Read Acts 3: 11 - 26
This is Peter’s second sermon he has given since Pentecost. As the onlookers were amazed at the miracle that the Apostle performed he responds by taking the focus off of himself and puts it on Jesus. Peter speaks about Jesus who was both the Son of God and fully man, He was the Messiah spoken of in prophecy.
Jesus Christ is both man and God. He died and rose from the dead to show that He had indeed conquered death for His glory and your benefit. Without Jesus we don’t have Christianity and to be a Christian you need to have a personal relationship with Him.
Peter also addresses the issue of sin. We are all sinners, according to Romans 3:23, “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” This is something that we cannot change. However in verse 24 of this same chapter it says, “…and are justified freely by his grace, through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.” We are sinners but we are also declared righteous by Jesus to those who believe and put their trust in Him.
Sin is a big issue. We must all deal with our sin issues; this is all a part of being a Christian. Pastor James Montgomery Boice writes, “We need to realize that we are all to blame for the death of Christ in one way or another. Even though we were not there at the time Jesus was arrested, tried, and crucified, it was our sin that took him there.”
You may be guilty of sin but you must also know that God will always forgive if only you repent and flee to Jesus who is our refuge from sin. Repentance is more than feeling sorry for what you did. Sorrow is not repentance. Repentance is feeling sorry enough to quit doing what you are doing wrong and turning your back on it and turning to Jesus. Peter makes it clear that we all need to “repent and turn to God.” Repenting and turning to God go hand in hand, you can’t do one without the other.
Lastly, Peter’s sermon tells about forgiveness. Many of us get stuck in the past and start thinking that what we did in the past could never be forgiven by anyone, especially a Holy God. The truth is just the opposite. People may withhold forgiveness but God will always extend forgiveness if you repent. Only God is capable of forgiving sin and He will forgive willingly if you confess, repent and seek forgiveness. You may live your life in guilt, but God wants you to be free from the guilt of past sins. Psalm 103:12 says, “as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.” God has forgiven you of your sins; it is time to start allowing yourself to be forgiven.
Peter’s sermon is the Gospel message. Confessing, repenting and forgiveness in Jesus Christ is the only way to finding true happiness. Many of us go looking for ways to make ourselves happy. Often we tell God what would make us happy (like a little more money, a new car, understanding parents, a new job, a bigger house etc.) but He knows that these will not bring happiness. People may think silver and gold will bring happiness, but when we see that God has far greater plans than making you rich.
If you have never sought a personal relationship with Jesus Christ would you consider it today? Do you feel a little tugging at your heart that is telling you that it’s time to stop clinging to the sin in your life and turn it all over to Jesus Christ? If you say yes, the Holy Spirit is calling you to Jesus this very moment. Jesus wants you to repent and He is eager to forgive your sins. He wants you to enter into a relationship with Him and to forever submit your life to Him.
Jeff has been in full-time ministry for thirty years. He currently serves as Executive Director at Anchor House Ministry at SeaPort Manatee in Palmetto, FL and he is a part-time Campus Pastor at West Bradenton Southside in Bradenton, Florida.
Jeff Has authored A Lent Devotional (A Spiritual Journey to Lent) an Advent Devotional (The Advent of Jesus) and a devotional on the book of James (James: Where Faith and Life Meet). All three are available on Amazon.
He is married to Carrie and they have four children, Micaiah, Gabe, Simon, and Berea.
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