The stage was set; the Disciples had been endued with power, a substantial crowd had gathered. There was not a better time for the Pentecostal Sermon orchestrated by the Master Himself. The timing was perfect, the preacher was Peter! The Holy Spirit had come in a new way, not upon men as in the days of old but into men. Peter was a real man, a saved man, a changed man, filled with the Holy Spirit; his message was authoritative because it was scripturally correct. Tag along; let's delve into the next few verses.
The Preacher; before and after the empowerment
Peter was afraid and ashamed before Pentecost (Matthew 26: 69-75), but after the empowerment he was no longer afraid but became bold! Just hear him out.
"Then Peter stood up with the Eleven, raised his voice and addressed the crowd: "Fellow Jews and all of you, who live in Jerusalem, let me explain this to you; listen carefully to what I say" Acts 2: 14
What he said and how he said it
- Just like his Master, he spoke with confidence and authority
Acts 2: 14c ". . . listen carefully to what I say"
Acts 2: 22 "Fellow Israelites, listen to this:"
Only a confident person with authority can speak like this; that is what the Holy Spirit can do to a man.
He expounded the scriptures; Read Acts 2: 16-21 this scripture refers to Joel 2:28-32
If it was Jesus Christ, after the verses, He would have said (and may I add?)
"This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears."
[See other scriptures he quoted; Psalms 16, 110, and 132]
3. He preached the Word of God; not fables or stories (II Timothy 4:2). A standard of how messages should be - an inspiration from God's word. Obviously, this was not the Peter the Jews knew; the skill, wisdom and bravery he displayed was a sure sign that a change had taken place in his life. Peter was not eloquent; remember he and a few other disciples were unlearned fishermen but he was able to interpret the scriptures in relation to what had just happened.
4. His Message was relevant; it was an answer to the heart cry of the people. They wanted to know what the meaning of the noise and speaking in tongues was.
12 Amazed and perplexed, they asked one another, "What does this mean?"
5. He was not diplomatic or apologetic; he did not care if what he said was politically correct or not. He did not preach to please: Acts 2: 22-23. He corrected the falsehood of the Jewish leaders who claimed that Christ's body had been stolen by His disciples Acts 2: 24, 32-33
6. He supported his message with the scriptures: He quoted David from the Psalms. David said, 27 "Because Thou wilt not leave my soul in hell, neither wilt Thou suffer Thine Holy One to see corruption"
There were results; but note that the results of Peter's sermon was not as a result of his personality or eloquence but the unseen Power who took charge - the Holy Spirit!
37Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do?
When the Holy Spirit is allowed, He convicts people of sin. When our Lord promised the Holy Spirit, He said, "When He is come, He will reprove (convict) the world of sin" (John 16:8). The preacher cannot convict of sin apart from the Holy Spirit, nor, will the Holy Spirit do it without us, the Spirit convicts sinners through Spirit-filled and Spirit-used lives. Unfortunately, these days, the sinner does not feel that he is a sinner because he sees us, (who profess to be Christians), living no differently from himself.
There was Solution
38Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.
39For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the LORD our God shall call.
We see the transformation that can happen to an ordinary person filled with the Holy Spirit. It therefore follows that every one of us can change for the better by the help of the Holy Spirit. We also have seen how we should deliver the message of hope to the world (everyone of us have been called to reach out to the world one way or the other - Matt.28:19); by preaching the Word, not telling tales, a message that is relevant, delivered without fear or favor. A message that offers solution to life's questions; preached by our very lives!