In the book of Acts, Luke reports not only the historical truths of the foundation of the Christian church but also the Holy Spirit’s empowering of the apostles to preach a powerful message of new life and purpose through belief in Jesus Christ.
Pentecost happened in Jerusalem 50 days after the resurrection of Jesus. Peter proclaimed the long-awaited good news of the Messiah to the crowd. Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection fulfilled the promises foretold. When Peter’s listeners realized they had handed over the Messiah to be put to death, they asked Peter, “What shall we do?” Peter’s reply is our memory verse for March.
Peter replied, “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.” (Acts 2:38).
Those listening to Peter’s message at that time were living in and participating in a corrupt world. Peter stressed the importance of each person’s response to the good news of Christ: “repent and be baptized, every one of you.” His sermon persuaded them that hope was fulfilled in Jesus, and their belief would lead to the gift of the Holy Spirit and a new purpose in life. He promised that if they would turn to Christ and depend on Him for forgiveness, mercy, guidance, and purpose, they would receive it. Moved by Peter’s words, many became believers; they shifted from selfishness and rebellion to acts of generosity and obedience to God.
Today, we still need to hear Peter’s message and know that we can overcome our sins and wicked ways through belief in Christ. We must heed Scripture, repent, and be baptized by the Spirit each day. Seeking guidance from Jesus through prayer will change the direction of our lives as we rededicate ourselves to a new purpose in life. As we go forth in this challenging world, we can then reflect the light and peace of Jesus to everyone we meet.
by William C. Hewins