TEXT: Acts 2:22-24; 10:37-43
READING: John 10: 22-42
SUBJ: The simple story of Jesus as a foundation for all else that we bear witness to in the Gospel.
AIM: That we might personally identify with and live the message we tell and the story we know.
INTR: A personal identity with the Gospel that is visible adds credibility to the message we deliver and the story we tell.
1. We cannot truly witness to what we have not seen and known personally.
2. We must ask ourselves the questions, “what do we understand about the story of Jesus and how are we affected by it?”
3. We may no longer assume that those to whom we speak know anything of the true story of our Lord.
THESIS: The degree to which we are affected by the Gospel and the whole story of Jesus and the intensity of the love we have to Christ and the souls of others will reflect in our witness.
I. Richard Wurmbrand and the story of the Russian soldier
1. The ultimate challenge of having no prior knowledge (he had no orders to believe).
2. The basic concept of belief and faith must begin with who He is. He read to the soldier the Sermon on the Mt. and the Parables, and the man was excited.
3. At hearing of the death of Christ he wept bitterly. But then rejoiced at hearing that He rose again.
4. Wurmbrand regretted that he had not prepared the man for hearing of the death of Christ along with the fact that He was even now alive.
5. A Russian Army Captain coming to see a minister in Hungary as the conqueror and challenging the story of the cross and demanding that he admit it was a lie. When the minister continued to declare that it was all true the man placed a gun next to his body and threatened to fire; the minister refused. The man embraced the minister with tears; it is true he said – he could believe that men would die for this and now he was willing to die as well.
II. The elements of the Gospel from Acts 2:22-24
1. “A man” – approved of God to be sure as He was among them. Credibility was given by the power, but the works spoke for themselves.
1) We and they were called to witness the life and work of Jesus.
2) We know Him as believers on a personal basis, but others need to hear of the mighty works of Christ our Lord
2. Of the sacrifice of Christ – foreordination and purpose were brought in to challenge the Jews, but the message is of necessity – delivered of God and crucified by men.
1) The sovereignty of God in clear view here as to the gift of God and the sacrifice willingly made.
2) The depravity of man brought to the heights of expression.
3) Both the Jews who had cried out for it and the Romans who gave no thought to the worth of a soul.
3. The resurrected Christ (v. 24)
1) Victory declared
2) A must be believed truth – Romans 10:9 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.
III. The elements of the Gospel in Acts 10:38-43
1. A difficult confession for Peter – these were Gentiles.
2. Anointed with the Holy Ghost and power (v. 38a)
3. Went about doing good – “holy, harmless and undefiled.”
1) Not what would Jesus do, but what Jesus did do.
2) Consider John 20:30 And many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book: AND John 21:25 And there are also many other things which Jesus did, the which, if they should be written every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written. Amen.
4. Witnessing His life and death (v. 39). It would seem certain that Peter was greatly affected at every remembrance of the death of Christ.
5. Resurrected and revealed to witnesses (vv. 40-41)
6. Thus, we preach Christ
IV. Tell me the old, old story
1. “…Of Jesus and His Love…”
2. A question for us all – to what degree do we feel that we have mastered the story of the life and ministry of Christ?
3. Another question – How do we feel upon hearing the simple narrative of Christ and the Gospel repeatedly?