Intro. When we look at the message of Peter, it was very basic and simple. It would not apt to be considered the sermon of the month by the scholarship of the present day. He just preached Christ crucified and risen again unto them, under the anointing of the Holy Spirit.
I. THE PREACHING OF THE CROSS.
A. Paul wrote to the Corinthians about the preaching of the cross.
1. To those who are perishing it is foolishness.
2. To those who are saved, it is the power of God.
B. The Jews seek after a sign, and the Greeks after wisdom.
1. Things haven't changed much today.
a. There are still those today who are seeking after signs.
b. There are those who are seeking to win people with an intellectual approach.
2. It seems that the church is seeking to somehow win the lost through signs or wisdom.
3. The simple proclaiming of the truth of Jesus Christ is looked upon with disdain by many.
C. Paul's response was, "But we preach Christ crucified, to the Jews a stumblingblock, to the Greeks foolishness, but unto them who are called it is the power of God and the wisdom of God."
And I, brethren, when I came to you, came not with excellency of speech or of wisdom, declaring unto you the testimony of God.
For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified.
And I was with you in weakness, and in fear, and in much trembling.
And my speech and my preaching [was] not with enticing words of man's wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power:
That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.
II. AND WITH MANY OTHER WORDS DID HE TESTIFY AND EXHORT, SAYING "SAVE YOURSELVES FROM THIS WICKED GENERATION."
A. After preaching Christ crucified, and risen, Peter then began to testify and exhort.
1. The testimony is the witnessing of what Jesus has done for you and meant to you.
a. Paul often gave witness to his own personal conversion experience.
b. I believe that there is great value in a personal witness of what Christ means to you, or of the changes that He has brought to pass in your life.
c. In the Billy Graham crusades they often have a person give a personal witness of what Christ has done for them.
2. There is also the exhorting. This is where you urge people to now respond to the truth and commit their lives to Jesus Christ.
B. Save yourself from this wicked, perverse, and evil world.
1. If ever there were a time when the church should be exhorting people to save themselves from the corrupt world it is today.
2. Jesus likened sin to leaven. How a little leaven can leaven a whole lump of dough.
a. He warned His disciples to beware of the leaven of the Pharisees which was hypocrisy.
3. The world is like leaven, let a little in and it soon takes over completely.
a. The world has invaded the church. We have to constantly stand against the pressure to allow worldly things to enter the church.
1. Why can't the high school have dances?
2. Why do we impose dress codes?
3. Nature tends toward decay.
4. The natural man tends toward decay.
5. If someone would come up with a theory of devolution, I could accept that.
b. Through TV the world has invaded our homes.
1. You may desire TV only to watch the news, or sports, but the commercials are becoming raunchy as they are seeking to use sex to sell their products, thus they are becoming more suggestive all of the time.
2. Just a little temptation, leave the door just slightly ajar to temptation and soon you will find that sin has permeated your whole being.
4. Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world, for he that has the love of the world in His heart, has not the love of the Father. 1JO 2:15
And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what [is] that good, and perfect, and acceptable will of God.
Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean [thing]; and I will receive you,
And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.
Grace [be] to you and peace from God the Father, and [from] our Lord Jesus Christ,
Who gave himself for our sins, that he might deliver us from this present evil world, according to the will of God and our Father:
Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.
5. What is meant by the world is defined in the scriptures:
Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience:
Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.
a. It is living after the lusts of the flesh and mind.
b. These are the controlling factors of the worldly person.
c. He is ruled by his fleshly desires.
For all that [is] in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.
6. We must always remind ourselves that:
The world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.
7. What if I should tell you at the top of a ski run that this slope is the most exciting ski slope in all the world. It takes five minutes to reach the bottom, but it will no doubt be the most exciting and exhilarating five minutes in your entire life. There is however one little catch. At the bottom there is no place to stop and you will be cast over a steep cliff. No one has ever been able to take this run without severe injury or death. Five minutes of total ecstacy, but at best 25 years of excruciating pain.
8. However on the other hand, if you take this hard and difficult trail, it will lead you to the perfect ride, that never ends. Hard to get to the start, but total bliss from then on.
9. Isn't that pretty much what John has told us? "The world passes away with the lusts, but he that does the will of the Father will abide forever.
III. THEN THEY THAT GLADLY RECEIVED THE WORD WERE BAPTIZED: AND THE SAME DAY THERE WERE ADDED UNTO THEM ABOUT THREE THOUSAND SOULS.
A. Look at the phenomenal results of the simple presentation of the gospel anointed by the Holy Spirit.
B. Three thousand people baptized, and added to the fellowship of believers.