Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Acts 19:1-10

Today's reading has a very interesting and important message. It pertains to the meaning of becoming and being a complete Christian.

In this reading Paul meets several men who were incomplete Christians. They had received the baptism of John but not the baptism of Jesus. What is the difference between the two?

The baptism of John was more a sign of repentance from sin while the baptism of Jesus was the promise of a new life. John's teaching was a necessary first step in what I am calling a two step process to becoming a complete Christian. The first step is when we recognize that we are sinners. We become aware of our own faults and realize that we deserve God's condemnation. The second step is when we realize that through the grace of Jesus Christ our condemnation can be taken away. Becoming a complete Christian requires us to turn from repentance and to Christ.

It is next to impossible for us humans to live a life without sin. In our lives we can recognize our sin and try to repent when we commit sin. However, our human limitations almost always prohibit us from never sinning again. In fact, I submit that our nature is so sinful that the only way we can truly repent and reduce our sin is through the help of the Holy Spirit. Thus, it is paramount that we, as Christians, turn to Jesus and ask for His help to avoid sin. After all, to be a complete Christian we must accept Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior, ask Him to be a part of our lives, and try to live a life that follows His teachings. If we sincerely do this, the Holy Spirit will come into our lives and help us live a life where we not only say the right thing but we act the right way too. And as we all know, actions speak louder than words.

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