Acts 2:37-40 :
Now when they heard this, they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “Brothers, what shall we do?”
Peter said to them, “Repent, and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is to you, and to your children, and to all who are far off, even as many as the Lord our God will call to himself.” With many other words he testified, and exhorted them, saying, “Save yourselves from this crooked generation!”
One thing we can see here is that the power of the Holy Spirit is able to take the words of a man like Peter and turn them into something powerful enough to “cut to the heart.” When they heard and understood what had happened there in Jerusalem, they were convicted and wanted to know what God wanted them to do. Peter told them to “Repent” which means to turn from your bad ways and go the right direction. He told them that they needed to accept Jesus Christ as the one who forgives sin and be baptized. He said that if they did they would receive the Holy Spirit inside of them as well.
In order to avoid confusion, I want to make it clear that Peter wasn’t saying that you have to be physically baptized to be saved or get the Holy Spirit. We know that from other parts of the Bible that people received the Holy Spirit without first being baptized. Being baptized is a good thing to do because of what it symbolizes and it is something that we have been told we should do. It doesn’t save you and it isn’t even a part of salvation at all. If it was then salvation couldn’t be a gift but a thing purchased by baptism. There are people who have been saved on their death bed who were not able to be baptized. If you are able to be baptized, you should be because this is a outward symbol of an inward reality.
It is important for us to see here that Peter was talking to Jews. They knew about the coming of the Messiah and they knew what it meant to be forgiven by the death of a lamb. This is what happened every Passover. What Peter was saying meant something very specific to them. Jesus was the Messiah who used His own life as a sacrifice for sin.
Isn’t it great that God has revealed to us that the promise is “to your children, and all who are a far off.” We are in this list because we are some of the ones that were called by the Lord Himself. Finally, we read that this is a crooked generation. The world is evil around us and it is going to be destroyed. We need to be saved so that we aren’t destroyed with it.