Peter has told the gathering crowd of religious Jews that God had sent Jesus of Nazareth to take their sins upon Himself. But that was only half of the job that had to be done in order for them to receive salvation. Verses 19,26,22,23 reveal the other half.
Chapter three verse nineteen: In verse 19 we find the word “Therefore ….” Question: What is “therefore” there for? Answer: Without it there can be no salvation. As the Holy Scriptures from Genesis to Revelation tell us, having faith in Jesus Christ, being baptized, being active in church, preaching, witnessing, etc. does not save the soul. SALVATION=OBEDIENCE TO GOD’S WORD WITH FAITH IN JESUS CHRIST. Only we who obey His Word (His Truth–Jn. 17:17) “UNTIL THE END shall be (then) saved” (Mat. 10:22). Let us not forget, Satan has more faith than any of us. He not only knows the Bible, he knows that it is true right down to the jots and tittles. The only thing separating the devil from salvation is obedience to what he knows is God’s Truth. This places him ahead of church people who know litte of God’s Truth and reject much of what little they know. See the Introduction to this website for some examples.
Verse 19: “Repent, therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out ….” Note the order of commanded actions. First, we must recognize God’s definition of sin–the breaking of His Ten Commandment Law (1 Jn. 3:4). Without such recognition, there can be no true repentance. Following our confession of God-defined sin we must be converted. True conversion entails a 180 degree reversal of one’s life “walk”–one’s thoughts, words and actions. It is during the conversion stage that we receive the Lord’s Holy Spirit that empowers us to resist Satan (Jam. 4:7) to the point of overcoming him (Rev. 3:21) as did Jesus (Mat. 4). Overcoming the devil as Jesus did means to keep sin out of our lives. As a true saint once said, we must “… quit sin utterly.” Upon proving to the Lord that we have truly been converted, we enter into the third phase–forgiveness of our PAST sins (Rom. 3:25). True conversion guarantees that we will not have to pay the death penalty for our PAST SINS. It does not free us from paying the death penalty for FUTURE SINS. Contrary to universal church opinion, getting supposedly “saved” does not automatically erase all future sins. We must understand that THE BIBLE WAS WRITTEN TO, FOR AND ABOUT GOD’S CHURCH. After embracing Romans 3:25 we must also embrace Romans 6:23–“For the wages of (church people’s) sin is DEATH.” If the Apostle Paul was writing God’s Truth in 3:25, then he was still writing God’s Truth in 6:23. It is for this reason that Peter told God’s church that JUDGMENT BEGINS IN GOD’S CHURCH, and that ONLY THE RIGHTEOUS (IN GOD’S CHURCH) WILL BE SAVED. These are they who have been truly converted, had their PAST sins forgiven and have “… quit sin utterly” through the power of the Holy Spirit. These are they who have obeyed Paul’s God-dictated command to “… go on unto perfection, not laying again the foundation of REPENTANCE FOR DEAD WORKS (SINS) AND OF FAITH IN GOD” (Heb. 6:1). Note what God said through him: STOP REPENTING OF SIN. This is possible only if one STOPS SINNING by using one’s FAITH IN GOD. Only those who overcome Satan AS DID JESUS (“… as I overcame”) will enter the Kingdom of God and sit with Him on His throne (Rev. 3:21). You will not hear these Bible Truths in the Institutional Church. It is for this reason that God commands us to “… come out of her (Catholicism/Protestantism) and be separate, touch not that unclean thing ….” Then (and only then) “… will I receive you and be your God and you will be My people” (2 Cor. 6:17,18). L.J.