The words repent, repentance, and repented are mentioned more than 100 times in the Bible, from the Old Testament to the New Testament. The practice of repentance involves more than just feeling bad about what we have done. It means changing our path. It requires both acknowledging what we have done wrong and turning in a new direction.
Today’s passage follows Jesus’ death, resurrection, and ascension into heaven. Just as He promised in our reading yesterday (see John 20), we see the disciples exercising the power of the Holy Spirit, and it shocked everyone in attendance. Peter and John healed a lame man, a beggar at the temple gate (vv. 1–10).
Notice Peter’s response to the critics, “Fellow Israelites, why does this surprise you?” (v. 12). They should have recognized Jesus, since the prophets had foretold His coming. Peter made it clear that the power they displayed in healing this man did not originate with them; it came directly from Jesus, the Son of God. He directed their attention away from this physical healing to an even more important topic: their spiritual healing. Rather than being shocked at these miracles, they should recognize that this power to heal comes from Jesus Christ. Through the work of the Messiah, they could repent and turn from their sins.
Repentance before the Lord will result in two blessings. First, our sins are forgiven, “wiped out” from the ledger. Second, we will be spiritually refreshed from the dark, barren bondage of sin (v. 19). When we repent of our sins and turn to God, we have the testimony of the long line of prophets confirming that Jesus makes it possible for us to be blessed with fellowship with the Lord.
Do you long for a time of refreshing in your faith? Consider today if the issue is repentance. What sin are you holding on to, unwilling to take to God for forgiveness? We are instructed to repent from our sins and turn to God. Repent today and follow God’s leading in your life. Ask Him to renew you. You are promised a time of refreshing.