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What Does It Mean to Repent?

April 28, 2023

What Does It Mean to Repent?

What Does It Mean to Repent?

By Brooke Holt

“Now when they heard this they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, ‘Brothers, what shall we do?’” Acts 2:37

We ask many important questions throughout our lives but none as impactful as the one in the passage for today: “Brothers, what shall we do?”

A multitude gathered on the day of Pentecost. They witnessed the powerful outpouring of the Holy Spirit, heard the different languages spoken, and then heard Peter boldly proclaim the Gospel. Peter explained Jesus was and is the Son of God, the promised Messiah, the one who did many mighty works among them. Jesus was also the man many gathered had rejected and crucified. Little did they know that by crucifying the Son of God, they acted in accordance with the plan of the Lord. The cross was not the end for Jesus as he was resurrected on the third day.

Hearing the words of Peter, the Holy Spirit worked in their midst cutting to the hearts of many present. Those who had rejected Jesus now understood who he was and what they had done in crucifying him. In response to this revelation, they asked Peter what they must do.

This question implies that not only did they now know the truth, but that they intended to act upon their understanding. They desired to turn from their rebellion and rejection and turn to Jesus. They repented. Repentance is a willingness to admit you are wrong, to take action to turn away from sin and the flesh, and to move into alignment with the Spirit and obedience to the Lord.

Peter shared the great news – though they had rejected Jesus, his salvific work on the cross provided the way for their forgiveness and salvation; they only needed to repent and be baptized into Christ. Then, they too, could receive the Holy Spirit. Acts 2:41 says, “So those who received his word were baptized, and there were added that day about three thousand souls.” What a powerful sermon Peter delivered that day!

How do you respond to revelation from the Lord or the Spirit’s conviction? Are you quick to repent or do you continue in your resistance and rebellion? Don’t miss the mighty work of God in your life due to resistance, rebellion, or even just delayed reaction. Instead, ask the question: “Lord, what shall I do?”


What would the Lord have you do today? Is there anything from which he would have you turn from in order that you may turn to him? We would love to hear your thoughts in the comments.

Recommended Resources:

The Spirit-Filled Life

Jesus calls the Holy Spirit a "gift" who will guide us, lead us, and empower us. Yet many believers don't experience the power and presence of the Holy Spirit in their lives. This unique Christian small group Bible study provides a space in which we can explore what it truly means to "walk in the Spirit" on a daily basis. The Spirit-Filled Life small group curriculum centers on a 6-part video teaching series examining the life-giving and creative work of the Holy Spirit in our lives. Begin to experience the gift today!


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