Summary: Peter showed how prophecy was fulfilled and how Christ is building His church. In this sermon we see 1) The Conviction, 2) The Commands, 3) The Challenge, 4) The Conversions, and 5) The Communion.
You can tell certain things about a person from what you see. One thing that we do to identify that we are married is to put a ring on the second last finger of a left hand. For a woman an engagement ring is given during an engagement period and on the wedding day, couples exchange rings during the ceremony. I don’t need to get a new ring everyday from my wife to know that I am married. She gave me one, and like the vow we made on our wedding day, the one time event solidifies our marriage.
• My wedding ring doesn’t make me married. The wedding ring is a once given sign that I am married.
• Likewise baptism doesn’t make someone a Christian. It is a once given ordinance that someone professes to be a Christ.
Sometimes, like when I am training for Martial Arts, like some people do when they are baking or using particular machinery, people remove their rings. It can be for cleaning, at night or to avoid injury to a hand during certain activities.
• This does not mean that they become married and unmarried in the removal of the ring. For me, every day when I put my ring back on, it reminds me of my vows and responsibilities as a husband.
• Likewise, Communion, AKA, the Lord’s table or breaking of bread, is an ordinance that should be performed frequently, to remember what it means to be in Christ.
When Christ died why did Christianity not die with Him? Is the Church an invention of a few disillusioned followers to keep a group going? Why are you here today? Is it habit? Is there any real purpose for gathering? Why do we do things the way we do? Is it human tradition or something else?
When I last spoke two weeks ago, we studied how Christ promised to build His church (Mt. 16:18-20). He taught before His death what His plan was and how He would provide in every way.
In Acts 2 we see the fulfillment of Jesus’ promise in that He would be with the saints of God in the presence of the Holy Spirit. This Pentecost, or fifty days after the Sabbath of the Passover Week (Lev. 23:4-7). resurrection of Christ, happens just a Christ said how He must go so the Holy Spirit would come. This new era in redemptive history sees the Holy Spirit permanently indwell the saints of God, and lead them. For this new period, Christ introduces in the new covenant, new covenant practices in Baptism and Communion.
In addressing the inhabitants of Judea and those who dwelled in Jerusalem (Acts 2:14) Peter showed how prophecy was fulfilled and how Christ is building His church. In this sermon we see 1) The Conviction, 2) The Commands, 3) The Challenge, 4) The Conversions, and 5) The Communion.
1) THE CONVICTION ACTS 2:37–40
Acts 2:37-40 Now when they heard this they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, "Brothers, what shall we do?"
Peter’s conclusion to the main body of his sermon was devastating. He charged his listeners with rejecting and executing their Messiah—the very One whom God had made both Lord and Christ (v. 36). When they heard this—Peter’s statement in verse 36—they were cut/pierced to the heart. Katanussō (Cut/pierced) appears only here in the New Testament. It depicts something sudden and unexpected. Stunned by their inability to evade the indictment that they were guilty of heinous behavior before God, they were overcome by grief and remorse.
Please turn to Psalm 51
There were several reasons for their anguish. First, was the realization that they had executed their Messiah. The One for whom they had longed for centuries, the One who was the hope of all their personal and national promises, had finally come. Instead of welcoming Him, however, they rejected Him and handed Him over to their bitter and hated enemies, the Romans, for execution.
• We do the meaning of this text a disservice if we blame just an ethnic group for the death of Christ. Sin is cosmic treason. We are all to blame.
Psalm 51:1-4[51:1]Have mercy on me, O God, according to your steadfast love; according to your abundant mercy blot out my transgressions. Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin! For I know my transgressions, and my sin is ever before me. Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight, so that you may be justified in your words and blameless in your judgment. (ESV)
• One of the most dangerous things that I see infecting the people of God is a lack of personal responsibility. In an age where everyone else is to blame I see it rubbing off on the Church. We live in an age where we blame our parents, expect warning signs on everything and when something goes wrong, it is always someone else’s fault.