Let me begin this morning by telling a story on my wife – a good story.

Judy went into a store a couple weeks ago and bought several things, including six of one particular item.

They were kind of delicate and the clerk had to individually wrap them so that they wouldn’t be broken.

But then when he rang up the sale, he charged her for one rather than six.

Later that night Judy realized what had been done, and I encouraged her to return to the store and pay the full price, which she did a couple of days later.

The mistake wasn’t hers; it was the clerk’s, but knowing my wife, I’m sure that she was just a little embarrassed by the whole thing.

The store manager was so impressed by her honesty that gave her a nice discount.

So Judy did the right thing and was, in this case, rewarded for doing so.

Of course that is not the same thing as making the mistake yourself and having to return and confess.

But that is what I am doing here this morning.

Back in November we began our little study of Acts 3 and we ended up with six messages.

I have discovered that I walked out of the store with several important sermons in my pocket which I didn’t preach at the time.

So it is with my hat in my hand that I return to Peter’s second recorded sermon one more time.

On November 30th we looked at most of these verses under the title “Peter’s Threefold Testimony of Jesus.”

We spent a few minutes thinking about Jesus as the source of the miracle in healing the lame man.

Then we noted Christ as the Redeemer of souls and the Fulfilment of prophecy.

It is kind of ironic but I introduced that message by talking about the billions of stars in the Heavens.

They may appear to be redundant and unnecessary, but they are all important in their own way.

There isn’t the least bit of redundancy in the Lord’s creation.

So we come back to this sermon, and it’s not redundancy that we do so.

We could probably look at these 15 verses 15 times and learn new and important things each time.

Because even more than the vastness of space, the Word of God sweeps far beyond our eyes, our telescopes, and our imaginations.

Studying Stephen’s sermon in Acts 7 has brought be back to Peter’s sermon.

What does Peter mean when he talks about the “time of refreshing” which shall come from the presence of the Lord?

Notice first, the PEOPLE involved here.

There was the man who had been crippled from birth but who was healed by the grace and power of God.

He was the catalyst for this sermon, because after his healing, he created a ruckus that brought a huge crowd of people to see what was going on.

And then there were Peter and John, the instruments whom the Lord used to heal the man.

“Then Peter said, Silver and gold have I none; but such as I have give I thee: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk.

And he took him by the right hand, and lifted him up: and immediately his feet and ankle bones received strength. And he leaping up stood, and walked, and entered with them into the temple, walking, and leaping, and praising God.”

The more important Persons of this incident, of course, were God the Father and God the Son.

Peter confessed, “It wasn’t John or me who healed this unfortunate man. It was the God of our Fathers.”

“The God of Abraham, and of Isaac, and of Jacob, the God of our fathers, hath glorified his Son Jesus; whom ye delivered up, and denied him in the presence of Pilate, when he was determined to let him go.

But ye denied the Holy One and the Just, and desired a murderer to be granted unto you;

And killed the Prince of life, whom God hath raised from the dead; whereof we are witnesses.

And his name through faith in his name hath made this man strong, whom ye see and know: yea, the faith which is by him hath given him this perfect soundness in the presence of you all.”

We pretty-well examined all of THESE people when we looked at this chapter earlier.

But now I want you to notice the people to whom Peter was speaking: the Jewish nation.

Although there were probably some rabbis in the congregation, and maybe some of rulers of the Temple,

Although there may have been a smattering of senators and members of the Sanhedrin,

Peter clearly notes that his hearers were the common people of the nation.

I say facetiously, being the “anti-semite” that he was, Peter charged the entire nation with the crucifixion of Christ.

Look at verse 17: “And now, brethren, I wot that through ignorance ye did it, as did also your rulers.”

“I know that YOU crucified the Messiah out of ignorance, and that was even true of your leaders.”

The reason that I bring this to your attention is because how it relates to the next thought.

What is this “refreshing which shall come from the presence of the Lord”?

In preparing myself for this message, I consulted my library.

I used to think that I had a pretty extensive library, but over the last few years, I’ve learned otherwise.

