Answering God’s Call To Conversion (Baptism)
We learn from the scriptures that God has several calls on our lives. One of the most essential calls is that of conversion.
Peter urged sinners to repent and be converted that your sins may be blotted out (Acts 3:19). Earlier, he taught them to repent and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins (Acts 2:37-38)
Our conversion occurs when we decide to give up the pathway, life, and attitude of a sinner who is lost and without a relationship with the heavenly Father to one of surrender and acceptance.
When a change a heart occurs (repentance), we are mentally and emotionally prepared to move forward in our walk and discipleship.
We cannot stop at merely a change of heart, but we are commanded to go all the way with the Lord. We must connect so intimately with Him that we join with Him through death, not physically, at least not initially, but through the death He died for our sins.
For the death that He died, He died to sin once for all; but the life that He lives, He lives to God, Rom. 6:10. For the love of Christ compels us, because we judge thus, that if one died for all then were dead. As sinners, we had already died once.
Christ died to put away sins by the sacrifice of Himself (Heb. 9:26). He yielded to a death that He could have chosen not to experience. However, He answered the call of God on His life. He said, Father, not My will but Your will be done. (Matt. 26:39)
Those words expressed His desire to be converted. He would transform from the earthly to the heavenly. He emptied Himself of the old world into which He had come. He knew the only way to the new world, the world above, the heavenly realm, was through death (Heb. 9:24).
When Moses and Elijah met with Christ on the Mount of Transfiguration, they spoke of His decease, literally of His exodus from the world below (Lk 9:31; Jn. 3:31). He had to leave His mother, brothers, sisters, friends, and everything dear to Him, not in abandonment, but in hope that they too would soon follow Him. Without His departure, they would die in their sins.
That is the reason for our answering the call of God. It is so that others with whom we have a relationship and influence may also follow. Paul’s desire to depart and be with Christ was a weighty burden, but the need to abide in the flesh and serve was a much greater responsibility.
Jesus made His exodus from the Old Covenant world through death and resurrection. Our conversion is in like manner. We must die and be raised in Christ, Rom. 6:3-5. Paul said in Romans that we are baptized into Jesus’ death. In Colossians 2:12, he said we are buried with Him by baptism wherein also we are risen with Him through faith in the operation of God.
That means baptism is our burial into Christ’s death and our rising together in His resurrection. It is where we join with Him in leaving the world below (Gal. 2:20; 6:14). It is our cup of death. It is why we must say, Father, not my will, but Your will be done.
Are we so wedded to a lifestyle of sin (drugs, alcohol, adultery, homosexuality, indifference, hate, selfishness and pride) that we refuse to surrender to the will of the Father?
When we refuse to be converted by turning from sin, and being baptized, we choose our will over the Father’s will. Jesus did not do this. He was willing to go all the way with the Father.
Are you willing to go all the way with the Father? Are you ready to answer the call of God on your life? Are you ready to be a leader and influence for friends, family, and even foes for Christ? Answer the call of God.
There is no better time than now (Prov. 27:1; Jas. 4:13-14). God is always ready to receive those with a change of heart and a desire to obey (Matt. 11:28).
As Ananias asked Saul before his conversion. “Why are you waiting? Arise, and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on the name of the Lord.” (Acts 22:16) Answer the call of God to be converted by being baptized today.