In Isolation Thoughts 2

Hymn: God sent His Son

Bible Reading: Acts 2. 14-40

The Story that changed the world

A few weeks ago we looked at the events of the coming of the Holy Spirit to the disciples on the Day of Pentecost. We saw the great change that came to them, the frightened become bold, the reluctant became sharers and fishermen were given the skills to speak other languages. The reaction of the crowd varied from amazement to accusations of drunkenness.

Today we are looking at what happened next! This reminds me of the ‘Question of Sport Quiz, where action is shown and then stopped at a crucial point, with the question, what comes next?’ Here we have a situation where amazing things are beginning to happen, so we want to know, what comes next? What effect did the Holy Spirit have beyond the group of disciples?

The speaker for the group was Peter, not surprising as he always seemed to be at the forefront of events, he was often pushed forward by the disciples to ask Jesus questions. What did he say to explain what was happening?

Firstly, he referred them to something they knew, the OT. He quotes the prophet Joel.

  • In the last days I will pour out my Spirit.
  • Miracles will happen to young and old people
  • Signs will appear, terrible scenes will follow
  • The only help available will be for those who cry out to the Lord.
  • What has happened is that this prophecy has been completed.

At this point he has the interest of the crowd, they loved to listen to men talking about the OT. A large crowd gathered around the disciples, ready to listen to more about the OT. Peter shocks them by talking about Jesus of Nazareth, who had been crucified a few weeks earlier. Perhaps some wandered off at this point, this was not what they wanted, Jesus did not fit into their picture of what God was doing, they had come to worship and worship they would, they would follow the traditional pattern, they would listen to rabbis in the Temple, not fishermen from Galilee talking about an executed criminal. Peter kept going and explained who Jesus was and what He had done and how it could affect them.

Secondly, he spoke of Jesus of Nazareth:

  • A man on a mission with divine authority
    • He performed miracles, showed signs and wonders that could only underline His authority as being given by God.
    • This fact was confirmed by the reaction of the crowd, some had heard Jesus speak, others perhaps had been fed by the lakeside in the 5000+, some had joined the triumphal entry parade into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday. They knew what Peter was talking about.
  • But what did you do?
    • Actually, nothing! God allowed the events that you thought you could control. It was God’s will that you crucified Him, it was God’s power that raised Him from the dead. If you have any doubts, turn to the OT again and remember the words of David:
      • He saw the Lord in glory
      • He was full of praise to God
      • His hope was for life
      • He would not be left with the dead bodies
      • His path would be of life and joy
    • David was not talking about himself, but the coming Messiah. David died, was buried and you still remember him at his tomb.
    • David was talking of the future and the Messiah.
  • What did God do?
    • He raised Jesus from the dead
    • The proof that He is alive, we have seen Him, it was their personal witness to the truth of resurrection.
    • God welcomed Jesus back into heaven, we were witnesses of His ascension. Note again, this was prophesied in the OT, and has now happened.

In summary, Peter says, it is quite evident that Jesus, who you crucified, is the one who God sent and has delivered all from death and gives life.

 

How did they react?

  • They realised that putting it all together meant that Jesus was the Messiah
  • They called out to the Lord for help, just as Peter had said earlier, and God would respond.
    • Repent of your sin
    • Believe in Jesus
    • Be baptised in His name for the world to see
    • Accept the Holy Spirit and the power that He gives
    • Turn away from the ways of the world
  • The number who accepted that truth was about 3000, the early church was growing fast.

The truth is still the same today, Jesus died, was resurrected and then ascended. He is still God and the only hope of salvation for the world today, He is your only hope of salvation. Peter’s direct advice is still effective:

  • Repent of your sin
  • Believe in Jesus
  • Be baptised in His name for the world to see
  • Accept the Holy Spirit and the power that He gives
  • Turn away from the ways of the world

Are you going to be part of the crowd that listened and trusted or are you going to walk away ignoring God’s offer of Salvation?

Prayer

Hymn: I then shall live - Gaither Vocal Band


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