Circumstances vary that lead to decisions to be baptised and take on the name of Jesus Christ. When this happens we become part of a new family, a spiritual family.
Today’s reading in Acts 22 describes Paul’s experiences in returning to Jerusalem. There is an uproar in the Temple and a Roman tribune sends soldiers to rescue him. Paul speaks to the crowd, “… hear the defence that I now make before you” (verse 1). He states how he was “zealous for God as all of you are this day” (verse 3). But it was a zeal for the old law that came to an end when Christ was crucified as the “sacrifice” (see 1 Corinthians 5:7) that fulfilled the old law.
In his zeal for the old law Paul (then ‘Saul’) says how he persecuted the followers of Christ until he was blinded on the road to Damascus and led into the city (verses 6-12). Ananias, a devout believer in Damascus comes to him with a divine message, “The God of our fathers appointed you to know his will …” (verse 14). Today, if we are motivated to seek the real meaning of life, we too can know His will – and should know it – if we have been baptised.
Paul was told by Ananias “…why do you wait? Rise and be baptised and wash away your sins, calling on his name” (22:16). Baptism washes away the past and gives us a wonderful new start in life. Until we made (or make) that decision we were (or are) “dead in trespasses and sins” (see Ephesians 2:2,5; 4:5).
For each one of us the circumstances when we decide were (or will be) different – but the result is the same! Paul told the Galatians that “God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts” and they had become “an heir through God” (4:6,7) and “a new creation” (6:15).
Let us be faithful so that we receive “the inheritance”, remembering Paul’s words to the Ephesian elders. “I commend you to God and the word of his grace, which is able to build you up and to give you the inheritance …” (Acts 20:32). That is why we must read God’s word every day.