What is Baptism? Why is it necessary? Who qualifies? How should it be done? Who qualifies to be re-baptized?
Our Father in heaven, we thank you again for another day of life you gave us, bringing us through the day up to this point. Now God, bless us as we enter into a study of your word. Cast the light of truth into our hearts and grant us the spirit dear God to soften those hearts to accept truth which alone sanctifies which indeed is Christ in His name we pray, amen.
Please be seated. God is good, all the time and all the time, God is good. Yes, God is always good. Good evening everyone? I’m delighted to see those of you who’ve come. Before we get into the message for this evening, we want to answer a couple of questions. My handsome brother, please come. This is our question man. We will pray and ask God for insight.
Let us bow our heads.
Our Father, our God, the source of all wisdom and knowledge, as I make an attempt to answer questions give me wisdom, give me knowledge from above because it is heavily knowledge that produces earthly blessings. So, speak through me please. In Jesus name, I pray, amen.
What is re-baptism? Is it ok for a person to be re-baptized? And how many times can one go for re-baptism? The question that jives or gels precisely with the message for tonight, which is entitled Baptism. So, I’ll get to that in the message. Is that ok? In the message? Yes.
You once talked about ceremonial laws that ended with the coming of Jesus Christ and now my question is, is the issue of clean meat and unclean meats not part of ceremonial laws since it is not part of moral laws and is it still binding today?
Yes, thank you very much. Yes, the question of clean and unclean meats, they are very binding. They were part of the ceremonial law and also not part of it. Let me explain. If you read the Bible, let’s say you read the first five chapters of or the first ten chapters of Leviticus, you can identify several animals that were appropriate as sacrifices; sheep, goats, you know oxen, the kid, the lamb, the ram. Only clean animals could be used as sacrifices. If you go as early as Genesis chapter 4 verse 3 and in process of time it came to pass that Cain brought of the fruit of the ground and offering unto the Lord and Abel, he also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of the fat thereof. So, Abel clearly brought an animal that God accepted. Now what animal did he bring? When we read Leviticus then we can reason back that the animal Abel brought must have been either a kid, a lamb or one of those clean animals. Only clean animals could be sacrificed.
Now in Genesis 7 from verse 1 the Bible says And the LORD said unto Noah, come thou and all thy house into the ark; for thee have I seen righteous before me in this generation. 2 Of every clean beast thou shalt take to thee by sevens, the male and his female: and of beasts that are not clean by two, the male and his female.
So, hundreds of years before the Jewish nation, God had clean and unclean. When Noah came out of the ark Genesis 8 verse 20 20 And Noah builded an altar unto the LORD; and took of every clean beast, and of every clean fowl, and offered burnt offerings on the altar.
So, way before they were Jews and Israelites, before there were all the ceremonial laws we find in Leviticus, God distinguished between clean and unclean and sacrifices brought to Him had to be clean animals. So, I repeat before the ceremonial laws and all with all the details were given, there was a discrimination between clean and unclean. Now laws that have to do with health do not pass away, are you with me? When God says don’t eat something, He has a good reason and I don’t care what the National Geographic says. If God says don’t eat something, don’t eat it. Don’t say well science has shown that the pig has more unsaturated fat. No, I don’t care. The Bible says don’t do it, don’t do it. God has reasons we may not be able to fathom because my ways are not your ways nor my thoughts your thoughts. God said don’t eat the pig, don’t eat things in the sea that have no scales and fins. Don’t eat things on the land that don’t have a cloven hoof and chew the cud. So, you should not eat a dog or camel or whatever else.
Now again if you’re really verticals the first 15 chapters or so there were certain forms of uncleanness; dandruff was a form of uncleanness, mildew on your clothes or your house was uncleanness. Let me speak medically, a nocturnal emission for a man was uncleanness, are you with me? A woman giving birth to a boy wasn’t clean, seven days to a girl she was increased 14 days. So, uh the monthly—mmm- that was uncleanness, are you with me? When you in the pulpit you must be careful. Now there was a way to deal with every form of uncleanness in the Bible. The only form of uncleanness that could not be changed was unclean animals. There was nothing you could do, no sacrifice you could offer. An unclean animal was unclean then, it is unclean now. So, go back home tonight throw away all that pork and what else people eat they shouldn’t eat; lobsters and crabs and bats and whatever else we eat – throw them all away because let me get back to laws of health; what you eat is associated with commandment six; thou shalt not kill. You not with me. You know how most people kill themselves? With what they eat and what they drink. They dig their graves with their teeth and then blame God for not doing miracles.
