When they had heard this, they were silenced. And they praised God, saying, “Then God has given even to the Gentiles the repentance that leads to life.” Acts 11:18
Previously introduced to Peter in a vision of a sheet being let down with formerly unclean animals, God has moved Peter into the sure understanding that Jesus opens the Way to the Heavenly Father for anyone who believes in Jesus as Savior and Lord. Peter, who has seen Jesus heal folks without discrimination, who met the woman at Jacob’s well and she evangelized her hometown for Jesus’ sake, and who has seen many instances of outsiders give their hearts to Jesus is convinced of His open Way.
Now the Jewish believers are silenced, deep in thought as they wrap their hearts and minds around this monumental action of God.
And they respond in the most earthshaking way. They don’t say, “Then God has given even to the Gentiles salvation.” Don’t say He has given, “… saving Grace.” Nor do they say, “… New Birth.” And they do not say God has given, “… Holy Spirit’s transformation.” They say God has given, “… the repentance that leads to life.” An awesome expression rarely used today. Eloquent. True repentance moves one out of spiritual death into the believer’s life which leads to ever lasting life. True repentance that leads to life!
While staying with them, He ordered them. Not to leave Jerusalem, but to wait there for the promise of the Father. “This,” He said, “is what you have heard from Me; for John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.” Acts 1:4-5
In our ‘Acts Of The Apostles’ Scriptures God’s Plan is launched when Jesus is truly and factually Resurrected from the dead then instructs the disciples to wait in Jerusalem, be baptized with the Holy Spirit, then spread the Spirit. This is Jesus’ commission to you personally and privately too, “Wait for the promise of the Father.” Jesus Christ Resurrected is your everything, giving His life to save you and through the power of the Holy Spirit He is victorious and magnificent in your life.
Look at the high spiritual level shown to us in Acts as truly Jesus Christ’s Resurrection is your central focus from Dr. Luke (author of Acts). Luke mentions 110 believers by name in Acts, and concentrates on Peter (chapters 1-7) then Paul (chapters 8-28). Jesus had promised the Holy Spirit in John 1:33, 7:37-39, 14:16-17, and 20:22. At Pentecost (Acts chapter 2) the Spirit is powerfully activated within believers. Every believer can be baptized with the Holy Spirit.
Old Reverend Robert Lee, Church of Scotland minister and professor of Biblical criticism at Edinburgh University, wrote in the 1800’s that the best title for Saint Luke’s book about the Apostles is, “The Acts of the Ascended and Glorified Lord.”. Lee said it best. Holy Spirit inspiration (deepening faith) by God’s Son who lived compassionately among us and who ignites faith within each and every believer through the power and influence of the Holy Spirit is given when you pray, “Come Holy Spirit, come and fill me to overflowing. I belong to Jesus Christ my Lord and Savior. Come Holy Spirit, come.” Then wait.
I have great sorrow and unceasing anguish in my heart. Romans 9:2
Paul’s heart mourns because some of the chosen Israelites not only reject the lineage of Christ, they also stray from the Spirit of God who fulfills God’s promises. Jesus had great sorrow too. Jesus had wept over Jerusalem as some of those in the chosen lineage (with roots in Sarah and Abraham, Genesis 21:9-12, and child Isaac, the child of the Spirit) did not receive Jesus as their Savior and Lord.
Here is the cry of our souls also: the sad and mournful thing within us as those whom we love reject Jesus, the life giver and God’s truth, and turn their backs on faith’s Gift. Yet due to our unfailing zeal for Christ we do not give up in offering Christ to each as we stand steadfast on God’s promises fulfilled in the Good News of Jesus.
In unbroken line throughout generations we step up to give all of Christ’s compassion we can give, with all the might we can muster, as we are strengthened by the Holy Spirit. Companioned by our Good Shepherd we stand firm in faith to offer Christ again and again until all the world knows Him. Offer Christ again and again.