Thursday, June 10, 2010

Apostolic Preaching: The Gospel in the Book of Acts

I went through the Acts of the Apostles today and made a list of the "Gospel sermons" given.  I found eight:  five from Peter, one from Stephen, and two from Paul.  (I didn't include Paul's retelling of his conversion, since those were not about the Gospel, per se, but about the work of Christ in his life.)  Each of these sermons contains (in whole or in part) the "kerygma", the extreme distillation of the Gospel:  "that [Jesus] Christ died for our sins in accordance with the scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the scriptures, and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve." (1 Cor. 15:3-5)

The kerygma has three key elements:  1) that Jesus is the Messiah, the Christ; 2) that His death and resurrection is prophesied in the Jewish Scriptures, the Old Testament; and 3) that He appeared to people after His resurrection.  That is what you find in the apostolic preaching in the Book of Acts.
  • Peter
    • Acts 2:14-39
      • "This Jesus, delivered up according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God, you crucified and killed by the hands of lawless men. ... This Jesus God raised up, and of that we all are witnesses."
    • Acts 3:12-26
      • "The God of our fathers glorified his servant Jesus, whom you delivered up ... But you denied the Holy and Righteous One ... and killed the Author of life, whom God raised from the dead.  To this we are witnesses. ... What God foretold by the mouth of all the prophets, that his Christ should suffer, he thus fulfilled."
    • Acts 4:8-12
      • "By the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead, by him this man is standing before you well."
    • Acts 5:29-32
      • "The God of our fathers raised Jesus whom you killed by hanging him on a tree. ... And we are witnesses to these things."
    • Acts 10:34-43
      • "God anointed Jesus of Nazareth ... They put him to death by hanging him on a tree; but God raised him on the third day and made him manifest ... to us who were chosen by God as witnesses."
  • Stephen
    • Acts 7:2-53
      • "Which of the prophets did not your fathers persecute? And they killed those who announced beforehand the coming of the Righteous One, whom you have now betrayed and murdered."
  • Paul
    • Acts 13:16-42
      • "God has brought to Israel a Savior, Jesus, as he promised. ... They asked Pilate to have him killed. ... But God raised him from the dead; and for many days he appeared to those ... who are now his witnesses to the people."
    • Acts 17:22-31
      • "[God] has fixed a day on which he will judge the world in righteousness by a man whom he has appointed, and of this he has given assurance to all men by raising him from the dead."
I also compiled a list of places where the Old Testament (that is, the "Scriptures") is used by the Apostles to prove to other Jews that Jesus is the Messiah.
  • Acts 2:23-31 (Peter quotes David in Psalm 16)
  • Acts 3:18-24 (Peter quotes Moses in Deut. 18:15 and refers to all the prophets)
  • Acts 4:24-30 (The disciples quote David in Psalm 2)
  • Acts 7:37,52 (Stephen quotes Moses in Deut. 18:15 and refers to all the prophets)
  • Acts 8:32-35 (Philip teaches that Isaiah 52:13—53:12 refers to Christ)
  • Acts 10:43 (Peter refers to all the prophets)
  • Acts 13:27-37 (Paul refers to all the prophets and quotes David in Psalms 2 and 16)
  • Acts 17:2-3,11 (Paul argues from the Scriptures that the Christ would suffer and rise from the dead)
  • Acts 18:24-28 (Apollos showed by the Scriptures that Jesus is the Christ)
  • Acts 24:14 (Paul implies that belief in Jesus as the Christ is based on the law and the prophets)
  • Acts 26:22-23,27 (Paul says that Moses and the prophets said that the Christ would suffer and rise from the dead)
  • Acts 28:23 (Paul refers to the law and the prophets)
So... do with this what you will!


    Moonshadow said...

    This is helpful to me because I am just finishing up a series on Acts put together by Tim Keller (of Redeemer Pres. Church in NYC fame) at a PCA church in Princeton and will be attending lectures from Fr. Felix Just, SJ (of Catholic Resources fame) this summer at CSE in Morristown. And, if the Lord has mercy, maybe the Jeff Cavins' Great Adventure study on Acts at Queenship of Mary this fall.

    So, I have many opportunities to learn this book right now and this outline helps me a great deal. Thank you.

    Jeffrey Pinyan said...

    I'm also going through Acts looking for recapitulations of Christ's life and trials in the Apostles, and of the Apostles' lives and trials in Paul. That will take a bit longer...

    Moonshadow said...

    There's plenty of that, too.

    Anonymous said...

    There are actually 5 parts to the Gospel Preaching in the book of Acts
    1) Jesus is a fulfillment of the OT
    2) Jesus died
    3) Jesus was raised from the dead
    4) The Apostles witnessed these things
    5) You must respond to the gospel
    believe, repent, call upon the Lord and baptism