Listen to me, if you will change how you eat. If I will change how I eat our health would change radically. You may say where is health and the sixth commandment? People can die immediately or slowly. The sixth commandment is the source for the health laws and the God who made us, is the God who wrote the laws of health and when we violate the laws of health we sin against God as verily as when we violate the commandment that says thou shalt not commit adultery, thou shalt not steal, or remember the Sabbath day. Listen to me carefully, health and spirituality are inseparable. A healthy mind exists where? In a healthy body and the healthy we are the more clearly, we can discern communications from heaven because the mind is clear. And so, the devil keeps all of us, but he doesn’t keep us sick, we communicate, we are cooperative with him, we make ourselves sick to a large degree and then we cannot worship God the way we should because some sicknesses make us miserable, short-tempered or whatever else and our spirituality is affected. And when my spirituality is affected those around me, theirs are affected by my conduct. Health does not go away. So, God said don’t eat it then, He means don’t eat it now.
Do me three favors before I continue:
- Please turn off your cell phones. Let me say again you’ve been very good with that request and I’m deeply grateful to you
- Favor number two, while I’m speaking pray for me. Now if you know you’ve not yet prayed for me since March 15, this is April what? Four? Please this a good chance to pray and say Lord help that man because he needs help badly and you are right
- And favor number three I want you to think of what you’re hearing
Let us pray
Father in heaven my request to you is simple. Help me dear God to present this message clearly and simply. I have no power to convict a heart, I lack the capability to convert a soul, that’s the work of your spirit but Father my contribution must be a clear presentation of the truth, that the spirit now may use it to convict a heart. So, help me to do my part dear God because I know you always do yours. Bless us through this message Heavenly Father. I offer this prayer in Jesus name, Amen. Baptism is our subject for tonight.
- What is baptism?
- Why is it necessary?
- Who qualifies?
- How should it be done and
- Who qualifies to be re-baptized
Let us go to Matthew chapter 3 we shall begin reading at verse 13. Our subject is very simple, one word Baptism. Matthew 3:13. 13 Then cometh Jesus from Galilee to Jordan unto John, to be baptized of Him. 14 But John forbad Him, saying, I have need to be baptized of thee, and comest thou to me? What is John saying? I am a sinner. I need baptism, you don’t. Which is absolute truth. Jesus Christ in and of Himself did not need baptism. Notice my words – in and of Himself, He needed no baptism, but because He took what? Humanity with its weaknesses and the sins of humanity, Jesus had to go through a process representing humanity and serving as an example for us. But understand me clearly, Jesus of Himself needed no baptism but He humbled Himself to the moral gutter of this world that from that low depth He could scrape up every sinner and every level and through faith in Him turned that person into a diamond in the crown jewels of Heaven. Are you with me? And so, John forbade Him saying I have need to be baptized of thee and comest thou to me? 15 And Jesus answering said unto him, suffer it to be so now: – in other words, do it, for thus it becometh us to fulfil all righteousness. Then He suffered him.
Point #1 or #2 -Baptism is an act of righteousness.
What does the Bible say about God? thou hast loved righteousness. God loves every act of righteousness. Jesus Christ declares to us baptism is an act of righteousness. There is something else as an act of righteousness the person who does the baptizing is carrying out an act of righteousness. So, the baptizer and the baptizee is involved in righteousness, something God says He loves. And so, He suffered him, the end of verse 15 of Matthew 3. Verse 16 the Bible says 16 And Jesus, when He was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: That brings us to another observation. Why did He have to go ups out of the water? Because He had to go into the water.
