Summary: Exposition of Acts 2:14-36 about Peter’s scriptural explanation of Pentacost, our responsiblity in the death of Christ, and His resurrection being hallmarks of the gospel
Text: Acts 2:14-36, Title: Address to the Christ-Killers, Date/Place: NRBC, 6/10/07, AM
A. Opening illustration: Talk about the young man indicted on murder charges here in Tifton this week. Suppose that I came in here today and accused you (because you live in Tifton) being guilty of it. Or what if I accused you of being guilty of Christ’s death? That’s the reaction that Peter probably got…
B. Background to passage: After the accusation of drunkenness along with those who truly sought the meaning of this obviously spiritual event, Peter stands full of the Spirit, along with the rest of the eleven, and preaches the first Christian sermon of the church era. He stands probably in the temple courts among thousands of people before audio amplification, and raises his voice to proclaim a word of truth. Commentators are in union that this is probably not the full text of his sermon, but represents its basic thrust. This text sets a great example for preachers and witnesses about the content and structure of a witness for Christ.
C. Main thought: in the text, we will see Peter’s three main points
A. What’s Going On Here (v. 14-21)
1. Peter moves to note the absurdity of the charge of drunkenness at 9 am. And talking to Jews in Jerusalem for the festival of Pentecost, quotes the minor prophet Joel, indicating that what they are witnessing that day, was foretold many years earlier. Joel’s context was a promised restoration after repentance after a plague of locusts. Joel noted that in the “last days” God would pour out His Spirit upon all (kinds) of people. Peter probably didn’t understand the significance himself of all flesh. Peter links the prophecy spoken of by Joel and the manifestation of tongues on Pentecost. He takes something current, and moves to the eternal. Joel brings together, probably unknowingly, events at the beginning and the end of the last days. And the Jews present that day would have had great anticipation for the “last days” because they also believed it to be the time when the Messiah would come. And many were waiting for Him like a kid waits on Christmas morning.
2. Ps 119: 11, John 14:26, Heb 1:1-2, 1 Pet 1:20, 1 Cor 10:11, Num 11:29
3. Illustration: George Barna Research reports "Our most recent surveys indicate that about half of all adult Americans listen to preaching or Bible teaching in a typical week." Although 1 out of 3 read the Bible during the week, only 1 out of 10 claim to study the Bible weekly and fewer than 1 out of 25 devote themselves to memorizing at least one new Bible verse per week, less than 2 percent are committed to all four of these practices on a weekly basis. It’s no wonder that Americans have tremendous spiritual hunger, but no consistent spiritual growth”, realizing that I didn’t have to be Dr Bennett to memorize scripture, one writer counted 453 promises about Christ, 120 of which were fulfilled in His first coming, that leaves 257 yet to come to pass, another counted 3268 verses of scripture that have been fulfilled already,
4. Note that Peter had memorized an extended passage in Joel, and also note the Holy Spirit’s ministry of remembrance. We should be about the spiritual discipline of scripture memory. This is a business as usual mark. Remember that all God’s prophecies will come to pass. There are still many left to be fulfilled. We are in the last days. The Coming of Christ is soon. The signs that Joel mentions could be soon. Are you prepared for the end? As spiritual people, we should be prepared to speak about current events as a lead in for the gospel. Whether they be spiritual, political, or personal occurrences, we must remember that everything in our world should be interpreted through Christ. Help others to see Christ in everyday events. Do you long for spiritual truth like that? If someone started speaking of some passage, do you tune in or out?
B. The Cold Hard Facts (v. 22-23)
1. Peter then transitions to the life and death of Jesus, which is the core of Christian preaching. Peter preaches that God vindicated or endorsed Christ with His power through signs and wonders (things that point to something much greater). He indicates that at least some among them had seen this clear indication of the hand of God. He probably spent more time here emphasizing the God-empowered ministry of Christ, emphasizing the power of the Spirit on Him as the Messiah. Then in unprecedented boldness, Peter says that they killed their own Messiah! He also states that the ultimate cause was God ordaining it (perfect passive participle for “predetermined”). This is one of the places that the wonderful paradox of divine providence and human responsibility come together. For even though God planned and superintended it, he never violated their wills, nor prevented their culpability. This is a consistent mark of apostolic preaching. You killed Jesus.