Forgiven, Justified & Adopted (Kingdom Salvation #6)

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. 

– Acts 2:36-38 NKJV

The Promise of New Life

Over the last few posts we have been looking at the three aspects of conversion: repentance, faith and baptism. Peter, in his evangelistic sermon in Acts chapter 2, tells people what they must do to be reconciled to God, and He also tells them what God promises to do if they will meet those conditions. He makes it clear that God will do two things for those that are converted; He will forgive their sins and fill them with His Holy Spirit.

These two divine actions sum up what it means to be born again. Conversion is the role God requires men play in salvation. Through repentance, faith and baptism they respond to the Gospel message and the convicting grace of the Holy Spirit. But regeneration (i.e. rebirth) is what God does for and in the soul of the genuine convert. They are first given the right to become children of God and adopted into God’s family. Then they receive the indwelling of the Holy Spirit and are given a new and circumcised heart on which God writes His law. They are reborn relationally as God’s children and then internally renewed by the Holy Spirit. 

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