I was in my early years, I was a Catholic. You heard me last night, I said a soft spot, I still have for that denomination and the sweet memories I always carry with me about being in that church and the sense of reverence, and the pomp, and the pageantry, and the priest with his robes, and eyes an acolyte on the altars serving with the Priests – my white and red shawl, hmm! I look back on that with quite fondness but I have greater fondness for the truth. Are you with me? I was christened, my mother took me at some time I was unaware of what happened and the priest took me in his arms or my mother held me, I’m don’t know. And the priest took a little container of water and poured it on my forehead and that is the Catholic version of baptism. Now that does not square with the Bible. If that is the way you’re baptized, you don’t come up out of the water, are you with me? But let’s get more additional biblical evidence that you need a lot of water in order to baptize the Bible way, are you with me? Now you may be baptized somebody else’s way but what Heaven accepts is the Bible’s way.
Go to John chapter 3, we’ll read verse 23. Our subject is Baptism. What does that say 23 And John also was baptizing in Aenon near to Salim, why? You tell me, why? because there was much water there. Not this much, much water. That’s why he chose that spot. Let’s go to the book of Acts. Acts is right after John. Acts chapter 8, the story of the Ethiopian Eunuch. Anyone from Ethiopia? When the first places where the gospel went on the African continent was Ethiopia 2,000 years ago, while London was still a village and people were living in caves that don’t tell them I said that when you go to London.
Acts chapter 8 reading verses 38 and 39 38 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. They went down where? Into the water. They went down both of them into the water both Philip and the Eunuch into the water. You can’t go into this! And he baptized him. Now read verse 39 for me which sounds very similar to Matthew 3:16 what does 39 say? 39 And when they were come up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord caught away Philip, that the eunuch saw him no more: and he went on his way rejoicing. Here we have two grown men coming up out of the water. Why am I stressing this? The Greek word for baptized is baptizo. That’s one almost universally used in the New Testament. The word baptizo was taken from a trade in that part of the world from dyeing cloth. In order to dye a white cloth red, it would have to be dipped how much? Completely in the dye, submerged so, when it came up it was no longer white. Came up red. Did you follow me? All right okay.
So, the word baptizo was used to mean dip, immerse, go under. The New Testament people of God took the word and applied it to the ritual of baptism the way Christ was baptized. Baptism requires going under because baptism allows us to enter symbolically into an event in the life of Christ which also requires going under completely and christening doesn’t do that because when you’re baptized, you’re baptized into an experience of Christ. Let’s go look at that, Romans 6 reading from verse 1.
We’re studying the subject Baptism
Romans 6 reading from verse 1. The Apostle Paul, the greatest Bible teacher after Christ. Very bright man. Before he met Christ, he was a very, huu! Have people killed left and right, he didn’t care, male, female, he did not care. If you follow the truth, he had you killed. When he met Christ, he began to follow the truth. Then he lost his life for the truth and you and I must all come to the place where the truth is more precious to us than life. Did you hear me? What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? 2 God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein? 3 Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? 4 Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: The word buried is key. You don’t bury a person on the surface of the ground, you bury a person under the ground, are you with me? Burial under the ground and covered up. I have gone to funerals. I’ve forgotten how many and perhaps so have you. To be buried, you go under. We are buried with him by baptism into death. Buried with Him, so that somehow spiritually when a person accepts baptism and undergoes that ritual, the person spiritually is entering into the death of Christ.
What was the death of Christ?
Go to Hebrews chapter 2. Our subject is Baptism. What was the death of Christ? Hebrews 2 reading from verse 9 9 But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honor; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man. By the way, Christ has already paid a penalty for your sin and mine. He has paid it. We just have to accept that payment into our lives through faith in Christ. It makes no sense to go to hell when the payment has already been made, are you listening to me? It is just senseless way to do spiritual business you go pay something that’s already paid. That He by the grace of God, say men for grace! should taste death for every man. Now listen to me carefully, the verse says that Jesus should do what? Taste death. Give another word for taste death in that context – to experience death, but we have a problem in the Bible. In Ecclesiastes 9:5 the Bible says the dead know nothing. So, that a dead man cannot taste death. Please remember favor number three – think. I’m not trying to be sensational I just want you to think of what the Bible says – a dead man cannot taste death because the dead know nothing. But the Bible says Jesus tasted death. To taste it, He had to be in a position to experience it and to feel the agony of death. What I am saying to you? Jesus tasted death while He was alive. What was the death?
