David Pawson Interview: New Testament Baptism Part 1

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Thoughtful Thoughts 9.4.21 by John Dunning;- 

“The Kingdom of God…” (Part 1).

1). ‘What shall we do?’

Imagine it is 29 AD. The disciples of Jesus had just been filled with the Holy Spirit at ‘Pentecost’, which is Greek for ‘fiftieth’. It is the last day of the Jewish festival of Shavuot, which runs for 49 days, and means ‘weeks’, when they remember God’s provision for them, both in the harvest and at Sinai when God gave Moses the Law. (In 2021, the formal bit is celebrated from Sunday 16 to Tuesday 18 May.) 

A very large crowd was gathering outside the house where the disciples were worshipping God, because they had heard such loud noises coming from inside the house, that at first  the crowd assumed the disciples were drunk from partying at the festival. 

Peter saw an opportunity to address the Jews who had come into Jerusalem for the Jewish festival, and who were now assembled outside the house where the disciples were worshipping God. Peter preached his heart out to them, which you can read in Acts 2. 

At the end of Peter’s message, someone in the crowd shouted out; “Brothers, what should we do?” (Acts 2:37). Now was Peter’s opportunity to lead people to the Messiah...

2). Peter’s Answer...

Peter’s answer tells us what the Apostles were taught by Jesus, and which they, in turn, passed on after being filled with the Holy Spirit at Pentecost...

Peter answered them; “Turn from sin, return to God, and each of you be immersed on the authority of Yeshua the Messiah into forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Ruach HaKodesh! (Holy Spirit).” Acts 2:38. So there are things we must do first before God will respond...

a). “Turn from sin”.   

The first thing we must do is to repent - meaning to turn away from sin. 

Jesus said to the woman caught in adultery - “go and sin no more”.

The first step is to be sorry enough to stop doing whatever the sin is. 

“Turning from sin” is the real meaning behind ‘repentance’.  To ‘repent’, is to have a change of heart or to go in the opposite direction;- like doing a ‘U’ turn in a car. 

Forgiveness what God does in response to our repentance. The very thing that WE are required to do, is to repent first, in order to be forgiven. Repentance is so often overlooked in evangelism and yet it is the critical first step before God forgives. The church has no authority to overlook that first step of repentance, and yet it is the most common error by the church in evangelism. The Bible teaches that forgiveness is dependent on our repentance. 

b). “Be immersed…”

The Greek word in Acts 2:38 is ‘baptisthEtO’. So the word we now have of ‘baptism’ started life as a Greek word. So what does it mean? 

i). It is used for dipping sheep, where the animal is immersed in a trough of water with chemicals for removing parasites.

ii). It can also be used for ‘dying’ cloth when it is immersed in a tub of dye. 

iii). It is used by Greek journalists when writing that a ship had sunk. I saw that for myself with a Greek newspaper used ‘baptizo’ when writing that a ship had sunk. 

That is the word used in the gospels telling repentant believers what they had to do next. 

iv). Greek Orthodox priests put the whole baby under water as they know that ‘baptisthEtO’ means ‘immerse’. 

What the Greek Orthodox Church still gets wrong is the timing about when to do it. I’m coming on to that next week, when we look at the timing of when baptism itself came off the rails, when I also share the importance of getting it right.

I’ll be providing a web link to a list of 1149 pages of martyrs that were murdered by the church, for disobeying its command not to receive believers' baptism by immersion. (That list is quite separate from Foxe's Book of Martyrs.) 

Our new devotional.

CLICK this link to take you to the website we have set up to host the new devotionals... https://blog.inspirationalmedia.org.nz/

Meantime, this is John Dunning signing off from “Thoughtful Thoughts” for another week.


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