Change your Mind, immerse your Self, and gain a New Life

Bible Readings for Monday, December 4th, 2011
– The Week of The Second Sunday of Advent

*Click on each bible passage to expand the text.

Psalm 27

Isaiah 26:7-15

Acts 2:37-42

  • The Lord is my light and my salvation— whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life— of whom shall I be afraid? – Psalm 27:1
  • The path of the righteous is level; O upright One, you make the way of the righteous smooth. – Isaiah 26:7
  • Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. – Acts 2:38

In the Name of Love…

Acts 2

37. When the people heard this, they were cut to the heart and said to Peter and the other apostles, “Brothers, what shall we do?”

38. Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.

  • Repent: (metanoeó/μετανοέω) – To change one’s mind, or literally “with/after understanding”. In this context we realize this is not simply a confessin of sins, it is a deep change of mind/heart brought about by a profound moment of clarity and understanding.
  • Baptize: (baptizó/βαπτίζω) – To be immersed, consumed, or whelmed by water. Symbolically, this is a complete devotion to something, in which it overwhelms the personal wants and desires of the one receiving the baptism.
  • Name: (onoma/ὄνομα) – i.e, “in the name of”– For the sake of, for the cause of, for the glory of someone or something.
  • Receive: (lambanó/λαμβάνω) – To actively and aggressively lay hold of something already offered. It especially emphasizes the volition of the recipient.
  • Gift: (dórea/δωρεά) – This is a specific kind of gift: free, unmerited, and never with the expectation of repayment.

Acts 2

37. When the people heard this, they were cut to the heart and said to Peter and the other apostles, “Brothers, what shall we do?”

38. Peter replied, “Change with understanding and be immersed and overwhelmed, every one of you, in the cause of Yeshua the Anointed: the forgiveness of your sins. And you will finally choose to lay hold of the absolutely free gift of the Holy Spirit.”

Very subtle shifts of meaning reveal that Peter’s passage was NOT simply a prescription of ritual, but an admonition for a new way of life!

It is no different from Yeshua’s own baptism: when he abandoned his worldly desires, and fully devoted himself to the will and cause of God, that is when the Holy Spirit descended upon him. In true baptism, we emulate this moment, this change of mind,  and this new life!

Baptism-of-ChristMark 1

9. At that time Jesus came from Nazareth in Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. 10. As Jesus was coming up out of the water, he saw heaven being torn open and the Spirit descending on him like a dove. 11. And a voice came from heaven: “You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased.”

Romans 6

4. We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.

Romans 8

5. Those who live according to the sinful nature have their minds set on what that nature desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. 6. The mind of sinful man is death, but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace; 7. the sinful mind is hostile to God.

A new life, here and now, wholly devoted to Yeshua’s cause: the forgiveness of sin, the correction of humanity’s missing of the mark. To heal the-world-at-large of error, to restore love and compassion at the forefront of daily living. It is with this understanding that we can finally lay hold of the free gift of the Holy Spirit, which has always been ours to grasp, but perhaps we never saw it clearly, or never wanted it before…

In the name of love, for the sake of the world, for the glory of God.


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