Summary: Our conviction must call us to action!
Title: What Are You Waiting For?
Text: Acts 22.16
CT: Our conviction must call us to action!
FAS: There are people in our lives that will always hold an important place in our hearts. For me, one of these people is my long time friend Mark Evans. Doesn’t matter how long it has been since you’ve seen one another you start back right where you were.
Life has a way of giving us wake up calls. About three months ago my friend Mark had a heart attack. We all rushed to Maysville to where he was undergoing the procedure to put stints in his arteries to fix the problem. Thank God it was a success.
The doctor came out with a smile on his face saying the problem was fixed “for now”. The real solution to the problem would be up to Mark. You see, Mark had been given a wake up call. The doctor said he was going to have to change some things he was doing. No more smoking! This wasn’t going to be easy for Mark. But he was convicted into action because he wanted to be around to watch his kids and grandkids grow up. I’m proud to say Mark is doing great with this. Actually he is well on the way to beating the odds. I read where the majority of people in this situation are convicted, but are slow if ever to take action to remedy their behavior. Keep it up Mark.
LS. The trouble is most of us are too often caught between our conviction to do something and our readiness to take action on that conviction. It’s called procrastination. It’s the space we can easily find ourselves in between conviction and action.
I.A. Are you ever convicted?
I am going to slow down and spend more time with my family. I’m going exercise more and get back in shape. I’m going to eat healthier and give up the pop and junk food. I am going to spend more time in God’s Word. We all have good intentions to do good things for ourselves or others due to our convictions. The thing is we too often fail to put our conviction into action.
B. Let’s open our Bibles to Acts 22.16. The context leading up to this is Paul recalling his conversion on the road to Damascus where Jesus knocked him off his horse and blinded him. Jesus can have a pretty strong way of making His point if needed. You see Paul was persecuting and incarcerating Christians for their belief. If you have been watching the AD series on TV you saw a bit of what Paul was when he was still Saul. Jesus convicted him in such a way that Paul did a 180 and became a Christian who was preaching before a crowd in Jerusalem in today’s text.
Paul says to them, “And now what are you waiting for? Get up, be baptized and wash your sins away, calling on his name.”
He is saying to them, “You know what you should do, so what is holding you back. What is keeping you from acting on the conviction you are feeling?
“Get up, be baptized and wash your sins away.”
“What are you waiting for?”
C. Now do you think this is really a question? It’s like when my beautiful wife asks me when I am going to mow the yard or take out the trash. It’s not a question or suggestion. It is a command and I know it. It demands action if I want my beautiful wife to be happy with me. So I know to mow the yard and take out the trash with a smile on my face.
So, is our text today a question? Don’t think so. This scripture is given to convict us into action.
We are going to look at Baptism today. We are going to talk about what the Bible has to say about Baptism. Not what denominations say, or what other people may have said. We believe as the early church did and our source to base our belief on comes only from God’s Word.
Now, I want to get one thing clear before we start. Baptism alone does not save a person. Let’s get that out of the way. I buy that. Only the blood of Jesus is what saves us. Baptism is our action from conviction to be identified with Christ. It is our confession of faith and commitment to Christ.
Think about it. Baptism can seem pretty strange to someone new to the Christian experience. I want us to get to its basics today and why it is so much a part of our belief here at BLCC. It is how we commit to our relationship with Jesus Christ. We believe you must first hear, then believe, then repent, confess and be baptized. Lets look a little closer at what baptism really is.