Acts 2:22-25 (Let people find this while you say the following)
In these verses Peter is in the middle of the recorded part of his sermon to those who were attracted to the sound of the might, rushing wind and to those proclaiming the wonders of God in foreign languages even though they were all Galileans.
This was a time when a radical change was taking place in how humanity would interact with God.
OK. So, let’s read this portion of Acts 2:22-25 Please follow along in your Bibles.
Now moving back to verse 22
Acts 2:22 NASB
“Men of Israel, listen to these words: Jesus the Nazarene, a man attested to you by God with miracles and wonders and signs which God performed through Him in your midst, just as you yourselves know …”
“Men of Israel”
Peter is still under the impression that Jesus the Messiah is ONLY for Israel!
Most of the men there were Israelites coming to the feast of Pentecost.
Some however were converts to Judaism from other religions.
“Jesus the Nazarene” or “Jesus of Nazareth” a man …
Peter has already stated to Jesus, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”
just as Martha had done at the resurrection of Lazarus.
But here Peter is calling Him “a man”
This is NOT a mistake on Peter’s part or the on the part of the Holy Spirit who motivated and provided Peter with the message.
Now, Peter knows, and we know from God’s Holy Word that Jesus was both fully God and fully man.
Recite John 1:1-4 and 14
There are two theologies about this seeming impossibility:
Hypostatic Union (explain briefly)
Kenosis (explain briefly)
Both seem to true and yet both cannot be true in our ability to understand them.
Philippians 2:6-7 AMP
“[Jesus], although He existed in the form and unchanging essence of God [as One with Him, possessing the fullness of all the divine attributes - the entire nature of deity], did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped or asserted [as if He did not already possess it, or was afraid of losing it]; but emptied Himself [without renouncing or diminishing His deity, but only temporarily giving up the outward expression of divine equality and His rightful dignity] by assuming the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men [He became completely human but was without sin, being fully God and fully man].”
This is going to be an important point in what we are looking at today.
God is omniscient - God the Son is all knowing - all knowing
God the Son before the incarnation as Jesus the Son of Man, was all knowing.
Jesus, God the Son did not abandon or renounce His omniscience but willing laid it aside.
God the Son was not diminished in any way, He was and is still fully God and fully human. Now, don’t go away here thinking that your pastor believes that Jesus was not fully God, He was. But, he laid aside His omniscience until His resurrection and ascension into heaven.
Do you think the Christ Child in the manger said to Mary, “Hey, Mom, I’m hungry. How about something to eat?”
Do you think Jesus as a child said to Joseph, “Hey Dad, Herod is sending some soldiers to kill Me. We’d better get out of here and go to Egypt for a while!”
The Bible says Jesus grew in wisdom and stature and in favor with God and men.
Fully God. Fully man. Omniscience laid aside.
God is omnipresent - God the Son is omnipresent - existing everywhere at all times
God the Son before the incarnation as Jesus, the Son of Man, was omnipresent existing everywhere at all times.
Jesus, God the Son did not abandon or renounce His omnipresence but willing laid it aside.
God the Son was not diminished in any way, He was and is still fully God and fully Human. Now, don’t go away here thinking that your pastor believes that Jesus was not fully God, He was. But, he laid aside His omnipresence until His resurrection and ascension into heaven.
God the Son, in the flesh as Jesus the Son of Man limited Himself to the area of presence that a normal human has.
Jesus was never in Jerusalem and Capernaum at the same time. He was where He was when He was there just like you and I are here now and not somewhere else.
As a 12 year old Jesus could have been with Joseph and Mary headed home at the same time that He was at the temple discussing the Father except for one small detail. God the Son as Jesus the Son of Man had laid aside His ability to be everywhere at all times.
He did not abandon Omnipresence and become less than God, He only laid it aside to be picked up again later.
Fully God. Fully man. Omnipresence laid aside.
