God’s message to the masses

Published 10:13 am Thursday, July 14, 2022

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In Acts 2, God has given us a record of the first gospel sermon. It was a message intended for the masses. According to John 19:31, the annual celebration of the Passover was to be observed. This meant that people from around the world would be in Jerusalem. Passover would begin the day following the death of Jesus. Fifty days following the Passover celebration would be the Pentecost. A one-day celebration in which the Jews would bring sacrifices including their free will offering.
According to Acts 2:1-13, the Holy Spirit had descended upon the 12. Following that great event Peter would preach the first gospel sermon. It was God’s intention to speak to the masses to reveal to them some great truths that would lead them to salvation. Consider some of the important truths that the Holy Spirit revealed through one of the inspired speakers of that day, Peter.
Peter first preached an Incarnate Christ in verse 22. That is, he explained to the masses that Deity took on flesh for the benefit of mankind. See also (Matthew 1:23, John 1:1-3, 14; Galatians 4:4). He did so to bring an end to Satan’s power (Hebrews 2:14). Peter also preached that Jesus took on flesh to become our High Priest (Hebrews 2:17). According to Hebrews 4:15, he took on flesh to endure the same temptations we have, and to show us the father (John 14:9). How great is a God that would send His Son that He could experience the realm of humanity in the same flesh we possess?
Second, Peter preached a Crucified Christ in verse 23. The Bible reveals that the death of Christ was what God had planned from the beginning. His death was not some mishap as some have suggested, but rather part of God’s grand scheme (John 10:17-18) to save mankind from his sins. Jesus’s death was a death of compassion, it was one in which He took our place even though he had no sins of his own (Hebrews 4:15). The death of Jesus would be one of great anguish and suffering; Isaiah 53, stated that “…God hath laid on him the iniquity of us all…” The death of Christ was for our sins (Corinthians 15:3). The sacrifice of Jesus was needed because all men have sinned (Romans 3:23) and because His pure blood was the only sacrifice that would suffice (1 John 2:2, Galatians 3:13).
Third, Peter preached a Ressurected Christ in verse 24. His resurrection would be more proof of his Deity. This is the same message that Paul preached in (Romans 1:3-4, 1 Corinthians 15:20). Jesus also declared that he would be killed and that he would be resurrected as he taught his disciples (Matthew 16:21, Mark 8:31). His resurrection was needful so that Jesus to ascend to the Father.
Next, Peter preached the Ascended Christ in verse 33. The Hebrew letter shows that he now sits at the right hand of God. In his resurrection He now lives forever making intercession for those that have accepted Him (Hebrews 7:25). All this was needed to give us the assurance of our salvation (Hebrews 6:17-20).
Finally, Peter preached Jesus as Lord and Christ in verse 36. As our Lord, He serves as our master, our sovereign. Jesus now, reigns as the King of Kings. Not only is Jesus the King of Kings, but He is also the Christ. The word Christ means that he is the Messiah, He is our Savour.
This is the message that Peter, and the Apostles, preached to the masses on the day of Pentecost. Being convicted of their sins, the crowd asked, “…Men and brethren, what shall we do?” Peter’s answer followed in verse 38. Then Peter said unto them, “Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.”
In his answer, Peter declared, that they needed to repent of their sins. Those convicted of their sins needed to make a 180 degree change in their lives, they needed to turn from their sins and to Jesus. On that day 3,000 people recognized the fact that the word of God as declared by the 12 had the power to save them from their sins (Romans 1:16). They realized that Jesus was the Son of God and the author of salvation (Hebrews 5:8-9). As such they obeyed the Word of God preached through inspiration. We can do no less today if we expect to receive God’s grace and mercy (Mark 16:15-16, 2 Peter 3:21, Romans 6:3-4).
(Tony Hoss is minister at the Centerview Church of Christ.)

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