2018-02-18 – Acts 2.22-36 – The First Sermon Finale

2018-02-18 – Acts 2:22-36 – The First Sermon Finale

22 “You that are Israelites, listen to what I have to say: Jesus of Nazareth, a man attested to you by God with deeds of power, wonders, and signs that God did through him among you, as you yourselves know— 23 this man, handed over to you according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God, you crucified and killed by the hands of those outside the law. 24 But God raised him up, having freed him from death, because it was impossible for him to be held in its power. 25 For David says concerning him,

‘I saw the Lord always before me, for he is at my right hand so that I will not be shaken; 26 therefore my heart was glad, and my tongue rejoiced; moreover my flesh will live in hope. 27 For you will not abandon my soul to Hades, or let your Holy One experience corruption.  28 You have made known to me the ways of life; you will make me full of gladness with your presence.’

29 “Fellow Israelites, I may say to you confidently of our ancestor David that he both died and was buried, and his tomb is with us to this day. 30 Since he was a prophet, he knew that God had sworn with an oath to him that he would put one of his descendants on his throne. 31 Foreseeing this, David spoke of the resurrection of the Messiah, saying,
‘He was not abandoned to Hades, nor did his flesh experience corruption.’

32 This Jesus God raised up, and of that all of us are witnesses. 33 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 both see and hear. 34 For David did not ascend into the heavens, but he himself says,

‘The Lord said to my Lord, “Sit at my right hand, 35 until I make your enemies your footstool.”’ 36 Therefore let the entire house of Israel know with certainty that God has made him both Lord and Messiah, this Jesus whom you crucified.”

2018-02-18 – Acts 2:22-36 – The First Sermon Finale
Good morning everyone. It is so nice to be able to spend some time with you all in fellowship with the Lord. Thank you and God bless you for being with us today.

The Olympic Games started. Anyone watching? Last I checked we had 5 golds.. The Olympics Games date back to before the New Testament. Around 776 BC…

Being that Valentine’s Day was Wednesday, I have a little video to show you about Love I think you will enjoy. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I0_T-Sb-Loc

What would Love look like for you if it were drawn out on paper?
Valentine’s Day history is a bit murky, but the first Valentine mailed around 1806. Almost one billion Valentine’s Day cards are sent each year with females purchasing 85% of the cards. Saint Valentine lived in third-century Rome.
The Emperor decided that single men made better soldiers, therefore, he banned them from being married. Saint Valentine continued to perform the weddings of young soldiers who were in love, and the emperor had Valentine imprisoned. While imprisoned, Valentine reportedly fell in love with the jailer’s daughter and sent her a card and signed it, “Love, your Valentine.”  Isn’t that a good story J

Today, although the message itself isn’t focused on love, we will see Love in Action through Jesus. In our last sermon message we saw Peter address the new church for the first time, He quoted the profit Joel and showed from Old Testament scripture how God’s plan was carried out through Jesus. There were thousands in the Crowd around them that day. Many people from all the surrounding nations were there for the Passover holiday and the feasts, and they would have heard about what happened at Pentecost a few days earlier. The three points of the message were, as Peter was emboldened by the Holy Spirit to stand up and represent Christ, we can and should do likewise. And we should really learn God’s Holy Word, apply it to our lives and share the Gospel message when the opportunity presents itself. And in that God would be pleased.
Today’s message is the Finale of Peter’s first sermon.

Please turn in your Bibles to Acts 2:22, pg 119 in the Inspired, Infallible and Living Word of God, and let us start with prayer.   [Prayer]
Before we get started with the scripture, let me remind you of the environment that Peter was speaking that day. Jesus had been crucified and rose from the grave. He spent 40 days with them before He ascended into Heaven. Now Peter is going to address the Israelites about what they did, but also inform the other people in the crowd so they too can know and perhaps consider their own faith walk. The Jewish authorities and the Romans would rather that Christians would just dissolve and go away, and they put their might behind squelching anyone who continued to even bring up the issue of Christ and the crucifixion.

But Peter was bold, he was on fire for the Lord and he calls them out, then explains how God’s love was put into action through Jesus at the cross.

