He is Lord

36 Let all the house of Israel therefore know for certain that God has made him both Lord and Christ, this Jesus whom you crucified.”

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?” 38 And Peter said to them, “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 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.”[1]

Today, as we continue to explore the question, “Is This That,” we discover that Peter’s sermon contains the Gospel message that the disciples were told to proclaim; repentance, baptism in the name of Jesus Christ, forgiveness of sins, and receipt of the Spirit. Verse 36 provides the climax to Peter’s sermon and returns full circle to its beginning point, the affirmation of Jesus as Lord (v. 21). In fact, every point to this conclusion of the sermon refers back to its beginning. “God has made this Jesus … Lord and Christ.

Peter’s Jewish crowd got his point. They were guilty of rejecting, even crucifying, the Messiah. Luke said they were “cut to the heart,” an uncommon word Homer used to depict horses stamping the earth with their hooves (v. 37).

The result of Peter’s sermon which contained the Kerygma or the proclamation of the ministry, death, burial and resurrection of Christ led people to realize that Christ being raised from the dead had given him the right to be the Lord of their lives.  The fact that Peter had the boldness to let people know that it was all of our sins that crucified Christ and not just an indiscriminate Jewish act should give us pause as we consider how many times our message lacks this approach of causing people to see how we are in fact guilty before God of crucifying Jesus to the cross.

Peter’s message caused the hearers to be so moved that they ended up repenting of their sins and being baptized as heartfelt followers of Christ.  To be honest, we have many times been guilty of withholding the simple preaching of the Gospel, so that people can hear what Christ has done for us to forgive us even though we crucified him.  Instead, we don’t want to offend people and end up giving sermon series on how to live a better life with certain life principles.  It shouldn’t surprise us when we end up with people in the church trying to live a good life, without repenting of our sins and believing the good news that Christ died and rose again to take the penalty for us and put us in right standing with God.

Until our message matches up with the New Testament Apostles’ message, we may find ourselves having to be satisfied with unrepentant congregants trying to live a good life, without the power of the Gospel to change their lives.  Let us be sure today that we know that Jesus is both Lord and Christ to us personally.  When we do, we are forever changed.

[1] The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2001). (Ac 2:36–39). Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.

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