"he [Phillip] told him the good news of Jesus. As they were going along the road, they came to some water. "Look said the eunuch, 'here is water: what is to prevent me from being baptized?" Acts8,36-37
While out spreading the gospel, I'm tempted to think that we're beyond the conviction of sin anymore. But the Holy Ghost tells me otherwise. We still know right from wrong (short of insanity anyway).
It not always easy though to spot when folks are under conviction. Some will strike up any old fuss, and go on the attack. This is where some of the hate for God's people comes from. Others pose a denial and start defending a denomination, or their choices in life.
And there's also new type of difficulty when we are under conviction. We live in a time when we are confronted daily with hundreds of decisions, so many that we perhaps think the one decision we are being asked to make in faith today is inconsequential.
What's so important about one little faith decision when I'm seemingly making hundreds of other decisions today already?
Any born again Christian can testify that there are no inconsequential faith decisions. Our new life begins one faith choice at a time.
Despite all our mind numbing choices these days, the gospel stays the same. It's still about hearing the message of Jesus' love for us on Calvary, his shed blood, and choosing Him as savior, choosing His forgiveness (Isaiah 53,7-12 and Acts 8,26-40). It's still about experiencing the move of the Holy Ghost, grace, and then turning to Jesus in faithful repentance.
Yes we still live in a time when folks do come under conviction, but then we seem to think ourselves too overwhelmed to make even one logical faith choice. But think of it this way, Jesus doesn't bring us to this, or any conviction, for no good purpose or to bring us back to some former church we knew, or thought we knew.
He brings us to a change.
When I'm out spreading the gospel with folks I often have no idea what a person's conviction is about. But I do know where to find water. And what to do when we experience this grace.
We get baptized in Jesus' NAME right away (Acts2,37-39).
This baptismal act of faith has nothing to do with where we will worship after, whether the pastor or priest will like us, whether they have fiestas and bingo, the best Vacation Bible School, or all the features of the consumer based religion of our day.
This conviction is so precious that the angel of the Lord told the apostle Philip the exact desert road and the exact carriage where (down from Jerusalem towards Gaza) he would meet up with an important Ethiopian who loved the God of Israel (Acts8,26ff).
Why this guy- because he was under the first joys and pangs of our saving faith and the conviction it brings.
The Ethiopian was reading the good news of Isaiah's 53,7ff. This passage prophesies that by his faith sacrifice and ressurrection Jesus would vindicate himself and all of us, "himself bearing the penalty of their guilt." (v.11)
The Apostle Phillip helped the Ethiopian to understand this passage and also talked about adult water baptism. We know this because as soon as the Ethiopian saw some water he said "Look 'here is water: what is to prevent my being baptized?" (Acts8,37)
No church official looking for a tithe.
That's the gospel.
Conviction is a precious thing, why do we so often get fussy with it, or deny it, or have religious discussions under its sway, all of which waste it.
Why not just make the decision for baptism today?
And leave tomorrow's faith decision for the grace of tomorrow.
One day at a time (Matthew 6,34).
Not overwhelmed by decisions anymore.
(If your interested in an adult faither's baptism, or come under this conviction, call me at 203.200.9177)
first pub. 6.20.14
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Tobin Hitt is the founder of the Zion Pentecost Mission. He is open to gospel partnership with all, and identifies with Paul's description of our mission as ambassadors for our king, Jesus, urging all to reconcile with God (2Cor.20-21). He resides in Cheshire, Connecticut.read more...