A Thorough Washing

Bible Reading: 1 Peter 3:18-21

We humbly asked God to remove our shortcomings.

When we ask God to remove our shortcomings, we show that we want our sins to be washed away. We may be burdened by what we've learned about ourselves while working the previous steps. We may feel dirty, and trapped; unable to make a break from our old life.

God realizes our need to feel clean and new. He has given us the command to accomplish this through baptism. The ceremonial dipping in water symbolically demonstrates our desire to have our sins or shortcomings washed away. The apostle Peter explained it this way: "That water [Noah's flood] is a picture of baptism, which now saves you, not by removing dirt from your body, but as a response to God from [or as an appeal to God for] a clean conscience. It is effective because of the resurrection of Jesus Christ" (1 Peter 3:21).

In describing his own conversion, the apostle Paul said, "A man named Ananias . . . came and stood beside me and said, . . . ‘The God of our ancestors has chosen you to know his will and to see the Righteous One and hear him speak. For you are to be his witness, telling everyone what you have seen and heard. What are you waiting for? Get up and be baptized. Have your sins washed away by calling on the name of the Lord' " (Acts 22:12-16).

Some of us may never have been baptized, but the Bible urges us to do so. God has prescribed this special act for our healing. Baptism demonstrates our exit from an old life and our entrance into a new one. Why delay?

As we humbly ask God to remove our sins, he promises to wash and cleanse our hearts.