For a Purpose – Acts 2:38

by Pastor John Fredericksen

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Kerri Walsh Jennings is an American professional beach volleyball player. She and teammate Misty May Treanor won gold medals at the 2004, 2008, and 2012 Summer Olympics. Through 2016, amazingly, Kerri lost only one match in Olympic competition. In an interview with NBC Sports, she said, “I was born to play beach volleyball and have babies.” In other words, she believed these things to be the divine purposes for her life.

God always had a very specific purpose for His instructions to mankind. When Peter explained to the Jews that Christ was their Messiah and that they were responsible for His death, conviction fell on thousands of Jews on the Day of Pentecost, and they wanted to know what they should do. “Then Peter said unto them, “Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost” (Acts 2:38). This is surely not our gospel for today, or the correct instruction for how anyone is to be saved during the Dispensation of Grace. We are saved completely apart from any personal effort or merit, and through faith in God’s grace alone. But Peter’s instruction was correct for these Jews who were still under the Law of Moses. They could only be saved through faith in the Gospel of the Kingdom. Peter told them in Acts 2:38 that they must be baptized “for the remission [or forgiveness] of sins.” This meant, unless their faith in Christ included this ceremonial cleansing, no Jew in that day could be saved eternally. When Ananias went as instructed to Saul, he gave him these same instructions: “And now…arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord” (Acts 22:16). This message to Israel, requiring faith plus baptism for salvation, was consistent throughout the Gospel accounts. Mark 1:4 records, “John did baptize in the wilderness, and preach the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins.” Water baptism was required for Israel, but it was not merely “…an outward sign of an inward change.” It was for the purpose of salvation and preparing saved Jews to become a nation of priests, ready to minister to the world (Exodus 19:6).

Remember, God’s primary purpose for you is to be transformed by applying biblical truths to your daily life every day. Put a Pauline truth into practice each day, and then share what you are learning with other believers!

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Start each day with short, devotional articles taken from the book Daily Transformation by Pastor John Fredericksen. As Pastor Fredericksen writes in the introduction:

"We welcome you, as you journey with us..., to not only learn information, but to benefit from examples of faith and failure, and seek to apply God’s Word to every day life. Together, let’s transition from only studying theories of doctrine, to applying God’s truths in a practical way every day. May God use these studies to help you find daily transformation."