Living the Christian Life – Chapter 3: The Power of Having Your Sins Washed Away

Inspiration MinistriesBy Inspiration Ministries5 Minutes

In the first chapter, we mentioned that there could be no sin in the presence of a perfect and holy God. So no one who has ever knowingly done wrong can go to Heaven based on his or her good works—their sin disqualifies them. The wonderful thing about receiving God’s free gift of salvation through the death and resurrection of Jesus is that it completely washes our sins away. When we accept Jesus as our Savior, all our sins from the past, from the present, and even in the future are obliterated.

That is one of the powerful things that water baptism represents.

When you are submerged in that water during the act of baptism, it is a powerful symbol of how all your sins have been completely forgiven and “washed away” by the shed blood of Jesus. For as the writer of Hebrews declares:

“According to the law of Moses, nearly everything was purified with blood. For without the shedding of blood, there is no forgiveness” (Hebrews 9:22 NLT).

When Saul (later Paul) encountered Jesus on the road to Damascus, he was directed to go into the city and meet with Ananias, a mature disciple of Jesus. When Ananias found him, he said to Saul, “Rise and be baptized and wash away your sins, calling on his name” (Acts 22:16 ESV).

There is a wonderful old hymn of the Christian Church called “Nothing but the Blood,” that powerfully communicates this concept.

What can wash away my sin?
Nothing but the blood of Jesus;
What can make me whole again?
Nothing but the blood of Jesus.
Oh! Precious is the flow
That makes me white as snow;
No other fount I know
Nothing but the blood of Jesus

The message of this song is encapsulated in the symbolic, but powerful act of water baptism.

What Happens When You Are Water Baptized?

For some, the act of baptism is a symbolic moment, which is most often accompanied by great joy. Since this is a public declaration of faith, it can also be a somber occasion where the new believer ponders the decision that has been made to follow Jesus with all his/her heart, soul, mind, and strength (Deuteronomy 6:5; Matthew 22:37).

Sometimes, in His sovereign will, God will also bless a new believer with a spiritual gift during the time of water baptism. Some have been known to emerge from the water quoting Scripture, prophesying, or even speaking in tongues. The Bible calls these experiences “manifestations of the Holy Spirit” (more on this in chapter 4). Others have risen from the water experiencing supernatural peace and the ability to extend forgiveness to those who have hurt them in the past. Some have been filled with such joy that they laugh—sometimes uncontrollably. Some have been filled with such compassion and sorrow for the lost and hurting in this world that they weep.

Some have shared that after being water baptized they experienced a change in their thinking and a significant reduction in their desire to commit sin. Some have emerged from the water completely delivered from addictions to drugs, alcohol, tobacco, pornography, sexual sin, overeating, and other sinful cravings.

Others may not grasp what has taken place, and they see it as simply an act of obedience as a new Christian. And that is fine, too. What truly matters is that you have obeyed Jesus’ command to be baptized with water. God always honors and blesses obedience to His Word.

Being Filled with the Holy Spirit

In chapter 4, we will explore the exciting relationship between the believer and the Holy Spirit. The Word of God and the Holy Spirit have the most powerful impact in helping a person grow from a believer into a disciple of Jesus Christ. And the Holy Spirit will empower you to make an impact on the world for the Kingdom of God!