(Now, read the rest of the verses down to 25 (from the Bible) and comment on them as you go. This is a high overview with not much detail because we are trying to get to the first sentence in verse 25)
And perhaps, even more important, why did Jesus lay aside the attributes of God which He had had from all eternity past?
He did it to show us the way to live holy lives even without having the attributes of God. Without this understanding it would be a logical conclusion to say that Jesus had it easy since He could exercise His God attributes to help Him make it through life in perfect harmony with God the Father.
So, He laid aside the attributes of God while remaining fully God and lived the same trials and temptations as us.
Jesus walked, spiritually, in the same way we do. In faith, in knowledge of the Word of God, in prayer and with the help of the Holy Spirit.
How did God the Son in the flesh as Jesus the Son of Man possibly live an entirely holy life, without sin, if He had laid aside the attributes of God?
This is how He did it. It is found in the first phrase of verse 25. This phrase comes from a Psalm written by King David and in this Psalm David prophesies the very words of Jesus the Son of God, the Son of Man, the Son of David, the Messiah!
Acts 2:25a NKJV
“I saw the LORD always before My face …”
This NOT like the Father was in Jesus’ way and Jesus wanted Him to move out of the way so that He could see other things more clearly. Absolutely NOT!
In fact it was like if anything comes between Me and the Father let’s get it out of the way because I don’t want ANYTHING to keep Me from seeing the Father!
What did Jesus say? “I only say what I hear the Father say.” “I only do what I see the Father doing.”
Jesus sinless perfection was not because He was God even though He WAS God but had laid aside the attributes of God.
Jesus sinless perfection was because He “saw the LORD ever before His face!”
This is the path of eternal life; keeping Jesus the Son of God and the Father ever before our face.
This is one of the main functions of the Holy Spirit; pointing to Jesus, pointing to Jesus, pointing to Jesus!
The Old Testament is full of Scripture pointing toward Jesus.
The New Testament is totally about only one thing; revealing Jesus and His great salvation!
Let’s draw a circle on this whiteboard and let’s let this circle represent the Lord.
We, like Jesus on earth, should have the Lord ever before our face. Right?
Our sun is bright but there are things that can obscure the sun from our sight.
Clouds, going inside, the earth (night time), etc.
We MUST be intentional about not allowing the face of the Lord to become obscured.
What could obscure the face of the Lord in our lives? The obvious answer is sin.
Intentional disobedience of the known will of God by a morally responsible person.
Anything that you hold more tightly than your relationship with the Lord is sin.
(Now, take a pad of post-it’s and start covering the circle with these things which can obscure the face of the Lord from our sight.)
What about where we’re sitting? The Bible says that the world will know we are Christians by our love for one another.
What has obscured the face of the Lord in churches in the past?
Hymnals or projectors
Hymns or praise choruses
Piano and organ or guitars and drums
Chairs or pews
You would think Holiness churches would be more sensitive to Jesus, wouldn’t you? What about our Holiness past?
Jewelry and makeup
How you dress for church
What translation of the Bible you use
What about theology? What can people be consumed with that could obscure Christ from our sight?
Seven deadly sins
What about your possessions?
Do they belong to you or to the Lord?
What if the Lord said, “Get rid of it.”?
As you leave the building - your vehicle?
As you walk through your home?
Your stove, refrigerator, lawn mower, kitchen appliances,
TV(s), computer(s), internet, your clothing, your shoes,
your musical instruments,
What about your house itself?
What about your bank account?
Do you tremble when the stock market takes a dive?
Your job? What if the Lord said, “Quit. I have something new for you!”
What if the Lord said, “Stay, I have something for you to do here?”
Many other things could be added.
We need to always be examining our lives and our possessions and our attitudes to see if they belong to the Lord or to us.
(Now start taking them off to reveal how the Lord can use each of them if they are in His hands instead of yours.)
Acts 2:25a NKJV
“I saw the LORD always before My face …”
Concluding remarks and invitation if the Lord leads.