- Parent Category: FAQs
- Category: Questions about Sin and Salvation
- Published on Saturday, 21 November 2009 11:57
Peter, as did John the Baptist, was speaking to Jewish listeners. As John’s baptism was a statement of disassociation from their past - both personal and national - so Peter’s command to repent and be baptized drew attention to their disassociation from past personal and national sins. John’s baptism was "unto repentance"; what Peter commanded was baptism "unto remission" (RV). For some, baptism unto repentance preceded faith; for all, faith preceded baptism unto remission.
Jews, whose birth linked them with the nation that had rejected its Messiah, were saved by gladly receiving Peter’s message from God (v 41), but they saved themselves from "this crooked generation" (v 40 ESV) by their baptism "unto remission." Their baptism visibly affirmed that they were no longer linked with those who had rejected Christ. It added nothing to their personal faith in Him and contributed nothing to their salvation.
Saul of Tarsus was told, "Arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord" (Acts 22:16). He himself later shows that "calling on the name of the Lord" is evidence of faith already placed in Christ when he asks, "How then shall they call on Him in Whom they have not believed?" (Romans 10:14). Saul was saved before he was baptized, but his baptism affirmed his disassociation from his past life of animosity against the Christ.