Save Yourself from this Corrupt Generation
Acts 2:32-41 (Pastor Heo)
2:32 God has raised this Jesus to life, and we are all witnesses of the fact. 33 Exalted to the right hand of God, he has received from the Father the promised Holy Spirit and has poured out what you now see and hear. 34 For David did not ascend to heaven, and yet he said, ” ‘The Lord said to my Lord: “Sit at my right hand 35 until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet.” ‘ (Psalm 110:1) 36 “Therefore let all Israel be assured of this: God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ.” 37 When the people heard this, they were cut to the heart and said to Peter and the other apostles, “Brothers, what shall we do?” 38 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. 39 The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off–for all whom the Lord our God will call.” 40 With many other words he warned them; and he pleaded with them, “Save yourselves from this corrupt generation.” 41 Those who accepted his message were baptized, and about three thousand were added to their number that day.
This is the first sermon in the Age of the Church after the coming of the HS, and ascension and exaltation of Christ.
This is full of:
- The HS
- The Word of God
- Jesus Christ
This is the BEST example of apostolic preaching. EVERY sermon from every local church should follow this example and focus on Christ and his resurrection.
The resurrection of Christ is ALL important. Without this, there would be no NT at all, no Christianity at all, no church at all, no hope at all. So, this sermon is focused on the resurrection of Christ.
Every Sunday is the Lord’s Day and every Lord’s Day should be kept as the remembrance of his resurrection. Here are 4 proofs (evidences) of the resurrection of Christ.
Actually, this is covered from v. 22.
“32 God has raised this Jesus to life, and **we are all witnesses of the fact.** 33 Exalted to the right hand of God, he has received from the Father the promised Holy Spirit and has poured out what you now see and hear. 34 For David did not ascend to heaven, and yet he said, ” ‘The Lord said to my Lord: “Sit at my right hand 35 until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet.” ‘”
4 Proofs of the resurrection
#1 The PERSON of Christ
The audience of this sermon at that time KNEW that Jesus was a real person from the town of Nazareth. He was called a “Nazarene” – this is a real place, 120km north of Jerusalem. He grew up and lived in this place for 30 years.
- They saw that Jesus had performed many signs, miracles, wonders.
- They had heard him speak.
- They had seen him raise the dead (Lazarus).
- They could not find any fault in his life.
- This was all done publicly.
- From one point of view, the crucifixion was a terrible sin/crime.
- From another point of view, this was a marvelous victory.
We can see the word “agony” in the Scripture – this translates to “birth pains” – so we can see that the tomb was like a womb – and Christ was resurrected from it.
#2 The word of David
Psalm 16:8-11 (last Sunday) – these verses could not possibly apply to David because he was already dead and buried. “His soul could not see decay; his body would not see decay” – this is talking about the resurrection of Christ.
v. 34 “For David did not ascend to heaven, and yet he said, ” ‘The Lord said to my Lord: “Sit at my right hand 35 until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet.” ‘” (Psalm 110:1)
This is the most frequently quoted text in the NT to explain the exaltation of Christ.
In Luke – Christ applies this very verse to himself because he has the highest authority due to his resurrection. This is also a strong proof of the resurrection of Christ.
#3 The proclamation of the witnesses
“God has raised this Jesus to life, and we are all witnesses of the fact.”
After his resurrection, Jesus didn’t appear to the world at large, but he appeared to his followers whom he had commissioned. Prior to this, even the disciples did not believe that Christ would be raised from the dead. They had to be convinced about this. They had nothing to gain by preaching a lie – because their message aroused public opposition. It even led to the imprisonment and death of some believers.
After Christ’s death, all the believers became frustrated and confused. Their dreams were broken, lives shattered. They returned to their old lives. But, the resurrection of Christ changed all these things and changed them from cowards to heroes. They proclaimed the resurrection of Christ at the risk of their lives. They became heralds of this news of the resurrection.
Yes, even today, the story of Christ’s resurrection should not be confined to only Sunday. The truth of it should be spoken on every Lord’s Day like this:
Every Lord’s Day, we gather to celebrate his resurrection by praising him, and the other six days, we go out into the world witnessing about his resurrection – so that the others may come inside with us to celebrate his resurrection as well.
Their witness was/is trustworthy.
If we really believe in the resurrection of Christ, our witness should be trustworthy for others to hear and believe in Christ.
- Person of Christ
- Prophecy of David
- Proclamation of the Witnesses
- Presence of the Holy Spirit
#4 Presence of the Holy Spirit
Do you feel his presence? He is not material, but invisible. If the HS is in this world, then God must have sent him.
We saw already the prophet Joel prophesied that the HS would come. Even Jesus also promised many times that he would send the HS as his helper.
John 15:26 “When the Counselor comes whom I send from the Father, he will testify about me. It is for your good that I go, unless I go, the Counselor will not come, but if I go, I will send him.”
Imagine, if Jesus is dead, he cannot send the HS.
Also, Jesus could not send the HS unless he had ascended into heaven. Because nowadays is called the Age of the HS.
After this 4 proofs, as the conclusion, there is a declaration / proclamation – that Jesus is both Lord and Christ and Messiah. But also there is a big accusation.
