Repent - Acts 2:38
Repent - Acts 2:38
Acts 2:38 (KJV): “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.”
DEFINITION OF REPENT
Google Dictionary defines “repent”: “feel or express sincere regret or remorse about one's wrongdoing or sin.” Most of the churches today use this definition to define “repent” or “repentance” which is inaccurate.
A person can use a dictionary to define words; however, before you trust the dictionary’s definition, a person should understand the root meaning of the word in the original language. For a person to understand the root meaning of words, words should be studied with a concordance. A concordance is an alphabetical list of words used in the Bible. Strong’s Concordance index’s all the Hebrew words from O.T. and the Greek words from N.T. The Strong’s Concordance indexed the word “repent” used in Acts 2:38 as G3340. G3340 is an index number used in the Strong’s Concordance assigning “repent” to the Greek word “metanoeo.” The word “metanoeo” is defined: “to change one's mind, i.e. to repent” (Blue Letter Bible, 2019).
The word “repent” does not mean “feel sorry for sin”; the word “repent” actually means “change one’s mind.”
Blue Letter Bible. (2019). Retrieved from https://www.blueletterbible.org/lang/Lexicon/Lexicon.cfm?strongs=G3340&t=KJV
Acts 2:38 (KJV): “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.” Many churches today use Acts 2:38 to justify “water baptismal regeneration” for salvation. Many churches today use Acts 2:38 to tell people “they must feel sorry for their sin” and “turn from their sin,” and once they “turn from sin” their life will show if they are “walking in obedience.” These churches tell people that if they are not “walking in obedience” they are “not saved.”
This Bible college says the following about baptismal regeneration: “The Bible teaches that baptism is the immersion in water of a PENITENT believer. In the New Testament church, every believer was commanded to be baptized (Acts 2:38)...Baptism is not an option for the true believer. It is an acid test of our true faith in the Lord JESUS CHRIST...” Webster’s dictionary defines “penitent” as: “suffering pain or sorrow of heart on account of sins.” This Bible college is saying before a person can ever get water baptized, “they must feel sorry for their sin,” “they must turn from their sin” and once “they turn from sin” they can get water baptized. This is a classic example of individuals redefining the Word of God. Individuals have taken the definition of the word “penitent” and assigned the definition to the word “repentance.” Individuals using “feel sorry for sin” and “turn from sin” is the modern or progressive definition of repentance. When redefining the Words of God, individuals or institutions will pervert the Word of God like Acts 2:38 and use this perverted definition to write confusing and distorted explanations: e.g., “The Bible teaches that baptism is the immersion in water of a penitent believer.”
QUESTIONS FOR BIBLE COLLEGE
I have a couple questions for this Bible College: “where does it teach in the Bible that water immersion is for the penitent believer?” I have another question for this Bible college. What do they mean when they say: “Baptism is not an option for the true believer. It is an acid test of our true faith in the LORD JESUS CHRIST.” Is this Bible college saying a person “must” be water baptized to be saved and if they are not water baptized, they are not saved? Is this Bible college saying that if a person is not water baptized, they are not a “true believer?” Is this Bible college saying that a person does not have “true faith” if they are not sorrowful for their sin? Is this Bible college saying that a person does not have “true faith” if they are not “walking in obedience?” This Bible college is confusing. The man likes to make salvation confusing; however, salvation is not confusing: believe and receive. “But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name” (John 1:12 KJV). Paul says: “And I, brethren, when I came to you, came not with excellency of speech or of wisdom, declaring unto you the testimony of God. For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified. And I was with you in weakness, and in fear, and in much trembling. And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man's wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power: That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God” (I Corinthians 2:1-5 KJV). The Gospel is simple and man needs to keep it simple because when man complicates the Gospel with the “wisdom of words,” “the cross of Christ should be made of no effect” (I Corinthians 1:17 KJV). As men, we are to preach Christ: Christ crucified, Christ buried and Christ resurrected.
In all of Acts chapter 2, water is not even discussed; yet, many churches and denominations think Acts 2:38 is talking about “water baptism.” Every person should read Acts chapter 2 and tell me where the “water” is discussed in these chapters. Whenever the Bible discusses “water baptism,” the Bible talks about “water.” In Acts 8 when the eunuch believes in Jesus Christ alone for salvation; the eunuch gets water baptized after he believes the Gospel: “And as they went on their way, they came unto a certain water: and the eunuch said, See, here is water; what doth hinder me to be baptized? And Philip said, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. And he commanded the chariot to stand still: and they went down both into the water, both Philip and the eunuch; and he baptized him” (Acts 8:36-38 KJV). (Note: compare Acts 8:36-38 with the NIV to the KJV; the NIV removes verse 37.) In Acts 10, Cornelius and others believe the Gospel of Jesus Christ and they get water baptized after they believe the Gospel: “For they heard them speak with tongues, and magnify God. Then answered Peter, Can any man forbid water, that these should not be baptized, which have received the Holy Ghost as well as we? And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord. Then prayed they him to tarry certain days” (Acts 10:46-48 KJV).
