A Simple Change

Read Acts 3:17-21 - “And now, brothers, I know that you acted in ignorance, as did also your rulers.  18 But what God foretold by the mouth of all the prophets, that his Christ would suffer, he thus fulfilled.  19 Repent therefore, and turn back, that your sins may be blotted out,  20 that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord, and that he may send the Christ appointed for you, Jesus,  21 whom heaven must receive until the time for restoring all the things about which God spoke by the mouth of his holy prophets long ago."

1 John 1:8-9 - If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.  9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

     In Acts chapter three, verse fifteen Peter accused those present in the temple, who had witnessed the healing of the beggar, of “killing the Author of life.” It was a harsh accusation and scholars believe that many who were present had also been in the crowd who joined with the throng in demanding before Pilate that Jesus be crucified. Now we pick up in verse seventeen with Peter acknowledging that they had acted out of ignorance. The word ‘ignorance’ in the original Greek is the word, agnoia, which means “lack of knowledge, ignorance (especially of divine things); of moral blindness.” And then Peter enlightened them with the best news any of us could hear…if we repent of our sins and turn to God, then God will “blot out” our sins. To have our sins blotted out also means for them to be obliterated, to wipe them completely out of God’s view of us. Even those who committed the most heinous crime of murdering our Lord Jesus, (and aren’t we all guilty of that?) can have their sins completely obliterated through repentance. 

     In today’s culture, repentance is a dirty word. No one wants to have to repent because very few of us want to take responsibility for our owns actions. We don’t want to admit that we have done anything wrong…in fact, very few things are wrong in this day and time. “Live and let live,” is the mantra of our age. While I certainly am not advocating judgment, as it is God’s place to judge others and not ours, we certainly have to take responsibility for what is right and wrong in our own lives. How do I know what is the sin in my life of which I need to repent? By reading and studying God’s word. He will lead you and guide you to the truth of what is right and what is wrong. It is certainly right and good for believers to repent. Repentance simply means, to turn completely. Repentance is a 180 degree turn from sin, but it’s actually more than that…it is an intentional turn toward God. In order to be Christians who experience God’s refreshing, like Peter describes in this passage of Acts, we cannot simply intellectually believe that Jesus is the Son of God, but we must repent of our sins and turn toward Jesus to live for Him. 

What does repentance mean to you? 

Why do you think God’s forgiveness is inexhaustible? 

Spend some time in prayer and meditation, asking God what sin in your life is in need of your repentance. Pray a prayer of repentance, receiving His forgiveness and make a commitment to turn toward God in this area of your life.