Summary: Commands of Salvation

The 1st Sermon-The Imperatives of Salvation

Acts 2:37-41

Lessons From The Early Church

We have come here to the end of Peter’s first sermon that was delivered right after the receiving of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost.

A group of Jews who were in Jerusalem for the Feast of Weeks came to the room where the disciples and others were gathered when they heard the rush of the wind that accompanied the coming of the Holy Spirit.

What we have here today is what we might call today the invitation. It is where the drawing of the people comes about.

Some people today might say, why do we have an invitation. I believe the invitation is the most important part of the whole sermon. It is the climatic point when the opportunity to, as we might say, do business with God. The invitation is that time when God has been working in your heart and he draws you to Him. It is where we give an opportunity for someone to come and receive Christ, to come and follow in Baptism, to join the church, to make another decision for Christ, to be prayed with and to be prayed for.

Here today we have Peter’s Imperatives of Salvation. An imperative is another word for a command. So you might look at this as the commands or the orders of salvation.

Acts 2:37-40

1) Conviction—vs. 37

a) This is conviction

b) The enormity of their sin and guilt came home to their hearts

c) Conviction is the Holy Spirit’s first work in a human heart

d) The Holy Spirit makes people see their personal accountability before God for what they have done, and particularly for their rejection of Christ

e) They were pricked in their heart

f) Ill-do you remember the pricking of your heart when Christ called you

g) Ill-Does that pricking still take you back to that day you received Christ

h) Do you remember when you prayed to receive Christ

i) Vs 37 says they were pricked-that means to convict

j) That conviction is an emotional movement of the heart

k) A person senses sorrow over disappointing God

l) The person’s heart is touched and moved to some degree of brokenness

m) Remember twice in his sermon Peter reminded them it was them who put Christ to death

n) This imagery was piercing their hearts

o) Ill-the passion of the Christ, Mel Gibson not playing in the movie, but it was his hands that did the nailing

p) That conviction is a sense of the sin, of doing wrong, of breaking God’s law

q) It is a sense of failure, of coming short, of disappointing God

r) Conviction causes us to ask the most important question we could ever ask

s) “What Shall We do”

t) Many people today have different answers to that question

u) The legalist says you have to work your way into heaven, keep and do the right things

v) The moralist says you have to do enough good things to outweigh the bad

w) The pluralist says that there are many ways to heaven, completely ignoring Jesus’ command that wide is the way of destruction but narrow is the way that leads to God

x) But Peter is going to give them the only way that salvation comes

y) First is conviction

2) Repent And Be Baptized-vs. 38

a) The Bible’s response-REPENT

b) The command of salvation is to repent

c) The word in the Greek is in the command form

d) Used 34 times in the NT and always meaning

e) It is to change directions

f) It is a turning away from sin and turning toward God

g) John the Baptist said in Matthew 3:2—“Repent for the kingdom of God is at hand”

h) Luke 13:3—“unless you repent you will all likewise perish”

i) Repentance involves turning from sin and turning towards God

j) When salvation comes we must repent

k) We ask God for the forgiveness

l) Give our lives over to Him

m) Turn from the lives we have been living

n) And commit to follow Him

o) Then we take the next step

p) And then be baptized

q) Unfortunately some have associated this verse that salvation includes the act of baptism and it does not

r) Baptism is the outward sign of that inward change in your life

s) When John came out of the wilderness and was baptism it was for those who had repented

t) It is that identification with Christ in his death, burial and resurrection

u) This is only sermon of Peter’s where he talks about repent and baptism together.

v) Baptism does not save you, but it is just as much of a command as repentance

w) Matthew 28:19—“Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit”

x) The Ethiopian eunuch asking to be baptized after repenting of his sins

y) The jailer receiving Christ and immediately was baptized

z) Baptism again is that outward expression that identifies you with Christ

aa) Have you been saved, have you followed that in believers baptism, if not why not

bb) First is conviction, second repent and be baptized

3) Results—vs. 38

a) Forgiveness

b) When you repent of your sins there is that forgiveness that comes from God

c) See we need forgiveness because of the wrong doing and guilt and penalty in our lives

d) Romans 3:23—“For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God”

e) Romans 6:23—“for the wages of sin is death but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus”

f) And when we ask Christ to forgive us and we receive this forgiveness it is a once and for all forgiveness

g) Complete forgiveness of sins is the blessed joy and privilege of every believer

h) Matthew 26:28—“for this is My blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for forgiveness of sins”

i) Eph 1:7—“In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace”

j) 1 John 1:9—“If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness”

k) 1 John 2:12—“I am writing to you, little children, because your sins have been forgiven you for His name’s sake”

l) Receiving the Holy Spirit is the other result

m) God sends His Holy Spirit to be the guide of your life

4) Assurance—vs. 39

a) God’s salvation is to all

b) For every generation

c) Shall call on the name of the Lord

d) Acts 2:21—“whoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved”

e) Some people say if God wants everyone to be saved why does he not do it.

f) God made us with a free will to choose and He wants us to choose Him and to call on Him, not to reject Him

5) Choosing—vs. 40-41

a) When people hear the Word of God, there is a change that happens

b) Listen some today make coming to Christ easy.

c) You just come but there should not be any change

d) Listen coming to Christ requires a sacrifice, it requires a change, it requires a choice

e) A choice to accept Him and to live for Him

f) They accept the cost

g) They accepted Christ

h) They were baptized

i) And the Word of God tells us that 3000 souls came to Christ that day