Repentance And Baptism

And Peter said to them, Repent and each one of you be baptized upon the name of Jesus Christ

Acts 2:38


Implies A Change Of Mind

After Peter spoke concerning the Lord Jesus in His work, death, resurrection, and ascension, he instructed and entreated the Spirit-moved ones to repent, to be baptized, and to be saved (vv. 37-41 [Acts 2]).

Acts 2:37 and 38 say, “And when they heard this, they were pierced in the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, What should we do, men, brothers? And Peter said to them, Repent and be baptized, each one of you, upon the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.”

Here Peter first told the people to repent. To repent is to have a change of mind issuing in regret, to have a turn in purpose. Literally, the Greek word for repent means to think differently afterward, that is, to have a change of mind. To repent is to have a change of mind with regret for the past and a turn for the future.

On the negative side, to repent before God is to repent not only of sins and wrongdoings, but also to repent of the world and its corruption that usurp and corrupt people whom God made for Himself, and to repent of our God-forsaking life in the past.

On the positive side, to repent is to turn to God in every way and in every thing for the fulfilling of His purpose in making men. Therefore, it is a repentance unto God (Acts 20:21).


Implies Death And Resurrection

To baptize people is to immerse them, to bury them in water, signifying death. The command that a repentant one be baptized indicates that such a one is good only for burial.

Baptism, therefore, signifies the termination of the old person so that a new beginning may be realized in resurrection by Christ as the Life-giver.

Baptism in the Bible implies death and resurrection. To be baptized into the water is to be put into death and buried. To be raised up from the water means to be resurrected from death.

Three Prepositions Used In Relation To Baptism

The New Testament uses three different prepositions to describe the relationship of baptism to the Lord.


The first of these prepositions is en, in (Acts 10:48). To be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ is to be baptized in the sphere of the name of Jesus Christ, within which is the reality of the baptism.


The second preposition is eis, into (Matt. 28:19; Acts 8:16; 19:5; Rom. 6:3; Gal. 3:27). To be baptized into the name of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, or into the name of Jesus Christ, is to be baptized into a spiritual union with the all-inclusive Christ, who is the embodiment of the Triune God.

To be baptized into the name of the Lord Jesus is to be baptized into the Person of the Lord, to be identified with the crucified, resurrected, and ascended Christ, to be put into an organic union with the living Lord.

upon or on

The third preposition used to describe the relationship of baptism to the Lord is epi, upon or on, used in Acts 2:38. To be baptized upon the name of Jesus Christ is to be baptized upon the ground of what the name of Jesus Christ stands for.

It stands for all that the Person of Jesus Christ is and all that He has accomplished, both of which constitute the belief (the faith) of God’s New Testament economy. It is on this ground that the believers in Christ are baptized.

All quotations in this post, unless otherwise noted, are from Life-Study of Acts, message 11 by Witness Lee. Living Stream Ministry, Anaheim, CA, U.S.A. 1985. Source:

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