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What Shall We Do?

by | Apr 18, 2023 | Salvation, Sin

“But Peter, standing with the eleven, lifted up his voice and addressed them: … ‘Let all the house of Israel therefore know for certain that God has made Him both Lord and Christ, this Jesus whom you crucified.’ Now when they heard this they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, ‘Brothers, what shall we do?’ And Peter said to 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. For the promise is for you and for your children and for all who are far off, everyone whom the Lord our God calls to Himself.’”

(Acts 2:14a, 36-39 ESV)

I have to feel sorry for the people listening to Peter’s sermon on Pentecost. He’s just told them that they’ve made the worst mistake ever: they failed to recognize their Messiah when God sent Him, and instead, they crucified Him! No wonder they asked, “Brothers, what shall we do?”

Of course, they want to do something! They want to make it better somehow. They want to retrieve their mistake—justify themselves—make it up to God in some way, if that’s even possible. And of course, it’s not. There’s no way on earth anyone can make up for that kind of sin—or for any sin, come to think of it.

And that’s why Peter’s answer comes as such good news. Because what Peter says boils down to, “God Himself has already dealt with your sin. Jesus our Messiah has suffered and died and risen from the dead, all so that we could be forgiven and made clean. So now, you don’t have to do anything, just come and take God’s gifts of forgiveness and God’s own Holy Spirit. Come and be baptized, you and your children. God has done it all!”

Today, God says the same thing to us. “Come to Me,” He says. “Take My gifts. I want you in My kingdom, as My child. I will forgive you and wash you and make you clean. Just come! And bring the people you love with you.”

We Pray: Dear Lord, thank You for giving me Your wonderful gifts! Amen.

This Daily Devotion was written by Dr. Kari Vo.
Originally published in The Lutheran Hour on April 19, 2023
Used by permission from International Lutheran Laymen’s League, all rights

Reflection Questions:
1. Why do you think some people feel like they have to earn God’s forgiveness?
2. If you think that way, is it ever possible to know that you’ve done enough?
3. Was there a time in your life when it suddenly hit home that God really, truly wanted to forgive and save you completely for free? If so, how did you feel?