Summary: To establish that the phrase: "To repent and be converted for the believers' sins to be blotted out” is the same promise as: “to repent, and be baptized, in the name of Jesus Christ, for the remission of sins." True conversion is only possible through faith and obedience to God.
1. Repent and be converted
1. In this lesson today, we will be discussing the theme: “Repent and be converted." This is the sixth lesson in the sermon-series entitled: "Re-digging in Old Wells." There will be many others bearing this title. We are re-digging in old wells to receive what Isaiah promises: “With joy, you will draw water from the wells of salvation,” Isaiah 12:3. There are times we must re-dig in old wells to receive the joy found in the: "waters of salvation." This sermon type is called "expository preaching." Our goal will be: “to dig a little deeper” in the text of emphasis in these lessons. We will allow the writer, the characters in the verses, and the Master's words to shed new meaning to: “His words of eternal life,” John 6:63; John 6:67-69.
2. We will answer this question: "What all is involved in being converted?” By this, we mean: “Does being converted include some act of obedience?” Is there a correlation between the verbs: "be converted and be baptized?" We will re-dig in old wells, to find a biblical answer for these questions. Ulysses Shields called this kind of teaching: "digging a little deeper," in the word of truth. He was my beloved grandfather in Christ. We will use as a foundational text for this sermon-series: "And Isaac re-dug the wells of water, which they had dug in the days of Abraham...for the Philistines had stopped them (closed them up) after Abraham’s death, etc.,” Genesis 26:18. The Philistines: “Stopped them, and filled them with earth,” because they envied Isaac’s possessions, Genesis 26:14-15.
3. Our text of emphasis reads as follows: “Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord; And he shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you: Whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began,” Acts 3:19-21. We will discuss this text in light of the teachings of many, which ignore repentance, conversion, and baptism in their evangelistic preaching and bible studies.
4. It's time for all teachers and preachers to: “repent and be converted!” If indeed we have this ministry, and received mercy, that we faint not: “But have renounced the hidden things of dishonesty, not walking in craftiness, nor handling the word of God deceitfully; but...in truth commending ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God,” 2 Corinthians 4:1-2; Luke 18:1. If we will answer these critical questions, it’s essential that we consider every text, within the context of the scriptures. With God’s help, we will do just that, to draw: “New water from old wells.” With this introduction, let’s consider this topic carefully, with both our bibles and hearts opened unto the living God.
BODY OF LESSON
I REPENT AND BE CONVERTED
A. Background study. This sermon of Peter does not get the attention it needs, in much of our preaching. Peter is defending his actions for calling: “In the name of Jesus of Nazareth,” healing for a man of the palsy, who sat at the gate of beautiful, begging alms from the people. On this day, the man will receive from God more than he was asking for while begging before the temple doors. Peter and John would be instruments in his healing. Let’s observe--
1. The hour of prayer. Luke wrote: “Now Peter and John went up together into the temple at the hour of prayer, being the ninth hour. And a certain man lame from his mother's womb was carried, whom they laid daily at the gate of the temple called Beautiful, to ask alms of them that entered into the temple: Who seeing Peter and John about to go into the temple asked for alms. And Peter, fastening his eyes upon him with John, said: Look on us. And he gave heed unto them, expecting to receive something of them (alms),” Acts 3:1-5.
2. The miracle of healing. Luke continued: “Then Peter said, Silver and gold have I none; but such as I have I give thee: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise and walk. And he took him by the right hand, and lifted him: and immediately his feet and ankle bones received strength. And he was leaping up stood, and walked, and entered with them into the temple, walking, and leaping, and praising God. And all the people saw him walking and praising God: And they knew that it was he which sat for alms at the Beautiful gate of the temple: and they were being filled with wonder and amazement at that which had happened unto him. And as the lame man which was healed held (cling to) Peter and John, all the people ran together unto them in the porch that is called Solomon's, greatly wondering,” Acts 3:6-11. Peter said unto the man of palsy: