April 15, 2018
I Will Build My Church: Peter’s Sermon
The first Christian sermon ever preached was Peter’s sermon on the day of Pentecost, which has been preserved for us by Luke in Acts 2. Peter’s sermon immediately follows the pouring out of the Holy Spirit upon the 120 disciples who had gathered together that day. Vast crowds had gathered when they heard the wonders of God being proclaimed in their native languages. Seizing on this divine opportunity, Peter launched into an explanation of who Jesus is based on several prophecies from the Hebrew scriptures.
Beginning with Joel 2:28-32, Peter’s sermon identified the present event as the fulfillment of the long-awaited pouring out of the Spirit of God. Joel declared that this would happen to all of God’s people, without discrimination between men and women, young and old, rich and poor. They all received the same Spirit!
From there, Peter explained what happened to Jesus in his death and resurrection, and how that was the fulfillment of David’s messianic prophecy. Because Jesus rose from the dead, he must be the Messiah, because David himself predicted that the Messiah would rise from the dead!
From here, Peter’s sermon only picked up steam as he told of what happened in the Ascension, alluding to another crucial messianic prophecy – Daniel 7:13-14. Peter proclaimed that he and the other disciples saw the earthly side of this heavenly vision, in which the “Son of Man” enters the throne room of heaven to receive glory, authority, power, and worship.
In all of these things, Peter is saying this: The long-awaited Spirit of God has come and he validates the resurrection of Jesus, which proves he is the Messiah and the Lord! The Jews who had gathered from all over the world were left with one obvious question: “What must we do now?”
Peter’s answer was, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.”