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Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost – Acts 2:38.

In order for one to receive salvation, they must first repent of their sins. Repent means to be sorry for how one has lived their life opposite of the teaching of Christ. In their repentance, they will now live their lives according to the teaching of the Bible, which is God’s written instructions for the believer.

Peter was addressing devout Jews dwelling in Jerusalem along with some men of Judea after Peter and the apostles and others that were in the upper room who received the baptism of the Holy Spirit. Peter addresses these men that thought they were in good standing with God, and they weren’t.

Peter instructed them to repent and be baptized in the name of Jesus; then, they would receive the gift of the Holy Ghost [Holy Spirit]. Some may say, I was baptized in the name of Jesus, but are you living according to the written instructions, which are God’s instructions for His people?

Conversion is accompanied by repentance (Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord – Acts 3:19). This is why Jesus instructed Nicodemus that he had to be born-again (Jesus answered, Verily, verily I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God -John 3:5). When one has been converted or born-again, Jesus enters their heart, and God the Father indwells their spirit. If this has not happened, the person needs to make sure they have accepted salvation in the heart and not a guilt or shame salvation.

When Jesus enters the heart, the person immediately has a change in their desires and the things they seek. Once Jesus and the Father have entered, the person is responsible for being led by the Spirit; they will no longer walk in darkness (If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth – 1st John 1:6). Walk in darkness means walking in sin. Many are claiming to be enjoying a close relationship with God, but whose lives are clearly characterized by sin.

Without Jesus or the Holy Spirit indwelling our being, we cannot discern what is right or wrong in His sight; it’s by His Spirit and the Word of God. Christians should not be conformed to the world; there are some things we know not to do, although it’s not written in the Bible, because God’s Spirit makes us aware of what we shouldn’t do.

If the Word of God has not conformed the heart and mind, Christians would continue to interact with the things they were doing before receiving salvation. We don’t grow into spiritual maturity overnight; it’s a process. The more we allow Him to lead us, the more we’re being sanctified unto Him. Sanctification is not a denomination but for all who profess to be Christians (And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God – 1st Corinthians 6:11). God sets His people apart from those who live according to the standards of the world.

When one has become committed to God, they will not say, look, listen, or go to anything that will offend the Father, because the love of the Father is in their hearts, and they are aware of what is and what’s not acceptable to Him (And be not conformed to this world; but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God – Romans 12:2). If ones’ mind has not been renewed they will continue to think and act as the world.

Too often, professing Christians seek ways to gratify their sinful desires (But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfill the lusts thereof – Romans 13:14). All lusts aren’t sexual; lust is unbridled control of one’s desires and actions in whatever form it may come.

In order to reconcile our relationship with the Father, we must confess our sins, and ask Him to forgive us and help us not to continue in that sin or sins (If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness – 1st John 1:9). Salvation is a relationship with the Father and the Son.

If you don’t have a relationship with the Father and Son, if you don’t feel their presence, if you don’t hear their voice, something is wrong, and it needs to be taken to the altar.

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