The is no more significant question that needs answering when it comes to Christianity than “what must I do?” Before I seek to try and answer this in part, I need to state some facts about how my reasoning has changed. When I first came to Christ, my often boastful and arrogant spirit would view the religious world around me with some form of contempt. I would even question one’s claim of loving God simply because they were not adhering to a doctrine found in the scriptures. Jews, Baptists, Catholics, Jehovah Witnesses and the list could go on. So, I state unequivocally that I was wrong to think in such a fashion. That said, it is important to note that having a love for God doesn’t make one right with God either. God determines that through His redemptive plan. It is that which I seek to set forth today and, in the weeks, to come. What must some do, if anything, to be saved?
Now when they heard this, they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest
of the apostles, “Men and brethren, what shall we do?”
I need to admit something up front, I am a simple man in mind. I am no great theologian, nor am I a bibliophilia; that is, a bookworm. So, the question that is so often asked in Christianity, was a question that was asked at the very beginning. To me then, looking to see the answer given when it was first asked seems only reasonable to me. Let’s take a moment and considered the question itself first. The ETRV reads, “Brothers, what should we do?” The words shall we do come from a Greek word meaning I make, manufacture, construct, (b) I do, act, cause, a prolonged form of an obsolete primary; to make or do. These Jews of 2000 years ago, simple in many ways like myself, found themselves in a predicament where they were asking, “How do I correct this wrong and make it right?” The question of Acts 2:37 is critical as noted by Gareth Reese, “This is an expression of earnestness. They want to know what to do to avoid the wrath of God upon them.” They had just participated in the killing of the one who God made “both Lord and Christ” (Acts 2:36). They were “cut to the heart,” overwhelmed with the reality of what they had done. What shall we do?!!
However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth…
Unlike us today, the apostles did not have the New Testament before them, so they were reliant upon the Holy Spirit to guide them in a miraculous manner concerning what God would want them to say. Now, filled with the Spirit (Acts 2:4), Peter finds himself preaching the first sermon about the Christ who had come and had risen. That same Spirit that guided him to proclaim Christ now guides him to answer that aged old question, only this time, it is not aged or old, for it is the first time it was ever asked after Christ’s resurrection and ascension. His answer would be from the Spirit. If there is nothing one would need to do, this would be the time to make it clear. Spirit of God, what shall we do?
Then Peter said to them, “Repent and let everyone of you be baptized in
the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins…
Clearly, the Spirit of God makes it known that there is something those cut to the heart by the message of Christ must do. Something that does not earn them forgiveness; but instead, connects them to that forgiveness. Please forgive my simplicity, but I see it like an electrical cord that is the conduit between the power and the item needing that power. It is the means by which one receives that which they need. None of these people would have the luxury of vast libraries to deliberate the ideas of what is being presented. No great theologians to help them wrestle with what is being said. What they did have was a simple answer to their question, what shall we do?