He starts right out in our verse 22 “You that are Israelites, listen to what I have to say”   Whoa! Already you can see Peter is calling them out here. Remember Peter is filled with the Holy Spirit and he isn’t holding anything back.  He said:

22 “You that are Israelites, listen to what I have to say: Jesus of Nazareth, a man attested to you by God with deeds of power, wonders, and signs that God did through him among you, as you yourselves know— 23 this man, handed over to you according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God, you crucified and killed by the hands of those outside the law. And that would be the Romans.

So effectively Peter was saying that they, the Israelites, killed Jesus. You wouldn’t make such accusations unless you believed them, and you knew that God really is the ultimate Judge. Again, Peter was calling them out, pointing his finger at them, and I am pretty sure it was a tense moment for all. Then Peter continued:

24 But God raised him up, having freed him from death, because it was impossible for him to be held in its power.   25 For David says concerning him,

‘I saw the Lord always before me, for he is at my right hand so that I will not be shaken; 26 therefore my heart was glad, and my tongue rejoiced; moreover my flesh will live in hope. 27 For you will not abandon my soul to Hades, or let your Holy One experience corruption.  28 You have made known to me the ways of life; you will make me full of gladness with your presence.’

Peter here is quoting Psalm 16:8 where King David is writing about Jesus a thousand years before he comes to earth in the flesh as a baby. When David prophesied of the coming Messiah, he frequently wrote of Him in the first person, often in the present tense. And as David wrote here, Jesus is at the right hand of God, Jesus is the Holy One that did not experience corruption. And that is who Peter is now preaching about. That is the person that the Israelites crucified on the cross at Calvary.

Again David here was actually writing about Jesus not himself. And according to scripture, we know that Jesus, after He died on the cross He presented himself to those that died before Him so they too might accept Him as their savior and go to heaven. That is a difficult subject for some, so I thought I should show you the references for this.

Ephesians 4:8-10 “When he ascended on high, he took many captives and gave gifts to his people.” (What does “he ascended” mean except that he also descended to the lower, earthly regions? He who descended is the very one who ascended higher than all the heavens, in order to fill the whole universe.)

1 Peter 3:18-20 For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. He was put to death in the body but made alive in the Spirit. After being made alive, he went and made proclamation to the imprisoned spirits—to those who were disobedient long ago when God waited patiently in the days of Noah while the ark was being built. In it only a few people, eight in all, were saved through water

These verses speak to what King David was referring to. Jesus died on the cross, descended into Hades to present Himself to those that died before Him, then took them to Heaven, and then rose from the grave in bodily form. I hope that is clear. Many times I get asked about the people who died before Jesus presented Himself as our Savior-Messiah. These verses speak about that. I will never claim to have God all figured out, but according to these verses here, after Jesus died, He descended into Hades, sometimes referred to Sheol or Abraham’s Bosom, then offered Himself to be their Messiah, then ushered them into Heaven. That is what I believe David is talking about.

Peter continues his message:  29 “Fellow Israelites, I may say to you confidently of our ancestor David that he both died and was buried, and his tomb is with us to this day. 30 Since he was a prophet, he knew that God had sworn with an oath to him that he would put one of his descendants on his throne. 31 Foreseeing this, David spoke of the resurrection of the Messiah, saying, ‘He was not abandoned to Hades, nor did his flesh experience corruption.’

Again, Peter was explaining that King David wasn’t writing about himself, he was writing about Jesus. He said David’s grave is right over there and he is still in it.

32 This Jesus God raised up, and of that all of us are witnesses. 33 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 both see and hear. 34 For David did not ascend into the heavens, but he himself says,

The Lord said to my Lord, “Sit at my right hand, 35 until I make your enemies your footstool.”’ 36 Therefore let the entire house of Israel know with certainty that God has made him both Lord and Messiah, this Jesus whom you crucified.”

So Peter quoted David when he said here ‘The Lord said to my Lord’ – This phrase is taken from Psalm 110 verse 1, and is the most quoted psalm in the New Testament because of its clear reference to the Messiah. It is sad to see that although many people might have a vague belief in God, but they refuse to accept Jesus as anything more than a great human teacher or profit. But the Bible does not allow that option. Both the Old and the New Testaments proclaim the deity of the One who came to save and to reign. Jesus himself explained that this psalm spoke of the Messiah as someone that was greater than David himself; Israel’s greatest king. You can’t read and know the Bible yet straddle the fence on this issue. Calling Jesus “just a good teacher” is blasphemes and if truly believed, then unpardonable. In Mark 3:28, Jesus said: “Truly I tell you, all sins and blasphemes will be forgiven for the sons of men. But whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will never be forgiven but is guilty of an eternal sin.” The Bible clearly calls Jesus Lord many times, and we shouldn’t take this lightly.

