Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said to Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brothers…
I. THE INQUIRY MADE. Men always want to know what they are to do when conviction of sin is on them. This was Paul's excited cry when on the way to Damascus, and that of the Philippian jailer. And until a sinner is willing to do anything that he may, if possible, undo what he has done amiss, little evidence of a contrite state of heart does he afford. But how blessed is God's plan of salvation. We have not to do or to undo; another has done for us what is required, and what we could not do. Jesus has died, the just for the unjust, to bring us to God. All left for us, therefore, is repentance which leads to the avoidance of sin in future, by submitting to His ordinances, and present realising, appropriating faith. "Men and brethren!" Previously any contemptuous terms were good enough for the followers of the Nazarene; but see how the change of heart affects the speech. A sinner under conviction will naturally become more guarded in language than before. How many ways has the Spirit of God of producing conviction; and how many ways has a convicted sinner of showing the conviction which is thus produced! Not only do men adopt new modes of action, but new styles of speech.
II. THE REPLY GIVEN. How ready is the apostle to respond.
1. "Repent," as if he would say, do not go about to establish a righteousness of your own; do not suppose that by costly sacrifices or penal suffering you shall be saved. Hate your sin and flee from it. Repent; sincerely, instantly, earnestly; seek mercy, for it is awaiting you.
2. Be baptized, as an expression of your determination henceforth to be enrolled under the banner of the Messiah, thus publicly admitting His claims, and showing your faith in Him, and obedience to Him.
3. Do this in reference to the remission of your sins; not supposing that baptism will save you, but rather that it will symbolise the regenerative power of the Spirit by which you have been awakened, and then you shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.
(W. Antliff, D. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do?