Old Habits/New Habits : Baptism
Pastor Tom Grieb continues our series "Old Habits/New Habits."
Upon the rush of the mighty wind of God’s Spirit at Pentecost, Peter took to preaching. He broke into a Spirit-filled witness of the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Those who listened were ready to respond. As the scripture says, “They were cut to the heart.” They were ready to give themselves to Christ. “What shall we do?” they asked. And Peter responded by saying, “Repent and be baptized every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” Every good sermon should leave us asking what we need to do, and Peter’s sermon that first Pentecost was no different.
Those who gathered there were called to repentance. They were challenged to make an about-face and seek the Lord and his forgiveness. They were to be transformed by the renewing of their mind and heart. They were also called to be baptized, the very thing that marked them as Christian disciples. The waters of baptism pointed to the wonderworking power of God to forgive sin and set them on a new course.
The call to repent and be baptized still remains. We too are called to turn away from whatever separates us from God so that we might more readily turn to him. We are called to continually renew our baptism, refreshing not only our memory of that, but taking it on again for the day in which we live. And when we do, we can be well-assured that the Holy Spirit will fall upon us anew. Our lives will be renewed, and we will rejoice in the relationship that is ours in God through Jesus Christ.