Acts 2:38 - Part of the Sermon or Follow-Up?
This morning, I attended a preaching class run by the pastor of my church. He was talking aobut evangelistic preaching.
During the class, he pointed to Peter's sermon in Acts chapter 2 as a model for evangelsitic preaching. He identified verse 38 as part of the sermon. He saw Peter's call to repent and be baptized as the practical application of the Gospel address in this sermon.
However, is it a natural reading of this text to view verse 38 as a part of Peter's sermon? In this verse he replies to a question that he has just been asked.
It is quite possible that Peter had not finished his sermon in verse 36 and it is even possible that he might have even gone on to say what he says in verse 38. However, there is no indication in the text that Peter had not concluded his sermon in verse 36.
There are two reasons why my pastor views this passage that way. The first is that he is viewing it through the lens of one preparing sermons which, conventionally,have a practical application in their conclusion. Secondly, he views repentance and faith as essentially the same thing.
The Free Grace advocate views the Jewish audience as converted and regenerate in verse 37. They are 'pricked in their' heart. They believe what Peter has told them or else they would not be asking him what to do. Therefore, we must view Peter's reponse in verse 38, not so much as evangelism, but as follow-up or discipleship class.
As for practcal application, Peter already gave them something to do in the sermon. He quoted Joel 'whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.' Do you think the audiece would have asked Peter what to do without doing what he had already implied they should do? I am quite sure those men indeed called on the name of the Lord, either audibly or in their hearts by faith. If so, they were saved men before they heard Peter's answer in verse 38.