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Times of refreshing.
How would you use Peter’s answer (vv. 38-40) to explain to someone what it means to become a Christian? What is required? What is promised?How has repentance and turning to God brought “times of refreshing”(v19) to you? How can that be used as a means of encouraging others to come to Christ?In Acts 17:30 Paul “Therefore having overlooked the times of ignorance, God is now declaring to men that all everywhere should repent, .” And in chapter 26 verse 19 “…and even to the Gentiles that they should repent and turn to God performing deeds appropriate to repentance.”And even the work of God is geared to produce repentance. Why? Because it says in 2 Peter, again chapter 3 verse 9, “The Lord is not slow about His promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance.” So this is a call to turn from a self-directed life, a self-indulgent life, a sinful life to follow Christ. It is a turning, it’s a turning from your own life, your own will, your own way, your own sin to follow at all cost. It is a change of mind. It is a change of heart. It is a new life of denying self and sin and seeing the Savior as Lord and King in self’s place. How important is this? Luke 13:3 and 5, “Unless you repent you will all likewise perish.”What “fruit” do you want to be producing by this time next year?The Second Epistle of Clement in 150 A.D., says, “Let us not merely call Him Lord for that will not save us, for He says, ‘Not everyone who says to Me, Lord, Lord, will be saved, but he who does what is right.’ Thus brothers, let us acknowledge Him by our actions, this would end the world to come…this world, rather, and the world to come are two enemies, this one means adultery, corruption, avarice and deceit while the other gives them up. We cannot then be friends of both. To get the one we must give up the other.”Martin Luther made repentance as his number one principal posted on the door: “Our Lord and Master Jesus Christ in saying ‘Repent ye,’ meant the whole life of the faithful to be an act of repentance.”Westminster Shorter Catechism put it this way. Repentance unto life is a saving grace whereby a sinner out of a true sense of his sin and apprehension of the mercy of God in Christ doth with grief and hatred of his sin turn from it unto God with full purpose of and endeavor after new obedience. Turning from sin which is a part of true repentance doth consist in two things. One, in turning from all gross sins in regard of our course and conversation. Two, in a turning from all other sins in regard of our hearts and affections. Three, such as have truly repented of sin do never return unto the practice of it so as to live in a course of sin as they did before.