Summary: This sermon examines what the message of the church should consist of.
* The "real" message a church sends determines that church’s reputation
- If always bickering and fighting, the message is sent: "We don’t like each other...or you."
- If always doing things for self, the message is sent: "It’s all about us, not you."
- If never reaching out, the message is sent: "We don’t care about your eternity."
* Sometimes the message that is sent is not the message that should be sent.
* Biblical message has not changed in 2000 years
* The message found in Acts 3:11-26 is the message we should be sharing; we should evaluate our message to see if it lines up with the message in our text
* What should the church’s message be about?
1. Our message is about Christ (v. 11-16)
* Everything about the church’s message should center on Christ!
* Understanding who Christ is helps us understand what he has done and helps us realize how important it is to get the message out.
A. Christ is the servant of God (v. 13)
- Servant: God’s personal representative or ambassador
- How Christ filled that role = How the church should fill that role
- 2 Cor. 5:20
B. Christ is Jesus (v. 13)
- Jesus: the Lord is salvation
- Matt. 1:21
- The name "Jesus" reminds us of why Jesus came to earth and it reminds us of our message: "Jesus saves"
C. Christ is the Holy & Righteous One (v. 14)
- Holy: to be separated to God
- Righteous One: being innocent of any crime
- Because of his holiness and righteousness, we must take the message of the cross to the world
D. Christ is the author of life (v. 15)
- Author: the originator, pioneer, or beginner of something
- The church’s message is about Christ because he is the originator, the pioneer, and the beginning of eternal life
2. Our message is about change (v. 17-19a)
A. Our message is about changing perspective (v. 17)
- "acted in ignorance" = the wrong perspective
- Our message must call people to move from spiritual ignorance to spiritual knowledge
B. Our message is about changing position (v. 18)
- Christ changed positions: he left heaven to come to earth
- Christ changed positions from heaven to earth so that we could change positions from earth to heaven!
C. Our message is about changing direction (v. 19a)
- Repent: to change one’s mind or purpose that results in a change of behavior
- Our message is about telling people that the course of their lives can be different: that their behavior can be changed by the power of God
- Matt. 3:6-8
3. Our message is about consequences (v. 18b-31)
A. When the message is accepted, sins are forgiven (v. 19).
- wiped out: the wiping of ink off a document
- Col. 2:13-14
B. When the message is accepted, the kingdom comes (v. 19-21)
- times of refreshing
- God’s kingdom on earth (his rule and reign over a person’s life) comes every time a person accepts the message: it grows
C. When the message is accepted, judgment is avoided (v. 22-24)
- Note verse 23
- Rev. 20:15
D. When the message is accepted, blessings are given (v. 25-26)
- the blessings a person recieves are spiritual in nature (v. 26b)
- Spiritual blessings are to valued more than earthly blessings: no one can take credit for them but God
- Eph. 1:3