Summary: Commitment, Baptism, Priorities, Unity
Acts 2:36-47 (p. 759) May 29, 2016
(Read verses 36-41 to begin)
In Acts Chapter 2 Peter has just presented Jesus as God’s promised Messiah. He and the other Apostles are under the power of the promised gift of the Holy Spirit and His power is felt. He concludes this inspired message with a no “punches” pulled statement:
“Therefore let all Israel be assured of this: God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified both Lord and Messiah.”
You and I don’t make Jesus Lord and Savior…He was obedient to everything His father planned and GOD MADE HIM LORD AND SAVIOR. God gave Him “All Authority.” “God exalted Him to the highest place and gave Him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven, and on earth and under the earth. And every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father.”
Our choice by faith is whether we agree with this truth and surrender to it. It’s true whether we do or not…but our salvation depends on whether we agree with it…That’s what the word “confess” means, “I agree.” But if confession doesn’t lead to faith…it’s just an empty belief.
When the Israelites heard Peter’s message, the Holy Spirit convicted them of the sin…It’s what He was sent here to do…“to convict us in regard to sin, righteousness and the judgment.” (John 16:8)
It’s why after the message it says, “They were cut to the heart and said to Peter and the other Apostles…”Brothers, what shall we do?”
This is the salvation question! It’s the moment when you understand what God planned and did though Jesus; death, burial and resurrection…It’s the moment you feel the guilt of your sin and its ultimate consequence…judgment…Jesus is righteous…I am not righteous.
What do I do with this “knowledge” and this “conviction?”
I. PETER’S ANSWER: REPENT AND BE BAPTIZED
They are linked together for a very very good reason…Repentance means “you turn away from something.” Baptism means you are “immersed into something or someone.” God’s Holy Spirit exists to turn us away from our sin…and immerse us in Christ.
You can’t really leave your old life unless you choose a new way. Jesus is that new way…it’s why He said, “No one can come to the Father unless through me…I am the Way, the Truth and the Life.
As Savior He is the forgiver of our sins…with His Spirit given to us as we identify with His death, burial and resurrection…He now lives inside us…speaking…influencing as Lord.
This promise is for everyone who the Lord calls…but not everyone will listen to the call…3,000 died on this day, but I promise there were more than 3,000 Israelites there that day on Pentecost.
The Church doesn’t need people who were sorry for their sin but never made Jesus Lord nor does it need people who were baptized but never were sorry for their sin…it needs people who experienced the conviction of the Holy Spirit for their sin and surrendered to make Him Lord by being immersed into a new way.
[I’ve been christened, sprinkled…and when I was 8 years old I was immersed…I was immersed to do what my mom and dad were doing…my brother and sister were doing…it was all on the same day…I also wanted to eat the juice and crackers in Jr. Church…you could only do that if you were “baptized.” I felt no conviction for my sin…nor did I really think about surrendering my life…But in 1978 three months before my 18th birthday…I experienced God’s call…The message of Jesus as Savior and Lord…I know my sin and rebellion…and even though I didn’t know how He could forgive it all…I turned from it toward’s God…and I was baptized into Christ..not for my parents…not to eat communion…but for the forgiveness of my sins…and to receive the gift of the Holy Spirit…I got both…and much, much more as I started down that “new way.”]
I wrestled with God’s call for over 6 months before I surrendered…I knew it was commitment day on January 17, 1978…I’ve never rejected that eternal decision to agree with God about Jesus being Savior and Lord…How ’bout you? Repentance and baptism are the response of faith when God calls us from our sin. Is He calling you? Have you been wrestling with Him?
But let me share that when God adds you to His family…that commitment flows into His Church. A fellowship of believers who:
II. SHARE LIFE AND HAVE A COMMON PURPOSE
ACTS 2:42-47 (p. 759)
If you leave a corrupt generation and lifestyle you’d better devote yourself to different relationships and a different lifestyle…these 6 verses in Acts 2 show how the family of God, the Church, nourishes new believers…and how it impacts their family and friends for eternity…