Acts 2: 14a and 36-41
Verse 41: About 3,000 were added to their number that day.
Peter opens this section of scripture with these words: “Therefore let all Israel be assured of this: God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Savior”. Peter speaks with authority and power that comes from two things: he has personally seen the risen Christ and the Holy Spirit now dwells within him. Those gathered around him must have perked up and paid attention. They all knew the facts of Jesus’ life and His crucifixion. They also must sense both the unquestionable truth of Peter’s words and the guilt they feel over what has happened to Jesus. They are ‘cut to the heart’ and ask Peter and friends, “Brothers, what shall we do”? Although the Holy Spirit has not yet come to dwell in them, they are certainly feeling the conviction of the Spirit.
Peter responds with an altar call. He says step up, admit and repent of your sins, and be baptized into the name of Jesus Christ. Again the people respond to the nudge of God. We too live with this nudge guiding us. At times the Holy Spirit leads, at times it whispers, at times it convicts, and at times it nudges. In all of these ways, the Holy Spirit propmts us to action. When we are faithful, like the 3,000 in today’s passage, then God responds. God gives the people the forgiveness of sins and the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit. This is the essence of the good news.
The same good news exists today. God still pursues mankind with a love that is unquenchable and undeniable. It is a love that is offered to one and all. It is offered equally to sinners and to saints. No matter where we are on the sinner-saint continuum, may we each realize and accept the good news this day: God loves us, Jesus saves us. All we have to do is profess Jesus as Lord and we receive the gift of eternal life and the daily presence of the Spirit. Thanks be to God for this wonderful and incredible gift.