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Peter’s Sermon on Pentecost (Acts 2:14-21)

March 5, 2014

Reflecting on the Passage:
Here at East Point Church, we have begun a new sermon series entitled “Acts: The Spirit and the Church in the World“. This week’s sermon emphasized the Power of God in the Person of the Holy Spirit. Elder Duncanson gave the different accounts of Peter before Pentecost and the work of the Holy Spirit on Pentecost to illustrate the Power of God. The focus of this sermon is on the Peter’s confidence in the Word rather than in himself.

What Happened to Peter?

Acts Series

But Peter, standing with the eleven, lifted up his voice and addressed them: “Men of Judea and all who dwell in Jerusalem, let this be known to you, and give ear to my words (Acts 2:14; ESV).”

Anyone familiar with Peter’s life with Christ on earth would describe Peter as cowardly, unfaithful, arrogant, among many other things (Matt. 26:30-75; Mark 14:26-50, 66-72; Luke 22:31-34, 39-46, 54-62; John 18:1-11, 15-18, 25-27). Peter was not alone in his abandonment of Christ. Scripture tell us that all 12 of Christ’s Apostles abandoned Him in the hour of His betrayal (Mark 14:50). But, something happened after Pentecost, despite Peter and the Twelve’s abandonment, they had a promise that Christ would never abandon them, instead He would send His Holy Spirit to empower them to make much of Him not themselves (Matt. 28:20; John 16:14-15).

The Work of the Holy Spirit

For these people are not drunk, as you suppose, since it is only the third hour of the day. But this is what was uttered through the prophet Joel…(Acts 2:15-16; ESV).”

The Apostles had a promise despite their sinfulness. They had been promised that Christ would not leave them alone. He would send His Holy Spirit to equip them for the task He had given them (John 14:15-31). Now, we see the fulfillment of the promise in the work of the Holy Spirit, who comes to guide them into all truth, convict the world of sin, righteousness and judgment, and glorify Jesus Christ. Here we see the Holy Spirit at work in Peter’s understanding and confidence in the Word of God, rather than his former confidence in himself.

The Day of the Lord

And in the last days it shall be, God declares, that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh, and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams; even on my male servants and female servants in those days I will pour out my Spirit, and they shall prophesy. And I will show wonders in the heavens above and signs on the earth below, blood, and fire, and vapor of smoke; the sun shall be turned to darkness and the moon to blood, before the day of the Lord comes, the great and magnificent day. And it shall come to pass that everyone who calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved (Acts 2:17-21; ESV).”

Now empowered by the Holy Spirit, Peter could do that which he could never do in his own strength, be a witness of God by proclaiming His word before men. Peter could now teach those before him what Pentecost meant. He did so by explaining the event through the prophecy of Joel, while also pointing to a greater day when Christ would return in all His majesty and glory. Elder Philip described prophecy as declaring the things of God, not necessarily telling the future. The fulfillment of prophecy can be both the already happened and the yet to come. Likewise, the “last days” are defined as the time period between Christ’s incarnation and His return.

Are You Ready for the Day of the Lord?

Power belongs to God not us. The Holy Spirit makes all the difference; He makes all things new by pointing to the One who has the power to save. We all have denied Christ in some area of our life, yet He is faithful and just to forgive us of our sin and cleanse of all unrighteousness.

Do you live in the reality that the Day of the Lord is near? The message of the Gospel is to get over yourself. You cannot save yourself since you are exceedingly sinful; but God is faithful and despite your sinfulness He comes in the Person of Jesus Christ to redeem you, cleanse you, and empower you to do His will. The joy of this message is that it does not say get yourself together, instead it tells us to call on the name of Jesus Christ as the only hope of your salvation. If you have not turned to Christ in faith, and He has granted you mercy to hear His Word today, don’t delay! Repent and believe the Gospel of Jesus Christ, for the kingdom of God is near.

Listen to this week’s full sermon for free.

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