Go to Luke chapter 22 we read from verse 41. Our subject is Baptism. We need to understand this so we can go back to baptism and see how it applies to us. Luke 22 reading from verse 41. Our subject is Baptism. 41 And he was withdrawn from them about a stone’s cast, and kneeled down, and prayed, 42 Saying, Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done. Now what’s going on in the garden? What’s happening now? Of course, the next verse says 43 And there appeared an angel unto him from heaven, strengthening him. 44 And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly: and his sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground. Now why is a man sweating blood through his skin? Why is it necessary for God to send an angel from heaven to strengthen Him? The Bible says I think it’s verse 43 an angel from heaven strengthening him why?
Listen to the prayer of Jesus; if thou be willing do what? remove this cup. What cup is Christ referring to? All the suffering, the weight of the sins of the world, the guilt that comes with sin, and the fact that He had to go to that cross and experience the turning away of His Father which would be the very first time in all of eternity that the Father and the Son would ever be separated. And Jesus He suffered as a human being, He feels it, He feels it, something no one has ever felt and will ever feel beside Christ and He cries to the Father is there some way to get Me out of this? Nevertheless, not My will. Christ sacrificed something in that prayer what was it? Say it loudly? His will. His will! And Matthew tells us in chapter 27, He prayed that prayer three times. He wanted to get out. We have no idea how Christ suffered. You think on the cross was when He suffered? No, people were crucified every day in the Roman Empire. There were two other men with Him suffering the same thing. So, the crucifixion of Christ was not unique but bleeding through the skin and feeling the sins of the world, that was once in an eternity. People were crucified all the time and the two men with Him the crucifixion – clearly wasn’t that bad because they were talking to each other, are you with me? And cursing Christ. So, it couldn’t have been that bad but in the garden, on the cross He didn’t say if thou be willing remove mmm, in the garden.
And so, once He said is there some way but not my will your will and His sacrificed will, then He felt the crush like a truck falling on you and He cries again Father! If thou… nevertheless not my will but thine and He sacrifices His will – the human will doesn’t die easily, it doesn’t come under control easily. Third time Father! This is the third time, is this some way? But it’s not what I want, it’s what do you want. Three times. And after the third time he rose went to the disciples found them sleeping. He said arise, let’s be going. He had made up His mind not turning back, are you with me? It was the Father’s will no more would He say my will, thy will it was the Father’s will, mind made up. He had tasted the death of self completely. You didn’t hear me? Let me tell you something, it is easier to die physically than to die to self. Many of us we presume to serve God but we live by our wills. So, God says thou shall not and we say well culturally I have to and I shall and God says thou shall not and we say well doesn’t make sense to me I shall. And so, our will is always competing with God’s will and more often than not, God’s will loses, our will “wins”. When God loses, you don’t win. “Our will wins” and we begin to deteriorate spiritually. Jesus experienced what it meant to die to self and He tasted it before He died on that cross.
Now listen know ye not that so many of you of us as were baptized at the Christ were baptized into His death. It’s not what I want it is what God wants. My best business days on the Sabbath but God says honor it. It’s not what I want, not my will –
- Father, if thy be willing let me open my shop on Sabbath? The Father says mmm! And then you say nevertheless not my will but thine be done.
- Father, let me marry this man he’s not a Christian but he has a good job. The Father says NO then you say Father nevertheless not my will but thine be done.
You’re dying, you’re dying to self and death to self produces the chorus – nevertheless not my will, nevertheless in every encounter – nevertheless not my will but thine. Now at that point you go to down, you’re dead. Spiritual death begins long before there’s physical death. And so, the man on the cross had already died in a certain sense, are you with me? He died in that garden. As my favorite offer says in Gethsemane He tasted death for every man. Nothing would turn him back, went to that cross gave up His physical life, He was buried.
Now let’s read verse 4 of Romans 6 again and we go to verse 5 we talked about Baptism 4 Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was – What is like as mean? Same way.
- The same way in His death.
- The same way in His burial.
