Summary: Repent to be forgiven, be baptized to belong, and be Spirit-controlled to have victory in life.
This is Peter’s first sermon. Pentecost has just taken place. The early believers were filled with the Holy Spirit. The accompanying phenomenon attracted curious onlookers. Peter explained to the multitude the meaning of the outpouring of the Holy Spirit that they witnessed. He also grabbed the opportunity to boldly proclaim the gospel of the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
WHAT SHALL WE DO? (v.37)
After hearing Peter’s sermon, the people were convicted of their sin. They understood their need of salvation. They wanted to know what they should do to be saved from the wrath to come.
Peter told them to repent. He admonished them to make a U-turn. In essence he said, “Change your ways…Get rid of your sins…Stop rebelling against God…Start living a new life.”
AND BE BAPTIZED…(v.38b)
Peter added, “Identify yourselves with Jesus Christ…Believe in His death and resurrection—there is no forgiveness aside from His vicarious sacrifice at the cross…If you are to receive forgiveness, it has to be on His terms…He is offering it freely to you…All you need to do is receive Him as your Lord and Savior.”
FOR THE FORGIVENESS OF SINS…(v.38c)
The Lord Jesus paid for your sins at the cross. But you must empty your heart and open your hand to receive His forgiveness. Right now, your heart is full of sin that there is no room for God’s love and grace.
This is decision time. Make your choice. You cannot have both. You cannot continue in your sin and have Christ in your heart. They cannot co-exist. That is why you need to REPENT and be BAPTIZED.
AND YOU WILL RECEIVE THE HOLY SPIRIT…(v.38d)
You cannot live the Christian life by yourself. You need the Holy Spirit to enable you to suppress the attraction of sin and to empower you to live the Christian life because it is not an EARTHLY life but a SUPERNATURAL life, it is not a PHYSICAL life but a SPIRITUAL LIFE, it is not a HUMAN life but a DIVINE life.
Today, by repenting of your sins, you will be forgiven; by submitting to baptism, you become a part of God’s family (the church, the body of Christ), and He becomes your Lord and Master; and the Holy Spirit will guide you and empower you to live for God. Would you like to do that today?