“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;”
King James Version (KJV)
3:19 Be converted - Be turned from sin and Satan unto God. See #Ac 26:20|. But this term, so common in modern writings, very rarely occurs in Scripture: perhaps not once in the sense we now use it, for an entire change from vice to holiness. That the times of refreshing - Wherein God largely bestows his refreshing grace, may come - To you also. To others they will assuredly come, whether ye repent or no.
Ac 3:19 Repent ye therefore. The same command given on the great occasion of Pentecost. See Ac 2:38. Repentance is not sorrow, but the fruit of sorrow (2Co 7:10). Those, on Pentecost, "pierced to the heart" were told to "repent". Judas sorrowed unto death, but did not come to repentance. Repentance is an internal change resulting, not from remorse, but from conviction of sin and godly sorrow for it. The Greek term "metanoeo" means "a change of mind". It is the change of determination or will, the resolve to turn from sin to God, what, in religious language, is often styled "a change of heart". And be converted. "Turn again" (Revised Version). The Greek term "epistephate" is not passive, but active. The command is to do some act, not to have something done to us. The Greek verb "epistrepho" occurs thirty-nine times in the New Testament and is universally in the active voice. A false idea is given in the Common Version by making it passive. To "repent", or change the heart, is the internal change wrought by faith, and this is to be followed by a definite act, "to turn". If one is on the wrong road, is convicted of this, repents of it, the result is an "act", to "turn", and then to go the right way. This figure applies to the sinner. Convicted of sin, repentant, there must be some outward act of turning. That act, following repentance, is given in Ac 2:38. The penitent is required to be baptized, and then to go in the new way following Jesus. Meyer says: ``Baptism is not here expressly named, as in Ac 2:38, but was now understood of itself, seeing that thousands had been baptized, and the thought is suggested in the figurative expression 'in order' that your sins may be blotted out, namely, by the water of baptism.'' Dean Howson notes: ``In a similar exhortation (Ac 2:38) Peter adds, "Be baptized", but this would now be understood.'' See Ac 22:16. When the times of refreshing shall come. The Revised Version is correct, "That so there may come", etc. The steps are, in Ac 2:38, (1) Repentance, (2) baptism, (3) remission of sins, (4) the gift of the Holy Spirit. Here, the order is (1) Repentance, (2) to turn, (3) the blotting out of sins, (4) the seasons of refreshing. One passage aids in interpreting the other.