GRACE alone, FAITH alone, CHRIST alone
Many religions preach Jesus Christ; however, they don’t preach/teach that salvation is by GRACE alone through FAITH alone in JESUS CHRIST alone. Religions always want to partner with Jesus Christ for salvation. Salvation is not a partnership: “Faith plus works” is not faith at all, that is “works.” “But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness” (Romans 4:5 KJV). In Luke, there is a criminal on the cross at the same time as Jesus Christ. This criminal didn’t get off the cross to be water baptized, we know he didn’t “dedicate his life” to Christ, we know he didn’t “turn from sin” and “walk in obedience” because earlier in the day he railed and mocked Jesus Christ. “Let Christ the King of Israel descend now from the cross, that we may see and believe. And they that were crucified with him reviled him” (Mark 15:32 KJV). However, one of the criminals “changed his mind” and knew exactly who Jesus Christ was and that He was dying on the Cross for his sins. “And one of the malefactors which were hanged railed on him, saying, If thou be Christ, save thyself and us. But the other answering rebuked him, saying, Dost not thou fear God, seeing thou art in the same condemnation? And we indeed justly; for we receive the due reward of our deeds: but this man hath done nothing amiss. And he said unto Jesus, Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom. And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, Today shalt thou be with me in paradise” (Luke 23:39-42 KJV). The Bible is clear and consistent how a person gets saved and it is by GRACE alone through FAITH alone in CHRIST alone. The criminal didn’t get saved by getting water baptized, saying the sinner’s prayer, asking Jesus into his heart, making Jesus Lord of his life, going to confession -the thief on the Cross was saved because he believed Jesus Christ was his savior.
PETER PREACHES ONE GOSPEL
The churches that use Acts 2:38 for “turning from sin” and “water baptismal regeneration” want individuals to think the Bible has more than one Gospel. The Bible says: “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 KJV). There is only ONE GOSPEL and it is: “Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain. For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures” (I Corinthians 15:1-4 KJV). Peter himself is quoted in Acts 2:38 and shares the Gospel in Acts chapter 2 because they “received his word” in Acts 2:41 (KJV) and “the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved” Acts 2:47 (KJV). There is only one Gospel and Peter is consistent in sharing the Gospel that saves. He shares the Gospel with Cornelius and Cornelius gets saved in Acts 10: “Then Peter opened his mouth, and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons: But in every nation he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with him. The word which God sent unto the children of Israel, preaching peace by Jesus Christ: (he is Lord of all:) That word, I say, ye know, which was published throughout all Judaea, and began from Galilee, after the baptism which John preached; How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him. And we are witnesses of all things which he did both in the land of the Jews, and in Jerusalem; whom they slew and hanged on a tree: Him God raised up the third day, and shewed him openly; Not to all the people, but unto witnesses chosen before God, even to us, who did eat and drink with him after he rose from the dead. And he commanded us to preach unto the people, and to testify that it is he which was ordained of God to be the Judge of quick and dead. To him give all the prophets witness, that through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins. While Peter yet spake these words, the Holy Ghost fell on all them which heard the word. And they of the circumcision which believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because that on the Gentiles also was poured out the gift of the Holy Ghost. For they heard them speak with tongues, and magnify God. Then answered Peter, Can any man forbid water, that these should not be baptized, which have received the Holy Ghost as well as we? And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord. Then prayed they him to tarry certain days” (Acts 10:34-48 KJV). The process is clear, Peter shared the Gospel of Jesus Christ (Jesus died on the Cross for their sins, Jesus Buried and Jesus Resurrected) and these men believed. After these men believed (we know they believed because they immediately received the Holy Spirit) they were water baptized. These men were not baptized first and then received the Holy Spirit: NO! These men believed the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the second they believed, they received the Holy Spirit. Peter consistently preaches the Gospel that saves and does not waver from the TRUTH!
WATER BAPTISM IS A TESTIMONY: OUTWARD EXPRESSION OF INWARD FAITH
Once the men believed in Acts chapter 10, they were water baptized which is a testimony to the world of a person’s faith. Water baptism is an outward expression of an inward faith. When a person is immersed under water, this is a picture of Christ’s death on the cross for sin. When a person is under the water, this is a picture of Christ in the tomb. When a person is lifted out of the water, this is a picture of Christ’s resurrection. Water baptism is a testimony to the world of a person’s faith. Water baptism is not a condition to salvation -never has, never will be. Water baptism is not required for a “true believer.” Water baptism is a personal decision and nobody should ever be pressured to be water baptized. A person should only get water baptized if they truly understand the Gospel: believe Jesus Christ died on the Cross for their sins, burial, and resurrection. Once a person understands the Gospel for salvation, then this person can share their faith in Christ with the world: their water baptism is a testimony to the world.
ACTS 2:38 KJV
Let us not complicate the Word of God but let the Word of God speak for itself. Acts 2:38 (KJV): “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.” Peter says “repent” which means “change your mind” -stop trusting in your works for salvation and believe Jesus Christ died on the Cross for your sins, burial and resurrection and be baptized into the body of Christ by the Holy Ghost. “For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ. For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit” (I Corinthians 12:12-13 KJV). The definition of “repentance” does not change over time. Individuals might change the definition of “repentance” but this does not mean the word “repent” loses its original meaning: “change your mind.”
If you have not believed, what is stopping you right now from believing? God loves you and has already died and resurrected to meet you. Believe Jesus Christ died on the Cross for your sins, burial, and resurrection and receive the greatest gift ever which is eternal life. Eternal life does not start when you die, eternal life starts the very second you believe in Jesus Christ for salvation. Why not trust in Jesus Christ today for salvation. “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.” (John 3:16-18 KJV)
If you know someone who is not saved, forward this message to them and share the greatest gift that one could ever receive.
The Good News Voice
Once Saved, Always Saved -"And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father's hand. I and my Father are one." (John 10:28-30 KJV)