Pointing People to Jesus Christ: Acts 2:22-24
““22) Men of Israel, listen to these words: Jesus the Nazarene, a man attested to you by God with miracles and wonders and signs which God performed through Him in your midst, just as you yourselves know— 23) this Man, delivered over by the predetermined plan and foreknowledge of God, you nailed to a cross by the hands of godless men and put Him to death. 24) But God raised Him up again, putting an end to the agony of death, since it was impossible for Him to be held in its power.” Acts‬ ‭2‬:‭22‬-‭24‬ ‭
The sign of the Holy Spirit being poured out on the day of Pentecost was used by Peter to preach about Jesus and the Gospel. He focused on the three parts of Jesus Christ that make up the gospel message. Look at this small outline that grows out from the above three verses:
Vs 22 The life of Jesus Christ Vs 23 The death of Jesus Christ Vs 24 The resurrection of Jesus Christ
Why is this important? These are the three components of the gospel message. (See also 1 Corinthians 15:1-5) The primary ministry of the Holy Spirit is to lift up Jesus Christ and advance the gospel. Peter got it right in his short but powerful message.
The death of Jesus was not because He was a victim of the Jewish religious leaders. By no means. He fulfilled God’s predetermined plan for the redemption of mankind. He was in control of His own destiny. The resurrection brought an end to the agony of death. Jesus conquered both death and the grave.
I get concerned in any context when the Holy Spirit is lifted up and Jesus is ignored. The Holy Spirit was not given to bring attention to Himself. His mission is to glorify Jesus Christ. (See John 16:12-15) This certainly happened in Peter’s message.
Keep this basic principle in mind. The inner ministry of the Holy Spirit is to deepen your relationship with Jesus Christ. If this is not happening, something is tragically out of balance in your life. Avoid the danger of obscuring Jesus and the gospel through an obsession with signs and wonders or spiritual gifts. They are never to be an end in themself. God uses them to confirm and advance the gospel. (See Hebrews 2:1-4)
This comes back to the words of Jesus in Acts 1:7-8. The Holy Spirit would give power to the witnesses to advance the gospel. His ministry would undergird the work of world evangelization. He would point people to Jesus Christ and personal salvation. I’ve seen some people more obsessed with getting people healed than getting them saved. When this occurs, the outcome is usually that neither happens. Why? They are off mission.
Let me share a spiritual secret; the power of the Holy Spirit is unleashed most on the front lines of world evangelism. God does miracles to advance and confirm the gospel. This was certainly the case in the book of Acts. Jesus and the gospel were the main focus of Peter’s message on the day of Pentecost. The Holy Spirit invisibly but powerfully worked in the background convicting and converting thousands. He was fulfilling His role as Helper!
Daily Bible Commentary By Terry Baxter; Cofounder of GoServ Global