- The same way in His resurrection
That’s baptism, that’s like as Christ was what? raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. Now let me tell you something, before you’re actually physically baptized, that new life was already begun. Because you have to die before you are buried, are you with me? Christ His will totally submerged to the Father, that death He tasted, went to the across, buried, came up. You’ve already decided I want to be baptized and that decision must be based on a choice, God’s will, will guide my life not mine and God’s will be laid out in the Bible not the Encyclopedia Britannica. Having made that decision, the new life has already begun but the God you’ve given your life to says, I want a public side of that because people watching will be touched. All of heaven must see because angels can’t read your mind, the devil can’t read your mind. So, when you’re baptized all heaven sees ah! All of Hell says you’ve made a decision to live for Christ and so you go down but not just your forehead like in christening. All of me, all of you, totally buried, that’s why I ask you from my tonight to make what kind of commitment to Christ? 100 percent.
You know years ago, one of the native of Indian tribes in the United States would have a way of causing the enemy to suffer, would bury you up to your neck and put something on you that attracted ants that would bite and yes and all people have different ways to commit cruelty against one another. Partially buried.
Baptism is total burial so that the person comes up is not the same person who went down symbolically. Look at verse 5 5 For if we have been planted – what does planted mean? Do you plant something above the ground or do you plant it in the soil? That like as if we have been planted together in the likeness of His death, Notice verse 4 says that like as Christ was raised from the dead,
- His resurrection must be our resurrection.
- His planting must be ours
- His death must be ours
Baptism is symbolically a precise entering into the experience of Jesus Christ. We shall be in the likeness of His resurrection. 6 Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin. Which means you’ll make mistakes. Making a mistake is not living a life of sin. You didn’t, you didn’t hear me. Making a mistake, there are some Christians, if they make a mistake God has left me. No, He has not. A child of God will make a mistake but when you become a child of God, what does God give you? Into you? The spirit. What is one of the major functions of the Spirit? Convict and the Spirit does this – pat you on the shoulder, yes? That was wrong. Oh! What do you do? Sorry – child of God. You’re not a child of God, the Spirit pats you on the shoulder, yes? That’s wrong. Ah stop bothering me. And so, the child of God makes a mistake but does not serve sin, are you with me? If you serve sin, then sin is your master but now you serve righteousness, you serve Christ, you’re led by the Spirit. You make mistakes, but you’re not a servant to sin. So, you come with the understanding, yes, I’ll make mistake but I’m not planning them. If they happen they happen but I’m not planning them. I’m planning not my will, thine will in everything and I left that old life symbolically buried.
Now many people are baptized, they are buried alive, are you with me? Because the old life never died. They go down a smoker and they come up now smoking once a week, the old man didn’t die, are you with me? That old man must die as Christ died to self, buried and then he comes up different. So, in the symbolism of baptism, we die, we’re buried, we rise to walk – to walk in the Bible is to live, in newness of life. So, your friends something’s different about you? They ought to say that. I have a friend in certain part of the world – Kenya and she has gone through a spiritual transformation. I talked to her about a few nights ago, all the memorizing a Bible chapter she does. Did I tell you? And her friend is notice and they want to know what’s wrong with her? Some of them are Christians. What’s wrong with you?
The world is so upside down, that when God turns your life right side up people want to know what’s wrong with you, even in the church. Listen to me, one of the loneliest places to be when you get serious with God is the church. People accuse you being a fanatic, they avoid you, do you think you’re better than I am? No, I’m just walking with my God. Lonely life in the church and so you begin to walk this life by living by the principles of God’s Word brought alive in your life by the Spirit of God.
Baptism is a public symbol of a marriage with Christ, a uniting with Christ. Why do I say that? Verse 3 of Romans 6. Well let’s go to Galatians chapter 3 and read verse 27 27 For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ mm-hmm. Now God told Adam and Eve you shall be one flesh, put them together: when you put on Christ, you and Christ become one. Baptism is spiritual marriage to Christ where the two shall be one flesh and the flesh isn’t yours, the flesh is Christ’s. This concept of one with Christ is no joke. When you truly and I truly put on Christ and Christ lives in me as Paul says in Galatians 2:20 I am crucified with Christ dead with him nevertheless I live yet not I but Christ liveth in me – that’s no joke. When you truly give yourself to Christ you put Him on, it is His life lived out in you and that life is a powerful life. Let me put it differently in a way that may shock you. We live our lives by divine power. You see this book? It’s a combination of divine and human. Christ to walk this earth divine and human. We can’t be God but we can be human beings living by divine life. That is what happens. You don’t have to explain how it happens, you accept that it happens. So, Jesus says abide in me and I in you. In other words, who is in who? They’re all so intertwined, they are like one. As the branch, cannot bear fruit of itself except it abide in the vine no more can ye except ye abide in me and we do that through faith.
