Common Themes
God’s Story Is Now Our Story

Different Strokes For Asia

Different Strokes For (Maybe) Different Folks

In the Book of Acts, Peter gives two different sermons for two different groups of listeners. The first one was the Sermon at Pentecost and the second one was the Sermon at Solomon’s Porch.  Both sermons highlights the resurrection of Jesus and the eyewitness accounts of the apostles and disciples of Jesus. (See Acts 2:32 and 3:15) Also, both sermons resulted in thousands coming to salvation in Christ.

Allow me to give you in broad strokes some differences that is obvious in Acts chapters 2-4. Sermon one was a response to the speaking of tongues phenomenon at Pentecost (Acts 2:14-36). Sermon two happened after the healing of a lame beggar and when the people gathered in astonishment to this miraculous healing (Acts 3:11-26). Sermon one was given to “devout men and women from every nation” (2:5). These were Jews from many places, proselytes, and God-fearing gentiles from other countries who came for the temple celebrations. Sermon two was preached to curious onlookers at the Temple. They maybe the same group of people as at the first sermon. But the writer describes these onlookers as coming together to watch a formerly crippled person who is now walking with Peter and John (3:11). Later, the group was extended to include the priests, Sadducees, and other temple personnel (4:1-12).

In the content of the sermon, I already mentioned the similarity in the narration of the resurrection of Jesus. The differences in the content are expressed in the citations of the Old Testament prophecy. Sermon one uses the prophet Joel and the prophet David arguing for the coming of the Holy Spirit on all people (2:17 and 2:33).  Sermon two refers to “God’s covenant with our fathers” and the promises of God to Moses (3:13 and 3:22). It also cites God’s covenant with Abraham to be a blessing for all nations (3:25, and also in Genesis 12:1-4).

In both sermons, Peter strongly leads his listeners to respond in repentance (2:38 and 3:19). Many came to salvation in Jesus; 3,000 from the first sermon and 5,000 from the second (2:41 and 4:4). Both sermons were a precursor to more sermons, great fellowship, and a sharing of properties or everyone having “all things in common” (2:44 and 4:32). Both sermons opened the doors to persecution, imprisonments, and resistance from religious authorities. Overall, miracles and healing were happening in their midst and God’s Spirit was present at every instance. “And with great power the apostles were giving their testimony to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and great grace was upon them all” (4:33).

Do you think these events in the Book of Acts could happen in South Asia? Please pray that we will be ready and be filled with God’s Spirit.


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