These words are part of St. Peter's sermon to the people of Jerusalem, on occasion of the cure of the lame man, at the "Beautiful Gate" of the temple, shortly after the day of Pentecost.
This, and the sermon recorded in the preceding chapter, were perhaps the most effective ever delivered on earth. As the fruit of Peter's ministry in these two discourses, about five thousand souls were converted to Christianity.
It is recorded, that, on the day of Pentecost, the hearers "were pricked in their hearts, and said unto Peter and the rest of the apostles--Men and brethren, what shall we do?" An inquiry which indicates the utmost solicitude and distress. A sense of sin overwhelmed them, especially of their guilt in rejecting the Son of God; and they pressed around the preacher and his colleagues with this earnest interrogative.
The answer was ready. True ministers of Christ are never at a loss in answering the inquiries of awakened sinners. When the Philippian jailer came trembling to Paul and Silas, and fell down before them, exclaiming- "What must I do to be saved?" "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved," was the prompt and appropriate answer.
So Peter, on the day of Pentecost, when three thousand conscience-smitten and heart-broken hearers cried out under the sermon- "What shall we do?" immediately replied- "Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ, for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost; for the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call."
And so in the sermon whence we have taken our text, when he saw that the truth had found its way to the understanding, and the conscience, and the heart that many were awakened, and convinced of sin--he exhorted them to repentance and faith in Christ, as the condition of salvation- "Repent ye, therefore, and be conve ...
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