A Message that Convicts and Saves

“I was wrong.” That can be one of the hardest statements to make. I don’t think it comes easy for anyone and seems to be even more rare in our defensive culture. Not only is it hard to maintain healthy relationships without the willingness to apologize, it is impossible to know the gospel without a willingness to repent.

Peter’s sermon in Acts 2 is centered on the resurrection of Jesus as evidence of Him being God’s promised Messiah. His conclusion cuts to the heart of his audience. Let all the house of Israel therefore know for certain that God has made him both Lord and Christ, this Jesus whom you crucified. (Acts 2:36)

These two truths were stunning for Israel. One, Jesus is both Lord and Christ (the Messiah promised in the Old Covenant). Two, they crucified Him. This led them to ask, Brothers, what shall we do? (Acts 2:37)

We are faced with a similar reality. Jesus is God’s Son and Messiah against whom we have sinned. Though we may not have been at the trial to convict Him or at the cross to crucify Him, it was still our sin that required His death. His death is the only path to forgiveness.

So how does Peter tell the audience to respond? Are we to simply try hard, do better, go to church, give more? No! He tells them, Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. (Acts 2:38)

This seems so simple, but it can be so hard. Repentance requires acknowledging we are wrong and need forgiveness. We haven’t simply made bad choices or acted immaturely; we have sinned against God. The gospel of Jesus is a call to turn from that sin, turn to Jesus, and receive His forgiveness.

I love this message as it gives me hope for myself and for all who are far from Jesus. The crowd in Acts 2 went from being enemies of Jesus to following Him in baptism (Acts 2:41). The same has happened in my life and for all who have turned to Him. The gospel is a message that convicts and saves.

This means the people in our life that aren’t following Jesus have hope regardless of how far they seem to have strayed. The gospel doesn’t require us to do better, try harder, or be more religious. Instead, it is a call to repentance and faith. Will you spend time praying for a loved one who isn’t trusting and following Jesus with their life? Jesus still convicts and saves sinners to this day.

By Philip Jones

Philip and his wife, Stacy, have been attending Immanuel since 2015. They are blessed to be raising four kids. His passion in ministry is to help others follow Jesus through teaching, preaching, and personal discipleship.

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