MinistryHealth
Sermon Starters

Support and Resources For Pastors and
Christian Ministry Professionals

Thomas F. Fischer, M.Div., M.S.A., Editor


Second Sunday Of Easter
Series C

Option #1: "The Full Message Of This New Life"
Acts 16:31-34
Rev. Wayne Dobratz, B.A., M.Div.

1) The truth of who killed Christ--Lk 21:14; Isa 53:5 & 10

2) The truth about His death bringing repentance and forgiveness of sins--Acts 3:26, 11:18; Jer 31:34; Ezek 36:25-38; Lk 24:46-47; Rom 11:26-27

3) The truth about the new life the Holy Spirit gives--Acts 2:38, 3:19, 10:44, 13:38-39; John 5:26, 7:37-39, 20:21-23; Lk 24:49; Heb 2:3-4

Barnes Notes on the New Testament:

Acts 5:32: And we are his witnesses--For this purpose they had been appointed, Acts 1:8, 21-22; 2:32; 3:15; Luke 24:48.

Of these things--Particularly of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus and of the events which had followed it. Perhaps, however, he meant to include everything pertaining to the life, teachings, and death of the Lord Jesus.

And so is also…the descent of the Holy Spirit to endow them with remarkable gifts, Acts 2:1-4, to awaken and convert such a multitude, Acts 2:41; 4:4; 5:14, was an unanswerable attestation of the truth of these doctrines and of the Christian religion. So manifest and decided was the presence of God attending them that "they" could have no doubt that what they said was true; and so open and public was this attestation, that it was an evidence to all the people of the truth of their doctrine.

Adam Clarke’s Commentary on the New Testament:

Acts 5:31: Him hath God exalted with his right hand--By a supremely eminent display of his almighty power, for so the right hand of God often means; he has raised him from the dead, and raised his human nature to the throne of his glory.

A prince--The leader or director in the way. See the notes on Acts 3:15, 19.

And a Savior--A deliverer or preserver. The word sooteer comes from SOOSOO, to save, deliver, preserve, escape from death or danger, bring into a state of security or safety. JESUS and SAVIOR are nearly of the same import.

He alone delivers from sin, death, and hell: by him alone we escape from the snares and dangers to which we are exposed: and it is by and in him, and in connection with him, that we are preserved blameless and harmless, and made the sons of God without rebuke. He alone can save the soul from sin, and preserve it in that state of salvation.

Forgiveness of sins--The taking away of sins. This is not to be restrained to the mere act of justification; it implies the removal of sin, whether its power, guilt, or impurity be considered. Through Jesus we have the destruction of the power, the pardon of the guilt, and the cleansing from the pollution, of sin. And was Jesus Christ exalted a Prince and a Savior to give repentance and remission of sins to ISRAEL? Then none need despair. If such as were now before the apostles could be saved, then the salvation of the very worst of transgressors, of any or all on this side perdition, is gloriously possible. Yes, for he tasted death for every man; and he prayed for his murderers, compared to some of whom JUDAS himself was a saint.

 

+   +   +

Children's Message

Let’s play a little word game. This game is called opposites. When I give you a word, I want you to give me the opposite word. For example, the opposite of dark is light.

Word       Opposite
DRY      WET
BOY      GIRL
COLD   HOT
WINTER    SUMMER
WIN      LOSE
CROSS           ?????

That last one didn’t come so fast, did it? Peter gives us the answer to that one in the Bible: Acts 5:30-31: The God of our fathers raised Jesus from the dead--whom you had killed by hanging him on a tree. God exalted him to his own right hand as Prince and Savior that he might give repentance and forgiveness of sins to Israel.

The opposite of cross is a throne, a place for a king. And Jesus is our King. Crucified men didn’t end up as a king, but Jesus did. That’s because he was God, who came here to die for our sins. He already was God, but he left that all behind to be our Savior here. That meant that they nailed him to the cross and left him there until he died.

That’s why we can play our own OPPOSITES game. Instead of PUNISHMENT, we have FORGIVENESS. Instead of HELL, we’re going to HEAVEN. Instead of God TURNING HIS BACK ON US, we have His HOLY SPIRIT LIVING WITH IN US.

You know something? I really like this game!

+   +   +
 

Option #2: "Passionate Obedience"
Acts 5:12, 17-32
Rev. Kelly Bedard, B.A., M.Div.

 
The Point: oftentimes we care more about what people think than about what God thinks
 
The Problem: fear of others' jealousy and/or indignation, arrest(?!), personal safety, living without the Spirit 
 
The Promise: Like with Jesus and His disciples/apostles, God's angels protect and deliver us, empowering us to "tell" and "teach" the "full message" and to perform many "miraculous signs" and "wonders"
 
Notes:
 
1. semeion {say-mi'-on}, v12: a sign, mark, token; that by which a person or a thing is distinguished from others and is known; a sign, prodigy, portent, i.e., an unusual occurrence, transcending the common course of nature; of signs portending remarkable events soon to happen; of miracles and wonders by which God authenticates the people sent by him, or by which people prove that the cause they are pleading is God's. (Blue Letter Bible)
 
2. didasko {did-as'-ko}, v21: to hold discourse with others in order to instruct them, deliver didactic discourses. (BLB)
 
3. "Often, the fact that God's people are together all with one accord is a greater display of the power of the Holy Spirit than any sign or wonder." (David Guzik)
 
4. They [the apostles], like Jesus before them, are persecuted because their good works and popularity are a threat to those who have an interest in the status quo of religion and moral darkness. (Guzik)
 
5. Isn't this a pattern for our own life? We are set free so that we may proclaim all the words of this life instead of being set free for our own pleasure and comfort. (Guzik)
 
6. The word Peter uses here for "obey" is...interesting and also draws from two ideas to give us its meaning. Peiqarcew combines ideas of "persuasion" and "authority." It would be pushing etymology too far to say that the word always suggests a willing obedience, but Peter's statement does seem to convey the idea: "It is God's authority of which we have been convinced, and we shall obey Him." (Jeffrey Oschwald)
 
7. The first duty of every soul is to find not its freedom but its Master. (Peter T. Forsythe)
 
8. It is a great deal easier to do that which God gives us to do, no matter how hard it is, than to face the responsibilities of not doing it. (B.J. Miller)
 
2004 Ministry Health, LLC; All Rights Reserved

 

Go to Main Page

Main Site:   http://ministryhealth.net/


Copyright 1997-2005 Ministry Health, LLC  All Rights Reserved.

Microsoft FrontPage and Microsoft Internet Explorer are registered trademarks of Microsoft Corporation
Adobe Acrobat and PDF are registered trademarks of Adobe Systems Incorporated


Contact Support for any technical issues with this website!

This page was revised on: Friday, January 20, 2006 12:10:34 PM