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Renouncing Satan, His Works and His Pomp

• Greg Boyd

Baptism is a public confession of faith in Christ. It is a renunciation of living the way the world lives, with all of its lures and traps, and pledging to live a life that is solely for Christ. It is a life that is radically distinct from the ways of the world. One of the first mentions of baptism following Christ’s resurrection is found in the book of Acts (2:37-38). In this passage, the apostle Peter speaks to those who just heard the “good news” of Jesus, and tells them to: “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins.”

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Baptism is a public confession of faith in Christ. It is a renunciation of living the way the world lives, with all of its lures and traps, and pledging to live a life that is solely for Christ. It is a life that is radically distinct from the ways of the world. One of the first mentions of baptism following Christ’s resurrection is found in the book of Acts (2:37-38). In this passage, the apostle Peter speaks to those who just heard the “good news” of Jesus, and tells them to: “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins.”

To “repent” means to turn. It is a decision to no longer follow the ways of the world, and to turn and follow Christ. It is a decision to accept the “good news” of Jesus; that he died for you and that you can be in relationship with Him. With this acceptance comes the forgiveness of sins.

Throughout the New Testament, there is a sense of urgency following repentance to be baptized (see Acts 8:12; 8:35-36; 16:30-34). In fact, the only precondition to being baptized found is to repent. Today, baptism is frequently either neglected or misunderstood in the context of salvation. Some believe that it is either a legal requirement “for the forgiveness of sins” or is a symbolic outward sign of what God is doing inside of you. However, the New Testament views salvation and baptism differently.

In the New Testament, salvation is seen as a transferring from one kingdom to another. “For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves…” Colossians 1:13. It is a radical break from the old way of living to a brand new way of life. It is not seen as a type of “fire insurance”, rather as a living, vibrant and restored relationship with God.

Baptism is seen as this pledge of transference. It is a declaration that you have turned from being a citizen of the kingdom of the world and have now declared that you have become a citizen of the kingdom of God. So, baptism is done in “the light of” all God has done for us in Jesus, recognizing that he has forgiven us of our sins, and publicly declaring our commitment to live for God.

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Topics: Baptism, Repentance, Salvation

Sermon Series: Baptism


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Focus Scripture:

  • Luke 3:3

    He went into all the country around the Jordan, preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins.

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