1. The Holy Spirit wants to empower you to be courageous for Jesus
Peter is at the temple. This is a magnificent institution. It’s a spiritual centre. It’s a financial centre. It’s a political centre. Peter speaks to people who are murderers. He says, “You killed Jesus. You handed him over. You preferred the murderer Barabbas to the God-man Jesus. You. You.” The Holy Spirit wants to empower you and me to be courageous in talking about Christ:
a) Jesus is the suffering “servant,”
b) Jesus is the “Holy and Righteous One.”
c) Jesus is the Author of life… raised from the dead.
d) Jesus is the object of our faith.
Christianity comes along and says, “It’s not about what you do; it’s about what Jesus has done. It’s not about you saving yourself; it’s about you being saved by a Saviour.” The object of faith saves you, and if you pick the wrong object, you’re not saved. You die. It’s like that.
e) Jesus Is the Fulfilment of Prophecy.
f) Jesus is the “Christ.”
g) Jesus Is a Prophet Like Moses.
h) Jesus Is the Offspring of Abraham.
As far as we can tell Abraham was from a nation called Babylon. Abraham didn’t seek God; God sought Abraham. Abraham didn’t call out to God; first God called out to Abraham. Abraham didn’t deserve what he was going to receive; it was a gift of God’s grace. That’s what he’s saying and that’s our Jesus. He’s the offspring of Abraham and he’s the blessing to the nations.
2. Courageous living for Christians based on Peter.
1. Faith is to be public, not private
Some of us don’t go public with our faith because we don’t want to be persecuted for our faith. What did they do to Peter? Crucified him upside down. Who did he worship? A crucified Jesus. But here’s the big idea: somebody went public for you. You didn’t know Jesus, but somebody who did know Jesus took the risk of telling you that they knew Jesus and talked to you about Jesus. If somebody went public for you, you go public for someone else. Because the goal is not to escape this life without persecution, the goal is to leave this life with converts, to take as many people with us who love Jesus as we possibly can.
2. Be prepared
Number two, be prepared. You never know when you’re going to have an opportunity to talk to people about Jesus, You don’t know when you’re going to have an opportunity to pray for somebody, to answer somebody’s question, to talk to somebody about Jesus. Ministry opportunity are always there, prepared people aren’t. That’s when Jesus says that “The harvest is plenty, but the labourers are few.” There’s lots of people who need help, and there’s few Christians who are ready. Peter’s ready, and he’s a good example for us.
3. The Holy Spirit will empower you
Thirdly, the Holy Spirit will empower you to speak courageously about Jesus. Here’s the truth: speak and then the courage comes. The courage comes as you speak, not before.It’s by faith. I’m going to talk about Jesus, and I’m going to trust that the Holy Spirit will empower me to say the right words and to have the courage to endure whatever happens as a result of talking about Jesus.
3. Courageous decision for non-Christians based on Peter’s message: Acts 3:19,
“Repent therefore, and turn back, that your sins may be blotted out, that the times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord.” Christians and non-Christians, particularly in our current sort of moral, spiritual, cultural climate, disagree on lots of things.
Christianity begins with this assumption: we are needs to change at the deepest level because what is natural is actually sinful, because we believe that sin has infected and affected everyone and everything, which means our nature is wrong and needs to change.
It means that our mind is wrong, and it needs to change. It means that our desires are wrong and they need to change. It means that our actions are wrong and they need to change. It means that our mind is wrong and it needs to change. Not only what we think and what we feel and how we are and what we do, but who we are needs to change.
The Bible calls this “repentance.” Repentance. And it’s very loving. In fact, it’s the most loving thing. Here’s the truth about the love of Jesus: Jesus’ love takes you as you are but refuses to allow you to remain that way. So, you come to Jesus as you are, but coming to Jesus means you are acknowledging that you need to change, and that’s repentance. That’s what repentance is. That’s what repentance does. For those who repent, God sends what? Refreshing. God wants you to be refreshed.