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Peter’s Sermon on Pentecost (Acts 2:22-41)

March 12, 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 continues with Peter’s sermon on Pentecost, to which Peter labors the point, Jesus Christ is both Lord and Savior. Pastor Carter shows us the importance of preaching Christ. The focus of this sermon is the subject, point, and goal of Peter’s sermon on Pentecost.

The Subject of Peter’s Sermon

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Men of Israel, hear these words: Jesus of Nazareth, a man attested to you by God with mighty works and wonders and signs that God did through him in your midst, as you yourselves know— this Jesus, delivered up according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God, you crucified and killed by the hands of lawless men. God raised him up, loosing the pangs of death, because it was not possible for him to be held by it…This Jesus God raised up, and of that we all are witnesses. Being therefore exalted at the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, he has poured out this that you yourselves are seeing and hearing (Acts 2:22-35; ESV).”

On Pentecost, Peter sets the table for what true preaching looks like. Pastor Carter describes good preaching as Spirit-filled, bible-based, and Christ-exalting preaching that explains, exhorts, proclaims to others that Jesus Christ is Lord and Savior. During this account at Pentecost, we see that the preaching of Christ accompanied the Spirit.

Jesus Christ was Peter’s subject. Peter spoke more powerfully and clearly when he spoke about Christ rather than in a different tongue (cf. 1 Cor. 14:18-19). Peter, through the power of the Spirit, illustrated how God attested to Jesus, mainly, in the working of miracles. Miracles were signs that showed that Jesus not only had the power of God, but that He was God.

The Point of Peter’s Sermon

Let all the house of Israel therefore know for certain that God has made him both Lord and Christ, this Jesus whom you crucified (Acts 2:36; ESV).”

The point of Peter’s sermon was Jesus Christ is Lord. Likewise, the point of good preaching is the proclamation of the lordship of Jesus Christ. Peter acknowledged the fact that God had ordained Christ to be crucified, but God would not hold these men guiltless because of this fact, instead he would hold them accountable of their sin (cf. Adam, Pharaoh). Pastor Carter defined the intersection God’s sovereignty and human responsibility with the theological term: concurrence. Concurrence is the amazing and incomprehensible truth that God’s sovereignty and human responsibility work together to bring about God’s desired ends. This cooperation does not relieve us of moral responsibility, and nor does it indict God for human sin.

The Goal of Peter’s Sermon

Now when they heard this they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “Brothers, what shall we do?” And Peter said to them, “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is for you and for your children and for all who are far off, everyone whom the Lord our God calls to himself.” And with many other words he bore witness and continued to exhort them…(Acts 2:37-40; ESV).”

After Peter had powerfully made his subject clear, now, as the goal of good preaching, he exhorts them to respond to the message of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Peter’s goal was the same as Christ’s goal, that men and women would come to Him as Lord and Savior. The Holy Spirit had made this word effectual in the hearts of these men, hence, “they were cut to the heart.”

Do you want to know who this man is?

Jesus Christ came into this world according to the foreordained plan of God. Fortunately, the most important thing in history, mainly, the salvation and hope of humanity, was not left in the hands of fickle human beings. The resurrection of Jesus Christ is the key to faithful gospel proclamation; and for this reason, those who trust in Christ are saved from the penalty of sin.

Jesus Christ is alive! Other men have been crucified, but Jesus was raised from the dead. You have to embrace Jesus or all is lost. No one gets saved by not repenting of their sin. Repentance is a prerequisite to salvation in Christ.

Jesus Christ is the Gospel! Christ is the only hope of humanity from the power, presence, and penalty of sin. Repentance is a heartfelt sorrow over sin and the turning away from it. The call to repentance is not a call to clean up yourself before you come to Jesus; it is a call to acknowledge you are unclean, sick and lost. The gospel is not a negotiation, it is a command to come to Christ in faith, hear His word as supreme authority, believe Him as your only hope of salvation, and repent of your sin against Him (cf. Is. 55, Matt. 11:25-28)!

Listen to this week’s full sermon for free.

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