Our verses today show again that everything that happened to Jesus was under God’s control. His plans were never disrupted by the Roman government or the Jewish authorities. Everything happened exactly as God ordained it. Exactly as the Profit Joel and King David, not to mention Isaiah and many others wrote about hundreds of years earlier.

But to summarize Peter’s message today, he said to the Israelites, you saw Jesus, he was one of our own, you witnessed everything He did and yet you let him be killed. This is the same Jesus that our King David wrote about. This was David’s own decedent and David’s Lord. And now that same Jesus that you crucified is sitting at the right hand of God. So what you going to say about that.

Could you imagine being there with Peter that day. The other believers and the Disciples must have been amazed and scared at the same time. They all knew that the Jewish authorities was wanting them dead. They were spreading a radical idea about a risen Savior that was gaining in momentum. Remember also that the other Apostles were standing with Peter that day. They stood-by and supported their new leader and Pastor. He was speaking the hard truth that needed to be heard. They knew what Peter was going to say and they were effectively affirming the message and Peter’s authority here, and they didn’t run.

So many people these days are afraid to speak up for righteousness. They cower at the opportunity and it is sad to behold. In contrast, the opposition is loud and frankly even disgusting, and they think that they are representing the bulk of the people because nobody is bold enough to speak up. You see, this is nothing new. The same thing was happening with the first Christians as it is happening today.

As your Pastor, when I read and ponder this event in our early church History I am energized. I am more emboldened to share the Gospel message with fervor and gumption (that’s a couple words you don’t hear much anymore), lol. But yeah, I want to speak boldly. We all should want to speak boldly for the sake of the Gospel. And what makes that easier to do is by owning the message ourselves. We got to know it, and we got to own it. Peter did, and we should too.

But whatever we elect to do in this regard, it should all be wrapped in Love. We should never pass up opportunities like holidays and special events to step up and show, speak and declare our love for God and His children. And I don’t mean just complementing the nice things, but even like Peter did here, in love point out the things that are killing them as well. That’s what true love is. Point people to the truth. Truth in their circumstance, and truth in God’s Word. Remember, as was written in John 15, Jesus said: This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends. You are My friends if you do what I command you.

Do you really love your neighbors? Do you really love your friends? Do you really love your family? And the tough one is, do you really love your enemies?
Then we need to be about saving lives. I don’t mean mortal lives, I mean eternal lives. Speak the truth in love ladies and gentlemen. Just like Peter is doing here even in the most hostile of circumstances, we need to be doing likewise.

As disciples, we worship and we study the Bible and enjoy fellowship and serve. But the primary focus of church is to be on mission for seeking and saving the lost through Jesus Christ. Pastor Peter here was clearly on mission and next week we are going see the results of this great first sermon. I pray you are blessed by God’s Word here given by Dr. Luke in this book of Acts.

After reading our text today, in my opinion, one of the most poignant verses in this was verse 31. David said ‘He was not abandoned to Hades’. Abandoned, what an awful word and circumstance. Abandoned; we talked about that a little this past Wednesday with the youth. We had just gone over the story of Noah and the Arc, and was talking about the promise given to us in the rainbow, and how God saved Noah, and how God sent Jesus to make an opportunity for us to be saved from eternity in Hell. Sadly, we discussed how many people think they would rather party in Hell over being bored in heaven, and how wrong they are in their thinking. When people go to Hell, the Bible tells us they are abandoned. The Bible also says they will be alone, like in solitary confinement with suffering and pain. But in Heaven we are promised a life of joy and contentment and with the fellowship of our loved ones.

At the end of the meeting with the youth, they understood and they even voluntarily raised hands saying that they wanted to go to Heaven. They didn’t want to be abandoned. And I don’t want any of you to be Abandoned either.

Please Rise.
What Peter said to those that day was not Fiction it was Fact. Jesus is the real, Heaven and Hell are real. And maybe this is the day, that you acknowledge what Jesus truly means to your eternity.