Repent and Be Baptized (Act 2:36-42)

The advice of every feel-good movie or TV show for teenagers for adults is ‘Follow your heart.’

But the human heart is not the innocent source of wonderful dreams and desires. If we saw our hearts as they truly are, we would be disgusted. Sometimes we get a glimpse at other people’s hearts, when their words and actions reveal their attitudes and motivations. And often, we don’t like what we see.

But what if we saw ourselves, our hearts, as they really are?

If you want to see your face, you can try looking directly at it, but you’ll only see the end of your nose. You could look in a mirror, but then you’ll see yourself flipped over the wrong way. The best way to see yourself is in a photo taken by someone else.

And the best way to see your heart, is to see it as God sees it, for Him to show it to you.

That’s what God’s Word does. God tells us in Acts 2:36 that the people of Jesus’ day crucified Him, even though He was both Lord and Christ (God’s chosen Saviour and the universal ruler of everyone).

We could imagine people murdering the Son of God if they didn’t know about God. But these were Jewish people, who had received God’s blessings for two thousand years, who had heard God’s Word for two thousand years. Yet, they and their leaders made sure that Jesus was executed, even though He had never done anything wrong.

And, God tells you and me that if we were there, we would have done the same thing. We do not love the Lord our God with all our heart (Deuteronomy 6:5). Instead, we live like He is dead and we are the rulers of our little kingdoms. We make ourselves kings, who like the kings of Jesus’ day, crucified the Lord of glory (1 Corinthians 2:8).

The picture of our hearts is bad viewing. God shows us in Jeremiah 17:9-10:

The heart is deceitful above all things,
and desperately sick;
who can understand it?
“I the Lord search the heart
and test the mind,
to give every man according to his ways,
according to the fruit of his deeds.”

God knows how bad our hearts are, and He will give us what we deserve. So, what can we do?

There is an answer, there is a way of escape. And many in the crowd at the Day of Pentecost found it. They asked Peter:

  1. What Shall We Do? (v36-37), and he replied,
  2. Be Baptized Because of God’s Promise (v38-42)
  3. Repent, and Keep Repenting (v38-42)

And the answer is the same for me and you.

Sunday 17th June 2018

Review Questions

  • Our hearts are ___________________ (Jeremiah 17:9-10)
  • The truth is, I am a __________________
  • Jesus is ___________ & ____________ (v36).
  • What does baptism mean (v38)?
  • Is baptism needed for forgiveness? Yes/No
  • Is baptism needed for obedience? Yes/No
  • Covenant-baptizers believe that God still makes promises to believers & __________
  • Are all baptized children saved? Yes/No
  • Do circumcision and baptism mean the same thing (Col. 2:11-12)? Yes/No
  • Baptism is about God’s p________________
  • What isn’t repentance (v38)?
    • Re______________________ at being caught,
    • Feeling re_________ for the consequences
  • What is repentance (v38)?

Published by Stephen McDonald

Christian, preacher, broadcaster

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