This devotional first appeared in https://www.revivalandreformation.org
For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him. 2 Corinthians 5:21.
In the submission of Christ to the ordinance of baptism, He shows the sinner one of the important steps in true conversion. Christ had no sins to wash away, but in consenting to become a substitute for man, the sins of guilty man were imputed to Him…. While God accepts Christ as the sinner’s substitute, He gives the sinner a chance, with Christ’s divine power to help him, to stand the test which Adam failed to endure.
Christ came to John, repenting on the sinner’s account, believing in behalf of the sinner, that through the plan He had devised, of taking humanity, and in suffering and dying for man, the sinner would, through repentance, faith, and baptism, be accepted of God. He was buried by John in the liquid grave, and came up out of the water to represent to man, in His holy life, the true pattern for him to copy.
The steps in conversion, plainly marked out, are repentance, faith in Christ as the world’s Redeemer, faith in His death, burial, and resurrection, shown by baptism, and His ascension on high to plead in the sinner’s behalf. At the very commencement of His public ministry, He presents Himself in the character He sustains to man throughout His mediatorial work. He identifies Himself with sinners as their substitute, taking upon Himself their sins, numbering Himself with the transgressors, and doing the work the sinner is required to do in repentance, faith, and willing obedience. What an example is here given in the life of Christ for sinners to imitate! If they will not follow the example given them, they will be without excuse.
Dear children and youth, your heavenly Father and the dear Saviour are your very best friends. You have every evidence that it is possible for you to have of their love for you. “He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?”
God will not withhold anything from us that will really be for our good. Jesus would have us happy in this world, and enjoy with Him the glory of the next world. God has given to children and youth invitations to surrender to Him. “My son, give me thine heart.” A promise is given—“Those that seek me early shall find me.” …
All who live have sins to wash away…. True repentance of sin, faith in the merits of Jesus Christ, and baptism into His death, to be raised out of the water to live a new life, are the first steps in the new birth which Christ told Nicodemus he must experience in order to be saved. The words of Christ to Nicodemus are not only spoken to him, but to every man, woman, and child, that should live in the world…. We are safe in following the example of Christ (Youth’s Instructor, February 1, 1874).