INTO HIS MARVELOUS LIGHT
As we enter the book of Acts, we discover almost immediately that the promise of the Father is the baptism of the _______________ ______________.
When the Apostles were at Jerusalem, they, along with many others, were joyously filled with the Holy Ghost and began to speak with other ___________ as the Spirit gave the utterance (ability to speak). The amazed onlookers from many nations who heard them speaking with tongues asked, "What meaneth this?" Then peter explained the promised coming of the Spirit and went on to preach Christ and the original apostolic plan of salvation.
When the people who heard Peter's words believed that Jesus Christ was their Lord and Savior, they were sorry for their sins and asked Peter and the Apostles what they should do. Peter replied by preaching the message Jesus commanded to be preached in Luke 24:45-49. In light of this, consider the three elements of the Plan of Salvation Peter preached in verse 38:
2. REMISSION OF SINS THROUGH BAPTISM IN JESUS' NAME.
3. RECEIVING THE GIFT OF THE HOLY GHOST
NOTICE: Acts 2:38 is the fulfillment of the two "new birth" requirements Jesus mentioned in John 3:5 that were necessary to enter the Kingdom of God! Water birth=baptism in the name of Jesus Christ! Spirit birth=infilling of the Holy Ghost!
Now, let's look at some more examples of people being born again of water and the Spirit as the word Jesus gave His apostles continued to be preached throughout the Book of Acts...
PHILIP PREACHING TO THE SAMARITANS IN ACTS 8...
NOTICE: Some people say when they experienced joy, or when they believed in Jesus, or when they were baptized, they were automatically filled with the Holy Ghost. But what does the Word say?
Acts 8:5-8... Did they have great joy? yes____ no_____
verse 12 ...Did they believe in Jesus Christ yes_____ no____
verse 14-17 ...Were they baptized in His name? yes_____ no_____
Did they receive the Holy Ghost as a separate and distinct experience? yes______ no_____
PETER PREACHING TO THE GENTILES IN ACTS 10
NOTICE: Some people say being religious is enough, or that the Spirit-baptism evidenced by tongues was only for the Day of Pentecost. If the Bible says this is true, then it is true. But if the Word shows through Cornelius' experience that this is not true....then it is not.
Acts 10:1-2...Was Cornelius a religious man? Yes___ No___
verse 5-6 ...Did God have more for him to do? Yes___ No___
verse 44-46 ...Did they receive the Holy Ghost and speak in tongues after the Pentecost? Yes___ No__
verse 47-48 ...Did they still have to be baptized in Jesus' name? Yes___ No___
PAUL PREACHING TO JOHN'S DISCIPLES IN ACTS 19...
NOTICE: Many people who are believers have not even heard about the Holy Ghost that is promised to them. Also, some people say it is not necessary to be baptized or re-baptized. (If you were baptized by John the Baptist, would you think it would be necessary to be re-baptized using a different formula? If the Bible indicates it does not matter, then it does not matter. But...what is the Bible shows us it DOES matter?
Acts 19:1-2They were believers, but had they heard of, or received the Holy Ghost? Yes___ No___
vs. 3-5Did those baptized by John the Baptist have to be re-baptized in Jesus' Name? Yes___ No___
vs. 6 Was receiving the Holy Ghost accompanied by the initial evidence of speaking with other tongues? Yes___ No___
We have found that the Apostles preached the following salvation message:
... The life of Christ and His death, burial and resurrection
...Repentance toward God and belief in Jesus Christ
...Baptism in water by immersion in Jesus' Name
...Receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost (which was accompanied by the initial evidence of speaking with other tongues)
Now, let us read what the Apostles had to say about the message of salvation they proclaimed in the Book of Acts. We can do this by reading the epistles (letters) they wrote to their converts.
As we read the Epistles, we will notice how strongly the Apostles felt about the gospel (good news) of salvation. This is not because they were being judgmental. It is because they knew the Word Jesus had given them to proclaim was going to judge all men.
What did Peter say?
"Ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth...being born again...by the word of God...and this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you". (1 Peter 1:22-25) Obedience to God's Word purifies our souls!
Peter asked a Question:
"...What shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?"(1 Peter 4:17-18)
Paul gave the Answer:
"The Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power." (2 Thessalonians 1:7-9)
It is eternally important to obey the gospel!
What did Paul say?
"I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ. But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed." (Galatians 1:6-9)
There is only one gospel!
"...Receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls. But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves. For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass; For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was." (James 1:21-24)
The Word is able to save our souls!
JAMES TELLS US THAT IF WE SEE SOMETHING WE NEED TO DO, AS WE LOOK INTO THE "MIRROR OF THE WORD", WE SHOULD DO IT. LET US NOW CONSIDER WHAT WE WILL DO WITH WHAT WE HAVE HEARD