What Shall We Do

What a great day for the kingdom of God it must have been when that first sermon was preached by Peter! The door into the kingdom of heaven was opened to the world. That first sermon led to the salvation of 3000 souls. Let’s put ourselves into the shoes (probably sandals) of the people hearing this first sermon preached about Jesus Christ.

Some of these people were probably there on the day when Jesus was before Pilate being judged. Some may have even been part of the crowd that was yelling, “Crucify Him, crucify Him (Luke 23:21).” Their hearts must have been deeply pierced by the words of Peter when he, by the Spirit, said to them that they were guilty of putting to death the Son of God, the promised Messiah in whom they had been so anxiously awaiting. We probably could not begin to understand the sorrow that was in their hearts for their wickedness in turning over the Son of God to the Gentiles to have Him crucified.

I don’t know what your response would be to the words of Peter, but the question that I would ask, begging for an answer, would be, “What must I do to be forgiven of this?” This is exactly how the people responded to Peter and the other Apostles. We see the peoples’ response to the word of God in Acts 2:37:

“When they heard this, they were pierced to the heart and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles: “Brothers, what must we do?” I’m sure that they, just as any of us, couldn’t wait for the answer to this question! What would the answer be? What would they need to do to be forgiven of their sin against God?

Did Peter answer by saying, “You don’t have to do a thing. Jesus did it all on the cross just 50 days ago for you!” Did he answer them by saying, “Just say this prayer with me and Jesus will come into your heart.”? How about, “It seems like you already believe what I’ve said, so you are already saved!”? No, he didn’t say any of these things, because these were not what the Lord told him to say to the people on how they could receive forgiveness. So how did Peter answer this great question? Peter, being inspired by the Holy Spirit, said to them “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:38).”

Peter tells them that if they wanted to be forgiven of their sins each of them needed to repent and be baptized for the remission of those sins. These were the things they needed to do! We see that there were 3000 people who did just that! Acts 2:41 says, “those who gladly received his word were baptized; and that day about three thousand souls were added to them.” When these people received the word of God, they obeyed it by being baptized for the forgiveness of their sins. It should not surprise us that Peter would give this answer to the people. Jesus Himself gave this instruction in the great commission. Jesus said, “He who believes and is baptized will be saved (Mark 16:16).”

“Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins” is the answer to the great question, “What shall we do?”

Have you been told to do something different than what was instructed to the people in Acts 2? Have you instead been told that you don’t need to do anything to be saved, or that you just needed to say a prayer? That’s not what Peter, inspired by the Holy Spirit, said to do!

The 3000 that obeyed the gospel that day were added by the Lord to the church. They were set free from the bondage of sin. Will you also gladly receive the word of God, just as they did, by being buried with Jesus in baptism (Romans 6:3-5)? 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Posted on June 22, 2012, in Responding to the Gospel and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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