Rock of Ages
In times of uncertainty you look for firm footing.
What is the truth?
Where can the truth be found?
Who can I trust in teaching that truth?
Peter is writing in uncertain times, and he writes his letter more authoritatively with emphasis on grace and truth and being cautious for false teachers.
Next week we will look at what he says concerning false teachers, but today we will go to the foundation of truth—the Gospel as spoken by Peter on the day of Pentecost.
Pentecost was the celebration of the 50th day post the Passover. These 50 days are the Feast of Weeks where there is celebration of the harvest and the fruit of the labor. The 50th day becomes the first day of a new cycle or new season. It is the turning of a chapter. For this particular Pentecost it has been 50 days since the death and resurrection of Jesus. He has now ascended to heaven telling the disciples to remain in Jerusalem and await the coming of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit was to be the power and counsel by which the disciples would advance the gospel. The Holy Spirit would be their guide to all truth, and he would keep them from going astray as well as speak through them in power to change the hearts of men. It is not coincidence that the era of the church would begin on Pentecost, a new chapter. Let’s take a look at the moment just after the Holy Spirit comes and he empowers Peter to speak boldly and with authority the gospel message.
Explaining the supernatural. Acts 2:14-21
- He starts at the surface level—We are not drunk. (15)
- Most people are quick to dismiss the supernatural with superficial explanations. No thought!
- Peter dismisses their quick judgment that they are drunk, and points out that no one is drunk at 9a.m.
- It is also natural to mock the unfamiliar to dismiss the fear of something new.
- He gives historical validation from the prophet Joel. (16)
- This would have been accessible knowledge for most of them.
- Immediately gives latitude to keep listening.
- The Holy Spirit will be poured out on all people, men and women, slave, or free. (17-18)
- This was necessary to draw upon, because in the eyes of the crowd they were “just” Galileans. They are uneducated, brash, and lack authority. (7)
- The events experienced 50 days before were prophetically predicted. (19-20)
- Salvation comes to those who call upon the Lord. (21)
Jesus is the Lord. Acts 2:22-28
- His authority and power from God validated before you. (22)
- Miracles, wonders, and signs that have no other explanation but that he was from God—supernatural.
- These were done publicly before the people, so there was no argument.
- God’s sovereign plan allowed Christ’s death. (23)
- Wicked men would not have been able to crucify him otherwise.
- They would not have been able to put one nail into him if it were not part of God’s sovereign plan.
- God’s sovereign plan was to resurrect Jesus from the dead. (24)
- The grave had no authority over Christ, so it could not hold him.
- Jesus is the Lord of life.
- This resurrection was spoken of 1000 years before by David himself. (26-27)
Jesus is the resurrected Messiah. Acts 2:29-36
- God has raised Jesus to life—we are witnesses to this fact! (32)
- He has gone to the Father and sent the Holy Spirit—you are witnesses to this fact! (33)
- God has made Jesus both Lord and Messiah. (36)
What does this mean for you and me? Acts 2:37-41
They were “cut to the heart” or in the Greek “pricked” in heart. This is a phrase that says that their heart became wounded and realized their need for help and healing. (37)
- Repent. (38)
- To change one’s mind, purpose, and life. EBD
- To stop and go a different direction.
- Declare Jesus Christ your Lord.
- Seek forgiveness for your sins.
- Be baptized—a public declaration of your change of purpose to serving Jesus as your Lord. [Image: A pic of someone being baptized at the spring—Josh Morris?]
- Promise: If Jesus is your Lord, you too will receive the Holy Spirit.
- This will be so for the present and future believers. (39a)
- This is a work of God to call hearts to him. (39b)
Invitation to come to Jesus!
- Believe Jesus is the risen Lord.
- Seek forgiveness of your sins.
- Repent and go a new way.
- Be baptized so that others will know!
- If/when did you give your life to Jesus? What caused you to make that decision at that time? Or What has kept you from making Jesus the Lord of your life? Will you accept his invitation right now?
- How do you see the work of the Holy Spirit in your life today? How would you explain his work to others who are strangers to Jesus and the Holy Spirit?
- If you have been baptized, what effect did it have on you and those you are sitting with now—if they were there? Why is it so important to be baptized? If Jesus is your Lord and you have not been baptized why are you waiting? We have a new baptistry waiting for you!
In light of the shifting shadows of thought within our culture, it is the longing of many to find something to cling to that does not move. Jesus is that steadfast rock that we can stand on historically, now, and for the ages to come. These two epistles are Peter’s final charge to the church to give strength and confidence that is rooted in the life changing work of Jesus Christ.