Summary: Pentecost. (PowerPoint slides to accompany this talk are available on request - email: firstname.lastname@example.org)
Peters first sermon and best
Reading: Acts chapter 2 verses 12-37.
• Pentecost Sunday – the birthday of the Church!
• Speaking of birthdays – I love the story of the man who heard his wife say:
• “I would like to be 8 again”.
In Acts chapter 2, Peter gave his first sermon:
• Now if you want to embarrass a preacher:
• Just ask him how about the first sermon he ever preached went.
• Most of can remember it well, because it was not a very enjoyable experience!!!
• Often during a preachers first sermon they are very, very nervous.
• Often they get very tongue-tied or memory goes blank or they dry up etc.
• Often you feel that you are the wrong person in the wrong place.
• However, for Peter - I believe this first sermon broke all the rules;
• Not only was it his best ever sermon – it was certainly his most influential.
• It ignited a flame that would spread across the whole world,
• And share the message of Christ with incalculable numbers of people.
(A). 4 things to note about Peter’s Sermon:
(1). His sermon is Down to Earth.
(1ST). PETER’S SERMON IS SIMPLE!
The great preacher of the early 19th century G. Campbell Morgan says;
• That when his book ‘Life Problems’ was published.
• One critical reviewer wrote concerning it;
• “This man evidently has no use for language
• other than making people know what he wants to say”.
• Campbell Morgan cut out and pasted that review in a book and prayed;
• “The Lord help me to keep right there”.
Quote Leonard Ravenhill after listening C.S. Lewis:
“I was fascinated with his message, and stunned by his simplicity.
• As a preacher there is no merit in trying to be deep and complicated.
• Good preachers can take deep and complicated truths and present them simply.
• "A good preacher makes you see the obvious".
• By that I mean, when you read the passage, you can say;
• "It was here all the time, but I didn’t see it until he pointed out".
(2ND). PETER KNEW HIS AUDIENCE.
• The message preached, was given by a Jew, to Jews (Vs 14, 22, 29, 36).
• So that affected the content of his sermon, what he went on to share.
• Tease him about the length of his messages (ill: Cut it in half!)
• First thing he always wrote on his paper was "Who am I speaking too!"
"Horses for courses" or "Cut your cloth accordingly".
• Do a study of Jesus in the gospels:
• Notice how he spoke differently depending on who his audience was:
• Religious people (Scribes & Pharisees).
• 12 Disciples.
(3RD). PETER STARTED WHERE THEY WERE AT (verse 22):
• With things they knew;
• Verse 22: "As you yourselves know".
• He was going to build a bridge of truth, starting on their side:
• And then take them across that bridge,
• So he could reveal to them truth they didn’t know!
One day King George V:
• Was to give the opening address at a special disarmament conference,
• The speech was to be relayed by radio to the U.S.A.
• As the broadcast was about to begin, a cable broke in the New York radio station,
• And more than a million listeners were left without sound.
• A junior mechanic in the station,
• A man called Harold Vivien,
• Solved the problem by picking up both ends of the cable;
• And allowing 250 volts of electricity to pass through him.
• Harold Vivien became the living link that allowed the king’s message;
• To get through to the people - I am sure you can see the application!
• Peter actually started his sermon because of a question;
• Verse 12:"What does this mean".
• He started with a question and because "he scratched where they were itching",
• Notice: when he finished, they responded with a question;
• Verse 37: "What shall we do?"
• That is effective communication!!!
(2). His sermon is Bible Based.
• Quoting from Joel (verse 17) and David (verses 25 & 34) from our Old Testament,
• Peter constructs solid, biblical reasons to believe in Christ.
• As Christians our message is not to be based on popular opinion:
• As Christians our message should not simply be what people might like to hear:
• If you want to build people up in their faith or bring them to Christ.
• We need to tell them what the book says (and explain it to them!!!)