Accept the Initiation: Simon the Great – Part 2
Scripture Reading: Acts 8:9-13
Key Verse: Acts 8:9
Now for some time a man named Simon had practiced sorcery in the city and amazed all the people of Samaria. He boasted that he was someone great
Yesterday’s devotional reminded us that even a person who practiced sorcery (magic arts), and was far from God, could be redeemed by the power of God. I want us to note that both Simon the sorcerer and the crowds that followed him, once they trusted Jesus, were obedient to be baptized.
The Bible is very clear about the normal process of God’s plan of salvation. First, a person must hear of the good news. Second, they must be convinced and trust the good news for their own lives. Third, they must confess with their mouth the Lord Jesus (Romans 10:9). Fourth, they are to be baptized as a testimony of the work already accomplished in their hearts by faith in Jesus.
It is obvious that the Bible made exceptions to this process. The thief on the cross did not hear much of the story of the Gospel. The thief did not use the words of confession, but simply asked Jesus to have mercy on him and remember him in paradise. The thief on the cross was never baptized. Yet Jesus made it very clear that this humble thief would be in heaven when he died.
The few exceptions should not eliminate the importance of the norm that we see in the Bible. If and when we have opportunity, we should be baptized. We should be baptized after we receive Jesus, not as infants who aren’t aware of their need.
Father, I praise you for my salvation. I am grateful for the means of grace in baptism. May your kingdom grow in strength and numbers in these days of my life. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.