June 13. Acts 2:22-41
GRACE LESSONS: As Peter preaches boldly, his message is filled with desire that those who listen come to know the One who, by His grace, would save them if they were willing. Peter is not there to harass and shame the crowd because they rejected Jesus. No, he’s there to bring them the great message of salvation: a free gift to all who will accept it. Note how in verse 29 Peter calls them “Dear brothers.” Note how he pleads with them to choose salvation. Grace was given to Peter and now he declares it available for this huge crowd.
OUR PASSAGE: Note how Peter woos this crowd. He quotes from the scriptures to show them that the famous Jesus, who just about everyone had known about at least, was the One. His words were powerful and they pierced hearts by the grace of God and the power of His Spirit. Peter doesn’t leave the crowd with just a theology lesson, though. He gives them a specific action. Repent. Turn to God. Be baptized for the forgiveness of your sins and receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. I love how baptism would “seal” the decision in the sense that it was a concrete act that someone could point to in the days of persecution that lay ahead. At a specific point in time, when I repented of my sins, I declared it publicly by baptism. Baptism does not save, but it is an act of obedience and a confirmation of belief for these brand new followers of Christ.
My verse: Acts 2:24 “But God released him from the horrors of death and raised him back to life, for death could not keep him in its grip.”
My response: Peter’s powerful proclamation of the good news of the resurrection still rocks our world today. Jesus did not stay dead. Death could not keep Him in its grip. This changes absolutely everything. Hallelujah! So thankful for the quote from the OT, too. The fisherman has become an eager student of Your Word, Lord. How I praise you for this changed and redeemed man You hand-picked and chose who spoke boldly of You! Thank You that You chose me, too, for a purpose. Help me, please, to fulfill it.