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The Message of the Church

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Part 1: Introduction: All Things God

Are we consistent in our message to the world? What is our message to the world? So, often I hear what sounds like the gospel message, the message of the church, but is really something else. When the world hears us speak, are we consistent with God’s Word?

Intro

Illus: The President’s State of the Union Speech
It gave me a feeling of pride in my country
Yet, it lacked something. Much of what was spoken of is empty promise
As Christians, we need to remember that our only true and sure hope is in God
We as Christians must not become enamored with the kingdoms of this world and always keep our focus on God
When we become Christians we are changed to start thinking about God first: We must start with God in all things
He must be the beginning and end of our worldview
Caution: Without this the things we say and do as a people of God will be void and meaningless

Drama

Peter’s Sermon
Peter is addressing all that gathered and either received the flaming tongues or witnessed it
Peter is defending the message of the church, the message of Jesus their Lord and Master
Peter uses Scripture
Authentic Christianity Chapter 2: The God Who Acts

The great message of the Bible, the immediate message of the early Christian church, is to tell men and women something about “the wonderful works” God has done upon this earth.

Peter uses the promises of the OT
Context is speaking of the “Day of the Lord”
Apocalyptic nature of the book
God calls Israel to return to the Lord
A promise of a time where men will receive the very Spirit of God
To speak of whom God is and what He has done
Peter starts with God
Our message to the world should start with God

Doctrine

Authentic Christianity Chapter 2: The God Who Acts

The great message of the Bible, the immediate message of the early Christian church, is to tell men and women something about “the wonderful works” God has done upon this earth.

Authentic Christianity Chapter 2: The God Who Acts

I am convinced that the trouble with the world today is that it does not believe in God. And so much of our evangelism goes wrong because it starts with the Lord Jesus Christ. But you must start with God the Father, God the Creator, one whose glory fills the heavens, who is over all. With reverence I say that you cannot understand the Lord Jesus Christ, and indeed there is a sense in which there is no meaning to Him and to the message about Him, unless you start with God the Father.

God who keeps his (covenant) promises
God made these promises back in the time of Joel the Prophet
587-597 BC
Now, Peter is recognizing it as coming to fruition
The promises of God are an unbreakable covenant
Abraham and Sarah were promised by God to be blessed with a lineage
Genesis 17:15–17 ESV
And God said to Abraham, “As for Sarai your wife, you shall not call her name Sarai, but Sarah shall be her name. I will bless her, and moreover, I will give you a son by her. I will bless her, and she shall become nations; kings of peoples shall come from her.” Then Abraham fell on his face and laughed and said to himself, “Shall a child be born to a man who is a hundred years old? Shall Sarah, who is ninety years old, bear a child?”
Both Abraham and Sarah laughed at God.
Both Abraham and Sarah laugh at God. They distrusted the promises of God.
Then one Day the Lord, in the form of 3 men, showed up to Abraham to fulfill that promise.
Genesis 18:13–15 ESV
The Lord said to Abraham, “Why did Sarah laugh and say, ‘Shall I indeed bear a child, now that I am old?’ Is anything too hard for the Lord? At the appointed time I will return to you, about this time next year, and Sarah shall have a son.” But Sarah denied it, saying, “I did not laugh,” for she was afraid. He said, “No, but you did laugh.”
Gen 18
A year later Isaac is born.
Genesis 21:1–3 ESV
The Lord visited Sarah as he had said, and the Lord did to Sarah as he had promised. And Sarah conceived and bore Abraham a son in his old age at the time of which God had spoken to him. Abraham called the name of his son who was born to him, whom Sarah bore him, Isaac.
Gen 21
God fulfilled His covenant promise to Abraham
Hebrews 6:17–18 ESV
So when God desired to show more convincingly to the heirs of the promise the unchangeable character of his purpose, he guaranteed it with an oath, so that by two unchangeable things, in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have fled for refuge might have strong encouragement to hold fast to the hope set before us.
Hebrews 6:
God who is personal
God speaks with and to His people
Gives them His Spirit
“my Spirit” (17, 18)
God who is at work in this world
God is engaged in His creation
At work in the lives of His people and their families (2:17-18)
“They shall prophesy”
They shall understand and the gospel message will be efficacious and powerful
Calvin: “All men shall be endued with spiritual wisdom”
Jeremiah 31:34 ESV
And no longer shall each one teach his neighbor and each his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest, declares the Lord. For I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.”
God is working in the lives of men and women through the gospel message
At work in his created world (2:19-20)
Think about God’s involvement in your own life
This should teach us the importance of God’s Word in our life and the life of our family
App: Compare the inundation of other ungodly and idle information that you and your family receive compared to God’s Word
How many of us actually place God first in our thoughts?
God who will come in judgment
God will hold his creation accountable for their rebellion
“The Day of the Lord”
Many don’t want to discuss this because we don’t want to look like that crazy guy on the street corner holding the sign and ringing the bell.
God of full of grace
God is doing this in order to save His people
“everyone who calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
This is not universalism
Joel 2:32 ESV
And it shall come to pass that everyone who calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved. For in Mount Zion and in Jerusalem there shall be those who escape, as the Lord has said, and among the survivors shall be those whom the Lord calls.
Joel
It is clear that God saves whom he desires.
What we must understand is that God is the one who gives men the ability to “call on the name of Jesus”
Once they do, they will not be forsaken
This is God’s grace

