what a sermon finale!

After the outpouring of the Holy Spirit upon the disciples at Pentecost, Peter delivered a sermon or message to many Jews from many different nations.  The content of that 5-10 minute message is found in Acts 2:14-36.

And while the message was indeed amazing what I stand amazed at today is what happened once he finished, or at a minimum took a divine break in, the message.  Consider …

Now when they heard this they were cut to the heart, Acts 2:37a (ESV)

Realizing that Peter’s message was delivered IN the power of the Spirit after much prayer in the upper room, I can’t help but be drawn to this passage regarding spiritual armor …

and take … the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God,praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication.  Ephesians 6:17-18a (ESV)

Note what the author of Hebrews writes about the word of God aka the sword of the Spirit …

For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.  Hebrews 4:12 (ESV)

Suddenly the fact that they were cut to the heart makes perfect sense.  Consider what they did next …

and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “Brothers, what shall we do?”  Acts 2:37b (ESV)

The preacher didn’t have to prompt a response … the message itself delivered in the power of the Spirit via the word of God prompted the people to ASK ‘How should we respond?’  WOW!

Consider the different components of Peter’s response as revealed in Acts 3:38-41 (ESV)

And Peter said to them, “Repent

Turn from your sin … turn to God … it takes both.  Trying to turn from your sin apart from turning to God is futile … turning to God … well, anything is possible so I’m not boxing Him in.

and be baptized every one of you IN the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins,

Jesus crucifixion dealt with all our sins on the cross once and for all … so being baptized IN the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of our sins makes perfect sense.

and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.

This is one we often miss but is clearly spelled out in the New Testament … the Holy Spirit indwells us and becomes our Comforter, our Teacher, our Intercessor,  the Seal/Guarantee of our salvation, the One who convicts, the One who sanctifies, the One who wields the sword of truth, etc., etc., etc.  What a precious gift the Lord gives the believer IN the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit!

For the promise is for you and for your children and for all who are far off, everyone whom the Lord our God calls to himself.”

Unlike many of our man ordained invitations … Peter makes it clear that this promise is being offered to all … but will be limited to those whom the Lord our God calls to himself.  We have no idea who that may be so we offer to all … but the Lord does the drawing (No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him.  John 6:44 (ESV) No one can come to me unless it is granted him by the Father.  John 6:65 (ESV))

And with many other words he bore witness and continued to exhort them, saying, “Save yourselves from this crooked generation. 

In many other words Peter bore witness to what he saw and had experienced in his relationship with Christ Jesus as a man and as a resurrected Savior … exhorting … spurring on and impelling the people toward salvation IN Christ Jesus.

The result …

So those who received his word were baptized, and there were added that day about three thousand souls.

WOW! What a sermon finale!

Bernie

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About bwebbjr

A grandfather, father, husband, man, and a child of God who is following Christ Jesus and working out his salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who is at work IN me, both to will and to work for His good pleasure (Philippians 2:12-13). I dodged my first bullet with cancer when a cancerous polyp was removed in a sigmoid colectomy surgery in August 2007. Four years later, in the midst of a second colectomy surgery we discovered I had Stage IV metastatic colon cancer. Rather than colectomy surgery I had colostomy surgery, which now means the colostomy bag is a part of my everyday life ... with the emphasis on life. God has given us a peace beyond understanding as my wife and I have traveled this journey. By the grace of God I am blessed to be a 6 plus year cancer survivor aka warrior. In writing, I am often wrestling with my own personal struggles and beliefs and in the midst God leads me to a lesson He wants me to learn ... or sometimes He simply touches me in the revelation of Himself. My hope is that the result you see here might touch your heart and glorify God. And let me be clear ... I am not the only one with something to say. Please join in the conversation sharing your faith, your cancer experiences, etc. I would love to hear from you. Bernie
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2 Responses to what a sermon finale!

  1. jimdavenport says:

    Oh that today we would see such a response! Jim D.

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