What Shall We Do?
Acts 2:32 This Jesus God has raised up, of which we are all witnesses. 33 Therefore being exalted to the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, He poured out this which you now see and hear. 34 For David did not ascend into the heavens, but he says himself: 'The Lord said to my Lord, "Sit at My right hand, 35 Till I make Your enemies Your footstool." ' 36 "Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly that God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ." 37 Now when they heard this, they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, "Men and brethren, what shall we do?" 38 Then Peter said to them, "Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39 For the promise is to you and to your children, and to all who are afar off, as many as the Lord our God will call." (NKJV)
It is the Day of Pentecost in Jerusalem. The disciples have just received the baptism of the Holy Spirit. They are now indwelled by the Holy Spirit and empowered to spread the Gospel.
Multitudes of Jews have gathered in Jerusalem from all over the known world for the Feast of Pentecost. Peter is now addressing them, speaking of Jesus.
Peter reminds the disciples and the crowd that God “raised up” Jesus (v. 32a). Not all had witnessed the resurrection but “all” of the twelve disciples had and perhaps some in the crowd that lived in Jerusalem (v. 32b).
Peter continues his sermon by claiming that Jesus has been “exalted to the right hand of God” in Heaven and has “received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit”, which He has now “poured out” upon the disciples and “which you now see and hear” (v. 33). Peter was referring to the teaching from himself and the disciples which is being heard by the crowd in all the many dialects of those present.
Peter then quotes from Psalm 110:1. He clarifies that the “Lord” mentioned in the Scripture was not a reference to David because “David did not ascend into the heavens” (v. 34a), Instead, God the Father said to Jesus "Sit at My right hand, Till I make Your enemies Your footstool” (vv. 34b-35). The word “till” tells us that some time will pass before the Messiah rules on earth. Jesus never intended for His first coming to establish His earthly kingdom as the disciples had incorrectly assumed.
Peter then cuts to the heart of his listeners when he says “God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ” (vv. 36-37a). The multitudes were stricken with the enormity of their sin of crucifying the Messiah and responded as every unbeliever should. They asked “what shall we do” (v. 37b)?
Peter’s answer was "Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit” (v. 38). He then said that this answer applies not only to the Jews but to everyone, including their children, the Gentiles in other lands, and all “the Lord our God will call” (v. 39).
Thus Peter has given us the three components of spiritual conversion. The components are repentance, baptism, and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit.
Repentance is that act of confessing our sin and turning away from it. We agree with God that we have sinned and with the help of the Holy Spirit we turn away from a lifestyle of sin.
The act of Baptism is a symbol of our changed heart. It is our announcement to believers, and the world, that we have turned from sin and turned towards Jesus as our Lord and Savior. Baptism has no saving quality. We are saved by our faith and through the grace of God.
The third component of conversion is the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit indwells us upon our profession of faith. The Holy Spirit then ministers to us, helping us to understand the Bible and guiding our actions when we submit to Him.
So conversion, becoming a Christian, is the answer to the question “What shall we do?” It is the proper response to sin. It is the response we all must come to. It is the response required by God.
If you have not yet responded to God I encourage you to go to the “ABOUT US” section of my website, arttoombsministries.com, and follow the directions on how to become a Christian.
Online Bible Commentary