This Week's Gospel Sermons
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November 14, 2010
The Coming of the Kingdom
What do we see and hearon a very special Pentecost day in the first century? Some unusual things are taking place. Kingdoms of the earth have come and gone, but never has anyone witnessed a kingdom’s establishment like this one. “When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place. And suddenly there came from heaven a noise like a violent rushing wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. And there appeared to them tongues as of fire distributing themselves, and they rested on each one of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit was giving them utterance.” (Acts 2:1-4).
What is seen and heard creates amazement. “Now there were Jews living in Jerusalem, devout men from every nation under heaven. And when this sound occurred, the crowd came together, and were bewildered because each one of them was hearing them speak in his own language. They were amazed and astonished, saying, “Why, are not all these who are speaking Galileans? “And how is it that we each hear them in our own language to which we were born?” (Acts 2:5-8).
These events raise questions that call for an explanation. Some try to explain, “And they all continued in amazement and great perplexity, saying to one another, “What does this mean?” But others were mocking and saying, “They are full of sweet wine.” (Acts 2:12-13). Peter is ready. Isn’t he the logical one to make application of these events that are occurring with scripture? (Matthew 16:19). What is his application?
apofyeggomai(apophtheggomai) — to speak forth.
“But Peter, taking his stand with the eleven, raised his voice and declared to them: “Men of Judea and all you who live in Jerusalem, let this be known to you and give heed to my words. “For these men are not drunk, as you suppose, for it is only the third hour of the day; but this is what was spoken of through the prophet Joel:” (Acts 2:14-16).
Peter said that all of this was the fulfillment of prophecy. Since this was the fulfillment of this Old Testament prophecy, it was also the beginning of something new — the last days. These events had to do with all flesh — not just the Jews. Further- more, in fulfilling this prophecy, a great and notable day of the Lord had come — the day of salvation. Certain proofs would be harbingers of this great event (Acts 2:17-20).
akouw(akouo) — to hear, listen.
“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 up again, putting an end to the agony of death, since it was impossible for Him to be held in its power.” (Acts 2:22-24)
Since Jesus is the focus of all of this, Peter describes the Lord of this salvation (Acts 2:22-35). He is approved in three ways. This approval had taken place in their very midst. Peter now calls their beloved David as a witness (Acts 2:23-35; Psalms 16:8-11).
oun(oun) — therefore, then, (and) so.
“Therefore let all the house of Israel know for certain that God has made Him both Lord and Christ — this Jesus whom you crucified.” (Acts 2:36).
Peter enumerates the logical conclusions (Acts 2:33-40). Jesus is now on the right hand of God. Jesus is both Lord (ruler) and Christ (savior). Since Christ is a ruler, something must be in existence over which he is ruling. Don’t all kings have a kingdom? Likewise, since Christ is the savior, it is up to him to authorize the conditions of salvation.
katanussw(katanusso) — to prick violently.
“Now when they heard this, they were pierced to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “Brethren, what shall we do?” (Acts 2:37).
Peter states the promises (Acts 2:38-39). Remission of sins is a promise that goes hand in hand with immersion. (This has been a problem to many who want remission of sins on some other basis.)
The results? And with many other words he solemnly testified and kept on exhorting 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. (Acts 2:40-41).
Why Does It Matter?
Why does the crucifixion matter? It matters because Christ shed His blood for my sins and the sins of the world.
Why does the resurrection matter? It matters because if there was no resurrection, I have no hope for redemption — my faith is useless.
Why does the ascension matter? It matters because if Jesus hadn’t gone, He wouldn’t be exalted in heaven and wouldn’t be preparing a place for me. Neither would the Spirit have come for guidance.
Why does the kingdom matter? Since Christ is king, then I want to be a part of His kingdom. Since Christ is king, He is also the Savior. I need salvation.
This all is a matter of divine action and human action. Christ does his part — God’s plan works. We must comply.
So, why does it all matter? Here’s the short answer: My soul. Think about it.
—S. Scott Richardson Sr.