Third Sunday after Easter          03 May 2020 A.D.       Morning Prayer/Holy Communion

Psalm. 124                           1 Samuel 2:1b-10                      Acts 2:22-36


                                 Almighty God, who showest to them that are in
                                 error the light of thy truth, to the intent that they
                                may return into the way of righteousness; Grant unto all
                                those who are admitted into the fellowship of Christ’s
                                Religion, that they may avoid those things that are contrary
                                to their profession, and follow all such things as are agree-
                               able to the same; through our Lord Jesus Christ.       Amen.

                             Peter certifies Jesus as both Lord and Christ

   Today let us witness the work of the Holy Spirit.   Only a few weeks earlier, Peter had denied Christ three times.  Peter was the last of Christ’s disciples to abandon him before he was tried and convicted of trumped up charges.  After Christ’s resurrection he will meet again with his disciples and he will restore Peter as a follower of Christ.  Now we are a week out from the Ascension of Christ into heaven, after 40 days of instruction and final fellowship this side of heaven with his disciples and followers; here is Peter speaking to a large crowd in Jerusalem.
    The occasion is the Feast of Pentecost. The Holy Spirit has descended on the disciples and they begin to speak in the various languages of the people who have come for the feast.  Everyone there understood what the disciples were saying, because they were speaking the languages of the Jewish people who lived around the Mediterranean and other parts of the Roman Empire.  These faithful Jews would try to come back to Jerusalem to celebrate Passover or Pentecost at least once a year, if they could.  These Jews spoke the languages of the places they lived around the Empire. 
    1. The first level of certification would be in the fulfillment of Christ’s promise to send a Comforter.  When the Holy Spirit came, his manifestation at this time, was the ability of the disciples to speak in recognized foreign tongues.   
22 Ye men of Israel, hear these words; Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you by miracles and wonders and signs, which God did by him in the midst of you, as ye yourselves also know:


    2. The next certification was the witness of Christ’s resurrection as prophesied by David. He writes of Christ not seeing corruption in the grave.  In other words he will rise again to newness of life. He will not be bound or held by the pains of death, he will overcome death.
    Peter explains that David could not possibly be writing about himself, since he was dead and his grave was there in Jerusalem for anyone to see. [vv. 25-29]
23 Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain:
24 Whom God hath raised up, having loosed the pains of death: because it was not possible that he should be holden of it.
25 For David speaketh concerning him, I foresaw the Lord always before my face, for he is on my right hand, that I should not be moved:
26 Therefore did my heart rejoice, and my tongue was glad; moreover also my flesh shall rest in hope:
27 Because thou wilt not leave my soul in hell, neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption.
28 Thou hast made known to me the ways of life; thou shalt make me full of joy with thy countenance.
29 Men and brethren, let me freely speak unto you of the patriarch David, that he is both dead and buried, and his sepulchre is with us unto this day.

 As Peter preaches this message you must understand that he is giving both a history lesson and a lesson on heritage to those assembled Jews there that Pentecost Day.  Peter is able to preach this message because he is now filled with the Holy Spirit. He gave Peter the words to say.   The whole message was the Gospel, it may have been the last chance these assembled Jews ever got to hear the True message of God. That being that ‘....whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved...’.   Peter then finishes this message with what many there had witnessed, that being the death, burial of Christ.
 Some of them may not have been aware of Christ’s resurrection.  Peter explains this in the next couple of verses.  And makes the bold statement that many in the crowd were witness to Jesus being raised from the dead.

     3. Why does Peter need to certify Jesus as Lord and Christ?    Throughout the Old Testament we find the title of Lord used. The determination is Lord God, Lord of the Universe, Lord of Creation.  So when Peter certifies Jesus as Lord and Christ, he is explaining to those Jews from far off lands, that the Messiah has come. His name is Jesus. 
     The witness of Jesus, Lord and Christ, was accompanied by signs and wonders, miracles, by the wondrous Resurrection of Christ from the dead.  The evidence of this resurrection was witness by up to 500 people those forty days before Christ the Lord ascended into heaven.  
30 Therefore being a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him, that of the fruit of his loins, according to the flesh, he would raise up Christ to sit on his throne;
 31 He seeing this before spake of the resurrection of Christ, that his soul was not left in hell, neither his flesh did see corruption.
32 This Jesus hath God raised up, whereof we all are witnesses.
33 Therefore being by the right hand of God exalted, and having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Ghost, he hath shed forth this, which ye now see and hear.
34 For David is not ascended into the heavens: but he saith himself, The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand,
35 Until I make thy foes thy footstool.

     Peter will conclude the sermon with this admonition found in verse 36.
36 Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made the same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ.
    Notice what happens now.  Those who listened to Peter’s sermon were convicted of their sins. They asked Peter what they needed to do. He told them to repent and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins and he promised them the gift of the Holy Ghost.
   This is the beginning of what will be the model for evangelizing the whole world. 
         I. You must repent of your sins.  
        II. Be baptized as a new believer in Christ Jesus the Lord. 
       III. Begin to multiply. In other words you need to tell others the Good News of Jesus Christ             the Lord.
         Not all of you are preachers, teachers, or evangelists, and yet there is a place for every believer.  Each one of us can reach those around us by living as close a life in Christ as possible. By sharing our faith with others, determining every day to make a difference in each life we touch throughout each day.

Let us pray:
Almighty and Everlasting God, who dost govern all things in heaven and earth; Mercifully hear the supplications of us Thy servants, and grant unto this Parish all things that are needful for its spiritual welfare: schools wherein to bring up the young in Thy faith and fear; ministers to labor in this portion of Thy vineyard; a church perfected according to the beauty of holiness; strengthen and increase the faithful, visit and relieve the sick, turn and soften the wicked, arouse the careless, recover the fallen, restore
the penitent, remove all hindrances to the advancement of Thy truth and bring all to be of one heart and mind within the fold of Thy Holy Church, to the honor and praise of Thy Name; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
O God, our heavenly Father, who didst manifest Thy love by sending Thine only begotten Son into the world that all may live through Him: Pour Thy Spirit upon Thy Church that it may fulfil His command to preach the Gospel to every creature; send forth, we beseech Thee, laborers into Thy harvest; defend them in all dangers and temptations and hasten the time when the fulness of the Gentiles shall be gathered in, and all Israel shall be saved; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
 THE peace of God, which passeth all understanding, keep your hearts and minds in the knowledge and love of God, and of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord: And the Blessing of God Almighty, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, be amongst you, and remain with you always.   Beloved go in peace this day and in the week to come.                       Amen. 

                                

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