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                "GOSPEL PREACHING IN THE FIRST CENTURY"

                     Peter On The Day Of Pentecost

INTRODUCTION

1. Today we often hear people speak of "gospel preaching"...
   a. Where sometimes the gospel is not mentioned at all
   b. Or that preached is not the gospel preached by the apostles - cf.
      Ga 1:6-9

2. The gospel is "good news" which...
   a. Jesus wanted His apostles to preach to everyone - Mk 16:15
   b. His apostles proclaimed after Jesus ascended to heaven - Mk
      16:19-20

3. But is this same gospel being preached today?  In the book of Acts...
   a. We have examples of gospel preaching in the first century
   b. Gospel preaching by the apostles and preachers of Jesus Christ

4. In this series, we shall consider examples of gospel preaching...
   a. Done by the apostles and preachers of Jesus Christ
   b. Examining the content of their sermons and response expected of
      the hearers

[We begin with very first gospel sermon proclaimed by the apostle
Peter...]

I. THE SETTING

   A. THE DAY OF PENTECOST...
      1. It was the day of Pentecost - Ac 2:1
      2. One of three major Jewish feasts, also called the Feast of
         Weeks
      3. Pentecost means "fifty", observed fifty days after the Passover
      4. Jesus had ascended to heaven just ten days before - Ac 1:9-11

   B. THE OUTPOURING OF THE SPIRIT...
      1. The apostles had been waiting for the promise of the Spirit
         - Ac 1:4-5
      2. Matthias had just been selected to replace Judas Iscariot - Ac
         1:15-26
      3. With audible and visual signs, the Spirit came upon the
         apostles - Ac 2:2-4
      4. They spoke in foreign languages, understood by visitors from
         other countries - Ac 2:5-11
      5. Some thought they were drunk, but it was too early in the
         morning - Ac 2:12-15
      6. Peter explained that it was the fulfillment of Joelís prophecy
         - Ac 2:16-21

[With the miraculous events explained, Peter now had the attention of
the audience as he began the first gospel sermon ever preached...]

II. THE SERMON

   A. JESUS ATTESTED BY GOD...
      1. Peter proclaims Jesus as a Man attested by God through His
         miracles - Ac 2:22
      2. Done in their midst, they could not deny the signs Jesus did
         while alive!

   B. JESUS PUT TO DEATH...
      1. By crucifixion, which they themselves did with lawless (Roman)
         hands - Ac 2:23
      2. Though it part of Godís predetermined purpose and foreknowledge
         - ibid.
      3. Jesusí death and their involvement they could not deny!

   C. JESUS RAISED FROM THE DEAD...
      1. God raised Jesus, having loosed the pains of death - Ac 2:24
      2. Peter offered three proofs that Jesus rose from the dead
         a. Davidís prophecy, fulfilled in Jesus - Ac 2:25-31; cf. Ps
            16:8-11
         b. Eyewitness testimony, by the twelve apostles - Ac 2:32; cf.
            Ac 1:21-22
         c. Outpouring of the Spirit, which the audience themselves saw
            and heard - Ac 2:33
      3. Compelling evidence to those who were present!

   D. JESUS EXALTED AS LORD AND CHRIST...
      1. The outpouring of the Spirit was the result of Jesusí
         exaltation - Ac 2:33
      2. Jesusí exaltation was prophesied by David - Ac 2:34-35; cf. Ps
         110:1
      3. Thus the crucified Jesus was now Lord and Christ! - Ac 2:36

   E. REACTION AND RESPONSE...
      1. Cut to the heart, many asked "What shall we do?" - Ac 2:37
      2. We note that the following was required:
         a. Believe in Jesus ("know assuredly") as Lord and Christ - Ac
            2:36
         b. Repent of sins - Ac 2:38
         c. Baptism for remission of sins and gift of the Holy Spirit
            - Ac 2:38-39
      3. The follow-up:
         a. Peter exhorted them "Be saved from this perverse generation"
            - Ac 2:40
         b. 3000 gladly received his word and were baptized - Ac 2:41
         c. Those baptized were "added" by the Lord to His church - Ac
            2:41,47
         d. Thus began the Lordís church in Jerusalem - Ac 2:42-47

CONCLUSION

1. From Peterís sermon we learn that gospel preaching in the first
   century involved...
   a. Proclaiming the death, burial, resurrection and lordship of Jesus
      Christ
   b. Calling on people to respond in faith, repentance, and baptism for
      the remission of sins

2. If you had been there on that occasion, how would you have
   responded...?
   a. Like the 3000, would you have gladly been baptized? - Ac 2:41
   b. Would you have continued steadfastly in the apostlesí doctrine,
      etc.? - Ac 2:42

Or like many today have you yet to accept that gospel message preached
in the first century?  If so, may I like Peter plead with you:  "Be
saved from this perverse generation."

Respond to the same gospel Peter preached, in the same way 3000 did on
that occasion, by believing in Christ, repenting of your sins, and being
baptized for the remission of sins.  As Jesus said:

   "He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does
   not believe will condemned." - Mk 16:16
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