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. For the promise is to you and to your children, and to all who are afar off, as many as the Lord our God will call.”
Peter’s call to action also provides a list of some of God’s greatest gifts.
The basic idea of repentance is “a reversal of thinking which changes one’s life” (The Nelson Study Bible, note on Matthew 3:2). When we see how our sins have gone against God’s perfect law, and that Jesus Christ gave His life to pay for our death penalty, it is only right to have godly sorrow and a fervent desire to change. But even repentance is a gift from God (Romans 2:4).
After repenting, God wants us to demonstrate our commitment through water baptism, a symbol of the death of our old person. This is followed by God’s gift of forgiveness of sins and the gift of God’s Holy Spirit—a seed of spiritual life, a lifeline to God, a connection to the spiritual vine. Through the Holy Spirit, God makes available so many other priceless gifts.
So, while Peter called on new believers to take action in this passage, it is really God whose acts of giving make the difference.
For more about responding to God’s call to repent and be baptized, download our free booklet Change Your Life!