Peter’s Sermon at Pentecost – Part 1 Acts: The Unfinished Story of the Church Series  Acts 2:14-21
THE SIGNIFICANCE OF PETER’S SERMON AT PENTECOST It shows that all gospel preaching must be CHRISTOCENTRIC, being anchored in Scripture. It accents the RESURRECTION of Christ as well as the death of Christ as the critical part of the gospel. It culminates with the LORDSHIP of Jesus Christ, calling for repentance and obedience as the true sign of a saving faith. It provides with the promise of salvation for all, which is experienced through two dimensions: (1) FORGIVENESS of sins and (2) the gift of the HOLY SPIRIT. As the first sermon preached in the church, it is a MODEL for apostolic preaching of the gospel.
The “Kerygma”: Six Essential Components of the Apostolic Preaching [C. H. Dodd, 1936] 1.The age of fulfillment has dawned, the "last days" foretold by the prophets. 2.This has taken place through the birth, life, ministry, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. 3.By virtue of the resurrection, Jesus has been exalted at the right hand of God as Messianic head of the new Israel. 4.The Holy Spirit in the church is the sign of Christ's present power and glory. 5.The Messianic Age will reach its consummation in the return of Christ. 6.An appeal is made for repentance with the offer of forgiveness, the Holy Spirit, and salvation.
The “Kerygma”: Six Essential Components of the Apostolic Preaching [C. H. Dodd, 1936] 1.The age of fulfillment has dawned, the "last days" foretold by the prophets (vs. 17-21). 2.This has taken place through the birth, life, ministry, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ (vs. 22-32). 3.By virtue of the resurrection, Jesus has been exalted at the right hand of God as Messianic head of the new Israel (vs. 33- 36). 4.The Holy Spirit in the church is the sign of Christ's present power and glory (v.38). 5.The Messianic Age will reach its consummation in the return of Christ (v.19-20). 6.An appeal is made for repentance with the offer of forgiveness, the Holy Spirit, and salvation (vs.38-39).
HOW DOES JOEL’S PROPHECY EXPLAIN WHAT HAPPENED AT PENTECOST? 1)It explains that what happened at Pentecost was a result of God’s outpouring of his Spirit on all people in the last days. 14 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. 15 For these people are not drunk, as you suppose, since it is only the third hour of the day. 16 But this is what was uttered through the prophet Joel: 17 “‘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; 18 even on my male servants and female servants in those days I will pour out my Spirit, and they shall prophesy. (vs.14-18)
HOW DOES JOEL’S PROPHECY EXPLAIN WHAT HAPPENED AT PENTECOST? 1)It explains that what happened at Pentecost was a result of God’s outpouring of his Spirit on all people in the last days. Peter’s answer: it’s not drunkenness (because it’s too early) but this was actually foretold by the prophet Joel. In the last days, God promised to pour out his Spirit on all people/believers regardless of age/gender/status/ethnicity. Visions, dreams, and prophecies all point to one thing: to bear witness to “knowledge of God through Christ which the Holy Spirit kindles and makes to burn through the gospel” [Luther] for edification of others. (1 Cor. 14:3). We live in this Messianic Age in which we too can experience and appropriate the fullness and power of the Holy Spirit.
HOW DOES JOEL’S PROPHECY EXPLAIN WHAT HAPPENED AT PENTECOST? 2)It explains that a time of terrible judgment will come before the consummation of the last days [i.e., the day of the Lord]. 19 And I will show wonders in the heavens above and signs on the earth below, blood, and fire, and vapor of smoke; 20 the sun shall be turned to darkness and the moon to blood, before the day of the Lord comes, the great and magnificent day. (vs. 19-20) This part of Joel’s prophecy is yet to be fulfilled. Whether it is symbolic or literal judgment, it will be fulfilled before the day of the Lord (Rev. 6:12-13; Matt. 24:9–14). The reason why the day of the Lord has been delayed is that because of God’s mercy and his desire to save more.
12 When he opened the sixth seal, I looked, and behold, there was a great earthquake, and the sun became black as sackcloth, the full moon became like blood, 13 and the stars of the sky fell to the earth as the fig tree sheds its winter fruit when shaken by a gale. Revelation 6:12-13
HOW DOES JOEL’S PROPHECY EXPLAIN WHAT HAPPENED AT PENTECOST? 3)It explains that the door of salvation is still open—in that everyone who calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. And it shall come to pass that everyone who calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.’ (v.21) The good news is this: Everyone [every kind of people] who calls on the name of the Lord [puts his faith in Jesus] shall be saved [by sovereign grace of God]. The power of the Spirit is given to us for this purpose—to bring this good news to all people as well as to ourselves. We must call upon on the name of the Lord Jesus ourselves first through faith; moreover, we are to appropriate the Spirit’s power for sharing this gospel to all people.
The Gospel: A Message for All People But finally, because all this is true, Christianity is a message for all people. “Whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved” (Acts 2:21). You will need to be very clever to understand the modern books about God, but thank God, you do not need to be clever to be a Christian. “The common people heard him gladly,” wrote Mark (12:37). “Not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called,” says the apostle Paul (1 Cor. 1:26). Rather, “God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty …and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are” (vv. 27-28). There is a hope for all who realize their need and cry out to Him. - D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones
THREE PRACTICAL QUESTIONS FOR OUR EVERYDAY LIFE 1.How can I become more ready to share the gospel of Christ, following Peter’s example in Acts 2? What is my part? 1.What do I need to do in order to be live in the experiential knowledge of the fullness and power of the Holy Spirit? 1.Have I called on the name of the Lord for my salvation? If so, with whom can I share this good news? If not, why not cry out to Jesus in faith today?