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#9.2 REPENT AND DO THE FIRST WORKS Revelation 2:5

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Greek Word Study βαπτίζω baptizo baptize.
Greek Word Study βάπτισμα
baptizma baptism.

Introduction 9.2

This is a bible study about rebaptism showing that one of the 'first works' (Revelation 2:5) is rebaptism. This case is when a Christian has backslidden into seeking the things of the world. Compare these two scriptures:

(Acts 2:38) "Repent and be baptized"
(Revelation 2:5) "Repent and do the first works;"

Peter's first instruction to those requiring salvation in Acts 2:38 was, "Repent and be baptized." Jesus commanded those who had left their first love (gone away from him), "Repent and do the first works:" (Revelation 2:5). We could ask the question, "What are the first works that Jesus referred to?" We will show in this bible study that one of the first works referred to was water baptism.

#9.2 REPENT AND DO THE FIRST WORKS (Revelation 2:5)

Greek - REVELATION 2:4-5 - English
ἀλλ᾽ ἔχω κατὰ σοῦ, ὅτι τὴν ἀγάπην σου τὴν πρώτην ἀφῆκας. 4 Nevertheless I have something against you, because you have left your first love.
μνημόνευε οὖν πόθεν ἐκπέπτωκας, καὶ μετανόησον, καὶ τὰ πρῶτα ἔργα ποίησον∙ εἰ δὲ μή, ἔρχομαί σοι ταχύ καὶ κινήσω τὴν λυχνίαν σου ἐκ τοῦ τόπου αὐτῆς, ἐὰν μὴ μετανοήσῃς. 5 Remember therefore from where you have fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come to you quickly, and will remove your lamp stand out of its place, except you repent.

Note: This church at Ephesus had one very serious accusation laid against them by Jesus: "You have left your first love." (v4). Jesus was once asked what was the greatest commandment in the law, and his reply was:

(Matthew 22:39) "You shall love the Lord your God with all of your heart, and with all of your soul, and with all of your mind."

God should be the first love of every Christian, and when we go back and set our heart on worldly things then we have left off loving God.

(1 John 2:15) "Do not love the world, nor the things that are in the world. If any man loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him."

Our love for God is expressed by obedience to God's commandments (John 14:15, 14:21-24, 1 John 5:2-3, 2 John 6), so it appears that these Ephesian brethren had ceased to be obedient to the commandments of God, and were backslidden. Jesus said, "Repent and do the first works", but what are the "first works"? When Peter preached after being filled with the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost, he said, "Repent and be baptized" (Acts 2:38), indicating that baptism is one of the first works that someone does when they become believers. If we look in the New Testament it seems that water baptism was invariably the first thing that believers did after they became believers.

(Acts 8:12-13) "But when they believed Philip preaching the things concerning the kingdom of God, and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women.
Then Simon himself believed also: and when he was baptized, he continued with Philip, and wondered, seeing the miracles and signs which were done."

(Acts 8:35-39) "Then Philip opened his mouth, and began at the same scripture, and preached Jesus to him.
And as they went on their way, they came to a certain water: and the eunuch said, See, here is water; what hinders me to be baptized?
And Philip said, If you believe with all your heart, you may. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.
And he commanded the chariot to stand still: and they went down both into the water, both Philip and the eunuch; and he baptized him.
And when they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord caught away Philip, that the eunuch saw him no more: and he went on his way rejoicing."

(Acts 10:44-48) "While Peter yet spoke these words, the Holy Spirit fell on all those who heard the word.
And those of the circumcision who believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because that on the Gentiles also was poured out the gift of the Holy Spirit.
For they heard them speak with tongues, and magnify God. Then answered Peter,
Can any man forbid water, that these should not be baptized, who have received the Holy Spirit even as we did?
And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord. Then they begged him to remain some days."

(Acts 16:14-15) "And a certain woman named Lydia, a seller of purple, of the city of Thyatira, who worshipped God, heard us: whose heart the Lord opened, that she attended to the things which were spoken of by Paul.
And when she was baptized, and her household, she entreated us, saying, If you have judged me to be faithful to the Lord, come into my house, and abide there. And she constrained us."

(Acts 16:30-33) "And (the Philippian jailer) brought them out, and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved?
And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you shall be saved, and your house.
And they spoke to him the word of the Lord, and to all who were in his house.
And he took them the same hour of the night, and washed their stripes; and he was baptized, and all his, immediately.

In each of the five cases above, quoted from the book of Acts, water baptism was considered to be an urgent work after someone became a believer in the Lord Jesus Christ. These scriptures are convincing proof that water baptism was one of the first works that Jesus was referring to when he spoke to the church at Ephesus and told them to do the "first works". Therefore, rebaptism is scriptural for someone who has backslidden.

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