06 March, 2017

Acts 3:19—“Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out …”

Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord (Acts 3:19 KJV).

This passage is sometimes interpreted by advocates of the “general well-meant offer” to mean that not only the call to repent is universal (Note: something which is, nonetheless, true), but that also the gospel promise is universal/conditional and not particular/unconditionalGod sincerely promises salvation in Jesus Christ to absolutely all (bar none) who hear the outward call, upon the condition of repentance and faith.

On the other end of the spectrum, hyper-Calvinists see this entire passage, including the command to repent, as being addressed only to the regenerate [i.e. sensible sinners].


Rev. Martyn McGeown

[In] Acts 3, where Peter addresses a crowd of unbelieving Jews who have gathered in response to a miracle that he has performed at the Beautiful Gate of the temple. After charging them with killing the Christ, he issues the command, “Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out” (v. 19). The words “repent” and “be converted” are imperatives, and there is no indication here that the people had been pricked in their hearts before Peter issued the command to repent.

In Acts 3:19, the people must (1) repent and (2) be converted (or, literally, “turn”). The purpose of such repentance and turning is “that [their] sins may be blotted out.” Peter’s words are both a command and a promise, a command to all the hearers to repent, and a promise of the blotting out of sins to all who repent and are converted. Peter’s words do not constitute a conditional promise but identify the true recipients of the promised blessing—only those who repent and believe will be forgiven. The hearers are not able to repent and be converted, but the obligation to do so still rests on them. If they do not repent, they “shall be destroyed from among the people” (v. 23).



More to come! (DV)

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