him about Jesus and look what happens in verse 36 and 37 the eunuch gets baptized in the name of Jesus for the remission of sins. Keep in mind that this man already worshipped and believed in God but he realized that needed his sins remitted in baptism.
Here we see ananias who has an understanding of what is needed to become a beleiver and prays for Paul to receive his sight and for him to receive the Holy Ghost. Although it doesnt say in scripture that Ananias told Paul to be baptized its clear that he taught him the same thing that Peter taught about repentance and baptism for the remission of sins because after Paul receives his sight he gets baptized so that he may receive the gift of the Holy Ghost which was the reason Ananias came. Ananias new that Paul had to be baptized so he could receive the Holy Ghost.
This is a very unique situation that can be confusing if you dont understand whats taking place. God is about to do something different to show that salvation is also for the gentiles and not only for the Jews. The Jews didn't believe that salvation was for the gentiles because they believed that the gentiles were unclean. In verse 45 we see that the Jews that had become believers were astonished because God had poured out the Holy Ghost on the gentiles as well as them because they heard them speak with tongues. Peter then begins to say can any man forbid water that these should not be baptized as well we did for the remission of our sins. If God would not have filled the Gentiles with the Holy Ghost the Jews would have never let the gentiles get baptized for the remission of their sins. So because the Jews thought that salvation was only for them God looked at the heart of the gentiles knowing they would get baptized when they heard the word he allowed them to receive the Holy Ghost Prior to baptism. If someone receives the Holy Ghost before they get baptized they still need to be baptized in the name of Jesus for the remission of their sins. Thats why Peter commands them to be baptized. In chapter 11:1-18 it speaks about the contention Peter faced about baptizing the gentiles.
In verse 14 we see a lady by the name of Lydia that worshipped God. So this lady believed in God and worshipped God but when she heard the message spoken by Paul she and her household were all baptized for the remission of sins. So in order for her to know to be baptized its clear that Paul told her she needed to repent and get baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of her sins so that she may receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. She believed it so much that it caused the whole household to get baptized as well. She could have argued that she already was a believer in God and worshipped him and didn't need to be baptized. God opened her mind and allowed her to see the salvation that was provided through the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus and how to apply it to her life. So we understand that she and her household became believers by repenting and getting baptized.
Paul and Silas are put in prison and at midnight they begin to sing and because of their praises the prison doors are opened. When the keeper of the prison awakes he realizes that the prison doors are open and thinks all the prisoners have escaped so he plans on killing himself. Paul sees what he is going to do and calls out and says do yourself no harm we are all still here. Then he comes to Paul and Silas trembling and asked what must i do to be saved? Paul says believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved. Paul shares the word of salvation to him and what does the Keeper of the jail and his household do? They go and get baptized that same hour. Paul doesn't say just believe and go your way. He tells them they need to repent and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of their sins so that they may receive the gift of the Holy ghost. How do we know they believed because they went out at midnight to be baptized.
Here we see a ruler and his congregation that already served and worshipped God and went to church but when they heard the message that Paul preached they all got baptized for the remission of their sins as well as some of the Corinthians. So how do we know they are believers? because they repented of the way they used to believe in God and got baptized for the remission of sins. They could have said i already go to church and worship God so i don't need to change anything or get baptized. If they didn't get baptized they wouldn't have become a believer.
Here we see an eloquent man that was mighty in the scriptures and was instructed in the way of the Lord and spoke and taught accurately about the things of Jesus but only knew the baptism of John. In verse 28 we see Apollos is speaking the things of the Lord in the synagogue having only the understanding of the teachings of John the baptist and when Aquilla and Presilla hear him they recognize that he has never heard about the new way that was made through the cross so they share with him a more excellent way. We can assume he got baptized because the disciples accepted him and we will see in Chapter 19 that there were other disciples of John that also got Rebaptized into Jesus name for the remission of their sins after hearing the message of salvation.
In verse 1 Paul comes across some disciples and assumes they are already believers because they are teaching about Jesus. Paul asked them if they had received the Holy Ghost since they believed. Paul was thinking that they had already repented and got baptized in Jesus name because they were teaching about Jesus. When some of Johns disciples said they have never heard of such a thing Paul then begins to question their baptism because it was supposed to be for the remission of sins so that they may receive the Holy Ghost. Paul asked them what then were you baptized unto? They said unto Johns baptism and Paul replies and says that was a baptism unto repentance and that they should believe on him that was to come. So when they heard this they got rebaptized in Jesus name for the remission of sins so that they may receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. Then Paul laid his hands on them and they received the gift of the Holy Ghost and spoke in tongues and prophesied. So just because you have been baptized doesn't mean that you don't have to be rebaptized in Jesus name. Even godly men that are teaching about Jesus must get rebaptized in Jesus name if they have only been baptized for an outward sign of an inward change. That was the purpose of John's baptism and it was only until Jesus could make a new and living way through the death, burial and resurrection. John the baptist never got to experience this new way. Thats why in Matthew Chapter11:11 it says of a man born of a women there has not risen a greater than John the baptist but he that is least in the Kingdom of God is greater than him. John died before Christ made the new and living way to enter in the Kingdom.
Paul is sharing the story of his conversion and says that Ananias came and said Saul receive thy sight and that same hour his sight was restored. Ananias then begins to tell him Gods plans for him and what Gods will is for him. In verse 16 Paul shares about his born again experience through baptism. Paul becomes a believer. How do we know he became a believer because he arose and got baptized for the washing away of his sins.
