Step 2: Be Baptized

Acts 2:37-41 ~ Step 2: Be Baptized

This week we continued our examination of Peter’s answer to the crowd’s question: “What should we do?” We did a quick review of last week’s lesson, and had a great discussion about the salvation process. I think I’ve muddied the waters by using the words “step one” and “step two” in the exegesis of this passage, so I am going to clarify that below.

What I am NOT saying: 

  • I’m not saying that salvation is by works.
    Salvation is by grace through faith. (Ephesians 2:8-10

What I AM saying: 

  • Although salvation is a free gift offered to all, it is neither forced nor earned.
  • Any individual seeking salvation must take action.
  • Taking action is not “works.” When Paul states that “salvation is not by works,” his point is that salvation cannot be earned by perfectly keeping the Law: We have all sinned.
  • Taking action does not imply “earning” salvation. You can’t earn it. It’s a gift.
  • Taking action requires an internal attitude adjustment—a turning away from self-sufficiency and a turning towards the Lord.

The following list of actions is provided every week in our printed program at church (used with permission). Remember, these are not the “works” that Paul was referencing in his argument for salvation by grace through faith. These are essential actions everyone should expect to take in obedience to the commands of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Keep in mind that a person can exercise faith, repent, and confess Jesus as Lord within a few seconds. For some, it will be that fast; for others, it might take years to come to that point; and still others will fall somewhere in between.

Once that confession has been made, the very first step of obedience is baptism. Identifying oneself with the death (hands folded across chest), burial (immersion in water), and resurrection of Jesus (raised out of the water) provides the repentant individual a clean slate. Thanks to the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit, the new Believer is empowered to live according to the standards and guidelines for Christian living as set forth in Scripture.

>> Click to read this week’s passage in KJV, HCSB, ESV, NIV: Acts 2:37-41 <<

Repent & Be Baptized. ~ Acts 2:38-41

* Recorded: LIVE. This audio has been edited for class member privacy, time, and content.


Additional Resources:

  • Here is the commentary which I referenced in the lesson. It contains an excellent 20-page excursus on the history of baptism:

  • McGarvey, J.W. New Commentary on Acts of Apostles, Volume 1. (Lexington: Gospel Light Publishing Company, 1892), pp. 244-245.

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About the author: Laura Zielke

Laura Zielke (ZELL-key) is a deep thinker and Bible scholar. She is not afraid to question tradition and challenges people to evaluate their beliefs according to the Scriptures. Laura earned her M-Div. from Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary with an emphasis on Biblical Studies, Archaeology, and Languages. She has been blessed to serve as a lay leader in local churches for more than thirty years. Having been recognized as an outstanding leader, teacher, and entrepreneur, Laura serves as the Community Manager for the Nonprofit Leadership Lab (an organization dedicated to helping nonprofit leaders worldwide accomplish their mission). She and her husband of 22 years have one son who is in the 11th grade and homeschooled. Laura is an INTJ on the Meyers-Briggs Personality Type Indicator and 1w9 on the Enneagram. She enjoys helping people discover more about themselves, the Lord, and their purpose in life. Connect with her on social media: @thezwomann (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest).

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