“Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord.” (Acts 3:19 NIV)
Today, in this passage we need to see the whole of the context to which Luke writes this in. Peter and John had just healed the lame beggar in the name of “Jesus.” The same begged healing that they would latter be pulled in front of the Sanhedrin for. In fact, the beggar is still clinging to them as if it was by their power he was healed. So, all the people in the temple are gathering around them in amazement as if it was by their power this beggar they all knew was now walking.
Our passage is part of Peter's address to that crowd, and it’s not even a full sentence from that address. The full sentence is Acts 3:19-20, “Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord, and that he may send the Christ, who has been appointed for you–even Jesus.” Peter first and foremost, has told them about Jesus, what He did, and reminded them that they had killed Him. So, in this verse he is telling them what they must do once again to be saved.
First, they must repent. This radical turning or reorientation of life from sin and the world to God. A choice to turn life over to God and focus on seeking Him first in all we do. Secondly, their sins will be forgiven, completely wiped out, no record of them; and a time of refreshing will come. A time of transforming, cleansing, and renewing. Finally, all of this is done in the authority of Jesus Christ the Messiah.
A lot packed into one little sentence, but in this we have repentance, forgiveness, and regeneration changing us into the human that God originally intended us to be.
Have you asked Jesus to forgive you? Have you made this radical reorientation, turning from sin to God? Has God been working on you to make this choice? __________________
Richard P. Thompson, Acts: A Commentary in the Wesleyan Tradition, ed. Alex Varughese, Roger Hahn, and George Lyons, New Beacon Bible Commentary (Kansas City: Beacon Hill Press of Kansas City, 2015), 111.