Friday, July 28, 2017
This text is the end of Peter’s Pentecost Sermon. Jesus has been crucified, buried, resurrected on the third day, and ascended to the Father in Heaven. Peter has just told the crowd that Jesus, Messiah, had come to love us and we crucified him:
Peter’s words pierced their hearts, and they said to him and to the other apostles, “Brothers, what should we do?” Peter replied, “Each of you must repent of your sins and turn to God, and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. Then you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. Acts 2:37-38(NLT)
Why repentance and baptism? How does that speak to the unspeakable misery of humankind around the world? The group listening to Peter got the point, even if we in the 21st century have largely missed it. Repentance and baptism is how you get right with God.
About three thousand folks responded to the promise of Joel (2:28) by calling on the Lord, repenting of their sin; they were saved, and then baptized.
How would you describe the events of September 11, 2001? Was it Satanic or evil attack, Jihad, Islamic holy war, or just plain schizophrenic madness of a cult? Any of those can be debated; what cannot be debated is that God speaks to us in that misery and carnage; He calls out to us to call upon His name to be saved.
God calls to us saying, See, I have better things in mind for you.
God calls to us saying, Men may lie in wait to destroy, I will love you.
God calls to us saying, Without My forgiveness you will hate just as much as the ones who attacked you.
Leslie Williamson lives in Nevada. Her 7 year old son was baptized in
Lake Tahoe. She watched with tears as he came up out of
Do you feel any different she asked.
Yeah, Mom, I do, he replied. Now I have water up my nose![ii]
Repenting and calling upon the name of the Lord, and then following Him in believer’s baptism isn’t about whether you feel different, better, wiser, or even saved. It is all about obedience to God whether you feel like it or not – whether you question God or not.
Obedience brings joy.
And when you make up your mind to obey God, you will find He has a wonderful plan for encouraging you along the way.
[ii] Leslie A. Williamson,
Today's Christian Woman, "Heart to Heart.” Gardnerville, NV