The Liturgical Christianity Portal

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It’s All About a Change of Heart

A cross in a heart, made from candles

A cross in a heart, made from candles

Parts of the passage that make up Acts 2:14-41 are among some of the most twisted passages in Scripture. This helps show why the scriptures need to be read in their complete context. Proof texting is not only bad for Christians intellectually, but can also be used to promote oppressive religious beliefs. Examples:

  • Peter’s speech addressed to the Jewish people gathered in Jerusalem is often treated as a collective indictment against the entire Jewish people
  • The direction to repent and be baptized is often interpreted to mean that it must be done with the words “In Jesus Name” for the baptized to have any hope of salvation

The thing that’s easy to overlook is that it’s all about a change of heart, a message that many of the hearers no doubt needed to know about. Though the Bible doesn’t say this, it’s possible that many of those listening to Peter’s speech may have lauded Jesus as the Messiah on Palm Sunday, then called for his crucifixion on Good Friday. Far from an indictment against the Jewish people as a whole, it’s a call to repentance for those willing to receive Peter’s message.

Rather than establishing a salvational baptismal formula, the message seems to be about repentance – turn from your sins, be baptized as a profession of your faith, and receive the Holy Spirit because of your repentance and acceptance of the Gospel. Leave it to us humans to complicate something that God has made simple. 🙂  Keep this in mind – every adult baptism in a liturgical church requires the baptized to express repentance for their sins. Don’t make the mistake of getting it backwards, otherwise you might miss the whole point.

 

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May 8, 2014 - Posted by | Liturgy/Worship | , ,

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