It’s a challenge for any of us to actually speak up — especially in the middle of a crowd! But Jesus Christ calls us to speak up and to tell others the truth of the Good News. Peter the apostle did this in Acts 2:14 when he raised his voice and declares the message of the Gospel of Jesus Christ for the first time.
Here, the Holy Spirit came upon the disciples. Those present heard “a noise like a violent rushing wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting” (2:1). This is the moment that the Holy Spirit came and “there appeared to them tongues as of fire distributing themselves, and they rested on each one of them and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit was giving them utterance” (2:3, 4). God used this miraculous act to bring this Good News of Jesus Christ to the people, through the apostles.
However, the people surrounding them—Jews living in Jerusalem and devout men from every nation under heaven—came together when they heard this sound and were confused. These men who were uneducated, were speaking in the different languages represented by all the people who were in Jerusalem at this time (2:6-12). Others (were) mocking and saying, “They are full of sweet wine” (2:13).
No matter the many wonderful things we are through the Lord Jesus Christ, some will be amazed and some will doubt and make fun of us.
When this happens, speak up just like Peter does! He tells the people to give heed to my words (2:14) and begins to preach this first apostolic sermon. I’m not saying that all of us will be preachers, but we are all called to be proclaimers! We are each called to stand up and speak the Good News to people. We are called to speak up, through the power of the Spirit.
SPEAK THE WORD OF GOD
While we do have the Holy Spirit with us, it doesn’t give us an excuse to not be prepared. When we have an opportunity to speak up, we need to be prepared to share God’s Word!
Peter had a unique situation because He was watching prophecy become real before his eyes. He tells the people, both those listening and not, that God’s word is being fulfilled at that very moment. Quoting Joel 2:28-32, he basically says that This is the message! This is God’s word being fulfilled! The disciples have had the outpouring of the Holy Spirit upon them, and they are proclaiming; people believe; and slaves and free people are receiving dreams and prophesying. Peter simply shows the people that God’s Word is being fulfilled.
When we speak up, we don’t need to have the best seminary degrees or know what’s going to happen next. We simply need to speak the Word of God as clearly as we are able.
It’s the idea of salting and peppering our daily language with Scripture that we know. It’s showing people that God’s Word is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword… able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart(cf. Hebrews 4:12). People must see the truth living inside of us!
People seeing that you are changed and bold will make them curious, compelling them to ask “Why?” and then, “Why not me?” as the Lord leads.
SPEAK GOD’S PLAN FOR SALVATION
Speaking God’s word means that we are speaking His plan for salvation.
Peter tells the people that Jesus attested to you by God with miracles and wonders and signs, which God performed through Him in your midst (Acts 2:22). These miracles and wonders and signs are proof of who Jesus the Nazarene is: He is God.. And those who were in Jerusalem knew of Jesus the Nazarene. But Peter reveals something that these people may not have known: 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 (2:23). First, this is what God has planned from eternity. Second, God intended to redeem mankind this way. And third, mankind is responsible for Jesus’ death!
This was not a popular message in Peter’s day – it’s not popular today! – but he spoke truth. The reality is: mankind is why Jesus Christ died. If the story stopped there, then there’s no hope for anyone!
Peter says that God raised Him up again, putting an end to the agony of death, since it is impossible for Him to be held in its power (2:24)! God raised Jesus from the dead. Death is defeated. Death can’t do one thing to Jesus Christ. And because He lives, we can live in Him (cf. Galatians 2:20).
SPEAK OF JESUS CHRIST’S RESURRECTION.
Why is the resurrection so important to speak?
If our Lord Jesus Christ had never been raised from the dead, then He would not have been exalted to the right hand of God. The promise of the Holy Spirit wouldn’t have been poured forth on Pentecost (Acts 2:33). Jesus promised His disciples He would live; if He wasn’t resurrected, He would have been lying to His disciples; but He is the Second Person of the Trinity, and it is impossible for God to lie (cf. Hebrews 6:18). Therefore, David prophesies that Jesus is exalted to the right hand of God and the Father says to the Son, “The Lord said to my Lord, sit at My right hand, until I make Your enemies a footstool for Your feet” (Acts 2:33-35).
We know for certain that God has made Him both Lord and Christ—this Jesus whom you crucified (Acts 2:36). We can speak confidently that our Lord and Savior is the resurrected Son, and those who believe upon Him shall be saved.
We must speak up and tell the Word of God, the message of Salvation, namely, that Jesus is alive!
Who’s your one? Who will you share this message with? Let’s pray that each of us will commit ourselves to share this hope in Christ with those we come across this week!
* With Nicole Gentry