Power of God'
6th April 2021
...for the forgiveness...
38 Peter replied,
"Repent and be baptised,
every one of you,
in the name of Jesus Christ
for the forgiveness of your sins.
And you will receive the
gift of the Holy Spirit.
..... Acts 2: 38
Throughout Eastertide until Pentecost
the readings set by the church
include one from the book of the
Acts of the Apostles as a compulsory reading.
It is telling the story of the
development of the early church.
This morning we find Peter telling the crowd
about Jesus and his crucifixion
and begging them to repent and be baptised;
offering them the gift of the Holy Spirit.
We see the first and immediate results
of Peter's proclamation of the Gospel message.
After Peter's proclamation his hearers are
"cut to the heart", (v37)
deeply moved and shaken,
and sincerely ask what they should do.
It reflects both their belief in what
they have just heard about Jesus
and regret over former rejection.
'Repentance' implies not just regret
for the past but, much more positively,
a radical change to one's way
of thinking and behaving.
The nearest translation of the
Greek word used, metanoia,
in English is something like 'conversion',
a turning around to a completely
new way of thinking, of seeing life.
This they pledge through being baptised
and having their former sins forgiven
and left behind,
and receiving the gift of the Spirit.
God calls on us simply to repent
and be baptised.
All we have to do is turn from our sins
in response to the gospel.
Baptism is the outward sign that we have died
to our old nature and risen to new life in Him.
It is a simple step of faith accepting
that He is Lord of all;
and as we take this step of repentance,
He meets us with forgiveness
and the Holy Spirit,
all our sins are gone,
washed away by the blood of Christ,
deleted from the record,
all because of God's grace
given to us in Christ.
Because we are so weak and unable to live
God's way in our own human strength,
He places His Spirit in us;
our decision to follow Jesus
activates a whole new life,
a gift from God. This is awesome!
And it's not just for those who were
immediately hearing Peter's message
that day, so long ago.
It is for everyone,
for those who are near and for those
who are far away- in space and time.
The power of God to change lives
is not restricted in any way.
Nobody is too old or too young,
too sinful or too good,
too rich or too poor,
everyone who calls on the name of
the Lord Jesus Christ will be saved.
Each of the great apostolic addresses in Acts
finishes with a call to conversion
leading to full reconciliation with God.
It may be interesting to watch,
or just listen to a song
'The power of your love.'
sung by Hillsong
via the link shown below.