In Acts 3, Peter presents his first post-resurrection sermon in the temple. Luke ends with these words:
God, having raised up his servant, sent him to you first, to bless you by turning every one of you from your wickedness.Acts 3:26
Note, the sermon is being presented to religious Jews, on pilgrimage, in Jerusalem, at the temple, in the midst of their ceremonial worship. They are not fair-weather fans of God. They are keeping his traditions. They are paying the price. They are really serious, and they are wicked.
Note, the sermon presents a work of God that goes much deeper than conversion. Jesus saves us in our wickedness, then he begins the slow and lifelong process of saving us from our wickedness. God’s servant “turns every one of us from our wickedness.”
Therefore, today, let’s hate Satan and his wicked ways with even more vehemency than we do. Oh, how his wicked leadership and our wicked partnership harms us, our children, and society.
Then, today, let’s rehearse the unfathomable grace of God. As he came for the wicked couple in Eden, and as he came for the wicked congregation in Jerusalem, so he continually comes for us. Let’s hear his voice, see his face, and cease our hiding. Come out from behind the bush and receive his gifted clothing. Then, jump in his arms, stay there, and dance. Hold him tight, follow his lead, and watch as he “turns everyone one of us from our wickedness.”