On the day of Pentecost, the multitudes were so convicted by Peter’s preaching on the resurrection of Jesus that they asked, “Men and brethren, what shall we do?” (Acts 2:37b, NKJV). Peter’s response was a fourfold, interactive salvation experience. That’s right! Salvation waves of glory, each wave bringing the next, until Holy Spirit’s refreshing and inheritances were received.
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” (Acts 2:38).
Remember, the word “repent” simply means to think differently, have a new thought, or bring forward an old thought. We could probably use to “have a new thought” about the word “repentance”, as it has often carried a sense of condemnation or heavy burden with it. Instead, repentance really is a freeing place in our faith where we accept revelation as truth, not just nice information. As we believe differently, we initiate a turning or conversion toward truth. We turn to Jesus!
Then the word “return” means to convert, turn, or be baptized. It can also simply and easily mean “to return”; because when God interfaces with us, it is not from where we are in our lives, but from where He is— full of truth, life, freedom, and love. He always speaks to us not from what we are doing, but from what He has called us to be in Him.
Just like when He spoke to Saul of Tarsus, He said, “It is hard for you to kick against the goads” (Acts 9:5b). The image here is of kicking backwards against something. What “something,” do you think? Our identity and calling in Christ. In essence, Jesus was saying to Saul, “Stop fighting your destiny, Saul. You were called to be an apostle, not a terrorist; to preach grace, not the law; and to set captives free, not imprison my disciples.”
Next, the word “remittance” is a payment or settlement, maybe even a gift, and here refers to God’s forgiveness. Our sins are blotted out completely! Sin and shame are heavy burdens to carry for anyone. Yet whenever we see Jesus and receive His truth, we repent and return to our glorious Redeemer. This is constant and continual, and can be experienced every day, throughout the day, over and over again! Salvation is not a one-time event, but a person: the man Christ Jesus, received in our hearts! That’s why returning always leads to a release from guilt and shame, from burdens and trauma. Why? Because we see Jesus, return to Jesus, and He heals us!
Finally, “refreshing” is the gift of the Holy Spirit. In times of refreshing, we receive an inheritance among those being saved. Refreshing is the completion of every salvation experience. We see into our future, become empowered by the Holy Spirit, and receive our inheritance in Christ.
As I shared in the Secret Place last week, I believe there is an imminent coming of the Holy Spirit. Yes, He is already with us, but I believe He’s coming now to unlock our hearts and to testify so magnanimously of the resurrection of Jesus Christ, that we will be shaken out of our old mindsets, repent, return, receive forgiveness, and receive a new, joyful refreshing from the heart of God!
Note the awesome glories of salvation we can each experience because of Jesus’ finished work on the Cross: repentance, returning, remittance, and refreshing. In Acts alone, there are three dynamic accounts of salvation being declared:
“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’”(Acts 2:38, NKJV).
“Repent therefore and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord…” (Acts 3:19).
“…to open their eyes, in order to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who are sanctified by faith in Me” (Acts 26:18).
In my own life, I have found that when revelation is happening, I need to take the time to look, see, and internalize the truth. I invite you to do the same. I do this so that I can think differently, return to my calling, and be released from captivity. The refreshing that inevitably comes is that I get to enter into and experience the joy of the Lord!
May this be the case for each one of us. As we say “yes” to Jesus–forgiven, freed, and healed– a glorious repentance begins. A thought we hadn’t thought, maybe even a thought we let go of, then becomes a new thought. With that thought comes a turning, a conversion, a forgiving, and a releasing. And finally, comes a baptism of fresh joy in the Holy Spirit, where we know our SALVATION more fully…His name is Jesus! Let it be, Lord.