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“Be Baptized . . .

for the Forgiveness of Your Sins . . .

for the Promise is for . . . Your Children” ACTS 2:38–39


In seeking God’s definition of His miracle of Baptism, one question is especially helpful: how did those who were Jesus’ closest disciples—who heard His teaching and saw His ministry—teach and practice what they had learned from the Master?
A key person in God’s definition of Baptism is Peter. Peter was one of Jesus’ closest disciples. He had trained for several years directly under Jesus. Therefore, Peter knew Jesus’ teachings precisely and understood clearly how Jesus desired the ministry of His Word and Sacraments to be carried out.

Recorded in Acts 2:14–40, Peter’s Pentecost sermon provides you and the entire church with a clear definition of Christ’s teaching and practice regarding God’s miracle of Baptism.


In Acts 2:14–40 the Holy Spirit records what happened at the first Pentecost. The crowd heard Peter’s sermon. Peter told the people their sins had crucified Christ (Acts 2:36). The result? Many who heard Peter’s words were “pierced to the heart.” In terror of their sin, they said to Peter: “What shall we do?” (Act 2:37). “Repent,” Peter said, “and let each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ FOR THE FORGIVENESS OF YOUR SINS; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is for you and your children, and for all who are far off, as many as the Lord our God shall call to Himself” (Acts 2:38–39).


The Holy Spirit is crystal clear: Through the lips of Peter, God was urging His people to “repent and be baptized.” Why? The reason given by the Spirit could not be any clearer: The people were to repent and be baptized for THE FORGIVENESS OF SINS!

In His definition of Baptism, the Spirit adds this: Through His miracle of Baptism, God gives you the gift of the Holy Spirit. Why is this gift of the Spirit important? God’s miracle of Baptism is a “one-time” event with an ongoing effect. Like an inoculation against dreaded cholera—an inoculation that has the ongoing effect of driving cholera infection out of your body—God’s miracle-medi­cine for you begins in your Baptism. Then, every day thereafter, God’s miracle of Baptism prevents the power of Sin, the devil, and your flesh, from enslaving you. Read Romans 6:3–5, then read verses 6–23 closely.


Through His divine documentation of the first Pentecost, the Holy Spirit announces to you an additional promise: The promise God gives you in Baptism in the name of Jesus Christ guarantees you the forgiveness of all your sins—and this promise is FOR YOUR ENTIRE FAMILY. As shown in the painting on the opposite page and according to Acts 2:39, God includes newborn infants in His miracle of Baptism. Unlike man, God does not discriminate by age. This glorious promise of the forgiveness of sins through Baptism is not only for newborn children but ADULTS ARE ALSO INCLUDED IN THIS PROMISE!

Dear Lord Jesus, thank You for sending the Spirit to teach me the mysteries of Your Kingdom. Thank You also for using the acts of the apostles to define the power of Your miracle of Baptism: The forgiveness of all my sins and the power of Baptism to save newborn children! Thank You, Lord Jesus. Amen.…

For additional information regarding God’s precious promises regarding Baptism, go to the Bible Study beginning on page 38.

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