The Mandate of the Message

The Mandate of the Message

 

Acts 4:1-4 (ESV) ~ And as they were speaking to the people, the priests and the captain of the temple and the Sadducees came upon them, greatly annoyed because they were teaching the people and proclaiming in Jesus the resurrection from the dead. And they arrested them and put them in custody until the next day, for it was already evening. But many of those who had heard the word believed, and the number of the men came to about five thousand.

 

In these verses, we see that Peter and John have been confronted by the religious elite of the day. Why? Being bold as they shared the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Many received the message, others were likely unmoved, and some were visibly angered by it. However, they responded, all who heard their words were forced to decide regarding the message.

 

If we are to effectively communicate the message, we must have a good understanding of what the message is. If we take a moment and look back at chapter 3, we will discover that Peter shared the message that the world TODAY needs to hear.

 

  • He preached Redemption
    • Acts 3:13 (ESV) ~ The God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, the God of our fathers, glorified his servant Jesus, whom you delivered over and denied in the presence of Pilate, when he had decided to release him.
    • Here Peter speaks of Jesus being glorified of the Father. The Jews rejected Jesus, delivered Him to Pilate, but this was all within God’s redemptive plan. Christ came to earth to redeem sinful humanity. He came to reconcile what sin had lost. We were lost and undone, without hope, but Christ came to redeem!
    • We must convey the redemption of Christ to those who have not believed. All are born in sin, in need of salvation. Apart from Christ we remain in our sin, but through Him we can be reconciled to God. In Christ, God provided the means for the salvation of sinful men. The world needs to know there is hope and deliverance in Him!
  • He Preached Crucifixion
    • Acts 3:14-15 (ESV) ~ But you denied the Holy and Righteous One, and asked for a murderer to be granted to you, and you killed the Author of life, whom God raised from the dead. To this we are witnesses.
    • Peter reminded them that Christ died upon the cross of Calvary. He gave His life for the sins of humanity. Sin demanded a sacrifice, one that could fully atone. Jesus came to this earth and offered Himself as the sacrificial atonement for sin. He had to die if we were to be reconciled to God in salvation.
    • We cannot share the gospel apart from the crucifixion of our Lord. He alone was worthy to bear our sin. He alone was worthy to atone. Many today seek to remove the cross, and the shedding of Christ’s blood, but apart from Calvary, there is no redemption!
  • He Preached Resurrection
    • Verse 15
    • Many who heard Peter’s words were likely witness to the crucifixion. They had seen the lifeless body of Jesus removed from the cross and placed in a borrowed tomb. They had heard of the Roman guards who sealed the sepulcher. Peter confirms to the crowd that although Jesus had died, and was buried, He didn’t stay dead. He rose from the grave, alive and well, to die no more! The multitudes may have thought the grave was the end, but Jesus rose victorious.
    • The world around us needs to hear of a risen Savior; One who died upon the cross, but conquered death and the grave. That what sets Him apart from all others. He rose in glory and great power. Because of His resurrection, the saved have the promise of resurrection. The walking dead among us need to hear of Jesus’ resurrecting power.
  • He Preached Justification
    • Acts 3:16 (ESV) ~ And his name – by faith in his name – has made this man strong whom you see and know, and the faith that is through Jesus has given the man this perfect health in the presence of you all.
    • A crowd had gathered greatly wondering about the healing of the lame man. How could this be; how could one who was lame on his feet walk? Peter declared that he was healed by faith in Christ. His faith in the Lord secured his healing.
    • What a picture that paints of the justification of the redeemed. We too were like the lame man, crippled by sin and alienated from God. Through faith in Christ in salvation, we were cleansed of our sinful infirmity and justified in the sight of God. As God looks at me He no longer sees the sinner I was but views me in light of the righteousness of Christ. I am justified in Him!
  • He Preached Salvation
    • Acts 3:19 (ESV) ~ Repent therefore, and turn back, that your sins may be blotted out
    • Peter boldly proclaims their need of repentance and conversion in the Lord. In and of themselves they would yet remain in their sin. They had no hope apart from Christ. If they were to be saved, reconciled to God, they must come in humble repentance, believing in the Lord by faith.
    • The world around us desperately needs to hear a message of repentance and salvation by faith in Christ. Modern theology has minimized the deity and holiness of God while emphasizing the self-righteousness of humanity. Christ is the only way of salvation. All who are apart from Christ through salvation remain dead and condemned in their sin. Let us boldly proclaim salvation in Christ alone!
 
Pastor Andy Lambert
{pastorandy@cvcog.church}

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