Doxology

First, do you believe these things?
Second, do you share these with others?
Our message should be to start with God
What He has done in History, from Scripture
All of this shows us His grace to those whom He is calling
His grace in salvation
Our
The foundation of our message should be God the Father.
His mercy on my sins
Illus:
(Rick Warren) on the radio saying the gospel was about God’s purpose for your life.
Christianity is more than religion and our message is more than a list of do’s and don’ts.
Dr. Martin Lloyd Jones:
Authentic Christianity Chapter 2: The God Who Acts

If you can understand your religion, that is proof it is not Christianity. If you are in control of your religion, it is not Christianity. If you can take it up in a bag on Sunday morning when you go to church and then put it down again, that is not Christianity. Christianity is a miracle. It is a marvel. It astonishes people.

Other gospels:
Works righteousness
Prosperity gospel
self-help book
None of these start with a right understanding of God and who he says he is. Only then can we have a gospel that has teeth for our own life and for the life of the lost.

Conclusion

Lord’s Supper is a reminder of the fact that God has brought us into His church by his hand
We must first hear it and cling to it
It makes us refocus and regroup our thoughts and behaviors to focus on Him, who graciously saved us
Then we must share this message with those around us - lost
We have been transformed and can think about God
For just a few minutes more I want you to do nothing else but think about God

Part 2: Main Point: The Gospel (2:22-35)

This is Christianity: It is the message that you need to be saved and that God has provided the means whereby you can be saved.

Part 3: Conclusion: The

Lloyd-Jones, M. (2000). The God Who Acts. In Authentic Christianity (1st U.S. ed., Vol. 1, p. 31). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books.

Intro

Drama

The core of Peter’s sermon is the gospel

Doctrine

The gospel is a message:
about the work of God
about the work of God through Jesus Christ
about the work of God in restoring man

Doxology

Conclusion

Part 3: Conclusion: The Response of the people (2:36-41)

Authentic Christianity Chapter 2: The God Who Acts

But above everything else, Christianity is entirely beyond understanding. “What meaneth this?” they asked. Of course they did. If you can understand your religion, that is proof it is not Christianity. If you are in control of your religion, it is not Christianity. If you can take it up in a bag on Sunday morning when you go to church and then put it down again, that is not Christianity. Christianity is a miracle. It is a marvel. It astonishes people.

Intro

Drama

Doctrine

Men who are called are quickened by the gospel message
through conviction of sin (37)
through repentance from sin (38)
through salvation from this world (40)

Doxology

You have been given the HS and the tongue of fire

Conclusion

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