Peter has finished his sermon with the rousing conclusion that the Spirit’s presence means that Jesus is Lord and Christ. “Now when they heard this, they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, ‘Brothers, what shall we do?’”(Acts 2:37). This message has not only explained the odd phenomena of tongue-speaking, but also spoken directly against the audience as being complicit in Jesus’ execution. They are guilty of obstructing God’s messianic promises, yet God has advanced the plan anyway. In a panic, they ask what they can do to avoid God’s wrath for this tremendous mistake.
Peter has a ready answer: “Repent and be baptized 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. For the promise is for you and for your children and for all who are far off, everyone whom the Lord our God calls to himself”(Acts 2:38-39). The good news is that there can be forgiveness for them if they are willing to repent and be baptized in Jesus’ name. This is an act of fresh submission and obedience to the Messiah they have rejected. Peter continues to preach to others and “those who received his word were baptized, and there were added that day about three thousand souls”(Acts 2:41). An astounding number of people repent of their rejection and become followers of Jesus as they receive Peter’s word.
“Cut to the heart” is a vivid term that describes the pain of conviction and guilt. When we realize we have done wrong, we cry out in pain and despair. What shall we do? This is a moment when the truth dramatically affects our emotions and prompts a change in our behavior. As we learn the good news that through Jesus’ sacrifice God will forgive us of our evil, that conviction becomes the fuel for dedicated service.
------------- One Thing to Think About: Have I ever been “cut to the heart”? How has that feeling blessed me?
One Thing to Pray For: God to convict me of sin in my life (Psalm 139:23-24)
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Fairview Park church of Christ, 11820 Fairview Road, Little Rock, AR 72212
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