June 5, 2018
THE CENTRAL FACTS OF THE GOSPEL
Peter boldly proclaimed the central facts of the gospel to the crowd gathered in the Temple. They gathered in order to see how the man lame from birth, was now able to walk. Yet, Peter’s explanation must have been for more than they bargained. He told them that the lame man had been healed through faith in the name of the One they had killed, but God had raised up! He declared that it was faith in the name of Jesus that made the crippled man whole. This declaration hit many in the crowd like a spiritual lightning bolt, so that many believed.
What were the central gospel facts that Peter preached?
1) “You killed the Author of Life.” Jesus Christ, the Creator and Source of all life, went to the cross to pay for your sin.
2) “God raised Him from the dead.” The resurrection of Jesus is a central fact of the gospel. Life defeated death!
3) “We are witnesses of this fact.” Peter and the apostles were eye-witnesses of everything Christ had done and of his death, burial and resurrection.
4) Faith in the name of Jesus, the Author of Life, is the only way to be saved and receive eternal life.
What irony! What unfathomable mystery! The Author of Life . . . died for our sin? Yet, raised for our justification (Rom. 4:25)? Yes! O yes! These are the central facts of the gospel. We believe the facts. But we put our faith in the Name.
June 5, 2016
To the worshipers in the Temple courts who wondered at the healing of the lame man, Peter explained that the source of the healing power came from Jesus the Christ. He told them that this was the same Jesus they had crucified, but whom God had raised from the dead, ascended to heaven and who would soon return. Therefore, he challenged them to “repent” and “turn back” to believe in Jesus, so that their sins might be forgiven and that they would be ready for Christ’s appointed return. The Jews were looking for a Christ, a Messiah, that would set up an earthly kingdom and dwell with them as king, so it was important that Peter explained to them the prophetic reason why the Christ had ascended to heaven “until the time” of restoration. Peter was an eye witness to Christ’s ascension, and he had heard with his own ears, Christ’s promise to return. So, he preached with a sense of urgency and expectation that the Father would soon send Christ back again to restore all things.
June 5, 2014
Peter and John encountered a cripple asking for money on their way to afternoon prayers at the Temple. While many worshipers passed by the invalid without looking at him, probably even avoiding eye contact, Peter and John “looked at him intently.” They weren’t afraid of his need. In fact, they looked past his felt need for money to his deeper need for wholeness. Peter and John didn’t have money, but what they did have was better. When we have Jesus, we always have what people need. We don’t have to fear making eye contact with those in need. We may not have what people want, but we certainly have what they need.
June 5, 2011
Repentance (“metanoia” literally, change of mind) involves seeing your sin from God’s perspective, hating as He does. True repentance leads to godly sorrow. When we repent and turn to God, He is faithful to forgive and cleanse us.