- Sermon Notes
Turn to Jesus
Illus. Map Update.
As we continue through Acts chapter 2 today, we will read a portion of a sermon Peter gave to those who were asking questions about what they had heard and seen after the Holy Spirit had been poured out on the believers in the upper room on the day of Pentecost. What we know from the beginning of Acts chapter 2 is while about 120 Jesus follower gathered together in an upper room in Jerusalem, there was a sudden noise like a violent rushing wind they all heard, there were tongues that looked like fire, and a tongue rested on each person in the room. From there, everyone was filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in languages they had never heard.
This all took place on Pentecost which was a major celebration. There were men in Jerusalem who had come from all over the world, and they heard a sound and came to the upper room. When they arrived, they heard the people in the room speaking in their native languages.
They recognized that the people in the room would not have had the ability to speak in their native languages, they were from Galilee, and Galileans were known as those who were uneducated. As the people from throughout the world hear and see what is happening there are many responses recorded. Some ridiculed, mocked and wrote off the people in the room as full of wine; others are described as being amazed, astonished, bewildered, perplexed, asking, “what does this mean?”
That is when Peter stood up and pointed them to the Scriptures. He started off by referencing Joel chapter 2, where it was foretold that in the last days, God would pour out His Spirit. That many things would take place in the last days (which is the time between Jesus’ first and second coming).
There would be many things seen in last days, but on that particular day, Peter wanted to make sure they all knew “that everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved” (Joel 2:32).
Aside from the 120 people who had just received the Holy Spirit, those who were listening to Peter speak, did not believe Jesus was the Messiah. They were still waiting for someone else, for something else, but Peter will show there is no other name by which they could be saved, Jesus is the way! Essentially, they were living according to the wrong map, but Peter was about to give them an update by mapping it all out, and for those who had taken a wrong turn, He would encourage to turn to Jesus!
In verses 22-36, Peter continued His sermon and maps it all out for them using Old Testament Scriptures that apply to the life of Christ. Specifically, he will point them to Jesus’ résumé by telling of how His life, death, resurrection and ascension to the Father in Heaven, prove that He is the Savior.
- Consider His Credentials
- In verse 22 Peter says, “listen to these words!” It would be similar in our day to someone saying, “listen up!” and then sums up the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ in three verses. (Preach it Peter!)
Acts 2:22, People of Israel, listen! God publicly endorsed Jesus the Nazarene…
- Listen people… God publicly endorsed Jesus! Then He tells them how: through powerful miracles, wonders, and signs.
- He makes sure they know the God performed these things in their midst, and they knew these things. They were no secret.
- So, he points them back to the life of Jesus. Jesus had ministered for three years, surely there would be a mixture of those in the crowd who had either heard of or had seen Jesus’ miracles, wonders, and signs.
- We see many of them: healing many physically, turning water to wine, calming storms, feeding well over 5,000 people with one boys lunch, another group of well over 4,000 with seven loaves and a few small fish, He walked on water, cast out demons, and raised Lazarus from the dead. These things were among many other things!
John 10:25, “I told you, and you do not believe; the works that I do in My Father’s name, these testify of Me.
John 21:25, There are also many other things which Jesus did, which, if they were written in detail, I expect that even the world itself would not contain the books that would be written.
- Jesus’ ministry was in the public, people could clearly see what He was doing, they could speak with those who were once blind, and could then see!
Illus. Healing a man born blind (John 9).
- Fast forward to this day of Pentecost, Peter is pointing them back to the many miracles that took place, saying God performed these miracles signs and wonders through Jesus, just as they themselves know.
John 3:1-2, Now there was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews; this man came to Jesus at night and said to Him, “Rabbi, we know that You have come from God as a teacher; for no one can do these signs that You do unless God is with him.”
Acts 2:23, This Man, delivered over by the predetermined plan and foreknowledge of God, you nailed to a cross by the hands of godless men and put Him to death.
- Here Peter tells of God’s sovereignty, but man’s responsibility.
- Peter knew that Jesus’ death was in the plan of God. Still, those who rejected and called for Him to be crucified were responsible for their actions. Their will was not violated in God’s will being fulfilled.
Luke 22:22, Indeed, the Son of Man is going as it has been determined; but woe to that man by whom He is betrayed.
- They had called for Jesus to be crucified, Jesus was the Messiah God had sent, though crucified by the hands of godless men (the Romans), Peter says “you” nailed Him to the cross.
