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Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Repent And Be Baptized

Repent And Be Baptized

"Now when they heard this they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, Brothers, what shall we do? And Peter said to them, 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 2:37-38

CUT:
"Katanysso", to pierce thoroughly, to agitate violently; from "kata" (down) and "nysso" (to prick)

REPENT:
"Metanoeo", to think differently, reconsider; from "meta" (accompaniment, "amid", participation) and "noeo" (to exercise the mind, or observe) and "nous" (the intellect or mind) and "ginosko" (to know)

BAPTIZED:
"Baptizo", to make whelmed, fully wet; from "bapto" (to whelm, cover wholly with fluid, to moisten or stain)

FORGIVENESS:
"Aphesis", freedom or pardon; from "aphiemi" (to send forth) and "hiemi" (to send) and "eimi" (to go)

GIFT:
"Dorea", a gratutity; from "doron" (a present, especially a sacrifice)

WHAT DO YOU THINK? Without using any of the following "taboo" words, or any form of the "taboo" words, rewrite Acts 2:38 in your own words.

"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

Taboo Words:
- Repent
- Baptized
- Name
- Sins
- Gift

Notice that Peter describes the Holy Spirit as a "gift", something given freely, without any exchanging money or something in return. Peter does NOT say that the Holy Spirit gives a gift, but that the Holy Spirit IS the Gift.

In the same way, Peter describes forgiveness of sin as being "baptized" in the name of Jesus Christ. Forgiveness is not given because of baptism; forgiveness IS baptism in Jesus. Baptism in Jesus means being completely immersed and covered, even "stained" by all that Jesus has accomplished and all that He intends to accomplish.

The word "baptism" is a symbol of treasuring Christ as Lord and Christ, just as the word "gift" is a symbol of the freely given Holy Spirit.

THE PROMISE

"For the promise is for you and for your children and for all who are far off, everyone whom the Lord our God calls to himself. And with many other words he bore witness and continued to exhort them, saying, Save yourselves from this crooked generation. So those who received his word were baptized, and there were added that day about three thousand souls." Acts 2:39-41

PROMISE:
"Epangelia", an announcement or assurance; from "epaggello" (to announce, engage or assert) and "aggelos" (a messenger or "angel" or pastor) from "aggello" (to bring tidings) and "ago" (to lead, bring, drive, go, pass or induce)

CALLS:
"An" (possibility) and "proskaleo" (to call toward oneself, summon or invite); from "kaleo" (to call)

EXHORT:
"Parakaleo", to call near, invite, invoke, implore; from "para" (near) and "kaleo" (to call aloud) and "keleuo" (to incite by word or order) and "kello" (to urge on)

WHAT DO YOU THINK? Where does the Bible mention this "promise", the announcement of Jesus as Lord and Christ?

Notice that Peter is setting up a potentially controversial paradox: The promise is for everyone whom God calls, but Peter energetically exhorted and witnessed to the crowd.

God calls, preachers exhort.

Notice that the word Peter used for the "call" of God includes a word meaning "possibility".

WHAT DO YOU THINK? In what sense is Gods call to repentance about Jesus merely a "possibility"?

WHAT DO YOU THINK? How would Peter justify the energy he expended in preaching, when it all depends upon who God calls anyway?

DEVOTED

"And they devoted themselves to the apostles teaching and fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers." Acts 2:42

TEACHING:
"Didache", instruction; from "didasko" (to teach) and "dao" (to learn)

FELLOWSHIP:
"Koinonia", partnership, participation, benefaction; from "koinonos" (a sharer or associate) and "koinos" (common, shared by all) and "sun" (with or together)

BREAKING OF BREAD:
"Klasis" (fracture) and "artos" (bread, as raised); from "klao" (to break) and "airo" (to lift)

PRAYERS:
"Proseuche", worship in prayer; from "proseuchomai" (to pray to God) and "euchomai" (to wish)

Notice that the "breaking of bread" was not necessarily a rite of worship. It certainly depended not on a "special" bread. "Breaking of bread" meant simply eating.

Two disciples were moping along the road to Emmaus, despairing at the death of Jesus. Suddenly, Jesus Himself appeared beside them and explained how Scripture spoke of Him. They asked Him to stay with them:

"Stay with us, for it is toward evening and the day is now far spent. So he went in to stay with them. When he was at table with them, he took the bread and blessed and broke it and gave it to them." Luke 24:29-30 (ESV)

The bread Jesus broke was an ordinary, yeast-raised bread meant for table use. Jesus blessed ordinary bread, and broke it, re-enacting that last supper He had enjoyed with His disciples before the crucifixion.

The bread was ordinary, but the symbolism was spiritually powerful.

WHAT DO YOU THINK? Would using an ordinary loaf of bread, perhaps purchased from our local grocery store, be a good element of our celebration of Communion?

Image courtesy of Beth Wood, and lulalouise.blogspot.com