Acts 3:12-26 (web)
Peter's Second Sermon
"You men of Israel, why do you marvel at this man? Why do you fasten your eyes on us,
as though by our own power or godliness we had made him walk?
3:13 The God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, the God of our fathers, has
glorified his Servant Jesus,
3:19 "Repent therefore, and turn again, that your sins may be blotted
'The Lord God will raise up a prophet for you from among your brothers, like me.3:24 Yes, and all the prophets from Samuel and those who followed after,
as many as have spoken, they also told of these days.
3:25 You are the children of the prophets,
and of the covenant which God made with our fathers, saying to Abraham,
'In your seed will all the families of the earth be blessed.' (Gen 22:18)3:26 God, having raised up his servant, Jesus, sent him to you first, to bless you,
in turning away everyone of you from your wickedness."
Winning a Hearing
"But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander." 1Peter 3:15However to reach some people it is often necessary to win a hearing first before they are willing to listen.
Focus on Christ
The content of this second sermon parallels that of the first in chapter 2. (A good sermon is worth repeating). Again he speaks of Christ's death and resurrection and attempts to bring them to conviction of sin. Naturally this involves humiliating the audience, but that's just part of Christian ministry as Jesus also practiced it.
The Application - A Call to Respond
The central point to the gospel is the forgiveness of sins. Perfect behavior makes one righteous in God's sight. But all have sinned and come short of such a standard of righteousness. Thus God has provided another way for people to be reckoned righteous. Through Christ's atoning work on the cross people are reckoned righteous in God's sight based not upon their behavior, but based upon the forgiveness of their sins. This is not to say that the imputation of such a righteousness is completely independent of a person's behavior. For to qualify to receive it, one must humbly turn to God, acknowledging one's sinfulness, and put saving faith in the person and works of Christ as He revealed Himself in the Bible. (Faith which is of saving value inevitably affects one's behavior and results in applications indicative of such faith.)
"Pas": some of all types ... "the whole world has gone after him" Did all the world go after Christ? "then went all Judea, and were baptized of him in Jordan." Was all Judea, or all Jerusalem, baptized in Jordan? "Ye are of God, little children", and the whole world lieth in the wicked one". Does the whole world there mean everybody? The words "world" and "all" are used in some seven or eight senses in Scripture, and it is very rarely the "all" means all persons, taken individually. The words are generally used to signify that Christ has redeemed some of all sorts -- some Jews, some Gentiles, some rich, some poor, and has not restricted His redemption to either Jew or Gentile ...The reconciliation was possible by Christ's atoning work on the cross.
"For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross."Col 1:19,20 (niv)But this is effective only when people come to faith in Christ, as God has put such a requirement upon men, and it will not fully be realized until we stand before God in judgment. Thus though the work on the cross fully justifies, yet God is still in the process of restoring man's relationship to Himself as He draws people to put their faith in Christ - a process of which we as Christians are also involved in as we minister the gospel just as we see Peter here doing.
Peter's point here of course is that though they had sinned against God, it is God's intention is to reconcile the repentant to Himself. But as he was speaking to Jews he needed to show them that what he was saying was in line with the Old Testament as they had accepted as the Word of God.
Turn away from your iniquities
"Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God." 1Cor 6:9,10 (niv)