Repentance is a requirement for all sin, whether in moments of weakness or in ignorance. And God is ready and willing to forgive us when we do repent.
[Darris McNeely] I love going through the Book of Acts with students and teaching the stories of faith and of the power of God working in His church in the early days that we read there in the Book of Acts in the New Testament. Recently, I was going through chapter 3, the story of Peter and John. Healing a lame man in the temple who had been lame from his time of his birth. And as they came into the temple, at the ninth hour, about 3:00 in the afternoon, they performed this miraculous healing of this man, and a great deal of attention was drawn to the message that then Peter began to preach.
And just as Peter had done, in the second chapter of Acts on the Day of Pentecost, when he really laid before the audience the fact that they were responsible for the death of Jesus, and they were pricked at their hearts, he told them to repent. The same thing happens here, later in the temple, and as he was going through the real power that was behind the healing of this man, Peter makes a point in verse 16 of Acts 3. "Through faith in His name has made this man strong whom you see and know. Yes, the faith which comes through Him has given him this perfect soundness in the presence of you all. Yet now, brethren, I know that you did it in ignorance, as also did your rulers in ignorance, they were still guilty." But Peter kind of softens the blow. He says, "I know you did it in ignorance."
I think in that statement, there was a great deal of comfort. There's a glimmer of hope that Peter gives to the audience. "You did this, your sins, your unrighteousness was done in ignorance." But at the same time, he gave them a warning of urgency that they needed to change their behavior. God knows our weaknesses, God knows our problems, and when we stumble and when we sin, He's already made provision for us. His grace is already there waiting for us to repent and to claim that forgiveness from Him. We have to reach out, and we have to do that, acknowledge our mistake, and then turn to Him in obedience. So, just as Peter gave this little bit of hope that "While you did it in ignorance, you can repent." We're weak, we're fragile, we do certain things, still today, and maybe it's in ignorance, maybe it's out of a momentary weakness. When we repent and claim that forgiveness from God, then there's hope, and we can move forward, and we can learn the lesson. That's a great lesson from the story in Acts, of people who needed to understand how loving, kind, and merciful God is.
That's, "BT Daily." Join us next time.