"THE HEART OF THE GOSPEL."
Intro. Peter is preaching to the assembled crowd who were in wonderment and amazement at the ability of the disciples to speak in the variety of dialects of the wonderful works of God. Peter's sermon is answering the question of the crowd as to what this all meant. His message is centered on Jesus Christ. There are seven things he says about Jesus. He was from Nazareth, His marvelous works proved that He was from God. They, however, by the determinant counsel and foreknowledge of God with their wicked hands had crucified and slain. He now comes to the heart of the gospel.
I. "WHOM GOD RAISED UP."
A. The resurrection of Jesus from the dead is the heart of the gospel.
1. Paul said, "The gospel that we preach, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures, was buried, and rose again the third day according to the scriptures."
2. Paul affirmed that without the resurrection, there is no gospel.
B. Whenever the gospel was preached, there was the affirmation of the resurrection of Jesus from the dead.
1. Acts 3:15
, "You killed the Prince of Life, but God raised Him from the dead."
2. When Peter preached to the crowd who had gathered as the result of the healing of the lame man, he said:
Be it known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom God raised from the dead, [even] by him doth this man stand here before you whole.
3. When Peter addressed the council in Jerusalem, he said:
The God of our fathers raised up Jesus, whom ye slew and hanged on a tree.
4. When Peter preached the gospel to the Gentiles who had gathered at the house of Cornelius, he said:
How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him.
And we are witnesses of all things which he did both in the land of the Jews, and in Jerusalem; whom they slew and hanged on a tree:
Him God raised up the third day, and shewed him openly;
5. When Paul was preaching in the synagogue at Antioch in Psidia, he said to them:
Men [and] brethren, children of the stock of Abraham, and whosoever among you feareth God, to you is the word of this salvation sent.
For they that dwell at Jerusalem, and their rulers, because they knew him not, nor yet the voices of the prophets which are read every sabbath day, they have fulfilled [them] in condemning [him].
And though they found no cause of death [in him], yet desired they Pilate that he should be slain.
And when they had fulfilled all that was written of him, they took [him] down from the tree, and laid [him] in a sepulchre.
Because he hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by [that] man whom he hath ordained; [whereof] he hath given assurance unto all [men], in that he hath raised him from the dead.
And when they heard of the resurrection of the dead, some mocked: and others said, We will hear thee again of this [matter].
C. God loosed Him from the pains of death, for it was impossible that He should be held by it.
1. Why was it impossible?
a. Because of the promises of God.
b. God's word shall stand.
c. We need to have that same confidence in the word of God.
d. Because God said it, it is impossible that there could be any other outcome.
2. Peter speaks of the pains of death.
a. The idea of the word is cords of death in which a person is held.
b. God loosed Him from the cords of death. They could not hold Jesus in the grave.
II. PETER NOW GAVE THEM A SCRIPTURAL BASIS FOR THE RESURRECTION.
I have set the LORD always before me: because [he is] at my right hand, I shall not be moved.
Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoiceth: my flesh also shall rest in hope.
For thou wilt not leave my soul in hell; neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption.
Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence [is] fulness of joy; at thy right hand [there are] pleasures for evermore.
B. Peter now begins to give to them an expositional study of this passage.
1. David is dead and buried.
2. His sepulchre is here today.
3. David was a prophet.
4. God had promised David that God would raise up from His seed according to the flesh, the Messiah to sit on his throne.
5. In this passage, David was actually prophesying of the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
C. Speaking of the Jesus as the Messiah, Peter said:
1. His soul was not left in hell.
2. Neither did the Holy One see corruption.
3. This Jesus has God raised up, of Whom we are witnesses.
D. His soul was not left in hell.
1. The word hell is a translation of the Greek word hades. The place of souls of the departed dead.
a. The Hebrew word is sheol.
b. In the Bible this word is translated grave and hell.
2. Prior to the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ this place was divided into two compartments that were vastly different.
a. One side was a place of extreme torment. This side will not surrender its captives until the end of the thousand-year reign of Christ, when death and hell give up the dead that are in them to stand before the great white throne judgment of God. Rev. 20:13
b. The other side was a place of comfort. This side was emptied when Jesus rose from the dead.
c. Jesus speaks of it in Luke 16
, and the gulf that separated the two sides.
3. A part of the purpose of the coming of Jesus was prophesied in Isaiah 61
The spirit of the Lord GOD [is] upon me; because the LORD hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to [them that are] bound;
4. When Jesus died, His soul descended into that paradise section of hell. "He had said to the dying thief, "Today you will be with Me in paradise."
5. This hades is in the heart of the earth.
Then certain of the scribes and of the Pharisees answered, saying, Master, we would see a sign from thee.
But he answered and said unto them, An evil and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given to it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas:
For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale's belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.
6. While there, Jesus preached to those souls in prison.
For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but made alive by the Spirit:
By which also he went and preached unto the spirits in prison;
Which sometime were disobedient, when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water.
7. When Jesus rose again, He led the captives from their captivity.
Wherefore he saith, When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men.
(Now that he ascended, what is it but that he also descended first into the lower parts of the earth?
He that descended is the same also that ascended up far above all heavens, that he might fill all things.)
8. Matthew tells us:
And the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose,
And came out of the graves after his resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many.
9. Prior to the death of Jesus on the cross where atonement was made for us all, heaven was not open to man.
a. The blood of goats and bulls could not put away our sins.
For [it is] not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins.
b. Jesus was the firstfruit of those who rise from the dead.
But now is Christ risen from the dead, [and] become the firstfruits of them that slept.
c. The Old Testament saints all died in faith and the anticipation of the coming Messiah.
These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of [them], and embraced [them], and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth.
And these all, having obtained a good report through faith, received not the promise:
God having provided some better thing for us, that they without us should not be made perfect.
d. It was not until Jesus offered Himself as the sacrifice for sins, that our sins could truly be put away. The Old Testament sacrifices were just a shadow of things to come, and all pointed ahead to Jesus Christ.
e. The Old Testament word atonement is kaphar which means covering. The New Testament word atonement, means at one with. Jesus has made us one with God, something that the Law and sacrifices could never do.
III. THIS JESUS HAS GOD RAISED UP WHEREOF WE ARE WITNESSES.
A. Jesus is now at the right hand of God exalted.
1. David prophesied of the glory of Jesus upon the resurrection.
The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou at my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool.
2. When the high priest asked Jesus, "Are you the Messiah, the Son of the Blessed? Jesus said, I am: and ye shall see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven.
3. Mark tells us that:
So then after the Lord had spoken unto them, he was received up into heaven, and sat on the right hand of God.
4. Jesus promised the overcomers:
To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne.
B. He received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit. He has shed forth this, which you now see and hear.
1. Jesus had told His disciples that He would pray to the Father Who would give to them another Comforter, that He might abide with them forever, even the Spirit of truth that the world could not receive, for the world could not see Him, neither did they know Him.
2. "He has shed forth this." The initial question of the crowd was, "What meaneth this?" The sound of the mighty rushing wind, the cloven tongues of fire, the speaking in the various dialects the wonderful works of God.
a. Peter began his message, "This is that."
b. He concludes his message declaring that Jesus is risen and is at the right hand of the Father and having received from Him the promise of the Holy Spirit has shed forth this. This is proof that Jesus has risen from the dead.
For David is not ascended into the heavens: but he saith himself, The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand,
Until I make thy foes thy footstool.
Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ. This means that Jesus is both Lord and the Messiah