“Therefore let [all Israel](all Christians) be assured of this: God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ.”
- This is a strong proclamation: Jesus is Lord and Christ
- This is also a strong accusation: YOU crucified Christ
How about you? Do you believe you also helped crucify Christ? Amen~
Physically, we are not the ones who did so – we were not physically there 2000 years ago. But spiritually, we are the ones who crucified Christ. We nailed him to the cross – because he was crucified for your and my sins as the Lamb of God, the propitiation for our sins. (atoning sacrifice) – not only our sins, but also the sins of the whole world.
Short (real) Story
Once a missionary told the story of Christ in an Indian village. After saying this, he showed the life of Christ in lantern slides thrown against a whitewashed wall of the house. When the cross appeared on the wall, a man rose from the audience and yelled, “No! Please come down! I must be the one on the cross!”
What does this mean?
When we realize our own place in crucifying Christ, our hearts must be broken.
John “When I am lifted up (crucified), I will draw my people to myself.” Every person has had a hand in this terrible crime.
The following passage shows the effect of the cross with clarity.
“When the people heard this, they were cut to the heart and said to Peter and the other apostles, “Brothers, what shall we do?“”
- “Cut to the heart” speaks of genuine spiritual pain. Literally, it means “prick violently” or “sting sharply” or “stun / strike.” The crowd was stunned and asked the question that warms the heart of any gospel messenger. “What shall we do?”
This is the most basic question to ask. It is not enough to be sorry for our sins. We must allow God to forgive our sins, and we must live as forgiven people / children of God.
Remember, God does not give his truth to provide information / knowledge. He wants transformation.
- God does not want information.
- God wants transformation.
Anytime, every time we stand before the Word of God, we must ask honestly, “God, what shall I do?” If you ask this from you honest, deep heart, the HS will teach you what to do.
To answer this question: Peter presents 4 challenges.
“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.”
- Turn to God
- Be baptized in the name of Christ for the forgiveness of sins
- Receive the Holy Spirit
- Repent = “turning away” = “change of direction”
- Sin = “hamartia” (Greek) = “missing the target”
God made a target we should shoot for. If we miss the target established by God, this is hamartia.
Repent = change our mind, not just “sorrow” for our sin, but a change in the way a person thinks. This is basic and wholehearted change of mind – resulting in a change of purpose, direction, values, – finally, a change of action.
Change of mind -> change of action
This message is for “each one of you.” (including you and me) – each person must make a decision about Christ.
Only Jesus’ offer is the effective solution for the sin problem that is placed on every child of Adam.
#2 “Turn to God”
- Turn from sin = starting point
- Turn to God = the final point
- We cannot turn to God without turning to sin.
- We cannot turn from sin without turning to God.
These can be separated verbally, but practically, they are the same.
Jesus says, “I am the Way, no one comes to the Father except through me.”
#3 Be baptized
Matt 28:19 “Baptize them in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.”
Here, Jesus’ name is enough – because in him there are already the three.
For believers, baptism is visible proof of real change and repentance. Baptism itself does not result in the forgiveness of sin. But rather, the repentance from sin, and forgiveness of sin as a result of accepting Christ – results in baptism.
Baptism does not forgive sin.
Baptism is an outward display of inner conviction / change / confession of Christ as Lord.
#4 Receive the HS
Only after all these things we can receive the HS, and only through him can we receive all things. He is the Comforter, Counselor, the Guide of Jesus’ people.
“The promise [of the work of the HS in the life of a believer] is for you and your children and for all who are far off–for all whom the Lord our God will call.” 40 With many other words he warned them; and he pleaded with them, “Save yourselves from this corrupt generation.””
The truth presented in the previous verses have a universal application. The promise of the work of the HS in the life of a believer has a personal application (you) – and a generational application (your children) – and a global application (for all who are far away).
Today, there are many unbelievers around us. Today, unbelievers are potential believers. We are now believers, but we were once unbelievers.
Like this, if you are a real Christian, if your heart is burning with a holy passion to witness, then see the unbelievers around you as potential believers.
The last sentence: “Save yourselves from this corrupt generation.”
Actually, we cannot save ourselves, so this sentence means “be saved”.
Acts 4:12 “Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved; that name is Jesus Christ.”
Only by repenting, turning to God, being baptized in the name of Christ (to identify ourselves publicly with Christ), and receipt of the HS can we be saved.
The last verse = the fruit of this sermon.
“Those who accepted his message were baptized, and about three thousand were added to their number that day.”
This is the fruit of this message by the power of the HS – 3000! They took the first step of obedience – identifying themselves with Christ. This means, they were added to the church and immediately joined the fellowship of believers. 3000 new children of God. 3000 new shepherded responsibilities of the apostles.
This is the start of the completion of the plan of God to bring salvation to all nations. Christ had finished the redemptive work. So, today, nothing more need be done except to SHARE this “good news of great joy” – that “whoever calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” (v. 21)
How many times is this single sentence repeated throughout the whole Bible? You can check.
“Whoever calls on the name of the Lord Jesus Christ shall be saved~”