Acts 2:24, But God raised Him from the dead, putting an end to the agony of death, since it was impossible for Him to be held in its power.
- Jesus was crucified by people, but God raised Him up.
- The resurrection of Jesus Christ is seen as the central theme of the apostles preaching throughout the book of Acts and beyond, it is also central to the Christian faith, and life in Christ.
Romans 4:25, He was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justification.
Romans 6:9-11, Because Christ was raised from the dead, He will never die again. Death no longer has any power over him. When He died, He died once to break the power of sin. But now that He lives, He lives for the glory of God. So you also should consider yourselves to be dead to the power of sin and alive to God through Christ Jesus.
- The greatest proof that Jesus was Messiah was not His teachings, miracles, or His death on the cross. It was and is His resurrection.
- He tells those listening, God raised Him from the dead, putting an end to the agony of death. The word there for agony pictures the pain of childbirth. Peter says it was impossible for Jesus to be held in the grave.
- In Acts 1 we saw that for forty days, in His resurrected body, Jesus was speaking to His disciples about the kingdom of God, giving many convincing proofs, and appearing to many.
1 Corinthians 15:4-6, He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, and that He appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. After that He appeared to more than five hundred brothers and sisters at one time, most of whom remain until now…
- As Peter continues, he tells them that Jesus’ credentials were even confirmed and spoken of by David 1000 years earlier by quoting Psalm 16:8-11.
Acts 2:25-28, ‘I saw the Lord continually before me, because He is at my right hand, so that I will not be shaken. Therefore, my heart was glad, and my tongue was overjoyed; moreover, my flesh also will live in hope; For You will not abandon my soul to Hades, nor will You allow Your Holy One to undergo decay. You have made known to me the ways of life; You will make me full of gladness with Your presence.’
- Peter quotes the Psalm of David, but reveals that David was not speaking about himself when he gave this Psalm. He was speaking of the Messiah, Jesus.
- The Psalm speaks of one who would not go to the place of the dead, nor would His flesh suffer decay.
- Peter pointed out in verse 29 that David died and was buried, his tomb was with them for all to see, many hearing him preach would have likely walked right by the tomb.
- Surely David was not speaking about himself, but he was prophetically speaking of the resurrection of Jesus.
Acts 2:30-31, So because he was a prophet and knew that God had sworn to him with an oath to seat one of his descendants on his throne, he looked ahead and spoke of the resurrection of the Christ, that He was neither abandoned to Hades, nor did His flesh suffer decay.
- David died and was buried; Jesus was resurrected from the grave. Additionally, Jesus is a descendant of David. In Matthew 1 and Luke 3, Jesus’ lineage is traced back to David. David was speaking of Jesus!
Acts 2:32-33, It is this Jesus whom God raised up, a fact to which we are all witnesses. Therefore, since He has been exalted at the right hand of God and has received the promise of the Holy Spirit from the Father, He has poured out this which you both see and hear.
- Jesus was not only resurrected from the grave, but He was also exalted after ascending to heaven.
Philippians 2:9-11, God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name, which is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
- I want to remind you at this point of the questions Peter is addressing. The people he is speaking to are had come to Jerusalem to celebrate Pentecost, they heard a sound, came to the upper room where the believers were gathered, and upon their arrival, heard the Jesus followers speaking in tongues (languages) they did not previously know. Some were confused, some wrote them off, and others had asked a question, what does all this mean?
- Here Peter takes them full circle, what it all meant is they had seen and heard were the results of the promised Holy Spirit being poured out…Christ had come, He died on the cross, was resurrected, ascended to Heaven, and God poured out the Holy Spirit.
- They were now in the last days as spoken of through the prophet Joel.
- Peter then quoted another Psalm 110:1, a Psalm of David.
Acts 2:34-36, For it was not David who ascended into heaven, but he himself says: ‘The Lord said to my Lord, “Sit at My right hand, until I make Your enemies a footstool for Your feet.”’
- This Psalm is the most quoted Old Testament passage in the New Testament, and was the primary text used to explain the exaltation of Jesus.
- Psalm 110:1 invites us into a heavenly dialogue, David “speaking by the Holy Spirt” (Mark 12:36, Matthew 22:43) is given the content of a conversation between the Father and the Son, both Lord.
Illus. The Lord said to my Lord?
- The Lord said to my Lord, sit at my right hand. The Jewish people referred to the coming Messiah as the son of David. But in Psalm 110:1, David referred to the Messiah as “my Lord,” who would sit at the right hand of the Father.
