Los Alamos Church of Christ

Let the Word Dwell

#35 Acts 2:38

Repent and Be Baptized

 

This morning we are back to work.  We have had a three week break from our 40 Memory Verse Challenge. Over the last three weeks we have been doing Memory Verse #34.  Instead of learning more memory verses, we have been witnessing Memory Verse #34.

 

#34 Acts 2:17 “And in the last days it shall be, God declares, that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh.”

 

 

 

Then, #34 continues…

 

ESV Acts 2:17-18 and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams; even on my male servants and female servants in those days I will pour out my Spirit, and they shall prophesy.

 

--We heard from a young man… Tony. That God has given us his Spirit to bring restoration to a broken world.  God poured out his Spirit upon all flesh so that we can enter into the irrational world to restore rationality.  We have been given the Spirit to fix what was broken.  We have the Spirt providing power to set things right.  We restore the kingdom of God on this earth by the power of Him who is within us!  We have the Spirit to do restoration!

 

--Then, we heard from some daughters.  The message from these teenage girls was restoration.  As they shared how God has worked in their lives… I was moved.  The Spirit working through them to restore; to set things right; to fix the broken… was… amazing.

 

--Then, we heard from a female servant… Zee.  Her message was for us not to forget that God has poured out his Spirit upon us.  Don’t forget the working of the Spirit in your life. Our lives have chapters… don’t forget the power God has worked in you a couple of chapters later.  It is in the remembering; the recounting of God’s mighty deeds, that we continue to bring restoration the world.  To quote Zee, quoting me… “Wow!” 

 

--But, this morning, we are back to the old men.  We are back to memorizing.  We go back to work memorizing Memory Verse #35.  Memory Verse #35 may have been the first verse I ever memorized.  It is, historically, our favorite verse…

 

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#35 Acts 2:38 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.

 

Let’s place Acts 2:38 in the context of Acts 2; the Day of Pentecost and connect Acts 2:38 with Acts 2:17.  Let’s put together #34 with #35.  That sounds fun.   This is the most fun you can have during a sermon.

 

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Let’s pick up the context starting from… the beginning.

--God’s Spirit moved across the face of the deep ordering the chaos into a place of relationships, which God said were…good.

--God walked in the cool of the evening in his ordered Garden in fellowship with humans.

--But they sinned. We sin.  The order was broken.  The chaos crept back. Chaos ruled.

--Until… Joel says there is a time coming when the Spirit will again bring order out chaos…

 

ESV Joel 2:28 "And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh;

 

--It came to pass… Jesus did not grasp his Godness but became one of us… to die… to be resurrected…to ascend

--Just before Jesus ascends to the throne he says...

 

ESV Luke 24:46-53 "Thus it is written, that the Christ should suffer and on the third day rise from the dead, and that repentance and forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem.  You are witnesses of these things.  And behold, I am sending the promise of my Father upon you. But stay in the city until you are clothed with power from on high."  Then he led them out as far as Bethany, and lifting up his hands he blessed them.  While he blessed them, he parted from them and was carried up into heaven.  And they worshiped him and returned to Jerusalem with great joy, and were continually in the temple blessing God.

 

--They waited a few days until the…Day of Pentecost… then Power came from on high… the Spirit was poured out.

--And Peter began preaching… “This is what Joel said… I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh…

--Let’s pick up the reading in verse 22….

 

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ESV Acts 2:22-23 "Men of Israel, hear these words: Jesus of Nazareth, a man attested to you by God with mighty works and wonders and signs that God did through him in your midst, as you yourselves know- this Jesus, delivered up according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God, you crucified and killed by the hands of lawless men.

 

--Jesus was crucified… God’s method of saving the world was through the cross…  How backwards… how God-like… restoration through sacrifice.  God’s method of restoring the world was his Son freely giving his life… restoration through sacrifice; God’s way. 

 

But that is not the end of the story… not even close.  Peter continues his sermon…

 

ESV Acts 2:24-33 God raised him up, loosing the pangs of death, because it was not possible for him to be held by it. For David says concerning him, "' I saw the Lord always before me, for he is at my right hand that I may not be shaken; therefore my heart was glad, and my tongue rejoiced; my flesh also will dwell in hope.  For you will not abandon my soul to Hades, or let your Holy One see corruption.  You have made known to me the paths of life; you will make me full of gladness with your presence.'  "Brothers, I may say to you with confidence about the patriarch David that he both died and was buried, and his tomb is with us to this day.  Being therefore a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him that he would set one of his descendants on his throne, he foresaw and spoke about the resurrection of the Christ, that he was not abandoned to Hades, nor did his flesh see corruption.  This Jesus God raised up, and of that we all are witnesses. Being therefore exalted at the right hand of God…

 

The resurrection was witnessed by Peter. All the witnesses of New Testament pointed to the resurrection as the beginning point of Christianity.  Death could not hold onto our Lord!  Jesus was not abandoned to Hades but has risen!