I found very little useful information about the meaning of this phrase,

And nearly all of the sermons which I found are merely applications rather than expositions.

Nearly all those sermons are “revival” type sermons.

They basically fell back onto the idea that if we repent then God will refresh us.

“If all God’s people which are called by His name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek His face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will He hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.”

While this is true enough, neither Solomon nor Peter were thinking about you and me.

This “refreshing” is not Christian revival, but ISRAELITE RESTORATION.

Let me show you what I mean.

There are several things said in Peter’s sermon which are the property of the Lord alone.

For example this refreshing shall come “from the presence of the Lord.”

There is nothing unusual or surprising about the word “refresh;” it means exactly what you’d expect it to mean.

There is nothing as refreshing as a glass of pure, cold water.

When things are “refreshed,” they are rejuvenated, revitalized, re-energized.

The Lord is going to send a refreshing.

Verse 21 adds to that thought with the idea of a RESTITUTION.

The Lord Jesus is currently in Heaven with the Father, but upon his return there will be the restitution of all things.

Since this is not a sermon addressed to the Lord’s church,

This is not talking about some sort of restoration of the church.

I wouldn’t be surprised to find out that this was a theme often preached during Protestant Reformation.

It’s not about the church, and it’s not exactly about the restoration of the original creation.

When man, the pinnacle of God’s creation sinned, all of creation was plunged under the curse.

And when the Lord of Glory is once again magnified over all of creation, the curse will be removed and much of the original creation will be restored.

In Romans 8 the word “creature” is a substitution for “creation.”

“For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God.

For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in hope, because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God.”

When the Lord finally returns, the curse of sin will be removed, and the world will return to a state much like the original,

But that is not to what Peter referred.

The rest of his sermon shows that he is talking about the restoration of the nation of Israel.

“For Moses truly said unto the fathers, A prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you of your brethren, like unto me; him shall ye hear in all things whatsoever he shall say unto you.

And it shall come to pass, that every soul, which will not hear that prophet, shall be destroyed from among the people.

Ye are the children of the prophets, and of the covenant which God made with our fathers, saying unto Abraham, And in thy seed shall all the kindreds of the earth be blessed.”

Not discounting all of the other blessings and results that will take place, many of which we will enjoy,

From Genesis to Revelation we read promises of the salvation and restoration of the nation of Israel,

And that is the theme of Peter’s references in this sermon.

Does that mean that the rest of this message doesn’t apply to you? Not at all. Please hang in there.

When will this take place?

“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;

And he shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you:

Whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution of all things.”

I won’t return to the message that I preached three months ago, but these two messages certainly intersect.

Peter said that by the mouth of all His prophets, God told Israel that Christ would first greatly suffer, v.18.

Jesus’ betrayal and desertion were prophesied in the Old Testament.

His trial, His hair-pulling, His nakedness, and that his nation would reject Him were prophesied.

That his clothes would be gambled away was prophesied.

The nails and the crucifixion and the spear in his side were all prophesied.

Not only His death, but also His resurrection and ascension were prophesied.

And then, God’s Word also prophesies the Lord’s return,

And that the restoration of Israel will take place at that time.

“Whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution of all things,

Which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began.

Yea, and all the prophets from Samuel and those that follow after, as many as have spoken, have likewise foretold of these days.”

Isaiah 1 “How is the faithful city become an harlot! it was full of judgment; righteousness lodged in it; but now murderers. Thy silver is become dross, thy wine mixed with water:

But I will turn my hand upon thee, and purely purge away thy dross, and take away all thy tin:

And I will restore thy judges as at the first, and thy counsellors as at the beginning: afterward thou shalt be called, The city of righteousness, the faithful city.

Zion shall be redeemed with judgment, and her converts with righteousness.”

Isaiah 11:10“And in that day there shall be a root of Jesse, which shall stand for an ensign of the people; to it shall the Gentiles seek: and his rest shall be glorious.

