Summary: IN this short but effective first Christian sermon, Peter connected the dots to a series of puzzling Old Testament prophecies. Connected, the revealed image was Jesus Christ.
Passage: Acts 2:14-41
Intro: The 1st recorded sermon delivered by a Christian preacher lasted 3 minutes and 3 seconds.
1. the altar call lasted longer, but the sermon itself was simple, short, to the point, and tremendously effective.
2. it was delivered to a group of people to whom God’s earlier revelation was well-known, but still mysterious.
3. because of their Biblical knowledge, Peter merely had to “connect the dots”
of what they knew, but didn’t understand.
Il) our New Tribes missionaries, the Kopfs, are preaching to Hewa people in New Guinea. They had to start much earlier, took many weeks, because these people had no background in Biblical truth.
4. that’s why he says in v14, “let me explain this to you”
5. remember, this was a Spirit-initiated and empowered sermon.
6. as such, the Spirit was doing what Jesus promised He would do.
PP John 15:26
7. also what Jesus commanded His disciples to do.
PP Acts 1:8
8. in a world where whole sermons can be preached with little or no mention of Jesus, with Spirit-transformation replaced with the power of positive thinking, we need to go back to the simple gospel message that forms the very foundation of our message, that is our message.
9. here are the parts of that message. Even Peter used three points!
I. God Promised to Do Something New
1. there were certain OT passages that were puzzling to the Jews.
2. like certain NT passages are puzzling to us. (Revelation)
3. but Peter now stands before this knowledgeable audience, gathered by the powerful manifestation of the Spirits presence, and said, “I will explain” v14
-“don’t blow this off!”
4. “this is that”, like believers will do when the Tribulation begins.
5. quotes prophet Joel, who wrote a puzzling prophecy about a new direction
6. but look at the what this new direction involves:
PP In involves individual transformation
7. look at all the people mentioned!
8. “sons, daughters, young men, old men”
9. OT quite limited in who was able to be close to God.
Il) Priests, Levites lived in or close to tabernacle. But in the NT, things are different!
PP 1 Peter 2:9
10. can’t overlook a very radical statement; women prophesying!!
Il) this was enough to choke any good Jew at the time.
PP 11. it involves a radical expansion of the scope of God’s grace
11. “all people”, far beyond the limits of Judea, as Jesus commanded. All those foreign Jews!
PP 12. and in the end, it would involve tremendous supernatural events.
13. we covered this in our study of Revelation.
14. until that time comes, God’s chosen method of revelation is the Spirits life-changing power at work in individuals.
15. that is what was happening in Jerusalem that morning, and it continues to happen today.
II. God Has Revealed His Change Agent: Jesus Christ
1. end of v21, transition takes place in the argument.
2. “will be saved” Saved from what?
3. Peter now launches into an explanation of how this life-changing work of God came about.
4. He sent into their midst a powerful man, Jesus of Nazareth. Historical figure in time and space. No doubt in their minds that he was real.
5. God authenticated who that He was unique by numerous miracles. No doubt about them either.
PP John 9:16
6. the response of men was to reject Jesus, and have him put to a horrible death. No doubt about that.
7. and yet this was God’s plan all along
8. first, to have men prove the depth of their spiritual slavery by crucifying their Messiah
9. and then for God to raise Jesus from the dead, proving that Jesus was not only guiltless, but able to be the sin-bearer for the world.
10. in one terrific act, God proves the need of sinful man and provides the sacrifice by whom those sins would be forgiven.
11. and this too was prophesied!
12. Psalm 16 attributed to David, but strange, because He was dead, and had been for 1000 years. (no doubt here)
13. another strange passage in
Psalm 110:1. The Lord is talking to…who?
14. Peter connects the dots…It’s Jesus!
15. Jesus was the risen and ascended Lord,
PP Psalm 110:1 “sit at my right hand”
16. conclusion? It is unavoidable.
17. this Jesus who they rejected through crucifixion was and is the Lord of the world and their our Messiah (Christ)
18. I imagine there was a moment of profound silence as the enormity of this fact sunk in.
19. brothers and sisters, here is the heart of the gospel.
20. God testified to it, Jesus himself testified to it, the Holy Spirit testifies to it, and the apostles are here testifying to it.
21. the gospel is not a lifestyle or an attitude change or health and wealth or a better self-image or big buildings or a marketing scheme.