Summary: The 3 components of salvation (intellectual, emotional, volitional) are seen in Peter’s sermon on Pentecost.
The Components of Salvation
TEXT: Acts 2:14-40
Illus. - Down through the centuries there have been many instances of remarkable conversions when people heard the Gospel preached. St. Augustine was a wayward youth who resisted the prayers of a godly mother. On a visit to Rome, he heard the great preacher Ambrose preach and was soon after converted, becoming one of the intellectual giants of Christianity.
Illus. - The great nineteenth century preacher Charles Haddon Spurgeon---perhaps the third greatest preacher in history after Jesus and Paul---was the only person in the congregation the day he was saved. He was on his way to church on the other side of London during a blizzard, really feeling guilty because of the many sins he had done. The wind and snow blew so hard that he decided to stop at a little Methodist church on the way instead of going to his regular church. There he found only an elderly gentleman, who seeing that Spurgeon was the only one attending that Sunday, mounted the pulpit and expounded the Gospel in a simple way Spurgeon had never heard before. He went away a saved man with the assurance that his sins were forgiven and he was bound for heaven.
Thousands of people down through the centuries have been stirred by the preaching of the Gospel and come to faith in Christ. As we continue our series on the book of Acts, we see in chapter 2, verses 14-40, that Peter preached his first post-resurrection sermon---and it was a POWERFUL sermon! The results of that one sermon are recorded for us in verse 41 - “Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls.”
Imagine that---THREE THOUSAND people saved and baptized in one day! In this passage we see three vital components of the salvation experience. Whether we’re talking about these Jews in Acts 2 in the first century, or St. Augustine in the 4th century, or Spurgeon in the 19th, or you or me in the 21st---every person who came to faith in Christ experienced all three of these components.
Let’s look at them.
I. FIRST, WE SEE AN INTELLECTUAL COMPONENT
Understand that in order to be saved, you must first intellectually accept some basic truths the Bible teaches. The Gospel is based on facts that must be either accepted by faith or rejected in unbelief.
Before you can be truly saved by God’s grace---you must first understand the two key truths that Peter presented to this vast crowd in Jerusalem. Let’s look at them:
1. The first is that Jesus Christ died for your sins. - verse 22-23 - “Ye men of Israel, hear these words; Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you by miracles and wonders and signs, which God did by him in the midst of you, as ye yourselves also know: 23 Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain.” - I’ll say more about this in a moment, so let’s move on.
2. The second truth you must accept to be saved is that Jesus rose from the dead. Note verse 24 - “Whom God hath raised up, having loosed the pains of death: because it was not possible that he should be holden of it.”
Peter spends a lot of his sermon on this subject---talking about it down through verse 32 where he says “This Jesus hath God raised up, whereof we all are witnesses.” Now these two fundamental truths are in fact the very core of Christianity. Take away either the death of Christ for our sins, or His resurrection, and you have no hope of salvation.
In fact, Christianity without these is not Christianity at all. These truths are what are known as the “Gospel.” Go with me to 1 Corinthians 15, where Paul expounds the Gospel for us:
In verse 1 Paul says, “Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; 2 By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain.”
Note first of all that Paul reminds the Corinthians that he had preached to them the Gospel. The Greek word for gospel is euangelian, which means “good news.” So Paul says, “I declared the “good news” to you.”
Note secondly that Paul says that the Corinthians were saved by the Gospel. Well, if we’re saved by the Gospel, what exactly IS the Gospel? Paul explains that in the next few verses. Look at verses 3-7 - “For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; 4 And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures: 5 And that he was seen of Cephas, then of the twelve: 6 After that, he was seen of above five hundred brethren at once; of whom the greater part remain unto this present, but some are fallen asleep. 7 After that, he was seen of James; then of all the apostles. 8 And last of all he was seen of me also, as of one born out of due time.”