Acts 2:36, Therefore let all the house of Israel know for certain that God has made Him both Lord and Christ—this Jesus whom you crucified.”
- Peter had powerfully made Jesus credentials clear. He applied the truth of the life, death, resurrection, and exaltation of Jesus Christ to what had been tied to the expected Savior and Messiah for thousands of years.
- This is Jesus, let everyone know, He is Lord, and He is the One who had come to save, and the One the people had denied and crucified.
- They had let Jesus pass them by up to this point in their lives, but in consideration of His credentials, it had to be known that He alone was the Lord and Christ.
Acts 2:37, Now when they heard this, they were pierced to the heart…
- To be “pierced to the heart” speaks of genuine pain. It means “cut, struck, stung sharply, or stunned.” The crowd was stunned and seeing it clearly asked, “what are we to do?”
- Up to this point, they had missed it.
Illus. Wakeup call!
- The people Peter is talking to realized that up to that point they had missed the call to come to Christ. Realizing who He is, they ask “what are we to do?”
- Peter had earlier told them that “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” It was true for those in that day who had previously refrained from receiving Christ.
- And it is true in our day. Perhaps this morning you feel like you missed your moment, the alarm has been going off, but you have not responded.
- Respond by Calling on Him Today
Acts 2:37-39, Now when they heard this, they were pierced to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “Brother, what are we to do?” Peter said to them, “Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is for you and your children and for all who are far away, as many as the Lord our God will call to Himself.” And with many other words he solemnly testified and kept on urging them, saying, “Be saved from this perverse generation!” So then, those who had received his word were baptized; and that day there were added about three thousand souls.
- After realizing who Jesus is, they ask Peter and the apostles, what are we to do?
- Peter tells them to repent, which means to change one’s mind, outlook, or direction. To leave one place and head to another.
- Repentance is necessary in coming to Christ. We turn from the self-life, we change our mind about the source of salvation, and we turn to Christ as the source of salvation and eternal life.
Illus. Portland to Seattle.
Hebrews 12:1-2, Let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith.
- Peter says repent and be baptized. The order is important because baptism is an outward sign of an inward change.
- He made sure that they knew, those who had misunderstood, rejected, and crucified Christ that the forgiveness of sins and promise of the Holy Spirit, was for them, their children, and for all who were far away, as many as the Lord would call!
- They could receive the promise despite their past, despite their mistakes, despite their demands to “crucify Him,” despite their determination to reject Jesus.
- That day, 3,000 people who were once far off, turned to Jesus and were added to the church that day.
Ephesians 2:13, But now in Christ Jesus you who were formally far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ.
Acts 4:12, And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among mankind by which we must be saved.
- Would you turn to Him today?
Illus. Turn to Jesus.
Hebrews 4:16, Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.
“Men of Israel, listen to these words: Jesus the Nazarene, a Man attested to you by God with miracles and wonders and signs which God performed through Him in your midst, just as you yourselves know— this Man, delivered over by the predetermined plan and foreknowledge of God, you nailed to a cross by the hands of godless men and put Him to death. But God raised Him from the dead, putting an end to the agony of death, since it was impossible for Him to be held in its power. For David says of Him,
‘I saw the Lord continually before me,
Because He is at my right hand, so that I will not be shaken.
Therefore my heart was glad and my tongue was overjoyed;
Moreover my flesh also will live in hope;
For You will not abandon my soul to Hades,
Nor will You allow Your Holy One to undergo decay.
You have made known to me the ways of life;
You will make me full of gladness with Your presence.’
“Brothers, I may confidently say to you regarding the patriarch David that he both died and was buried, and his tomb is with us to this day. So because he was a prophet and knew that God had sworn to him with an oath to seat one of his descendants on his throne, he looked ahead and spoke of the resurrection of the Christ, that He was neither abandoned to Hades, nor did His flesh suffer decay. It is this Jesus whom God raised up, a fact to which we are all witnesses. Therefore, since He has been exalted at the right hand of God, and has received the promise of the Holy Spirit from the Father, He has poured out this which you both see and hear. For it was not David who ascended into heaven, but he himself says:
‘The Lord said to my Lord,
“Sit at My right hand,
Until I make Your enemies a footstool for Your feet.”’
Therefore let all the house of Israel know for certain that God has made Him both Lord and Christ—this Jesus whom you crucified.”
Now when they heard this, they were pierced to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “Brothers, what are we to do?” Peter said to them, “Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is for you and your children and for all who are far away, as many as the Lord our God will call to Himself.”