By Ron Boatwright
In Acts chapter two, Peter and the other apostles had convinced the people of their sins. Then we read in Acts 2:37, “Now when they heard this they were cut to the heart and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, ‘Men and brethern, what shall we do?’’ They had just been convicted of their sin and now wanted to know what they must do to be saved from their sin. Their belief and conviction led them to ask, “What shall we do?” They were now believers in Christ, but they still had all their sins and were not yet saved. They had faith in Christ but they were not saved by “faith only” as many today falsely teach.
“Then Peter said to them, ‘Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins” (Acts 2:38). Both repentance and baptism are “for the remission of sins”. “Repent” and be baptized” are joined together with the coordinating conjunction “and” which joins two elements of equal importance. Notice that “repent” and “be baptized” are both necessary if one really wants to receive “remission of sins”. The order is first repentance then baptism which results in forgiveness of sins. It follows that neither “repent” nor “be baptized” can occur after “remission of sins”. It is sad that today so many people reject the truth of the Bible which says one must “repent and be baptized…for the remission of sins” (Acts 2:38).
Then Acts 2:40 says, “And with many other words he testified and exhorted them, saying, ‘Be saved from this perverse generation’”. Did they follow what Peter instructed them to? Did they “repent and be baptized…for the remission of their sins” so they could be saved? Yes! “Then those who gladly received his word were baptized; and that day about three thousand souls were added to them” (Acts 2:41). What did the Lord do with the three thousand who were baptized? “And the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved” (Acts 2:47). The Lord only adds the saved to His church. Since those in the denominational churches do not believe the Lord’s requirement, that baptism is necessary for salvation, they remain unsaved. And since the Lord does not add unsaved people to His church, the unsaved have to join a denomination. There are many crucial subjects dealt with in the bible, but there are none more important than what the Bible says the alien sinner must do to be saved from his sins. One cannot afford to be wrong about his salvation by following what man says.