So, when you say to God I’m sorry, you don’t get off your knees waiting for an emotion. Faith has nothing to do with how you feel because how we feel depends on what the weather is, are you with me? It was thundering for about two hours yesterday afternoon and I didn’t feel like dancing or jumping. So, when will this thing stop? When the sun is out, I come out of my room and I sit in the sun for 40 minutes getting my vitamin D and I just feel better. You know the Sun is good for depression. Just sit in the sun, it makes you feel better but it has nothing to do with faith. Faith has to do with the fact of God’s Word and if God says if you confess your sins – if we confess our sins He is faithful and just to forgive our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If you truly confess you get off your knees, forgiven! Regardless of how you feel. Many Christians suffer because they live the Christian lives by feeling not by fact. You are not required to feel saved, you’re required to accept salvation. I don’t need to put on a pants to know I’m a man, are you with me? Ah you didn’t get me. I just know it! Even if I wear a dress, I’m a man, are you with me? So, when you confess you’re forgiven even if you feel like a piece of dirt. Why do you accept you’re forgiven? Because God can’t lie. Listen to me carefully, do not conduct your spiritual life based on how you feel because the devil will manipulate your feelings.
You go to church everyone is jumping, you jumping, you feel good you feel strong you go home you by yourself you feel weak that’s ten minutes after you left the jumping you feel weak but when you go home and you read fear thou not for I am with thee be not dismayed for I am thy God I will strengthen thee here I will help thee yea I will uphold you at the right hand of my righteousness. It has nothing to do with if you’re surrounded by a crowd it has to do with God’s Word. You come out of that water to walk in newness of life, not in newness of feeling and that life is a fact because God said so. God does not reward doubt, God rewards faith. The only way to please God is by faith and faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the Word of God.
Who should be baptized?
A person who gives the life entirely to Christ and is willing to walk in newness of life through conversion. To give up that all life of sin, even polite sin, to be one with Christ in every aspect of the life. What I mean by that is to acknowledge yourself as a citizen of heaven temporarily stranded on the earth. Now I’m a citizen United States, am temporarily where? In the beautiful country of South Africa enjoying every minute, but on the 8th of April, I’m going home. A child of God is temporarily stranded on this cesspool of a world waiting for his or her Savior to come take us home, restore this then put us back in the way it should have been.
You’re ready for baptism, I’m willing and ready to obey God not by my power but the power He gives me through the funnel of faith.
Should someone be re-baptized?
Let’s go to Acts chapter 19 reading from verse 1 And it came to pass, that, while Apollos was at Corinth, Paul having passed through the upper coasts came to Ephesus: and finding certain disciples, not just anybody disciples of Christ of the truth. 2 He said unto them, have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed? Now how can you follow Christ if you’ve never heard of the Holy Ghost?. And they said unto him, we have not so much as heard whether there be any Holy Ghost. 3 And he said unto them, unto what then were ye baptized? And they said, Unto John’s baptism. 4 Then said Paul, John verily baptized with the baptism of repentance, saying unto the people, that they should believe on Him which should come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus.
Read verse 5 5 When they heard this, what happened? they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. They learned some critical information they never had. Twelve disciples were re-baptized.
Go to Acts 2 – it’s the day of Pentecost according to verse 1. 3 And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. 4 And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance. 5 And there were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout men, out of every nation under heaven. Why men? Because they were men. All Jewish men were required to come to Jerusalem from wherever they lived to celebrate three feasts: Passover which included in leavened bread, feast of weeks and Tabernacles. All men from everywhere they were come back. So, the place was crawling with men. The Bible describes many of them as devout men. If you read Luke chapter 2 verse 25 Simeon, his described as just and devout waiting for the consolation of Israel and the Holy Ghost was upon him.
