Now when they hear this they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and the rest of the Apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do? Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ, for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord Our God shall call.... 41. Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls. Acts 2: 37 - 39, and 41.
This is such a lovely set of verses, which tell in a couple of brief statements exactly what to do to receive the Lord Jesus as your Savoir. Several things delight me that they are included in this "summary."
- I totally love this phrase "pricked in their hearts." It refers to the "call" of the Lord, that is a little like the love attraction of a young man or woman. It is new, is often constant, and is attention grabbing. When God calls to your heart, it can be a bit of a stabbing heart ache, for something you may not understand. Here we find a new phenomenon, where 3 thousand people have been "pricked in their heart" to move to some kind of action, and they could do nothing else but find someone who could give them answers.
- Secondly, the question: "what shall we do." They were certain in a very innocent way, that there was something they were being impressed to do. Being baptized for the repentance of sins was not something new. Since the time of John the Baptist, and maybe fefore, Jews were seeking something to do to be faithful, to acknowlege before God their sins, and their repentance. What was new was receiving the Holy Ghost as a gift, and not being a prophet or king or priest. In years gone by, they knew only of God's special interaction of speaking to his people through his Spirit, as coming through some sort of leader, whom God chose. God speaking to individuals was an incredible concept. Notice they didn't shy away. Instead they came by the thousands to receive this gift. These people were craving the one-on-one love of God.
Small bits of verses that pack so much punch are called: "The Gospel In A Nutshell." I asked, in an earlier post, that our readers prepare themselves to know how to respond to someone who asked, "what shall we do." Knowing this or another set of simple verses that put the gospel into a tiny nutshell is all you need, once the Spirit of God has "pricked" someone's heart. As a child, the tiny books that could be found in grocery stores, placed for people to take for free, from a cute little dispenser, were the basis for my knowing the nutshell verses that led me to Christ. Tracts are good tools sometimes, but those little books that a curious child could reach, were powerful because they were the concise and simple version of what to do. I used to carry them in my purse all the time, until they wore away and I could not replace them. But having it on a note card would do as well. You never know when the Spirit will have someone ask you, what to do to be born into the family of God.
Lord, bring to thyself souls of men. Let us be ready with the Gospel in its simplist form to give to any whom you send our way. AMEN