THE FOCAL POINT OF ACTS 2
Text: Acts 2:22-38.
Delivered on: June 29, 2008. Streetsboro.
If Acts 2 is the Hub of the Bible.
Jesus is the center of the hub.
The events that occurred on the Day of Pentecost are all about Jesus and the establishment of His kingdom.
The purpose of Peter’s sermon here is to convince the Jews that they had crucified not just a man from Nazareth, but the Son of God.
His sermon had three main points.
Jesus’ claims to deity were confirmed by the Father.
Jesus’ death was God’s plan all along.
Jesus rose from the dead.
JESUS WAS ATTESTED BY GOD. Verse 22. “Men of Israel, hear these words: Jesus of Nazareth, a Man attested by God to you by miracles, wonders, and signs which God did through Him in your midst, as you yourselves also know.
Jesus claimed to be the Son of God. John 9:35-38. Jesus heard that they had cast him out; and when He had found him, He said to him, “Do you believe in the Son of God?” 36 He answered and said, “Who is He, Lord, that I may believe in Him?” 37 And Jesus said to him, “You have both seen Him and it is He who is talking with you.” 38 Then he said, “Lord, I believe!” And he worshiped Him.
John 5:18. Therefore the Jews sought all the more to kill Him, because He not only broke the Sabbath, but also said that God was His Father, making Himself equal with God.
There is no middle ground here.
Either He was telling the truth and therefore deserves our service and devotion.
Or He was a liar or crazy man and is not, therefore, worthy of our service and devotion.
One of the proofs that Jesus was who He claimed to be is that God, the Father attested to His claims.
“Attested” = approve, set forth, show.
God set forth Jesus to show that He was His Son.
He did this by the miracles that Jesus performed. John 5:36. But I have a greater witness than John’s; for the works which the Father has given Me to finish—the very works that I do—bear witness of Me, that the Father has sent Me.
God attested to Jesus’ identity at His baptism. Matthew 3:17. And suddenly a voice came from heaven, saying, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.”
God attested to Jesus’ identity at the Mount of Transfiguration. Matthew 17:5. While he was still speaking, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them; and suddenly a voice came out of the cloud, saying, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. Hear Him!”
HE WAS DELIVERED BY THE FOREKNOWLEDGE OF GOD. Verse 23. Him, being delivered by the determined purpose and foreknowledge of God, you have taken by lawless hands, have crucified, and put to death;
Many would have seen the death of Jesus as proof that He was not who He claimed to be. Luke 23:35. And the people stood looking on. But even the rulers with them sneered, saying, “He saved others; let Him save Himself if He is the Christ, the chosen of God.”
So Peter had to make sure that they knew that the sacrificial death of Christ was God’s intention all along.
Christ was delivered by the determined purpose and foreknowledge of God.
Ephesians 3:10-11. To the intent that now the manifold wisdom of God might be made known by the church to the principalities and powers in the heavenly places, 11 according to the eternal purpose which He accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord,
Luke 24:46. Then He said to them, “Thus it is written, and thus it was necessary for the Christ to suffer and to rise from the dead the third day,
This is important because there are some who believe that Jesus did not come to die.
Oprah Winfrey claims to be a Christian. But recently, she has become a disciple of Eckhart Tolle and is now spouting all kinds of nonsense. Listen to this statement which she made. “I thought Jesus came, died on the cross, that Jesus’ being here was about His death and dying on the cross. When it really was about Him coming to show us how to do it, how to be. To show us the Christ consciousness that He had, and that that consciousness abides with all of us.”
She is also on record saying that even though she is a Christian, she believes that there are many, many different ways to God. John 14:6.
She does not believe in the exclusivity of Christianity. Acts 4:12.
Don’t support this woman!
If Jesus did not come here to die then logic can only lead to one conclusion. He is not the Son of God.
GOD RAISED HIM UP. Verse 24. Whom God raised up, having loosed the pains of death, because it was not possible that He should be held by it.
Another way that God attested to Jesus’ deity was by raising Him from the dead. Romans 1:4. And declared to be the Son of God with power according to the Spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead.
Peter quotes from Psalm 16:8-11.
This is a Psalm of David.
David predicts that His soul would not be left in Hades. But whose soul?
Not his own. As Peter points out, David is still in the grave. Acts 2:29. “Men and brethren, let me speak freely to you of the patriarch David, that he is both dead and buried, and his tomb is with us to this day.
Therefore, it was a prophecy about Christ. Acts 2:30-32. Therefore, being a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him that of the fruit of his body, according to the flesh, He would raise up the Christ to sit on his throne, 31 he, foreseeing this, spoke concerning the resurrection of the Christ, that His soul was not left in Hades, nor did His flesh see corruption. 32 This Jesus God has raised up, of which we are all witnesses.
As a result of Jesus’ resurrection… “Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly that God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ.” Acts 2:36.
HOW WAS MAN TO RESPOND TO THIS INFORMATION?
Many of those who heard Peter’s sermon were cut to the heart. Acts 2:37. Now when they heard this, they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “Men and brethren, what shall we do?”
They felt godly sorrow. 2 Corinthians 7:10. For godly sorrow produces repentance leading to salvation, not to be regretted; but the sorrow of the world produces death.
They wanted to know what they could do.
Peter tells them what they must do. Acts 2:38. Then Peter said to them, “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.
These people had already come to believe. But there was more to do.
They had to repent. To turn and follow God.
They had to be baptized.
Baptism is the answer of a good conscience toward God. 1 Peter 3:21. There is also an antitype which now saves us—baptism (not the removal of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God), through the resurrection of Jesus Christ,
How will you respond?