So, we have devout filled with the Holy Ghost. In Acts chapter 10 verse 2 Cornelius that Roman centurion is described as 2 A devout man, and one that feared God with all his house, which gave much alms to the people, and prayed to God always -all the time.
- A devout person prays all the time
- A devout person is full of the Holy Ghost
- A devout is just according to those texts
Now here’s what devout men did – verse 37 of Acts 2 there’s a pause in the sermon. Now when they heard this they were pricked in their hearts and said unto Peter to the rest of the Apostles what did they say? men and brethren what shall we do? Listen to me that’s the question to ask Jesus all the time not just what shall I think? What shall I do? Now actions don’t save you, Christ saves you, but Christ calls us to do certain things. Let’s say Christ is a dentist, okay and sin is a cavity, are you’re with me? Christ says come on to me all ye that labor with cavities and you come. Christ says sit in that chair. Sitting in the chair does not fix the cavity, are you following me? But Christ said what sit in the chair. Now you sit and He leans you all the way back and what does He tell you to do? Open your mouth. Many people serve Christ with “a closed their mouth”. Now Jesus says open your mouth! When you open the mouth, that’s the obedience of faith.
Now Jesus can fix that cavity, are you with me? When God says open your mouth, open your mouth like a cave. When you open your mouth the dentist can walk out and leave you they go to lunch and your cavity remains, so yes it’s not the opening the mouth that fix it, it is the dentist but he said open your mouth.
And so, Christ said keep the Sabbath, it doesn’t save me, that’s not what I said says Jesus. I said keep it.
- Man, and brethren what shall we do? Go and apologize to the person you hurt.
- What shall we do? Go and forgive the person who hurt you
- What shall we do? Stop gossiping about that church remember whose reputation you’ve destroyed because spiritually in the Bible that’s murder
- What shall we do leave that woman’s husband alone – listen to me salvation is doing whether by you or Christ
- What shall we do stop? Fighting everything the pastor says because you don’t like him and he’s not from your tribe
- What shall we do? Stop trying to run the church because you give the biggest tithe
What shall we do? And Peter answered and 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. Now to whom did Peter say that? Devout men devout men and they were baptized.
My brother and sisters many of you have made decisions to be baptized, God bless you. Some of you are still struggling God understands a struggle but God allows no struggle to go on forever. Some struggles are honest others are not. I take your struggle as honest but there’s a power to help you through the struggle. Jesus did not say get rid of your burden then come to me, He said come to me with the burden people make mistakes in thinking I am too bad to go to God let me fix it myself then go. Let me get rid of drugs then go to church, nooo! You’re trying to do what Christ is authorized to do. The job description of Jesus is to handle your sins. Your job is to come to Him. Come with the cigarettes in your pocket. Come with the little bag of marijuana in your hand, are you with me? Come with that woman’s number on your cell phone, are you following me and let Jesus fix all that rubbish. Coming to Jesus is not dressing for a banquet where you have a tuxedo, you come, He said come! What did Jesus say? I came not to call the righteous but sinners. You are prostitute, come!
I was in a certain country preaching and I was doing counseling in the morning 9:00 to 12:00 as my custom is because I’m so blessed by these one-to-one sessions. One of the things I learn is people just want to do what’s right. This lady came to me and we sat down we prayed and I said sister how can I help you? She said pastor I’m a sex worker. When you counseling people, you don’t look shocked, you look cool like an evening breeze you can’t look shocked but I’ve never had anyone tell me that, you see. So, I you know, stayed calm and cool. She said I’m a prostitute. I said okay sister, I said, why are you here, what do you need us to do? She said pastor I want to stop.
I said well if you want to stop with all your heart, Christ will help you because now your desire matches His because He has always wanted you to stop. Because you’re His sister from humanity standpoint and His child from divinity standpoint. He wants you to stop and then she continues, she said pastor I am a single woman no one to help me, I have two children I have to provide. I can’t think of any other way to provide. So, I go do this thing, but I don’t like what I do. And I and I watch her I’m saying Father this woman is more righteous than I am. Here’s what she said, she said every night before I go out can you guess what she’s about to say, I kneel down because prostitutes are killed and beaten up and she said Father I know I’m wrong but at least protect me and I-I-I my heart just broke and I thought I thought of the words of Christ the harlots and the publicans going to the kingdom before you. Now not with the harlotry behavior understand me clearly. And she told me that and we prayed and she left, I felt Lord someone needs to pray for me. I was just touched and moved when she said that. That’s why we really can’t fully judge people here’s a prostitute kneeling she isn’t saying bless what I do, she says at least protect me from being stabbed and beaten up and kicked because the two children. And when I made a call for baptism she came, she came.
