"Showing the way, Teaching the truth,
Experiencing the life in Christ"
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The Book of Acts
(Acts 1:1-5, NIV)
“In my former book, Theophilus, I wrote about all that Jesus began to do and to teach until the day he was taken up to heaven, after giving instructions through the Holy Spirit to the apostles he had chosen. After his suffering, he presented himself to them and gave many convincing proofs that he was alive. He appeared to them over a period of forty days and spoke about the kingdom of God. On one occasion, while he was eating with them, he gave them this command:
‘Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised,
which you have heard me speak about.
For John baptized with water,
but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.’”
The Crowd’s Response to Peter’s Sermon
Listen here: http://odcfamily.sermon.net/da/1200150716/play
(Acts 2:37, NKJV)
“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?’”
Peter concluded His Sermon on the Day of Pentecost with one of the most stirring statements of his preaching career. He challenged his Jewish audience with a dramatic conclusion to his sermon when he said, “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, NKJV).
The convicting power of the Holy Spirit was so powerful at that moment that there was an immediate response from the audience. Without any invitation or evangelistic appeal from Peter, they enthusiastically responded to the message he preached. Luke recorded the scene when he wrote, “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?’” (Acts 2:37, NKJV).
Their question was—no doubt—prompted by a deep sense of guilt. As a result of Peter’s preaching, they realized that the Jesus whom they had unjustly condemned to death by crucifixion was the very Son of God—the long-awaited Jewish Messiah! This Jesus had been raised from the dead and was now exalted in heaven. They must have wondered, “How can we—guilty murderers that we are—possibly escape judgment?” So they cried out, “Men and brethren, what shall we do” (Acts 2:37b, NKJV)? What a profound question—a question that demands an answer!
II. Peter’s Answer to the Jews’ Question
Peter instantly and pointedly answered their question. Luke recorded his response when he wrote, “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” (Acts 2:38, NKJV).
First, Peter said, “Repent” (Acts 2:38a, NKJV). Repentance is a change of mind that results in a change of behavior. Rather than continue to believe that Jesus was a fraud who was a menace to the spiritual well-being of the nation and they had done themselves and God a favor by executing Him, they were instructed to “Repent”—change their mind! This radical change of mind would transform their behavior. No longer would they be His enemy. They would become His followers!
Genuine repentance is always evidenced by a change in behavior. This is the kind of repentance Paul preached. He said, “First to those in Damascus, then to those in Jerusalem and in all Judea, and then to the Gentiles, I preached that they should repent and turn to God and demonstrate their repentance by their deeds” (Acts 20:26, NIV).
Next, Peter said, “Be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins” (Acts 2:38b, NKJV). Taken alone, this verse might seem to teach that baptism is necessary for salvation, and many people insist that this is precisely what it teaches. But I want to offer you three facts from Scripture that contradict that interpretation:
In order to properly interpret Peter’s command—“Be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins” (Acts 2:38b, NKJV)—one must consider the meaning of the Greek preposition “eis” which is translated “for” in most English versions of the Bible. This particular Greek preposition can be translated in a variety of ways depending on the context in which it is found. It is sometimes used as an instrumental preposition and in such cases should be translated “as a means of.”
However, “eis” is also used as a causative preposition and in such cases should be translated “because of” or “as a result of.” An example of this is found in Matthew’s gospel where he wrote, “The men of Nineveh will rise up in the judgment with this generation and condemn it, because they repented at the preaching of Jonah; and indeed a greater than Jonah is here” (Matthew 12:41, NKJV). In the phrase “they repented at the preaching of Jonah,” the Greek preposition “eis” is translated “at.” The meaning is obviously—“because of” or “as a result of.”
The citizens of Nineveh repented “because of” the preaching of Jonah. Likewise, the Jews in Jerusalem were baptized “because of” the remission of their sins! Baptism was the result of salvation, not the means to it.
Finally, Peter assured this Jewish crowd that if they repented and were baptized they would receive the “gift of the Holy Spirit.” He said, “You shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit” (Acts 2:38c, NIV). After repentance and baptism the same power that had been promised to original members of the Jerusalem Church would be available to this crowd of Jews. They too would be empowered by the Holy Ghost to engage in a global witnessing campaign. Jesus had promised, “You shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth” (Acts 1:8, NKJV).
Peter then explained to them that “the gift of the Holy Spirit” is available to everyone who will “repent and be baptized.” He said, “The promise is to you and to your children, and to all who are afar off, as many as the Lord our God will call” (Acts 2:39, NKJV). The “gift of the Holy Spirit” was available to their generation and future generations—Jews and Gentiles alike!
Luke chose not to record the entirety of Peter’s sermon. We know that is true because he wrote, “With many other words he testified and exhorted them” (Acts 2:40, NKJV). We don’t know what those “many other words” were, but Luke summarized it like this: “Be saved from this perverse generation” (Acts 2:40b, NKJV).
The immediate results of Peter’s preaching were phenomenal. Luke wrote, “Then those who gladly received his word were baptized; and that day about three thousand souls were added to them” (Acts 2:41, NKJV).
No doubt, this Galilean fisherman-turned-preacher was reminded of the words of the Lord Jesus, “Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men” (Matthew 4:19, NKJV).
Peter had just witnessed more conversions in a single day than the church had experienced up to that point in its brief history. He may have quietly pondered what Jesus had said months earlier: “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father” (John 14:12, NKJV).
In order for the church to make the maximum impact on the world in our generation, its message must be the same as that of Peter in his generation: “Be saved from this perverse generation” (Acts 2:40b, NKJV).
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Sunday service starts at 10am
1/2 mile south of Holcomb on Hwy 25. Look for the BIG HOUSE
Sunday Service Times
Morning Worship: 10:00 a.m.
M*PACT Kidz: 10:00 a.m.
Helping Hands: 6:00 p.m.
ONE WAY Youth: 6:00 p.m.