And it shall come to pass in that day, that the Lord shall set his hand again the second time to recover the remnant of his people, which shall be left, from Assyria, and from Egypt, and from Pathros, and from Cush, and from Elam, and from Shinar, and from Hamath, and from the islands of the sea.

And he shall set up an ensign for the nations, and shall assemble the outcasts of Israel, and gather together the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth.”

Ezekiel 20:33 – “As I live, saith the Lord GOD, surely with a mighty hand, and with a stretched out arm, and with fury poured out, will I rule over you:

And I will bring you out from the people, and will gather you out of the countries wherein ye are scattered, with a mighty hand, and with a stretched out arm, and with fury poured out.

And I will bring you into the wilderness of the people, and there will I plead with you face to face.

Like as I pleaded with your fathers in the wilderness of the land of Egypt, so will I plead with you, saith the Lord GOD.

And I will cause you to pass under the rod, and I will bring you into the bond of the covenant:

And I will purge out from among you the rebels, and them that transgress against me: I will bring them forth out of the country where they sojourn, and they shall not enter into the land of Israel: and ye shall know that I am the LORD.

As for you, O house of Israel, thus saith the Lord GOD; Go ye, serve ye every one his idols, and hereafter also, if ye will not hearken unto me: but pollute ye my holy name no more with your gifts, and with your idols.

For in mine holy mountain, in the mountain of the height of Israel, saith the Lord GOD, there shall all the house of Israel, all of them in the land, serve me: there will I accept them, and there will I require your offerings, and the firstfruits of your oblations, with all your holy things.

I will accept you with your sweet savour, when I bring you out from the people, and gather you out of the countries wherein ye have been scattered; and I will be sanctified in you before the heathen.

And ye shall know that I am the LORD, when I shall bring you into the land of Israel, into the country for the which I lifted up mine hand to give it to your fathers.

And there shall ye remember your ways, and all your doings, wherein ye have been defiled; and ye shall lothe yourselves in your own sight for all your evils that ye have committed.

And ye shall know that I am the LORD, when I have wrought with you for my name’s sake, not according to your wicked ways, nor according to your corrupt doings, O ye house of Israel, saith the Lord GOD.”

Zech. 1:15“Thus saith the LORD of hosts; I am jealous for Jerusalem and for Zion with a great jealousy.

And I am very sore displeased with the heathen that are at ease: for I was but a little displeased, and they helped forward the affliction.

Therefore thus saith the LORD; I am returned to Jerusalem with mercies: my house shall be built in it, saith the LORD of hosts, and a line shall be stretched forth upon Jerusalem.

Cry yet, saying, Thus saith the LORD of hosts; My cities through prosperity shall yet be spread abroad; and the LORD shall yet comfort Zion, and shall yet choose Jerusalem.”

Zech. 10:6 “And I will strengthen the house of Judah, and I will save the house of Joseph, and I will bring them again to place them; for I have mercy upon them: and they shall be as though I had not cast them off: for I am the LORD their God, and will hear them.”

Malachi 3:1 “Behold, I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me: and the Lord, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to his temple, even the messenger of the covenant, whom ye delight in: behold, he shall come, saith the LORD of hosts.

But who may abide the day of his coming? and who shall stand when he appeareth? for he is like a refiner’s fire, and like fullers’ soap:

And he shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver: and he shall purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer unto the LORD an offering in righteousness.

Then shall the offering of Judah and Jerusalem be pleasant unto the LORD, as in the days of old, and as in former years.”

Revelation 1:7 – “Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen.”

One of the things that will take place at the return of the Lord Jesus will be the restoration of Israel as a nation.

But why? What is the reason and explanation for this refreshing and restoration?

Is it because the Jews are such a good people and such a delightful nation? Absolutely not.

Is it because the Lord is under some obligation to these people?

Don’t be ridiculous, the Lord is not a debtor to any man or nation.

The explanation is in that the Lord of His own free-will made an everlasting covenant with one branch of the descendants of Abraham – Israel.

As Peter said, “Ye are the children of the prophets, and of the covenant which God made with our fathers, saying unto Abraham, And in thy seed shall all the kindreds of the earth be blessed.”

