Read - Acts 2v14-41
Message - Scott Woodburn
The young preacher stood at the door on his first Sunday at his new church. He had wrestled with the text all week and finally as he preached he felt that it had all come together. He spotted Mr Bloggs heading towards him and took a breath. Mr Bloggs was apparently not behind the door in telling preachers what he really thought and here he was advancing towards the new minister. "There's nothing like a good sermon" said Mr Bloggs "and unfortunately that was nothing like a good sermon."
You'll rarely please people like Mr Bloggs but what makes a good sermon? Couple of jokes? Nice stories? Not too long and not too short? Mmmmm. I read this a few years ago from Charles Spurgeon and I think it hits the nail on the head. "I believe that those sermons which are fullest of Christ are the most likely to be blessed to the conversion of the hearers. Let your sermons be full of Christ, from beginning to the end crammed full of the Gospel. Preach Jesus Christ, brethren, always and everywhere." If we are not preaching Christ then we probably should find another job.
Peter's sermon at pentecost was unashamedly full of Christ. The apostles weren't drunk as some supposed (v15) instead the prophecy of Joel was being fulfilled (v16-21). Peter and his friends had received the promised Holy Spirit and now they began their work of preaching Christ and Him crucified. The Gospel must always be preached regardless of those who tell you "preach Christ and when necessary use words." Words are always necessary and Peter uses just a few words to show that Christ was the promised one, crucified and raised (v22-24).
Indeed Jesus is the one that David was speaking about in Psalm 16 and Peter quotes directly from there (v25-28). David was a great leader but he died and his tomb was still in Jerusalem then as now (v29). But this Jesus wasn't abandoned to the grave nor did His body decay (v31). In fact, preached Peter, Jesus was raised and exalted to the right hand of God (v32-33) and it was this same Jesus who had poured out the Holy Spirit (v33).
David didn't ascend to heaven (v34) but did say that Jesus would in Psalm 110v1 which Peter drops into his sermon (v34-35). Those listening to Peter needed to know that Jesus alone was Lord and Christ (v36). Peter's sermon exalted Christ and those listening asked "what shall we do?" (v37). Peter's response was to urge them to repent and receive Christ by faith and remarkably around three thousand souls were saved that day (v38-41).
It is the plan of God to use the foolishness of preaching to build His church. It was true at Pentecost and it is true today. Brothers and sisters, do not despise the preached Word. Do not treat it as an extension of your entertainment. Come prayerfully to receive it and when it has finished, leave to prayerfully consider "what shall I do?" and may every single sermon no matter how long or short be filled with Christ and His majesty. He remains Lord and Christ and the grandest figure in human history.
Q66 What is the reason annexed to the fifth commandment? The reason annexed to the fifth commandment is, a promise of long life and prosperity (as far as it shall serve for God’s glory, and their own good) to all such as keep this commandment.