The First Sermon
In Acts 2 we have recorded what I think we can say is the first sermon of the church of Jesus Christ. Jesus has ascended into heaven, the disciples have been filled with the Holy Spirit and a crowd has gathered because of the supernatural phenomenon of the disciples speaking in languages that they didn’t know. It would be like God giving me the ability to speak in Portugese! Anyway, the crowd gathers and Peter takes center stage and preaches a sermon to the crowd. What does Peter talk about? Remember, this is the guy who just a few days ago denied even knowing Jesus.
Peter starts from the Old Testament and shows the crowd how Jesus actually was prophesied in their scriptures. Peter tells them that Jesus is the Messiah, that He was crucified by the will of those in the same crowd, that He was raised and that He ascended into heaven. He ends his sermon with these words: 36 “Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly that God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ.” Ouch! But the crowd is not offended. Rather, they cry out to Peter asking what they must do to be saved. Peter tells them to repent and be baptized for the forgiveness of their sin. Many respond…about 3,000…and the church in Jerusalem was born.
All of us who “preach” sermons with words and/or with our lives need to learn from this first sermon. People need to hear about Jesus…who Jesus is and how Jesus can bring forgiveness into their lives. Sure, we can talk about other things but let’s never get too far from the truth of Peter’s first sermon. It’s all about Jesus.