Monday through Friday with People of Faith: Day 246/260: Ananias

Read Acts 9:10-19; 22:12-16

Why Are You Waiting?

When the Lord told Ananias that Saul of Tarsus was headed his way, his heart must have skipped a beat. The man who was “breathing threats and murder against the disciples” (Acts 9:1), who had authority to imprison those who professed the risen Lord, was coming to his house. But Saul was not coming to arrest this “devout man” (Acts 22:12); Saul was coming to learn from him.

Ananias chose to trust in the Lord and obey the command to go to Saul. He went to the house where Saul was praying and fasting, and said to him, “The God of our fathers has chosen you that you should know His will, and see the Just One, and hear the voice of His mouth. For you will be His witness to all men of what you have seen and heard” (Acts 22:14-16).

There are many religious groups that teach the doctrine of the “sinner’s prayer” for salvation. They claim that if you simply pray and ask Jesus into your heart, that you will be saved. There is no Scriptural support for such a statement. In fact, the conversion of Saul of Tarsus shows the exact opposite. Saul prayed for three days, but when Ananias arrived, he told him to stop praying!

What did Ananias teach Saul of Tarsus about salvation? He said, “And now why are you waiting? Arise and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on the name of the Lord” (Acts 22:16). Can a person be saved if his sins are not washed away? If it is baptism that washes away sins, can one be saved without baptism?

I understand that someone you trusted probably told you something different. They meant well, but they were misinformed themselves. When we stand before the Lord in judgment, He will not accept the excuse, “I didn’t know!” Jesus makes it clear that we can know the truth (John 8:32) and that we have that which will judge us (John 12:48). If you have not obeyed the Lord by putting Him on in baptism, why are you waiting?

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