 

Peter concludes…

 

ESV Acts 2:33-36 Being therefore exalted at the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, he has poured out this that you yourselves are seeing and hearing.  For David did not ascend into the heavens, but he himself says, "' The Lord said to my Lord, Sit at my right hand, until I make your enemies your footstool.'  Let all the house of Israel therefore know for certain that God has made him both Lord and Christ, this Jesus whom you crucified."

 

 

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The entire picture of God’s plan is laid out before us…

--The world redeemed through sacrifice;

--The world raised through the resurrection;

--The world restored through the out pouring of the Spirit on all flesh!

 

What was it that Zee said I said?  “Wow!”

 

At this point, on the Day of Pentecost, the stunned crowd realized their mistake.

--This crowd was the same ones who had screamed to Pilate… “Crucify Him!  Crucify Him!  Crucify Him!”

--Some in the crowd had told Pilate, “Let his blood be on us and on our children.”

--This crowd was the one who had hurled insults at Jesus… “If you are the King of the Jews, save yourself!"

--These are some of the same people who mocked his nakedness; spat upon him…

--This crowd crucified Jesus of Nazareth.

 

The crowd was convicted of their mistake in crucifying their Messiah.  From this realization they asked…

 

ESV Acts 2:37 Now when they heard this they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, "Brothers, what shall we do?"

 

From the brokenness of realizing they were on the wrong side of the worse decision ever, this crowd asked... “What are we going to do?”

--Join the crowd in their shock… what have we done?

--Join the crowd in their fear… what is going to happen to us?

--Join the crowd in their helplessness… we killed our only hope!

--Join them in their regret… What did we do? They had longed for the Messiah.  They wanted desperately to be saved.  Regret may be the worst feeling.

--Join them in their despair…What shall we do? 

 

Shock/fear/helplessness/regret/despair… “Brothers, what shall we do?”

 

Peter replied with our memory verse…

 

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#35 Acts 2:38 "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.”

 

Peter’s answer to their shock; their fear; their helplessness; their regret; to their despair… is simple. Peter’s answer offers the grace of God.

--Repent… change one’s mind.  The crowd was called upon to change their mind about who Jesus was… they were called upon to change their purpose... to change their hearts.

--Be Baptized in the name of Jesus Christ…  Get dunked in water.

 

I love baptism.  It is such a perfect God-thing. 

 

The entire picture of God’s plan is laid out in baptism…

--The world redeemed through sacrifice; baptism symbolizes the sacrifice of Jesus and our own death.

--The world raised through the resurrection; baptism symbolizes resurrection... we rise to a new life!

--The world restored through the out pouring of the Spirit on all flesh; baptism connects us to the Spirit.

 

Two things happen when we repent and are baptized…

 

--Forgiveness of sins… past sins are washed away.  Future sins are connected to the blood!  

 

Now we come to the fun part.  Here is where #34 connects with #35.  In repentance and baptism we are recipients of the out pouring of the Holy Spirit upon all flesh. 

 

#34 Acts 2:17 “And in the last days it shall be, God declares, that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh.”

 

#35 Acts 2:38 "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.”

 

One the Day of Pentecost 3,000 did just that.  3,000 repentances; 3,000 baptisms, 3,000 forgiven… wait for it… 3,000 receiving the outpouring of the Spirit.   The restoration of creation began on the Day of Pentecost! 

 

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“Don’t stop there, Tim.  Read the next verse.  The one after verse 38...

 

ESV Acts 2:39 “For the promise is for you and for your children and for all who are far off, everyone whom the Lord our God calls to himself."

 

That’s us… the promise of Acts 2:17; the outpouring of the Spirit upon all flesh given in repentance and baptism is for all who are far off, like us… 2,000 years and 7,000 miles.  But the promise remains…

 

#35 Acts 2:38 "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.”

 

 

 

Tim Stidham

October 11, 2015

Los Alamos Church of Christ