The Pilgrim Path (1-13-2021)
The Pilgrim Path---Acts 2: 36—41
“Let all the house of Israel therefore know for certain that God has made him both Lord and Christ, this Jesus whom you crucified.”
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?” And Peter said to them, “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.” And with many other words he bore witness and continued to exhort them, saying, “Save yourselves from this crooked generation.” So those who received his word were baptized, and there were added that day about three thousand souls.
PETER’S SERMON at PENTECOST / Part TWO
The Holy Spirit moved powerfully as the Apostle Peter preached at Pentecost:
---Brokenness over sin was such that the hearers bid farewell to their old way of life and turned to the LORD Jesus Christ as their Savior and Master!
---Believing in Jesus as their LORD and Savior was crucial. He was to them now---The very Christ of God!
---Binding themselves to this “new” entity---The Church of Jesus---was just the thing to do. Peter’s hearers willingly “left” the shadows of formal Judaism for the full orbed Light of the Gospel of Jesus. It was apparent to them: Jesus is the fulfilment of all the Old Testament had spoken of concerning the Messiah!
What is so compelling in this passage is that the people were, “cut to the heart,” by the message that they heard about God’s Holy Son (Acts 2: 37). The question is: Has the Holy Spirit ever divorced You from sin---and then wed You to Jesus---by the power of the Gospel? This is what happened to 3,000 people at Pentecost---what a move of the Spirit of God!
The Shorter Catechism—Question 87. What is repentance unto life? A. Repentance unto life is a saving grace, whereby a sinner, out of a true sense of his sin, and apprehension of the mercy of God in Christ, doth, with grief and hatred of his sin, turn from it unto God, with full purpose of, and endeavor after, new obedience.
From Thomas Manton: An impenitent and unpardoned sinner has a vast debt upon him that will surely undo him unless he is released in time. He is bound over to suffer the wrath of God forevermore, and no hand can release him but God’s. Many times, they do not consider this matter and cry, ‘peace, peace’ to themselves. But it is not the debtor which must cancel the debt, but the creditor. Have you a discharge from God? Poor creatures, what will you do? Many take care that they owe nothing to a man. Oh! But what do you owe God? To live in doubt and fear of arrest, oh what a misery is that! When sin lies at the door ready to attack you every moment and haul you to the prison of hell: that is most dreadful…The exercise of repentance includes mourning for sin, and the confession, and the forsaking of it.
From John Flavel: In the day of salvation, Christ comes into the soul, and he does not come empty handed, but brings all the treasures of his wisdom, righteousness, sanctification, and redemption…What a day of joy and gladness should it be to our hearts! How we should be transported with joy, to see the King freely from heaven, with all his treasures of grace and glory, bestowing himself freely and everlastingly upon us as our portion! No wonder Zacchaeus came down joyfully (Luke 19: 6). No wonder the eunuch went home rejoicing (Acts 8: 39). No wonder the jailer rejoiced, believing in God with all his household (Acts 16: 34). No wonder those who were converted ate their meals with gladness and praise to God (Acts 2: 41, 46). No wonder there was great joy in Samaria (Acts 8: 5, 8). It is no wonder we read of such joy accompanying Christ into the soul when we consider that one day so many blessings meet together. All the kingdoms of this world, and their glory, cannot compare to it. Eternity will but suffice to bless God for the mercies of this one day.
As Richard Baxter used to say, we pray that, “faith and repentance will overtake our lost loved ones and friends” in order that they may know what it is to really live---live in Christ Jesus the LORD…
Out of the depths I cry to Thee:
LORD, hear me, I implore Thee;
Bend down Thy gracious ear to me,
Let my prayer come before Thee!
On my misdeeds in mercy look,
O deign to blot them from Thy book,
And let me come before Thee.
Thy Sovereign grace and boundless love
Show Thee, O LORD, forgiving;
My purest thoughts and deeds but prove
Sin in my heart is living:
None guiltless in Thy sight appear,
All who approach Thy throne must fear,
And humbly trust Thy mercy.
Martin Luther, (1483-1546) translated by Benjamin Latrobe (1725-1786)
Grace and Peace in Jesus, the Only Redeemer of broken and wretched souls, Pastor Jason