Monday, October 12

The Promise

Scripture: Nehemiah 9-10, Acts 2

Acts 2:37–39 Peter’s words pierced their hearts, and they said to him and to the other apostles, “Brothers, what should we do?” 

38 Peter replied, “Each of you must repent of your sins and turn to God, and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. Then you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39 This promise is to you, to your children, and to those far away—all who have been called by the Lord our God.”

Observation

After the Holy Spirit fell on the believers, a crowd gathered and Peter explained what was happening and proclaimed the gospel.  The people cried, “What should we do?” 

Peter gave them two things to do—repent and be baptized—and promised that God would do things: forgive their sins and give them the Holy Spirit.  This reminds me of how John the Baptist introduced Jesus with two matching phrases:

      • “Look!  The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.  John 1:29
      • “He is the one who will baptize with the Holy Spirit.” John 1:33

Jesus came to take away and to give—to take away our sin and to give the Holy Spirit.  To forgive our past and to empower our present.  To change us from old to new.  

Then Peter finished with this lovely statement: “This promise is to you, to your children, and to those far away—all who have been called by the Lord our God.”

The Promise refers to both forgiveness and the Holy Spirit, especially the latter.  The gift of the Spirit is often promised in the Old Testament and by Jesus to His disciples.  Now God’s Spirit, the very presence and power of God, is available to us.  We are not trying to follow Jesus on our own power; we are filled with God’s Spirit who empowers us to do God’s will, to live a new and better life.  

The is the good news of the Promise: full forgiveness for our sin and God’s Spirit to empower us to live a new life!

Application: Today, I’m turning to the Lord again (since repentance is a lifestyle, not an event), receiving His forgiveness and grace, and asking Him to fill me again with His Holy Spirit.  I need Him!

Prayer: Lord, thank you for the gifts of forgiveness and the Spirit.  I need both!  Forgive me and fill me today.  Help me lean on the Spirit and listen to His leadings.