My brothers and sisters there is a God who’s a specialist at saving people because they cannot save themselves. If we could save ourselves we would not need God when God brought the Israelites out of Egypt they came to the Red Sea they could do that, He didn’t lift them across they walked to the Red Sea, but they could not part it He stepped in, He parted it but when He parted it He did not give, He said now you move and move fast because the waters are not staying parted forever. They had to get a cross they could do that they got cross, He brought the waters back they couldn’t do that. They were hungry Exodus 2:16 they cried to Moses and complained. God told Moses, I’ll send food from heaven. They could not do that but when He sent it, it landed on the ground. They had to do what? Pick it up and cook it and they had it quickly because the Bible says when the sun came up it melted. So, what your duty is do it quickly, are you with me? God never hesitate to do His part, do yours quickly because the opportunity will go. You’ve been convicted make a decision to be baptized. If you don’t that conviction will wear away. You listen to any advertisement or television call now, is not that what they say? Call now. They never say call tomorrow, call now, call now. If you call the next 10 minutes we cut the price. They’ve got that technique from God – today if you hear His voice harden not your heart. God says come now, pray now, confess now, because you don’t have next week or the next five minutes. People collapse and die like this. God forbid anyone who does that but including me.
So tonight, one with Christ, dead with Him dead to sin, it’s not what I want, it is what God wants. I bury that life, I come up to walk in newness of life. A child of God, I make a mistake I get up and I make another mistake I get up, I hate the mistakes I get it and because I hate the mistakes I pray for strength and I find the power and as I proceed with God, the mistakes become fewer and fewer and your joy in Christ becomes deeper and higher and wider. I thank God for Christ, for Jesus. I really do. One of my desires in life is to look into the face of Jesus. I just want to look into His face while I’m kneeling of course and say so you are Jesus and to hear Him say with a musical voice, yes, my brother stand up, come let me hug you and hold my Jesus and hold Him. I have held him in my heart, the day will come and I literally hold him in my arms.
And so tonight I die again to self. I enter into the experience of Christ, I die again to self, trusting the power of God because self is powerful to continue to bury self. I heard a long time ago when you bury a bad habit keep throwing dirt on the grave so it doesn’t come up, are you with me? Keep throwing dirt on the grave because it’ll struggle to come up but now I no longer serve sin, I serve God. I fall, I get up. And so, I thank God for Christ and the way that God has provided to save me.
How many of you say Lord thank you for providing a way of salvation for me can I see your right hand? You mean that with all your heart? Stand up with me.
Closing prayer –
Heads bowed eyes closed
Our Father our God, while I’m praying Father let your spirit continue to trouble hearts and let those who feel touched to move let them come even while I pray. Father in heaven we thank you for those who came and I’m asking you in the name of Jesus, in whose name it is written no good thing will he withhold from them who walk uprightly. Every person who came made an upright move, bless them dear God. Grant them a fresh infilling of your spirit for tonight, because the power they had this morning is gone. They need power for now grant them your spirit dear God. Somehow convict the heart that you are pleased with their decision.
Let them not look at the problems they may face but even though they may be real let them look to you, because for every difficulty a human being faced as a child of God faces, you have the answer. Let them hold on to that to Philippians 4:13 I can do all things including baptize through Christ which strengtheneth me. Dear God in heaven strengthen them, let him leave this holy place with the determination not to allow any force on earth to change their mind and continue to work on the hearts of those who should move up.
Father bless every person under the sound of my voice. Again, I ask you to touch those who are struggling the struggling honest – you love them. Now as we leave this place dear God, take us safely. Take us rejoicing what Christ has done for us and is doing for us. Let the Angels protect us from harm and danger Father. Bring us back tomorrow night to this place to hear your Word again. I offer this breath from my heart dear God. In Jesus name and for His sake. Let God’s people say, Amen!