"Men of Israel, listen to these words: Jesus the Nazarene, a man attested to you by God with miracles and wonders and signs which God performed through Him in your midst, just as you yourselves know--Acts 2:22(NASB)
Christ's ministry in the gospel of Luke, began with His Baptism by the Spirit in the Jordan... when the heavens opened and the Holy Spirit, in the form of a Dove, descended and rested on Christ. Similarly, it is the Baptism of the Spirit in the book of Acts that marks the start of the Christian Church at Pentecost, when the 120 souls were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other languages, as the Spirit enabled them.
The descent of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost, where the assembled company were filled with the Spirit and baptised into the Body of Christ, inaugurated a new dispensation. Before the death of Christ, God was working through the Jewish nation to forward His redemption plan, but following His resurrection and ascension, God set Israel aside for a season and began a new work through the Church - the Body of Christ.
At the birth of the Church, it was Peter who took the responsibility to explain what happened when the believers were filled with the Holy Spirit and began speaking in different languages. A few days earlier, Peter had been given authority to unlock the gospel to the lost sheep of the house of Israel and the little lost Gentile lambs, when the Christ called him to, "feed My sheep and feed My lambs." And following the coming of the Spirit at Pentecost, it was Peter who stood up with the eleven and proclaimed, "Men of Judah and all you residents of Jerusalem, let me explain this to you and pay attention to my words..."
Peter proceeded to explain that the gift of tongues or languages was not an indication these people were drunk. The supernatural occurrences they were witnessing was the Spirit of God being poured out on the people, as foretold by the prophet Joel. Joel's prophecy concludes with the words, "everyone who calls on the name of the Lord (JESUS) will be saved," and this was the message Peter shared.
Although certain aspects of Joel's prophecy were indeed fulfilled at Pentecost, its full and final fulfilment will take place at the end of the Tribulation, when all Israel will cry out to their Messiah for salvation.
Peter's sermon combined various biblical prophesies with the truth of the gospel of Christ... and he challenged the assembled company by saying, "Men of Israel, listen to these words: Jesus the Nazarene, a Man attested to you by God with miracles and wonders and signs which God performed through Him in your midst, just as you yourselves know."
In his sermon, Peter presented the gospel by explaining that Christ was delivered up according to God's purpose, plan, and foreknowledge, but that Israel permitted lawless people to nail Him to a Cross and kill Him. Nevertheless, he continued to explain, "God raised him up and put an end to the agony of death since it was impossible for the eternal Son to be held by it."
Peter spoke of Christ's deity through His resurrection. He told the wonderful news that Jesus of Nazareth was indeed God - the Word - Who had come from heaven to save His people from their sin. He explained that Christ's resurrection put an end to the agony of death since it was impossible for Him to be held in its power.
And Peter spoke of Christ's humanity through His work on the Cross... for only true humanity can die. Only a MAN can pay the price for mans' sin. Only a Kinsman-Redeemer can redeem mankind. Jesus of Nazareth was indeed a man, but He was attested and authenticated by God. He was the anointed of God because He was given the power to perform many mighty miracles.
His signs, His wonders, His message, and His ministry, were foretold by prophets of old, and His heavenly mission and Messianic claims were authenticated through His words and actions, and Peter reminded the crowd of these things, "Men of Israel, listen to these words: Jesus the Nazarene, was a man attested to you by God with miracles and wonders and signs, which God performed through Him in your midst, just as you yourselves know."
Heavenly Father, how I praise and thank You that You sent Your only-begotten Son to be born as a Man and to pay the price for our sin, so that by faith in Him the curse of the law and the sting of death has been removed forever, for those who believe. Thank You that You sent Jesus to be born into this world and to live a perfect life and die a sacrificial death on my account. Thank You that I have been redeemed through Him and that my salvation does not rely on what I do but on what He did on the Cross, when He died for my sin. And thank You, Father, that through His resurrection, He broke the power of sin and death in the lives of all who believe on Him. Praise Your Holy Name! AMEN.
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