Rev. Trevor Johnston
Sermon Series: Chapter Two
Week 1: Turn the Page
- For answers to frequently asked questions about our transition toward becoming a multi-site church go to communityofhope.church/goodshepherd. This is an exciting second chapter for our church!
- Luke was a Gentile physician who wrote both the Gospel of Luke and the book of Acts. In the first few verses of his Gospel, Luke explains that he wrote these to help his friend Theophilus grow in certainty about his faith in Jesus Christ. The book of Acts is like Luke’s “Chapter 2” and records the exciting story of how the Church grew and spread throughout the world. In Acts 2, Luke describes the day of Pentecost about 50 days after Jesus’ crucifixion and resurrection, when the Holy Spirit was poured out on the followers of Jesus who were gathered in Jerusalem. This event is considered the birthday of the Church of Jesus Christ. Supernatural signs – visible floating flames, and the believers suddenly speaking in languages they had never learned – got the attention of the crowd that was in Jerusalem for the holiday. Peter used the opportunity to preach the good news about Jesus.
Read what happened at the close of Peter’s sermon in Acts 2:36-41:
“Therefore let all Israel be assured of this: God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Messiah.” When the people heard this, they were cut to the heart and said to Peter and the other apostles, “Brothers, what shall we do?”
Peter replied, “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. The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off– for all whom the Lord our God will call.” With many other words he warned them; and he pleaded with them, “Save yourselves from this corrupt generation.”
Those who accepted his message were baptized, and about three thousand were added to their number that day.
What questions or comments do you have about what happened in Acts 2?
- Acts 2:37 says that when the people heard Peter’s message, “they were cut to the heart”. What does it mean to be “cut to the heart”?
- They felt this way because of what Peter told them in Acts 2:36 – “God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Messiah.” We can easily miss the significance of the phrase “Jesus is Lord” since we don’t often use the word “Lord” in our culture today. As a Jewish person, Peter meant by this that Jesus is God. And the word “Messiah” emphasizes that Jesus is also King. If it’s really true that Jesus is God and King, what are the implications of this for our lives today?
- E Stanley Jones, who wrote the book Song of Ascents, is a hero of Pastor Trevor. If you have a personal hero, tell the group about that person, and why you look up to them.
- E Stanley Jones did a “three finger salute” which stood for the three words, “Jesus is Lord”. If Jesus is Lord, then everything Jesus said is true. The rapper Lecrae said, “If he’s truly raised to life, then this news should change your life.” And yet, in big or small ways, each of us (like the people in Peter’s audience in Jerusalem) has rejected Jesus by our sin. How is sin actually a form of rejection of Jesus as Lord?
- Peter’s audience felt genuine conviction about their sin, and asked, “What do we do now?” What did Peter tell them to do?
- What does it mean to “repent”?
- Why does Jesus ask his followers to be baptized? It seems like a strange thing to dunk people under water. What is God’s purpose in baptism? What does baptism do for you?
Trevor described three possible responses for us today:
- If you’re already a follower of Jesus and baptized….
- Remember your baptism and be thankful
- If you’re already a follower of Jesus and not yet baptized….
- Obey Jesus Christ and be baptized!
- Sign up by Sunday night, April 23 at communityofhope.church/baptism
- If you’re not yet a follower of Jesus….
- Give your life to Jesus Christ and be baptized!
- You can do that by praying a prayer along the lines of the one below:
Jesus I have sinned.
I gratefully accept the forgiveness you made possible through your death and resurrection.
I believe you are God, and I want to live your way.
I love you and I give you control of my life.
Help me follow you.