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August 1, 2018, 7:31 AM

Repent and Turn to God



Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

“Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out” (Acts 3:19).

In Acts 3:11-26 we read that a crippled beggar was suddenly healed. Shouting and jumping, he entered the Temple. An astonished crowd gathered, and Peter, alert to opportunity, began to preach. The gist of his message: “You killed the author of life, but God raised him from the dead” (v. 15). The Crucifixion, as the crowning sin of man, and the Resurrection, as the power of God, which overcomes sin – these are the two hinges from which the door of salvation swings. This salvation was foretold and fulfilled: “This is how God fulfilled what he had foretold through all the prophets” (v. 18). The merciful provision of God to save is for “all peoples on earth” (v. 25). That brings it down to us today. Therefore, let’s think about the possibilities created for us by the risen Savior.

First, because He lives, repentance is possible. “Repent!” The word points to a change of mind that produces a change of life – a turning from sin to God. Humanity is helpless within themselves to do this about-face. They do not sufficiently feel the weight of sin. They do not sufficiently desire the peace of God. But the Cross exposes sin in all its ugliness. There hung the unblemished Lamb of God in our stead, bearing our sin, and the judgment against sin which we deserved. The empty tomb assures our stricken hearts that the power of God is greater than the forces of evil: “When God raised up his servant, he sent him … to bless you by turning each of you from your wicked ways” (v. 26). The Cross tells us that we must repent; the vacant tomb tells us that we can repent.

Second, because He lives, conversion is necessary. “Turn to God!” The resurrection of Jesus was the beginning of the New Creation. God’s ultimate purpose is “to restore everything” (v. 21). There is a whole new world coming! And we will be part of the new world being created, or part of the old world being destroyed. It is heaven or hell, to put the matter bluntly. The risen Jesus is the touchstone of human destiny. He is the prophet of whom Moses spoke, whose words determine the outcome of every human life. “Anyone who does not listen to him will be completely cut off” (v. 23). Conversion to Christ or abandonment to destruction – these are our only choices!

Third, because He lives, forgiveness is offered. “So that your sins may be wiped out.” In the cross of Christ a sacrifice of atonement was made for our sins. The Resurrection assures us that God has accepted that offering. When we identify ourselves by faith with the crucified and risen Jesus, our sins are forgiven for His sake. God has found a way, in the words of Paul, “to be just and the one who justifies the man who has faith in Jesus” (Rom. 3:26). God cannot dismiss sin lightly. He cannot just forget about it. He must deal with it in a way that violates neither His holiness nor our freedom. Because of the Cross, God can and does offer you forgiveness today. “By faith in the name of Jesus” (v. 16) the crippled beggar was healed physically. “By faith in the name of Jesus” you can be healed morally. Your sins can be forgiven. Your life can be turned in a new direction. Your future can be assured in the new world coming. “God … has glorified his servant Jesus” (v. 13) by the Resurrection. Let Him glorify His servant Jesus by your salvation from sin and living wholly for Him!

Let us join in prayer: O God, I open my heart and will to your healing, cleansing power. Amen.

You are Loved!

Pastor Jason Stevens


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