Acts 2:37-39 – “Now when they heard this, they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “Men and brethren, what shall we do?”
38 Then Peter said to them, “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39 for the promise is to you and to your children, and to all who are afar off, as many as the Lord our God will call.” NKJV
I had someone attempt to argue that the way of salvation as taught in the Bible was ambiguous and left room for many possible ways to attain that prize. I have heard national and internationally known ministers contend for many avenues to salvation. Yet, the more I read and study God’s Word the more convinced I am that the Gospel is both incredibly simple and explicit with regard to Eternal Salvation. There is, in my view, no ambiguity whatsoever. The Bible is silent and not explicit regarding some areas of life but not Salvation.
After the Resurrection, Jesus instructed the disciples and all the followers who saw Him ascend out of their sight to TARRY or WAIT in Jerusalem for the Promise of the Father, the Holy Spirit. Then on the Day of Pentecost when the incredible outpouring of the Holy Spirit resulted in people hearing God’s Word in their own native tongue by those who did not know the language, and the display was so incredible those observing thought the followers of Christ were on a drunken binge. Something was happening and as Peter addressed the crowd he brought a clear and simple message about what was happening and from whom it came. As a result, of his preaching, the Bible says that those hearing were, “…cut to the heart…” Conviction flooded their being and they sought for direction asking, “…what shall we do?”
The message of Peter had no ambiguity and was incredibly simple. He said, “REPENT”. I know that recently we heard a politician declare that he did not know if he had ever asked forgiveness and didn’t like doing that. He is not alone, there are many in the same boat but the message of Peter began with REPENT. Without repentance, there is no next step in the process of salvation. Repentance involves an acknowledgement of “missing the mark” or SIN. It reveals that we not only know we have sinned but that we have remorse for that sin. Sadly, some have remorse that they’ve been exposed not that they have sinned. Repentance is to “change our mind” about where we are headed and “change our direction” doing an 180-degree turn. I heard a preacher say once that we needed to do a 360-degree turn but I do believe that would be evidence of nothing having changed. He clearly misspoke.
The verses following the question and answer reveal that about 3,000 souls came to Christ that day. They repented, were baptized and continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine, fellowship, breaking bread, and in prayers. The message of the Gospel here and elsewhere in the New Testament is: Believe, Repent, Receive, Obey, and Continue. It is not a complicated message and offers no means of earning our way into the Grace of God. It is “by grace” that we are saved. It is God’s gift to us. It is the Life that Jesus purchased on the Cross. The Gospel is both simple and explicit regarding salvation and as we read in 2 Corinthians 6:2b, “…Behold, now is the accepted time; behold now is the day of salvation.”
God bless you as you receive His grace and walk in His Light.