“Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out,” (Acts 3:19a). This would make a great sermon outline. Three points clearly stated. Let’s do a mini one.
One: Repent, then. Why should I repent? Because of my sin. The people in Acts rejected Jesus as Messiah. They not only rejected him as God’s anointed, they crucified him on a cross. They acted in ignorance but that did not excuse what they did. They should have not been ignorant because the prophets had told them that the Messiah was coming. God used their act of ignorance to bring about their salvation. Now that they knew that, they had only one recourse, repent. We have sin as well. When that sin is brought to light and we can acknowledge it, there is only one thing we can do and that is repent. Repentance is the condition of forgiveness. We repent, he forgives. Simple isn’t it and yet we have trouble swallowing our pride and admitting we are wrong and turning from the wrong to the right. Like the sow and the mud and the dog and his vomit, we go right back to doing the wrong again. Repentance means leaving one thing behind and turning to something else.
Two: Turn to God. That’s what repentance is all about. Turning from having things our way to having things God’s way. As long as we don’t turn to God we will keep on doing our sin over and over and never finding forgiveness for it. We will stay in our sins. We will live in our sins and die in our sins and go to hell in our sins. There is only one hope for those sins and that hope died on a cross to provide us hope. We repent and turn to God, putting our faith in his son and then the Father forgives us all our transgressions. He removes them and puts them so far away we will never be charged with them again. How heavy was the cross with all those sins nailed to it. Your sins, my sins, even the whole world’s sins on the cross. Repent of them and turn to God and that’s where they will stay. Jesus came to seek and save the lost which means he came to find you and me and take our sins away. Turn to God.
Three: Your sins may be wiped out. God wants to forgive you. He so loves you that he allowed his son to take your punishment. The death of Jesus on the cross was the means by which our sins, every single one of them and all of them at once, were set up to be washed away. The times of refreshing. Cleansed in the blood of the lamb. Remember what Peter told them in the previous chapter. “Repent and be baptized and wash away your sins.” Once you believe in Jesus as savior and the son of God, turn from your sin and turn to God. Allow him to bury you, cleanse you, and raise you up in times of refreshing. Repent or perish is God’s message.
Salvation? Easy as one, two, three.