Article - Repent And Be Baptized For The Remission Of Sins (Part 1)
Several years ago Richard Heatherly (“Pastor” of a Baptist Church) wrote an article in a Fayetteville, Tennessee sales paper in which he boldly admitted that Acts 2:38 “clearly relates baptism to the remission of sins.” I was encouraged by Richard’s willingness to make such an admission as he proceeded to tackle such a controversial topic in a thorough manner. In order for religious people to fulfill God’s command to “speak the same thing,” have “no divisions” (including NO denominations) and “be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment,” we must have an open Bible, an open mind and an open discussion (ignoring one another has accomplished nothing all these years; study Acts 17:11; 18:26 and 1 Corinthians 1:10).
The title of Richard’s article asked, “In What Sense Does Baptism Remit Sins?” Richard’s answer was: metaphorically, symbolically, ceremonially. Do you the reader gather such an idea when you study Acts 2:36-38? After the Jewish audience was accused by Peter of crucifying the Christ, they were cut to the heart and ask the apostles, “What shall we do?” Did the Jews want to know what they needed to do to receive remission of sins symbolically? Or were they seeking literal forgiveness? The two things Peter commanded his audience (and all of us) to do in order to receive the remission of sins were 1) repent and 2) be baptized. Why did Richard not take notice or mention that Acts 2:38 also says repent for the remission of sins? Baptism remits sins in the same way that repentance does (Acts 3:19). For Richard to consistently hold on to his doctrine, he would have to also teach that a sinner repents in order to remit his sins symbolically. If not, why not? (see part 2 for a final analysis of Acts 2:38).
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