Unstoppable – The Revolutionary Gospel Part 3: A Revolutionary Message

January 20, 2019

Sunday, January 20, 2019

Unstoppable – The Revolutionary Gospel

Part 3: A Revolutionary Message

Acts 2:14-42

 

 

The sole purpose of the church is evangelism. To reach lost people. It is not a hotel for the saints, it is a hospital for sinners.

 

Intro: What is the primary focus of the church? Fellowship? Teaching? Is it potluck dinners? entertainment?

 

The sole purpose of the church is evangelism. To reach lost people. It is not a hotel for the saints, it is a hospital for sinners.

 

Look at the message of Peter in Acts 2:14-36

 

 

I. The message is about God. Vs 22-24

 

The gospel is the proclamation that the living God who has existed through all eternity, has at one definite point and in one definite Person broken into history.

 

In the life of Jesus, God has given us the full and final revelation of himself.

 

John 1:14 says “The Word (the living God) became flesh and dwelt among us.”

 

We need to let people know:

 

Fellowship is not the focus

 

The Church is not the focus

 

The preacher is not the focus

 

The music is not the focus

 

THE FOCUS IS GOD AND GOD ALONE!!!

 

Do we have an awe and wonder about who God really is? Do we see Him for who He really is?

 

In Exodus 19, the power, majesty, and awesomeness of God was seen by His people Israel when He descended onto Mt. Sinai. Smoke, thick darkness, thunder, lightning, filled the skies and filled the people with trembling and a holy fear before the God of the universe who rescued them from their slavery, carried them into Canaan, and proclaimed them His treasured possession.

 

When the people saw this magnificent display, they were believed. Believed in what? Believed in Yahweh God – a God who would love them and care for them forever and unconditionally. They saw, they believed, they obeyed. Israel saw God’s awesome size, His untouchable holiness, and His tender mercy.

 

ILL: J.D. Greear in his book “Gospel: Recovering the power that Made Christianity Revolutionary” writes:

 

“That sight (at Mt. Sinai) produced both a fear of God and faith in God. It was awe and wonder mingled with intimacy. The unapproachable God was also their tender Father. Awe combined with intimacy is the essence of Christian worship.”

 

God always has and always will have complete sovereignty over all creation. Certainly, humanity and its rebellion nailed Jesus to the cross, as was God’s divine plan. In the mystery of God’s divine will, He was working in these events to bring about His eternal purposes. He brought out of the tragedy of the cross the triumph of the resurrection.

 

True, we nailed Jesus to the cross, but God raised Him from the dead.  It truly is a message about God!

 

 

II. The message is about the cross. Vs 23

 

Crucifixion was widely practiced by the Romans and early Jewish historian Josephus mentions thousands of people were crucified in first century Palestine. It was commonly believed to be the worst form of execution, due to the excruciating pain and public humiliation.

 

The crucifixion of Jesus was a fulfillment of the prophecy of Isaiah.

 

Jesus’ anguish was our fault, not His own. His suffering went to the root of all human distress. Isaiah described the severity of God’s punishment on Christ for the sins of mankind.

 

Isaiah 53:5 “But he was pierced for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his wounds we are healed.”

 

The cross is the very heart of the Christian message. It is the identifying mark of the Church and it is the guarantee of a new life. The cross is an illustration of human sin.

 

John 3:14 “And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that whoever believes in Him may have eternal life.”

 

Just as looking at the bronze snake in Numbers 21:9 would heal those Israelites bitten by poisonous snakes in the wilderness, seeing the cross of Jesus would bring people to the realization that the blood of Christ would heal and save those afflicted by sin.

 

It reminds us that sin is not something we can tolerate. We don’t just solve the problem by turning over a new leaf. Sin is something so tragic, so devastating that it took the shedding of blood of a perfect Savior to rectify it.

 

The cross is a revelation of God’s love. The crucifixion was a horrible act of violence by the people who rejected, sentenced, mocked, tortured, and crucified him. Yet it was also a display of the self-giving love of God, as the Son of God bore the penalty of God’s wrath against us for our sin.

 

Romans 5:8 says “But God demonstrated his own love for us in this: While we were yet sinners Christ died for us!

 

1 John 4:10 says “This is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.”

 

In the very way Jesus died, with one arm stretched to the left and the other stretched to the right one can see just how much he loves us.

 

The cross is an invitation to life. Until men come to the cross, they will never come to Christ

 

 

III. It is a message of the resurrection. Vs 24, 32

 

The resurrection is where faith kicks in. It takes faith to believe he rose from the dead and is alive today.

 

On the third day after the crucifixion, Jesus was raised from the dead by God. This demonstrated an acceptance of Christ’s service in His ministry and specifically showed God’s acceptance of His sacrifice for all those who would repent and believe. He ascended to heaven and will come again.

 

Acts 1:11 “Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into heaven? This Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw him go into heaven.”

 

The resurrection is a pronouncement of victory. The same power that resurrected Christ is the same power that one day will overcome the world. The resurrection is also a promise of a living presence.

 

In Romans 6:5 the resurrection assures believers that “if we have been united with Him in a death like His, we shall certainly be united with Him in a resurrection like His.”

 

1 Peter 1:3 tells us that “According to His great mercy, He has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.”

 

This tells us that believers are united with Christ though a new birth made possible by Almighty God Himself. Thus we have a living hope in an eternity spent in the presence of God.

We do not serve a dead God

 

 

IV. It is a message about a Spirit-filled life. Vs 33

 

Romans 6:23 “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

 

John 14:6 says “the thief comes only to steal kill, and to destroy, I have come that they may have life, that they may have it more abundantly.”

 

The interactive and differentiated relationship among the three persons of the trinity is clearly evident here.

 

  • God the Father gave the promise that the Holy spirit would come in a greater more powerful way to accomplish His work.

  • When Christ’s work on earth was accomplished, He was exalted to the right hand of God with ruling power delegated to Him by God the Father.

  • Christ then received authority from the Father to send the Holy Spirit in new fulness.

  • Finally, on the Day of Pentecost, Jesus Himself poured out the Holy Spirit on the disciples in a new and more powerful way.

 

I want you to know you have not experienced life until you have experienced Christ and the outpouring of His Holy Spirit! This outpouring is abundant and full.

 

A life pleasing to God involves daily dependence of the Holy Spirit. He is to be known, sought out, and loved. His awakening and empowering are essential if our lives and the work’s we do in His name are true and lasting.

 

A Spirit-filled life in transformed believers is key to a Christian life that experiences God’s blessing and becomes an effective witness to a lost broken world.

 

Because of the Spirit’s presence, believers are no longer slaves to sin.

 

Romans 8:9 “You, however, are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if in fact the Spirit of God dwells in you. Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him.”

 

Conclusion: In order to fulfill the purpose of the Church, we must proclaim the same Message as Peter. One that points to God, the cross, the resurrection, and a Spirit-filled life.

 

Are you fulfilling that purpose?

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