INTRO: Among the most memorable sermons of the New Testament must be the Pentecost Sermon recorded in Acts 2. From what is said at v. 40 I assume that there was more to the sermon than what inspiration has preserved. I would like to have heard the many other words of exhortation mentioned there. But the gist of those words is encapsulated in the statement, Save yourselves from this untoward generation. This morning I would like to spend our time together looking at this sermon ... its affirmations, its persuasion, its promises, its results. The sermon is as valid in all of those points today as it was then.
I. THE PREACHING OF JESUS
A. There was the affirmation of His life and work among men - v. 22
1. mention is made of His miracles as a proof that God was with Him
2. Jno 20:30,31 - indeed, the miracles did have a profound purpose
3. fact: they were public - unmistakable - known by many, many people
4. so, we must come to terms with the meaning of this indisputable truth - Jesus, the Son of God, did come and live among men ... this fact demands attention
B. There was the fact of His death - v. 23
1. but His death was no quirk of fate, no accident, not beyond Gods control
2. 1 Pet 1:18-20 - His death was part of Gods plan before time began!
3. yes, it was the wicked, rebellious men who actually did the killing - and the guilt affirmed here cannot be overlooked
4. still, we need to focus on Gods plan - so, 2 Tim 1:9
C. There was the fact of His resurrection - v. 24
1. this piece of information must have come as a great surprise to them
2. after all, many of them had witnessed the crucifixion - knew He was dead
3. and Peter and the apostles had to confirm the message; prove the point
4. how did they do this?
a. by appealing to prophecy - vv. 25-28 (Ps 16:8-11)
b. by appealing to reason - obviously, David did not speak of himself - v. 29
c. by appealing to proper application of scripture - vv. 30,31
d. by declaring they were eyewitnesses - v. 32
D. There was the fact of His ascension to the right hand of God - v. 33
1. another reminder - David is not ascended
2. indeed, it was David who said at Ps 110:1 that the Lord (God) said to his Lord (Christ), Sit thou on my right hand...
3. clearly, David was speaking of the Messiah ... Whose coming the Jews had been anticipating
4. Mt 28:18 - It is Christ Who has all authority
E.. Jesus is both Lord and Christ - v. 36
1. Jesus is Gods anointed, the Messiah to Whom He has given supreme authority
2. I can only imagine what must have been going on in sincere hearts
3. the very One whom they had been expecting for generations, they had demanded should be crucified
4. but this message is to you and me - He is Lord and Christ ... so????
II. WHAT HAPPENED THEN?
A. The always relevant question when one realizes Who Jesus is? - v. 37
1. no doubt these people are now believers!
2. I really dont know what they expected the apostles to tell them - they could certainly not undo the fact of their guilt, their deed
3. my guess is this was a question filled with anguish
B. The answer to every mans guilt? - v. 38
1. guilt requires repentance - belief without repentance is not saving faith!
2. guilt requires baptism - why? if for no other reason, because God has revealed this as the place and time of forgiveness (Acts 22:16) - and, yes, there are other scriptural reasons
3. the remission of sins - clearly, one is not forgiven at the point of belief - in this passage it is believers who are asking what they must do!
C. There was an incredible response to this sermon - v. 41
1. but this is the only helpful, hopeful response possible
2. were there some who were not penitent and who were not baptized?
3. the implication of the text would suggest that ... but we need to focus on those people who gladly received his word - they were baptized
D. Why is this sermon recorded in scripture?
1. certainly, it is more than a simple historical narrative
2. it is recorded as a model for all people, in all nations, in all times
3. the question for you is this: as I look as this example and compare myself with it, where am I? a rebel? a learner? a believer? a penitent?
CLOSE: What will be your response to the preaching of Christ? Will you gladly receive the word?
Cecil A. Hutson
24 August 2003
You Must Hear the Gospel
You must hear the gospel and then understand and recognize that you are lost without Jesus Christ no matter who you are and no matter what your background is. The Bible tells us that “all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23) Before you can be saved, you must understand that you are lost and that the only way to be saved is by obedience to the gospel of Jesus Christ. (2 Thessalonians 1:8) Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” (John 14:6) “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12) "So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God." (Romans 10:17)
You Must Believe
You must believe and have faith in God because “without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” (Hebrews 11:6) But neither belief alone nor faith alone is sufficient to save. (James 2:19; James 2:24; Matthew 7:21)
You Must Repent
You must repent of your sins. (Acts 3:19) But repentance alone is not enough. The so-called “Sinner’s Prayer” that you hear so much about today from denominational preachers does not appear anywhere in the Bible. Indeed, nowhere in the Bible was anyone ever told to pray the “Sinner’s Prayer” to be saved. By contrast, there are numerous examples showing that prayer alone does not save. Saul, for example, prayed following his meeting with Jesus on the road to Damascus (Acts 9:11), but Saul was still in his sins when Ananias met him three days later (Acts 22:16). Cornelius prayed to God always, and yet there was something else he needed to do to be saved (Acts 10:2, 6, 33, 48). If prayer alone did not save Saul or Cornelius, prayer alone will not save you. You must obey the gospel. (2 Thess. 1:8)
You Must Confess
You must confess that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. (Romans 10:9-10) Note that you do NOT need to make Jesus “Lord of your life.” Why? Because Jesus is already Lord of your life whether or not you have obeyed his gospel. Indeed, we obey him, not to make him Lord, but because he already is Lord. (Acts 2:36) Also, no one in the Bible was ever told to just “accept Jesus as your personal savior.” We must confess that Jesus is the Son of God, but, as with faith and repentance, confession alone does not save. (Matthew 7:21)
You Must Be Baptized
Having believed, repented, and confessed that Jesus is the Son of God, you must be baptized for the remission of your sins. (Acts 2:38) It is at this point (and not before) that your sins are forgiven. (Acts 22:16) It is impossible to proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ without teaching the absolute necessity of baptism for salvation. (Acts 8:35-36; Romans 6:3-4; 1 Peter 3:21) Anyone who responds to the question in Acts 2:37 with an answer that contradicts Acts 2:38 is NOT proclaiming the gospel of Jesus Christ!
You Must Be Faithful Unto Death
Once you are saved, God adds you to his church and writes your name in the Book of Life. (Acts 2:47; Philippians 4:3) To continue in God’s grace, you must continue to serve God faithfully until death. Unless they remain faithful, those who are in God’s grace will fall from grace, and those whose names are in the Book of Life will have their names blotted out of that book. (Revelation 2:10; Revelation 3:5; Galatians 5:4)