Verse 3 it says we were baptized into his death and it goes on to say we are buried with him in baptism so that we can also rise and walk in newness of life. If we have been united with him in death we shall also be united with him in the resurrection. Verse 6 says Knowing this that our old man or nature or past is crucified with him and we should no longer be the slaves to the sinful nature of our sinful flesh. He has given us power over the weakness of our flesh through that sanctification of baptism and the infilling of the Holy Ghost to allow us to live above sin.
2 Corinthians 5:17-18
We enter into Christ through our baptism of water and Spirit. All things are become new old things are pasted away. We now have the ministry of reconciliation through the death, Burial and resurrection of Jesus. We die to our sin by repentance and we are buried in Jesus name for the remission of our sin in hopes to arise an walk in newness of life and leave the old nature behind. Our faith is in the blood that was shed on Calvary and his resurrection. We apply this to ourselves by the confession of our sins and believing in him and getting baptized in Jesus name for the remission of our sins so that we may receive the gift of the Holy Ghost which will allow us to rise and walk in newness of life. We now share with the world the same message of how one can be restored and live above sin.
2 Corinthians 13:5
It says we need to examine ourselves whether we are in the faith. It says that Jesus is in you and if he is not you are disqualified. what it is saying is have you repented and been baptized and filled with the Spirit of Christ because if you haven't your not in the faith.
How do we put on Christ? Verse 27 says we put on Christ through baptism.
There is one Lord and one faith and one baptism.
In the old testement God required his people to be circumcised as an everlasting covenant in their flesh and if they didn't they were cut off. We are now circumcised with Christ by the putting off of the the body of sin through baptism that we can arise and walk in newness of life by faith in Gods work. The foreskin represents old pleasures and desires that are now cut off in baptism. Our baptism is a covenant between us and God that we are separated from our old ways and never to return. We died with Christ so that we can separate ourselves from the world.
Every thing needs to be done in Jesus name. Baptism included.
We were renewed by the washing of regeneration and the renewing of the Holy Spirit. Which refers to our baptism and the receiving of the gift of the Holy Ghost.
God talks about a new covenant that he will make which was through Christ and he says he will put his laws in their hearts and in their minds and will take away their sins and remember their sins no more. This was a brand new way so that everyone who wanted to could come to God themselves because of the work of Calvary. We now have access because we have repented and been baptized in Jesus name and filled with his Spirit. Our faith is in the works of Calvary and we show our faith by getting baptized in hopes of receiving the promise of his Holy Spirit. This was the promise that he said we would receive if we got baptized in Jesus name for the remission of sins. So we can see clearly what the Apostles understood when some one said they were a believer. Now days some preachers are teaching that you don't have to do anything just believe and you are saved. That is contrary to scripture and is a doctrine of men. Faith must be activated in order to please God so faith without works is dead faith.
Here we see that God requires and recognizes only active faith and he will reward it. Through our obedience to the command of baptism, it is accredited to us as righteousness. Its not of our works but by our faith because we believe if we get baptized our sins will be remitted and we will receive the baptism of the Holy Ghost like he promised. Our faith is in God and we believe and follow his commands. If God says that baptism is for the remission of our sins then who dares to say different.
Jesus says you must be born again or you can't see the kingdom of God and that you must be born of the water and the Spirit or you cannot enter the kingdom of God. Jesus is talking about the new birth experience. We must repent and be baptized and filled with his Spirit in order to enter his kingdom. Baptism is what he means to be born of the water and receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost is referring being to being born of the Spirit. If you have a bible that has cross references you will see that in verse 5 where it talks about being born of the water and Spirit it refers you to Acts 2:38 where it says to repent and be baptized everyone of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of your sins and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.
1 Peter 3:20-21
Peter uses Noah and his family as an example to give people and understanding of the importance of baptism. He states that Noah and his family were saved by water which is the like figure that baptism doth also now save us. The story of Noah was a type of salvation and regeneration. The world represented Noah's old life and God put his old life under the water that it would be gone forever and through the flood or water a brand new life began. So its the same today when we get baptized our old life and past is put under the water and destroyed that we may have a new beginning with God. Old things passed away and all things become new.
Neither is there salvation in any other name for there is none other name given among men whereby we must be saved. If you have never been baptized in the name of Jesus Christ you need to.
Here Luke is sharing the final words of Jesus before he ascends into heaven and here are the words of Jesus according to Luke, Jesus says that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name among all nations beginning at Jerusalem but tarry in the city of Jerusalem until your endued with power from on high. That power is referring to the Holy Ghost that was promised of the Father which was not yet given because Jesus was not yet glorified. We see this come to past in Acts Chapter 2 on the day of Pentecost when they received the baptism of the Holy Ghost and began to speak with other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance. After being filled with the Holy Ghost we see for the first time Peter preaching what Jesus commanded before his ascension. This was the message in Acts 2:38 repent and be baptized everyone of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of your sins and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost for the promise is unto you and to your children and to all that are afar off and as many as our Lord are God shall call.
These were the words of Jesus according to Mark just before Jesus returns to heaven to be glorified. Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature he who believes and is baptized shall be saved he that believeth not shall be damned. Its clear you must believe and be baptized to be saved! How do we know if someone believes? We know because they get baptized in Jesus name for the remission of their sins so that they may receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. If they don't believe they won't get baptized and they will be damned because their sins have not been remitted nor will they receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.