Unto you first God, having raised up his Son Jesus, sent him to bless you, in turning away every one of you from his iniquities. And as they (Peter and John) spoke unto the people, the priests, and the captain of the temple, and the Sadducees (the Sadducees did not believe in the resurrection of the dead), came upon them, being grieved that they taught the people, and preached through Jesus the resurrection from the dead. And they laid hands on them, and put them in hold unto the next day: for it was now eventide. Howbeit many of them which heard the word believed; and the number of the men (not counting women and children) was about five thousand.
The message of salvation came first to the people of Israel, the descendants of Abraham, Moses, Samuel, and the prophets. They—of all people—should have known the prophecies and recognized him when he came. They were to have been the prime beneficiaries of the blessings of the covenant.
We Are Given The Chance
Notice that the primary nature of the blessing was to turn them back from [their] sinful ways. Christ’s work, at its core, is to turn lives around. People on sinful paths are turned from those paths to the path of blessing. Israel had every reason to turn to Jesus—history, heritage, bloodline, centuries of warning from prophetic messengers. But they did not recognize him.
Peter concluded his message with the statement that God wants to turn people away from sin in order to “bless” them. This is exactly the opposite of what many believe. They consider God the ultimate party pooper, a kind of cosmic killjoy who wants to turn people from sin in order to make them miserable.
Resist The Devil…
Why do we tend to think like this? Because of the craftiness of our enemy. The consummate liar, he has—since the beginning of the human race—been successful in tempting us to doubt God’s goodness. But if we embrace the truth that God is good, then we acknowledge that God prohibits certain things in order to bless our lives “infinitely more than we would ever dare to ask or hope”.
Don’t let Satan cause you to doubt God’s goodness. GOD IS GOOD! And He will bless you. Trust and obey Him. 5,000 men, plus women and children believed that day. So should we. Amen.