Reverend Kyle McClellan, Pastor, Grace Presbyterian Church
The Big Idea: God’s plan of defeating sin and death finds its’ fulfillment in the resurrection of Jesus Christ, his Son. It is this truth that we must receive, stand firm in and ultimately find our salvation.
Point One: What happened? (Acts 2:22-24, 32).
There were all sorts of languages in Jerusalem in acts 2, written about the time period of forty days after Christ was killed. What was odd was all of a sudden simple fisherman / disciples of Christ instantly learned another language so that they could explain what all the fuss was about Jesus in people’s own tounge. He was a healer but that was not an end in and of itself.
So what did they say in this new found tounge to explain what Jesus did?
Peter reads from the old testament. Jesus claimed to be God, since only God can do the things that Jesus did in their midst, the midst of this mob that Peter is now talking to. But this was Gods idea says v23.
What is Easter is about in one sentence? Verse 24 God raised up Jesus back to life again. He appeared to the 12 and also the 500 as eyewitnesses.
Point Two: What does it mean? (Genesis 3:15; Acts 2:36)
What was Gods definite plan in v23? This did not surprise God.
Where did this plan come from? We see it as early as Gen 3:14The Lord God said to the serpent, / “Because you have done this, / cursed are you above all livestock and above all beasts of the field; / on your belly you shall go, / and dust you shall eat all the days of your life. / 15 I will put enmity between you and the woman, / and between your offspring and her offspring; / he shall bruise your head, / and you shall bruise his heel.”
What does Paul say the bruising of the head means? 1 cor 15:50
It means that when we are at a funeral we do not weep as those who have no hope. Death is not the final word. Paul writes: 54 When the perishable puts on the imperishable, and the mortal puts on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written: “Death is swallowed up in victory.” 55 “O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?” 56 The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. 57 But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
Point Three: How should we respond? (1 Corinthians 15:1-2).
Heaven is not for those who are pretty good, those better than others with less sin. The heart of religion is if I do enough good stuff to outweigh the bad stuff then God owes me heaven. However, that is not what the gospel is. Paul reminds us in this passage that salvation is not earned but it is a gift.
The gospel is not something you receive once, but something that you are standing in now, and will stand in later. We need to reach the gospel to ourselves daily. 1 Corinthians 15:1Now I would remind you, brothers, of the gospel I preached to you, which you received, in which you stand, 2and by which you are being saved, if you hold fast to the word I preached to you—unless you believed in vain.
‘If’ is a scary word in this passage. That means that church just on Easter and Christmas and various times is not the plan that God has. It is a daily walk to be lived in and hold fast to. We can’t lose our salvation but it is possible to deceive ourself to think we are saved but we are not.
Are we trusting in our own works or own confession? Or are we trusting in this definite plan of God, and the work of his son!
The Sermon Passages: Acts 2:22-24, 32, 36 Men of Israel, hear these words: Jesus of Nazareth, a man attested to you by God with mighty works and wonders and signs that God did through him in your midst, as you yourselves know—23this Jesus, delivered up according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God, you crucified and killed by the hands of lawless men. 24God raised him up, loosing the pangs of death, because it was not possible for him to be held by it.
32This Jesus God raised up, and of that we all are witnesses.
36Let all the house of Israel therefore know for certain that God has made him both Lord and Christ, this Jesus whom you crucified.”