Jesus Christ the Son of God dies and rose again to provide forgiveness of sins to all who believe.
Now when they heard this, they were cut to the heart [with remorse and anxiety], and they said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “Brothers, what are we to do?”
Acts 2:37 (AMP)
The combination of God’s Scripture and God’s Spirit working through God’s servant had the intended effect. From their initial question, “What does this mean?” the people now progressed to specific response – “Brothers, what are we do?”
This is the basic question we must ask. It is not enough to be sorry for our sins. We must repent, ask God to forgive us, and then live like forgiven people.
The phrase cut to the heart translates katenugesan meaning “stung” or “stunned.”
Had some people listened to Peter that day also screamed for blood in Pilate’s hall?
While the word conviction does not appear in our verse, this clearly reflects that heart attitude. The New Testament uses this word to describe the work of the Holy Spirit by which we see ourselves as we are in God’s sight.
Has God spoken to you through His Word or through the words of another believer?
Like Peter’s audience, ask God what you should do, and then obey.
And Peter said to them, “Repent [change your old way of thinking, turn from your sinful ways, accept and follow Jesus as the Messiah] and be baptized, each of you, in the name of Jesus Christ because of the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise [of the Holy Spirit] is for you and your children and for all who are far away [including the Gentiles], as many as the Lord our God calls to Himself.”
Acts 2:38-39 (AMP)
Peter hesitated not a moment for the answer to their question, calling for repentance and baptism and offering forgiveness and the gift of the Holy Spirit. Repentance is not a new theme in the New Testament, having appeared in the ministry of John the Baptist (Mark 1:4; Luke 3:3) and in the preaching of Jesus (Mark 1:15; Luke 13:3). The context shows baptism here refers to water, not the Holy Spirit.
If you want to follow Christ, you must “repent of your sins and turn to God, and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ.” To repent means to turn from sin, to change the direction of your life from selfishness and rebellion against God’s laws.
At the same time, you must turn to Christ depending on him for forgiveness, mercy, guidance, and purpose. We cannot save ourselves – only God can save us. Baptism identifies us with Christ and with the community of believers. It is a condition of discipleship and sign of faith.
To who is this available?
For all whom the Lord our God will call.
And Peter solemnly testified and continued to admonish and urge them with many more words, saying, “Be saved from this crooked and unjust generation!” So then, those who accepted his message were baptized; and on that day about 3,000 souls were added [to the body of believers].
Acts 2:40-41 (AMP)
Luke hastens to tell us we do not have the entire sermon record in his book. Peter spoke many other words and pleaded with his hearers who responded. That day God added three thousand people to the small number of believers already serving as Christ’s witnesses. But wait. Don’t miss the importance of what Luke does not say. This time, there was no sound no flame, and no foreign language. These people received the Holy Spirit because that’s what Peter promised in Jesus’ name. Pentecost was a one-time event, with only a mild echo or two appearing elsewhere during the first century.
Are we to believe that Peter baptized three thousand people on that one day? Of course not.
The Bible knows no hierarchical system whereby people must be baptized at the hand of some official or titled clergy. We should probably assume all 120 believers assisted in this magnificent demonstration.
In the space of just a few verses, we see what happens when people trust Christ for salvation. First, they must recognize their need; then, they must receive God’s gift; and finally, they must obey the message.
Have you trusted Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior?
NLT Chronological Life Application Study Bible
Holman Old Testament Commentary – Numbers