It's Not Really About You

Are we missing something?

What is the crux of the gospel?  Lets see what the book of Acts has to say –

  • (Peter, speaking about selecting a replacement for Judas): “So one of these men…must become a witness with us to his resurrection” (1.21-22)
  • (Peter preaching to a crowd): “But God raised him up, having freed him from death, because it was impossible for him to be held in its  power.” (2.24)
  • (Peter, still preaching to the crowd): “This Jesus God raised up, and of that all of us are witnesses.” (2.32)
  • (Peter, preaching on Solomon’s Portico): “you killed the Author of life, whom God raised from the dead” (3.15)
  • “[Peter and John] were teaching the people and proclaiming that in Jesus there is the resurrection of the dead.” (4.2)
  • (Peter addressing the Temple priest about healing a crippled beggar): “this man is standing before you in good health by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead.” (4.10)
  • “With great power the apostles gave their testimony to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and great grace was upon them all.” (4.33)
  • (Peter before the high priest again): “The God of our ancestors raised up Jesus, whom you had killed by hanging him on a tree…And we are witnesses to these things, and so is the Holy Spirit” (5.30-32)
  • (Peter preaching to Gentiles): “We are witnesses to all that he did both in Judea and in Jerusalem. They put him to death by hanging him on a tree; but God raised him on the third day and allowed him to appear, not to all the people but to us who were chosen by God as witnesses, and who ate and drank with him after he rose from the dead. He commanded us to preach to the people and to testify that he is the one ordained by God as judge of the living and the dead.” (10.39-42
  • (Paul, preaching in Antioch): “But God raised him from the dead; and for many days he appeared to those who came up with him from Galilee to Jerusalem, and they are now his witnesses to the people. And we bring you the good news that what God promised to our ancestors he has fulfilled for us, their children, by raising Jesus.” (13.30-33)
  • “And Paul went in, as was his custom, and on three sabbath days argued with them from the scriptures, explaining and proving that it was necessary for the Messiah to suffer and to rise from the dead” (17.2-3)
  • (Paul in Athens): “Also some Epicurean and Stoic philosophers debated with him. Some said, ‘What does this babbler want to say?’ Others said, ‘He seems to be a proclaimer of foreign divinities.’ This was because he was telling the good news about Jesus and the resurrection.”  (17.18)
  • (Paul preaching to the Athenians): “[God] has fixed a day on which he will have the world judged in righteousness by a man whom he has appointed, and of this he has given assurance to all by raising him from the dead.’ When they heard of the resurrection of the dead, some  scoffed; but others said, ‘We will hear you again about this.’” (17.31-32)
  • (Paul addressing a group of Pharisees and Sadducees): “Brothers, I am a Pharisee, a son of Pharisees. I am on trial concerning the hope of the resurrection of the dead.” (23.6)
  • (Paul speaking to governor Felix): “I have a hope in God – a hope that they themselves also accept – that there will be a resurrection of both the righteous and the unrighteous.” (24.15)
  • (Governor Festus discussing charges against Paul): “When the accusers stood up, they did not charge him with any of the crimes that I was expecting. Instead they had certain points of disagreement with him about their own religion and about a certain Jesus, who had died, but whom Paul asserted to be alive.”  (25.18-19)
  • (Paul addressing the Agrippa): “I stand here, testifying to both small and great, saying nothing but what the prophets and Moses said would take place: that the Messiah must suffer, and that, by being the first to rise from the dead, he would proclaim light both to our people and to the Gentiles.’” (26.22-23)

The apostles were preoccupied with preaching about the resurrection.  Is this the same gospel that we preach today?  Why not?

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