Many years ago when I was a kid, I went through a stage that most children go through where I was constantly falling down and skinning or scraping my knees. I remember one day in particular, my mom had this new medicine that she said she was going to try out on my wound. She assured me that this new stuff, which was called Bactine, would not sting like the peroxide that she usually used. I said, “Okay mom. I believe that the Bactine really works, and it will help my owie get better.” Then my mom and I sat there and just stared in wonder at the bottle of Bactine as we believed in our minds that this new medicine helps heal wounds.
NOT! That’s not what we did! My mom followed the directions on the package, took the cap off the container and sprayed some of the liquid onto my wounded knee. Did my scrape get better? Yes, it did. My mom believed, and I believed that the Bactine would be effective in healing my wound, but Bactine actually had no effect until it came out of the bottle and was applied.
From a child, I had heard the story of Jesus Christ. I believed that He was born into this world, died on the cross and was buried and rose again on the third day. This is the gospel message, and I believed it.(or at least I thought I believed it)Was it relevant to my every day life? Did it change me and give me power to overcome sinful habits and live a victorious life? No, the gospel had absolutely no effect on my life, until I came to the place(by God’s grace and leading)where I understood that I needed to apply the gospel. Jesus died on the cross, so death was the place where I needed to begin. I had to die to my sinful nature and lifestyle through repentance. I asked God to forgive me of every sin I had ever committed and to help me not to continue doing those things that did not please Him. Next came the burial. The Bible likens baptism in several places to a burial. I saw that in the Scriptures. I also saw that everyone in the Bible that was baptized was baptized in the name of Jesus Christ, so I followed that pattern. What was it that caused Jesus to be able to rise from the dead? It was the Spirit of God that dwelt in Him. I needed God’s Spirit to come and dwell in me so I could be raised up to walk in newness of life. This is what happened to me when I received the baptism of the Holy Ghost, just like they did in the book of Acts. ( Acts 2:1-4, Acts 10:44-48, Acts 19:1-6) It was a miracle! I felt the Spirit of God in such an incredible way as I spoke in other tongues for the very first time. In Acts 1:8, Jesus told His disciples that they would receive power after they received the Holy Ghost. I found that to be true in my life. God began to empower me through the Holy Ghost to lay down the things that were contrary to the way a Christian should live.
So why am I writing this? Maybe there are others out there like me who have heard of the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus. Mentally, you believe it, but it hasn’t really impacted your life in the way you had hoped. Perhaps you have repented and asked God for forgiveness, but this is as far as you have gone. You want to live for God, but you find yourself continually falling back into temptation or just not having joy in your relationship with God. Could it be that you have not fully applied the gospel to your life? If you’ve never been baptized in Jesus’ name, I challenge you to read and study the book of Acts, and then I dare you to obey God and do it! If you’ve never received the Holy Ghost with the evidence of speaking in other tongues, don’t sell yourself short. This experience is for you, and it will not only give you joy and power to live an overcoming life, but it will help you to be a witness for Jesus.
We came into this world with a terrible disease called sin, but God in His love and grace provided the remedy – the gospel. It is effective – when applied. The application made the difference for me. It can make the difference for you too!