Coward to Communicator
This passage is the first "sermon" of the new baby church after the Holy Spirit was poured out at Pentecost. Peter was the preacher, which is pretty amazing in itself. Remember, this is the same man that just days before denied that he knew Jesus as Jesus was being arrested. We see so much grace when Jesus restores Peter with the same words as He spoke to him the first time, "Follow me". Surely, Peter felt like such a failure, but through the power of the Holy Spirit, Peter was changed!
Throughout this passage, Peter quotes three Old Testament truths. This is important because Peter's audience was largely Jewish, so the people he spoke to knew and followed the Old Testament. The theme to each OT passages was, "God kept and keeps His promises, so what will you do with them?"
1. Joel - "in those days I will pour out my Spirit, and they shall prophesy." "And it shall come to pass that everyone who calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved."
Peter follows this reminding the people that "Jesus...you crucified and killed by the hands of lawless men." This speaks to Jews and Gentiles.
2. Psalm 16 - "I saw the Lord always before me, for he is at my right hand that I may not be shaken."
Peter testified that David died and is still dead, but that Jesus was resurrected and is seated at the right hand of God.
3. Psalm 110:1 - Peter stated, "Let all the house of Israel therefore know for certain that God has made him both Lord and Christ, this Jesus whom you crucified."
Peter continuously points to Jesus. There is nothing "feel good" about Peter's message, but he is a witness to the fact that in Christ, there has to be a difference. We are growing to look more like Christ. This is called progressive sanctification.
The people were "cut to the heart" and asked, "What should be do?" In verse 38, Peter says, "Repent and be baptized". All should repent, and each one should be baptized to show their allegiance to Jesus. Baptism is not a condition of being saved, but it is a massively important step of obedience as it is a symbol of our life in Christ.
To Discuss Today:
1. Peter was used by the Holy Spirit to give testimony of the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus. How did you give testimony to this Truth last week? What opportunities are in front of you this week?
2. When were you baptized? Tell that baptism story to family, friends, or co-workers. If you need to be baptized, or want more information about baptism, go to Carmel's webpage at carmelbaptist.org. There is a "bubble" in the bottom right hand corner that asks, "Ready to take your next step?". Click on that, answer 4 simple questions, and someone will get back with you shortly.
3. Pray and ask the Holy Spirit to give you opportunities to have "meaningful conversations" this week. You might be surprised how many you get if you are willing and faithful!
4. God kept and keeps His promises, so what will you do with them?