Times of Refreshing
With Bishop Ronald K. Powell
Acts 3:19-20 NLT “Now repent of your sins and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped away. Then times of refreshment will come from the presence of the Lord, and He will again send you Jesus, your appointed Messiah. ”
- He continues; “Repent therefore, and turn again, that your sins may be blotted out.”
- Obviously, repentance involves knowing (and admitting) the guilt of your sins and turning to Christ.
- To have your sins “blotted out” means completely absolved, wiped off the record. God remembers them no more.
Dead to sin, alive in Christ/Acts 3: 17-26
17 “Now, fellow Israelites, I know that you acted in ignorance, as did your leaders. 18 But this is how God fulfilled what he had foretold through all the prophets, saying that his Messiah would suffer. 19 Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord, 20 and that he may send the Messiah, who has been appointed for you—even Jesus. 21 Heaven must receive him until the time comes for God to restore everything, as he promised long ago through his holy prophets. 22 For Moses said, ‘The Lord your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among your own people; you must listen to everything he tells you. 23 Anyone who does not listen to him will be completely cut off from their people.’
24 “Indeed, beginning with Samuel, all the prophets who have spoken have foretold these days. 25 And you are heirs of the prophets and of the covenant God made with your fathers. He said to Abraham, ‘Through your offspring all peoples on earth will be blessed.’ 26 When God raised up his servant, he sent him first to you to bless you by turning each of you from your wicked ways.”
In this passage, Peter applies his sermon (verses 11-16) to the crowd of people who are gathered and astonished at a crippled man being instantly healed. Peter has already explained that the man was healed through faith in Jesus of Nazareth. He has also declared that Jesus is the promised Christ of the prophets, and that they are culpable in his death. Very weighty statements.
Now he explains what they must do; repent. Peter then gives reasons to repent, teaching us the nature of repentance. The first incentive is the offer of forgiveness of sins. Peter says, “Brother, I know you acted in ignorance, as did your rulers.” Peter is not excusing their guilt in putting Jesus to death, but he is saying it is forgivable, and their other sins as well.
He continues; “Repent therefore, and turn again, that your sins may be blotted out.” Obviously, repentance involves knowing (and admitting) the guilt of your sins and turning to Christ. To have your sins “blotted out” means completely absolved, wiped off the record. God remembers them no more. This is how great the grace of God is. Christ has fully paid for sin, all your offenses against God’s law.
The converse of this helps us understand the magnitude of it. To not have your sins blotted out means you are accountable for all of them before God, who hates sin. The grace of God shown to us in the person and work of Christ is amazing, but it also manifests to us the plight of the sinner without it. You are estranged from God and held accountable for your sins. You are justly condemned.
The second reason Peter gives to repent is that “times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord.” The turning to Christ for forgiveness restores your relationship with the Lord. As much as we may like sin, it is discomforting to the soul. We fear death for a good reason; it is a terrible thing. Christ takes away the sting of death, which is sin. Death cannot harm one connected to Christ.
Scripture 3: Isaiah 40:31 (NIV)
“But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.”
This verse from Isaiah reminds us that when we place our hope in the Lord, He renews our strength. In times of weariness and exhaustion, God empowers us to soar above our circumstances like eagles. He enables us to run the race set before us without growing weary and walk with perseverance without fainting.
This promise assures us that in our season of refreshing, God will infuse us with supernatural strength to overcome any obstacles we might face.
- Repentance is a change of heart and mind that brings us closer to God.
- It includes turning away from sin and turning to God for forgiveness.
- It is motivated by love for God and a sincere desire to obey His commandments.
Scripture 4: 2 Corinthians 4:16 (NIV)
“Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day.”
- The apostle Paul reminds us that even though our physical bodies may experience decay and weakness, our inner being is being renewed day by day.
- In this season of refreshing, God is at work within us, transforming our hearts and minds.
- He is bringing about a spiritual renewal that surpasses any physical limitations.
- We can take comfort in the fact that our Lord is constantly renewing us from the inside out.
Conclusion: The present promise for anyone who repents of their sins and turns again to Jesus Christ will enter into the “Times of refreshing that comes from the Lord.”
Let Us Pray!