Baptism plays a vital role in God's plan for each member of His family, but it can be futile without this crucial detail.
[Darris McNeely] In Acts 2:38 Acts 2:38Then Peter said to them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.
American King James Version×is a well-known passage of scripture that shows how one is baptized and receives the Holy Spirit. The apostle Peter gives a sermon and at the clenching moment of the sermon he says "Repent and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit."
Sometimes people ask, "How do I receive the Holy Spirit, how is it received?" The book of Acts really gives us detailed instruction to show us how one does receive the Holy Spirit. It's a very critical question to know the answer to. I was just going over it today in class, teaching it here at our Ambassador Bible College to students about the laying on of hands and all that must be done prior to that, but essentially through that matter of laying on of hands. Peter talks about repentance.
Repentance is a matter of faith and change from our habits, from our sins, turning our life around, going a different way, beginning to obey God. He tells this group of people who are confronted with the fact that they have been responsible for the death of Jesus Christ here at Acts 2 on the day of Pentecost. And they say, "What do we do?"
He says, "You have to change. You have to have faith in that resurrected Jesus of Nazareth who is now Jesus, the Christ, the Messiah. You must have faith in his sacrifice and his life and in his shed blood for the remission of your sins. And, if you do that and then you are baptized," which the true meaning of the word means to be immersed in water. Paul will later show, in Romans 6, that is a type of a watery grave from which coming out of that water, baptism, it is like being resurrected to a new life. The past life is forgiven. It is washed clean. It is in a watery grave. And then, Peter says, "You will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit." The gift of the Spirit.
Now, there are several occasions in the book of Acts where it is very clear that it is by the laying on of hands, of an elder of Jesus Christ, a minister of Christ that one receives the Holy Spirit. Probably the classic example is in Acts 8, another reference here, beginning in verse 14 where a disciple, Philip, had gone down to Sumeria and he had baptized some individuals and then later John and Peter had to go down to confirm what he had done. And they lay hands upon people, and their people receive the Holy Spirit. And in this passage, it says that they laid hands on them and they received the Holy Spirit (Acts 8:14-39 Acts 8:14-39  Now when the apostles which were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent to them Peter and John:
 Who, when they were come down, prayed for them, that they might receive the Holy Ghost:
 (For as yet he was fallen on none of them: only they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.)
 Then laid they their hands on them, and they received the Holy Ghost.
 And when Simon saw that through laying on of the apostles' hands the Holy Ghost was given, he offered them money,
 Saying, Give me also this power, that on whomsoever I lay hands, he may receive the Holy Ghost.
 But Peter said to him, Your money perish with you, because you have thought that the gift of God may be purchased with money.
 You have neither part nor lot in this matter: for your heart is not right in the sight of God.
 Repent therefore of this your wickedness, and pray God, if perhaps the thought of your heart may be forgiven you.
 For I perceive that you are in the gall of bitterness, and in the bond of iniquity.
 Then answered Simon, and said, Pray you to the LORD for me, that none of these things which you have spoken come on me.
 And they, when they had testified and preached the word of the Lord, returned to Jerusalem, and preached the gospel in many villages of the Samaritans.
 And the angel of the Lord spoke to Philip, saying, Arise, and go toward the south to the way that goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza, which is desert.
 And he arose and went: and, behold, a man of Ethiopia, an eunuch of great authority under Candace queen of the Ethiopians, who had the charge of all her treasure, and had come to Jerusalem for to worship,
 Was returning, and sitting in his chariot read Esaias the prophet.
 Then the Spirit said to Philip, Go near, and join yourself to this chariot.
 And Philip ran thither to him, and heard him read the prophet Esaias, and said, Understand you what you read?
 And he said, How can I, except some man should guide me? And he desired Philip that he would come up and sit with him.
 The place of the scripture which he read was this, He was led as a sheep to the slaughter; and like a lamb dumb before his shearer, so opened he not his mouth:
 In his humiliation his judgment was taken away: and who shall declare his generation? for his life is taken from the earth.
 And the eunuch answered Philip, and said, I pray you, of whom speaks the prophet this? of himself, or of some other man?
 Then Philip opened his mouth, and began at the same scripture, and preached to him Jesus.
 And as they went on their way, they came to a certain water: and the eunuch said, See, here is water; what does hinder me to be baptized?
 And Philip said, If you believe with all your heart, you may. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.
 And he commanded the chariot to stand still: and they went down both into the water, both Philip and the eunuch; and he baptized him.
 And when they were come up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord caught away Philip, that the eunuch saw him no more: and he went on his way rejoicing.
American King James Version×).
And there's another example in Acts 19 where the apostle Paul baptizes a group of 12 and lays hands upon them and they receive the Holy Spirit as well (Acts 19:1-6 Acts 19:1-6  And it came to pass, that, while Apollos was at Corinth, Paul having passed through the upper coasts came to Ephesus: and finding certain disciples,
 He said to them, Have you received the Holy Ghost since you believed? And they said to him, We have not so much as heard whether there be any Holy Ghost.
 And he said to them, To what then were you baptized? And they said, To John's baptism.
 Then said Paul, John truly baptized with the baptism of repentance, saying to the people, that they should believe on him which should come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus.
 When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.
 And when Paul had laid his hands on them, the Holy Ghost came on them; and they spoke with tongues, and prophesied.
American King James Version×). So this act of a minister baptizing people who have repented, shown the faith in the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, believe in his name are baptized to show that inner change and then, with the laying on of hands they receive the gift of the Holy Spirit teaches us that the way by which we receive God's spirit after repentance and baptism is then through the laying on of the hands and then that change begins to take place.
We then receive the very power of God in our lives to imbue us with a power and love and the beauty of a sound mind that the apostle Paul will talk about in 2 Timothy 1:7 2 Timothy 1:7For God has not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.
American King James Version×. We receive a spirit of power, love, and of a sound mind. And it's by that power that we begin to change our lives and to live a different life with God in us now. And we begin to take on the very mind of God and partake of the divine nature. Make sure that that is how you are baptized when all the conditions are met, and that the laying on of hands is something that is done in your life to ensure that you receive God's spirit in a proper way. After repentance and a proper baptism, that's how it is done and that's how the scripture teaches it.
That's BT Daily, join us next time.