Bible Studies by
Allen Rupert
Allen Rupert

 The fourth step in God's Plan for becoming a "Christian" is confessing one's desire, before one's fellow man, that I am about to bury the mortified "old man of Sin" and become "a new creature".  The first 3,000 recorded souls who became "Christians" on the day of Pentecost A.D. 33 give us all 5 steps, as deduced by Peters statement in Acts 2:38.  The verse before lists the completed first 2 steps, hearing and believing: (2:37.  Now when they heard this (hear), they were pricked in their heart (the type of believing the Bible teaches), and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do? - In verse 38 we read; "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." If you were there on the "Day of Pentecost", being a Jew and bringing the feasts of weeks to a close, the statement "in the name of Jesus Christ" would have said to you just what is meant in "confessing before man" that this man whom you were taught by your religious elders was not the messiah, truly is.  The account of the Ethiopian Eunuch a short time later also plainly teaches the same.  Luke's record says he was reading in the book of Isaiah and was pondering the statement there of the sheep going to the slaughter, when Philip joined him on his chariot.  As they rode along Philip preached unto him about Jesus.  Here we again see all the steps laid out: He, the Ethiopian was hearing/reading; he believed to the point of wanting an explanation of the Old Testament prophet; and Philip (as being instructed by the Spirit), recognized that he was repenting from the false teachings he had received and wanting to change, had this further instruction to give him upon his query of "See, here is water; what doth hinder me to be baptized?” replied "If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest,".  Note here the importance of a complete heart change (all thine heart / repetitive).  Next, we observe the words of the penitent Ethiopian when he said, "I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God."

I will attempt at this point to make clear what the Scriptures teach about what was involved here.  The Jewish Nation at this time did not believe Jesus, the son of Mary and the stepson of the carpenter Joseph, to be the messiah prophesied in the Old Testament.  John the Immerser was only on the scene about four and a half years earlier as the forerunner unto Jesus, preaching of the one to come after him.  Jesus had taught for only three years prior to this time.  And now, the Ethiopian Eunuch was in Jerusalem for some fifty plus days and returning home pondering on what had happened this year and of Jesus.  His conversion in process caused him to confess before Philip that "Jesus Christ is the Son of God".  Jesus had taught His Apostles, when He sent them out to look for penitent people. - (Mat. 10:32.  Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven. 33.  But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven.). Jesus had already put the listeners to a test when He said in Luke 6:46.  And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?  When we think of the many physical weddings of our life we recognize that our laws of the land want witnesses to the marriage.  Paul through inspiration likens the physical marriage to the spiritual marriage (Eph. 5:-).  Of course we all know that in the spiritual marriage our Groom will never forsake His promise.  But the point here being; 'we as a bride must be submissive to our Groom'.  Sarah called Abraham her lord in (I Peter 3:6).  Witnesses are a major part of any agreement.  The confession that "Jesus is the Son of God puts the confessor in the position of changing everything in his or her life to whatever Jesus commands.  With this “change of heart" and "the confession of the mouth", as Paul reminded the Christians at Rome that they had done (Rom. 10:9), harmonizing completely with Jesus' words before His ascension.  The Great Commission given to the Apostles carried a command often forgotten, that one is to continue to learn more of Jesus' commands and commit them into our lives. (Mat. 28:19,20).  The confession or commitment before man lets the world know of the "change of heart" or the "repentant heart".  Philip tested the heart of the Ethiopian by answering his question about immersion; "if thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest”.  If one is not willing to make this open declaration, then, all baptism does is get that person "wet".  Since A.D. 33; one can go to Hell "wet" but one cannot go to Heaven unless one is buried in baptism.  The five steps that one has to do to become a "Christian" can be thought of in the statement Jesus made about entering the strait (or restricted) gate in Mat. 7:13.  Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: 14.  Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.  There is only one Book (Acts) shows us how to become a Christian and then there are twenty-two that tells us how to live the Christian life or remain a Christian.  In final words "Confession" is an open declaration that I am going to study the Words of the New Testament and submit to every one of them as I learn them, like them or not.  Jesus said it all in John 12:48; "He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day."

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©2001 byAllen Rupert. This may be freely distributed as long as there is no cost to others and no changes to the content of this paper.