Next Step || Baptism & Calling

2017-05-30 13.30.26Acts 9 is not a passage that was included in Luke’s writings to teach us about baptism. It is there to tell us about the profound conversion experience and calling of Saul (Paul) and it includes his baptism. Paul is met by Jesus on the road to Damascus and is forever changed. Paul meets Jesus and is told what to do by Ananias and all that happens; his persecution of followers of the Way, the bright light, the voice of Jesus, the blindness, the fasting, his new calling, and his baptism are all included in his testimony.

Later in Acts 22 Paul shares his testimony as he addresses a hostile crowd that had accused him of bringing uncircumcised Greeks into the temple. After being struck blind by seeing the Lord Jesus flash before him as a bright light from heaven and hearing the voice of Christ, Paul is led by his companions to his destination, Damascus – the city where he was going to find and persecute followers of Christ.

Instead Christ finds him along the way and sends his follower Ananias to show Paul the Way. From Acts 9, Paul has been fasting and praying for three days, demonstrating repentance and mourning of his sin. He then received a vision from God about a man named Ananias who would soon visit him.

Ananias is called by God to go restore Paul’s sight. He is apprehensive and understandably so, Paul is a murderer and zealous (obsessed, Acts 26:11) for his cause to persecute Christians. The Lord explains to Ananias that he is called to witness Jesus to Paul so that Paul can witness Jesus to the Gentiles.

Paul must be filled with the Holy Spirit. His eyes must be opened so that he can open the eyes of the Gentiles so they may receive the forgiveness of sins (Acts 26:18).

Paul shares with the crowd that Ananias, through the power of God gives him back his sight and says, “And now what are you waiting for? Get up, be baptized and wash your sins away, calling on his name (Acts 22:16)”

Paul’s testimony in Acts 22 includes his encounter with Christ, his calling, and his baptism.

How would you give your testimony? What do you include?

Your testimony is personal but not private. It may not be sensational but it is not meant to be kept a secret.

Maybe you have encountered Christ on your journey of life. Your life was interrupted and your plans have been changed by Christ for the better. Have you followed through with what to do next?

Have you been baptized? Maybe you have taken the next step of faith and were immersed (baptized) into Christ but have yet to step into the calling of Jesus to share his gospel and serve others.

Is there something that is lacking in your testimony? What is your next step of faith?

Arise and be baptized and give sight to the blind, turning them from darkness to light.

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Jovan preaches for the Littleton Church of Christ near Denver, Colorado. Visit here to listen to sermons preached at the Littleton Church. 

Posted by jovanbarrington