Summary: When people acknowledge the Savior, they acknowledge the need for being saved from a condition of sinfulness. Jesus had already paid for their sins, but they would not experience his forgiveness unless they turned (repented) to God. Don’t ignore the Lord’
Opening illustration: In 2010, auto manufacturers recalled a staggering 20 million cars in the US for various defects. The thought of such a large number of defective cars on the road is startling enough. But what is more disturbing is the apathy of some owners. In one instance, the executive director of the Center for Auto Safety warned owners, “It’s a free repair. Get it done. It may save your life.” Yet, despite the risk to their own lives, 30 percent never responded.
Likewise, many ignore God’s “recall notice” to the entire human race. Unlike a defect found in automobiles, the moral defect of the human race is not the Maker’s fault. He made everything “very good” (Genesis 1: 31), but people’s sin ruined it. God’s offer to us is “repent . . . that your sins may be blotted out” (Acts 3: 19).
God offers not just a free repair of the human heart but a replacement of it (Ezekiel 36: 26; 2 Corinthians 5: 17). Though the offer costs us nothing (Ephesians 2: 8-9), it cost God the life of His only Son Jesus Christ. “[Jesus] bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, having died to sins, might live for righteousness - by whose stripes you were healed” (1 Peter 2: 24). (Illustration from C. P. Hia, Our Daily Bread)
Don’t ignore the Lord’s call. The free and permanent remedy offered by God for your spiritual defect will save your life! Let us turn to Acts 3 in God’s Word and check out this recall notice …
Introduction: Throughout his sermon, Peter insisted that Jesus is Savior. He suffered according to God’s plan and the prophets had foretold his suffering. The apostles had seen Jesus’ death and resurrection. At least some of the audience would have heard Jesus teach and heal — and seen him die. Given these facts, Peter preached that only one reaction from the audience is appropriate. Luke summarized it in a sentence: “Repent…and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out” (3: 19).
Peter speaks here of repentance as a turning to God (1: 19). The reason is because all have sinned and come short of the glory of God — Jew and Gentile alike (Romans 3: 23). All people must turn to God, even those who have understood and tried to follow the Holy Scriptures (Acts 26: 20). To experience reconciliation with God, everyone needs forgiveness, repentance, and the Holy Spirit. (Repentance then meant to turn from their idols and follow the living God)
How to respond to God’s ‘Recall Notice?’ (What to do with the ‘Recall Notice?’)
In context today, “repentance” implies turning to God by accepting Jesus as Lord, and as the Messiah whom God had chosen (9: 35; 11: 27). When people acknowledge the Savior, they acknowledge the need for being saved from a condition of sinfulness. Jesus had already paid for their sins, but they would not experience his forgiveness unless they turned (repented) to God (3: 19).