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Published byTimothy Cain Modified over 7 years ago
Peter’s Sermon at Pentecost – Part 3 [What Shall We Do?] Acts: The Unfinished Story of the Church Series  Acts 2:37-41
THE JEWS’ RESPONSE: WHY WERE THEY CUT TO THE HEART? Now when they heard this they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “Brothers, what shall we do?” (v.37) Reason #1: Peter’s preaching of the Word. Seeing is NOT automatic believing; Peter’s preaching of the Word was essential to their realization of the truth. “So faith comes from hearing; hearing through the word of Christ” (Romans 10:17). It points to our need for sharing the gospel boldly.
THE JEWS’ RESPONSE: WHY WERE THEY CUT TO THE HEART? Now when they heard this they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “Brothers, what shall we do?” (v.37) Reason #2: The deep conviction of their sins. Peter preached the bad news as well as the good news. “…you crucified and killed by the hands of the lawless men… this Jesus whom you crucified” (vs. 23b, 36b). It points to our need for sharing the WHOLE gospel.
THE JEWS’ RESPONSE: WHY WERE THEY CUT TO THE HEART? Now when they heard this they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “Brothers, what shall we do?” (v.37) Reason #3: The powerful work of the Holy Spirit. It was the Holy Spirit who empowered Peter’s preaching and convicted the audience’s sin. “My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power, so that your faith might not rest on human wisdom, but on God’s power” (1 Cor. 2:4-5, NIV). It points to our need for Spirit-filled life and witnessing.
PETER’S ANSWER TO “BROTHERS, WHAT SHALL WE DO?” 1) REPENT: Change your direction—from your way to God’s way. And Peter said to them, “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. (v.38) What repentance [metanoeó] is NOT: It is NOT a change of opinion (mental consent). It is NOT having a mere remorse (feeling sorry). Repentance involves all three: A genuine change of thoughts (the way we think about sin). A genuine change of feelings (the way we feel about sin). A genuine change of will (the way we decide about sin). Therefore, true repentance involves taking a U turn from self in order to turn to God, bearing fruit (change of life).
True Repentance Evangelical repentance is repentance of sin as sin: not of this sin nor of that, but of the whole mass. We repent of the sin of our nature as well as the sin of our practice. We bemoan sin within us and without us. We repent of sin itself as being an insult to God. Anything short of this is a mere surface repentance, and not a repentance which reaches to the bottom of the mischief. Repentance of the evil act, and not of the evil heart, is like men pumping water out of a leaky vessel, but forgetting to stop the leak. Some would dam up the stream, but leave the fountain still flowing; they would remove the eruption from the skin, but leave the disease in the flesh... He that repents of sin as sin against God, is no longer sporting with the evil, but has come to stern business with it; now he will be led to change his life, and to be a new man: now, also, will he be driven to cry to God for mercy, and in consequence he will be drawn to trust in Jesus. - Charles Haddon Spurgeon (1889)
PETER’S ANSWER TO “BROTHERS, WHAT SHALL WE DO?” 2) BE BAPTIZED: Publically declare your faith in Christ. And Peter said to them, “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. (v.38) Water baptism does NOT save you—if so, what is Peter saying by this coupling of “repentance & baptism”? Peter utilizes baptism as a clear action step for them as: Personal faith in Jesus as Lord and Christ (“every one of you”). Public declaration of allegiance to Christ as his disciple (“be baptized… in the name of Jesus Christ.”). Obedience to Christ as a new believer (it is Christ’s command). Therefore, baptism is not required for salvation (Acts 3:19- 20) but essential in discipleship (Matt 28:19-20).
PETER’S ANSWER TO “BROTHERS, WHAT SHALL WE DO?” 3) THE RESULTS: 3000 were baptized and saved that same day. 39 For the promise is for you and for your children and for all who are far off, everyone whom the Lord our God calls to himself.” 40 And with many other words he bore witness and continued to exhort them, saying, “Save yourselves from this crooked generation.” 41 So those who received his word were baptized, and there were added that day about three thousand souls. (vs. 39-41) Promise: the forgiveness of sins and the Holy Spirit himself. Its scope: The promise is for everyone whom God calls to himself ( “for you and your children and for all who are far off…” ). Addition: 3000 souls saved were added to the church! Peter’s additional exhortation: Don’t put it off until later ( “Save yourselves from this crooked generation” ).
God has promised forgiveness to your repentance, but He has not promised tomorrow to your procrastination. St. Augustine of Hippo
THREE PRACTICAL QUESTIONS FOR OUR EVERYDAY LIFE 1.What must be changed in the way I repent? In what ways can I practice true repentance in my everyday life? 1.What is my application regarding baptism—in view and/or obedience? Have I been baptized in the name of Jesus Christ? 1.How can I boldly share the whole gospel with the unchurched friends by the Spirit’s power? What is my first step?
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