Sunday, October 16, 2011

The Holy Spirit: Power Presence and Purpose Part 77

The Advent Part 69

Acts 2:36, “Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly that God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ.”

When God makes you something even if men crucify you they can’t change the reality of what God has made you. When men make you something however, they can change you and marginalize you, and knock you off your pedestal at the first sign of being out of lockstep with their preconceived notions and denominational beliefs. It is far better, by far, for God to make you something than for men to make you something.

Let all the house of Israel know, let every nation know, let every tribe, every tongue and every people know that assuredly God made this Jesus, both Lord and Christ, and soon He will return to judge the world in righteousness.

One thing that I find admirable in Peter’s discourse, and something that is tragically lacking in our day and age, is the brutal honesty with which he delivered his message. There was no attempt to be politically correct, there was no attempt to spare feelings, there was no attempt to stroke bruised egos, Peter was forthright and truthful, and as is often the case the truth was a painful thing for the people to hear.

‘God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ.’

Yes, Peter could have left out the part about them having crucified Christ, but in order to once more show their complicity in murdering the Son of God, in order to once more show the guilt and the blood that was on their hands for having put to death the innocent, pure, and sinless Christ, he included it in his discourse.

It would seem nowadays we are more concerned about sparing someone’s feelings than we are about speaking the truth boldly. From famous ‘pastors’ who go on television and deny the sovereignty, singularity, and deity of Christ, to other less famous ones who continue to insist that many paths will ultimately lead to the same destination, to the newcomers who deny the existence of hell or the fact that Jesus is the only way to heaven altogether, truth it seems has been marginalized, made to sit in a corner and keep silent.

No matter the opposition however, the truth will prevail as Christ has prevailed for He is the truth.

With this verse Peter ends his discourse, the first ever sermon preached in the history of the church after the advent of the Holy Spirit. As we will see later in this chapter, it was a sermon that made an impact, and cut those who heard it to their hearts. No, it was not overly eloquent, it was not wordy, but it was inspired, it was infused with the power of the Holy Spirit and as such had the desired effect.

No Peter never took a class on homiletics, he never practiced sermon delivery in the mirror, he didn’t have a speech writer, he was dependent on the Holy Spirit who taught him to be a witness for Christ Jesus, and his short sermon was so concise and so full of spiritual succor that it puts many longer sermons of contemporary and well known orators to shame.

As with any sermon that stirs the hearts of men the central theme was the person of Christ Jesus, His direct relation to the Father, and the work that He does in the hearts of men via the Holy Spirit.

We see four major points in Peter’s sermon, all having to do with Christ, four snapshots of His journey here on earth, namely His life, His death, His resurrection and His ascension. We likewise see the titles of absolute sovereignty that Christ holds, being Lord over all, be it the universe, the world, time, or eternity, and being the Christ, the Messiah, the anointed one of Israel.

Yes, God made Jesus both Lord and Christ, but in order for us to have eternal life we must also sanctify the Lord in our hearts.

1 Peter 3:15, “But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear; having a good conscience, that when they defame you as evildoers, those who revile your good conduct in Christ may be ashamed.”

In essence what this means is that Jesus must be Lord and Christ over my life, in a personal and intimate way, for only when He is on the throne of our hearts, when we are in complete submission and obedience toward Him, will we possess the hope of eternity, and the knowledge that we will be with Him in glory.

Jesus cannot be a general Lord, or a general Christ, something that we acknowledge but do not submit to, he must be personal, and we must bow before Him in humility and give Him His rightful place in our hearts.

Too often I’ve heard people say that they believe in Jesus, but as yet they have not made Him Lord and Christ of their hearts. Even the demons believe and they tremble, yet they do not do the will of God.

James 2:19, “You believe that there is one God. You do well. Even the demons believe – and tremble.”

So what is the will of God? The will of God is that we believe in His Son Jesus, that we are holy and sanctified unto Him, that He is Lord and King and Master of our lives, that there is nothing in our hearts that takes preeminence over Him, that we walk humbly and meekly with our Lord, and that we preach the name of Jesus to all who would hear.

1 Peter 1:13-16, “Therefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and rest your hope fully upon the grace that is to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ; as obedient children, not conforming yourselves to the former lusts, as in your ignorance; but as He who has called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, because it is written, ‘Be holy, for I am holy.’”

With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.

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