Peter’s sermon outline (for Luke makes it clear he said many other things to the crowds) in Acts 2:14-41 reveal to us an emphasis on Jesus in his preaching which we would do well to emulate. He gives the crowd information about each of the following:

  • The life of Jesus (‘Jesus of Nazareth was a man accredited by God to you by miracles, wonders and signs, which God did among you through him, as you yourselves know. Acts 2:22)
  • The death of Jesus (the full significance of which is not expounded here, but which is developed in later sermons and in the rest of the New Testament)
  • The resurrection of Jesus (Acts 2:24, 32), to which all the disciples can attest
  • His exaltation (Acts 2:33-36)
  • His salvation (Acts 2:37-39)

We need to focus on these key events in the life and ministry of Jesus in our preaching, but must also be aware, as John Stott wrote in his commentary on Acts, ‘it is not enough to “proclaim Jesus”, for there are many different Jesuses being presented today.’ What we need to do is preach on the following areas:

  • the historical (Jesus really lived, died, rose and ascended in the arena of history; he is not a mythical character)
  • the theological (his life, death, resurrection and ascension all have saving significance which matter to us)
  • the contemporary (he lives and reigns to bestow salvation on those who respond to him.)

Thus, the apostles told the same story of Jesus at three levels –

  1. as historical event (witnessed by their own eyes)
  2. as having theological significance (interpreted by the Scriptures)
  3. as contemporary message (confronting men and women with the necessity of decision).

“We have the same responsibility today to tell the story of Jesus as fact, doctrine and gospel.”[1]

[1] John Stott, ‘Acts: Seeing the Spirit At Work’, P 19