Summary: Although the people had rejected their Messiah, a path back was possible. They had to change their attitude, become followers of Jesus, and enjoy the blessings of salvation if they were to align themselves to God’s will for them.
Bringing in the Net
1. I have been a juror a number of times. Although I do not look forward to the time commitment, I have found my experiences interesting.
2. I have noticed, however, a variety of qualities in the cases prepared by both the prosecution and defense. Sometimes I wished we had more information and more testimonies.
3. Because the Jewish culture has been so engrossed in the Torah, the Instruction of Moses, many Jewish people developed a legal way of thinking that gave rise to a significant number of attorneys who were Jewish.
4. In a sense, Peter was a great lawyer. Peter had prosecuted his case like a tried and tested professional attorney. He has offered solid evidence that Jesus was, in fact, the promised Messiah. He argued that instead of receiving Him, most of that crowd has passed Him by and some were actually party to His crucifixion.
2. A crowd of thousands gathered when they heard the noise of Pentecost. These were Jews, individuals prepared by God for generations to respond to the Messiah.
3. vs. 40 implies that this was a long sermon; we only have highlights. Yet we have enough to get the just of Peter’s preaching.
4. At this point, he is about to "draw in the net." As "fishers of men," Peter and the apostles
Main Idea: Although the people had rejected their Messiah, a path back was possible. They had to change their attitude, become followers of Jesus, and enjoy the blessings of salvation if they were to align themselves to God’s will for them.
I. A CHANGE in Attitude
A. The people REALIZED their wrong (37a)
1. Most of us did not hate Jesus before we were saved; we probably respected Him and perhaps would have called ourselves believers…but we had not received Him personally by faith…
2. Before we came to know Christ, we probably figured that God graded on a curve, and as long as we were as good or better than the average person, we thought we were okay with God. Some of us may have thought we were accumulating brownie points by attending church or helping little old ladies across the street.
3. But then the Holy Spirit latched onto us; we realized that our hearts are sinful, and that the standard is not how everyone else behaves, but rather God’s revealed will. God doesn’t judge on the basis of some cosmic curve: His standard is perfection. And we came to see that we fall short of that standard. We understood, perhaps for the first time, that we were lost sinners. We saw that we do not simply make mistakes, but we can be incredibly selfish, bitter, controlling, and ill-minded.
B. They wanted to MAKE it right (37b)
1. The guilt and conviction of the Holy Spirit so overwhelmed them that they had to do something to address their wrong. Please note they did not explain, rationalize, or temper their guilt. Their plea was "guilty," because God the Holy Spirit had pierced their hearts.
2. Their pride was no longer relevant. For the first time, they saw how they were under the wrath of God.
3. Folks, this sense of conviction is counter-intuitive and supernatural. All pretense and image is gone. They were ready to do business with God, no matter where that might lead.
C. They asked, "What should we DO?"
D. The questions was not as specific as "What must I do to be SAVED?" In Acts 16:30-31, the Philippian jailor asks the more specific question, and Paul’s answer is, "Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and you shall be saved."
Have you come to God as a sinner who realized he can do nothing to make up for his sins? Have you ever faced your lost, helpless condition apart from Christ?
II. God’s Will: Become A FOLLOWER of Jesus (38a)
The fact that they wanted to do something about their rejection of Jesus evidences that they had indeed, repented. At least those who spoke up. Others were probably considering repenting, which means reversing their rejection of Jesus and accepting Him as Lord and Savior.
B. Be BAPTIZED as a TEST of repentance
There is no baptism in magic; it is used, rather, as a visible sign of invisible repentance; baptism assumes repentant faith, which saves us. Peter makes this clear:
1 Peter 3:21, "and this water symbolizes baptism that now saves you also—not the removal of dirt from the body but the pledge of a good conscience toward God…"
To baptize means: "to dip, immerse, or sink" in the original Greek, and is based upon the Jewish custom of Mikveh, ritual washing.
1. To baptize means "to dip" or "to immerse" in the original Greek, and is based upon the Jewish custom of Mikveh, ritual washing.