Over and over again Jehovah used these words in talking with Abraham in Genesis 12, 18, 22, 26 and 28.

And there were other covenants or extensions of that covenant made with David.

The Lord will bless the people of Israel because He has graciously chosen to do so.

And He will do it through the person of the Lord Jesus.

And that is what Peter is telling his nation there in Acts 3.

But there is ANOTHER SIDE to Peter’s sermon.

He delineated some of the things that the Lord had done and some of the things that He is going to do.

These are things that fall entirely on the very broad shoulders of Jehovah.

But in the mean time there are responsibilities which are laid upon the shoulders of the Jews to whom he was preaching.

“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.”

His first exhortation, which could have been taken from the Lord Jesus’ sermons, or John Baptist’s;

This was the theme of Jeremiah, Isaiah, Zephaniah and Zechariah and a dozen others.


Change your hearts and minds about sin, about yourselves, and most particularly about Christ Jesus.

You took and crucified the Lord of glory, the Messiah, the anointed of God.

Repent of this horrendous and disastrous deed.

Repent before God and believe on the Lord Jesus Christ.

And be converted!

To be converted is not something that any human being can do by himself.

This is a sovereign act of the omnipotent God whereby he makes a creature dead in trespasses and sins into a new creature in Christ.

The idea is repeated in slightly different words in verse 26:

“God, having raised up his Son Jesus, sent him to bless you, in turning away every one of you from his iniquities.”

To be converted is to become someone other than you were.

It is the echo of regeneration.

And with it comes the blessing “that your sins may be blotted out.”

There are a great many illustrations used to describe how God deals with sin.

“Atonement” refers to the covering that the blood of the sacrifice makes over sin.

The Bible speaks of sin being cast into the depths of the sea, never to be dredged up again.

“Forgiven” is a wonderful word and so is “pardon.”

But this word alludes to the removal of sin and all its effects.

On the blackboard of the Lord, were the words: “David Oldfield is a hell-deserving sinner.”

But then with an eraser soaked in the blood of the Saviour, someone erased that statement.

And there isn’t even chalk dust left to prove that it ever existed.

Peter isn’t saying that Israel’s sins were covered with a black magic-marker.

He says that they are removed, erased, completely blotted out.

Now, I have been teaching you that this was a Jewish sermon, preached by a Jew to a bunch of Jews.

But where does that leave you and me, who are Gentiles, the children of Japheth and not Shem?

Is it wrong to preach this great verse to a congregation composed entirely of Gentiles?

That oft repeated promise to Abraham stated, “And in thy seed shall all the kindreds of the earth be blessed.”

The reference to Abraham’s “seed” in this case, was not speaking of Israel or the Jews precisely.

It was speaking of the Lord Jesus Christ, a Judean, a Jew, who not only was ordained to be the King of Israel, but also the King of kings.

He was ordained of the Father not to be the Saviour only of that nation, but also the Saviour of tens of thousands of the rest of the kindreds of the earth.

It was required that Israel repent in order to enjoy this blessing.

And there is only one way for the nation of Israel to repent – by the individuals within that nation to repent.

Even though this particular promise was made to a nation, the exhortations were made to individuals.

And for us to obtain the blessings of the Lord Jesus, this Son of Abraham,

Our approach– yours and mine – our approach must be exactly as it was preached to these Jews.

In order for our sins to be blotted out, we, too, must be converted.

And in order to be converted, we must repent of our sins before God.

And of course we also must recognize and believe that Jesus Christ is Lord.

There is nothing wrong with re-preaching Peter’s sermon among a crowd of American Gentiles.

It is only right to mention the context.

But the application is precisely the same:

Except you repent, you shall likewise perish.

Except you trust the Lord Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Saviour you will die in your sins.

In other words, “except you be born again, you shall not see the Kingdom of God.”

Have YOU been born again?

Is your life characterized by repentance of sin and faith and love in Christ Jesus?

If the Lord called your name today, would you join Him in eternal glory?