Title: Easter Sunday 2017
Text: Acts 17:16-32
Preaching: Troy Martin
The Apostles entered the world as witnesses of an event. They would teach the faith, but that was a subsequent calling. Primarily, they came as witnesses of a fact - A man who was dead had come back to life. It was because of this fact that the world would change.
The four Gospels testify to this fact of the resurrection. The book of Acts, however, testifies to the implications that this resurrection has for every person, every government, and every city. Through the various courtrooms in the book of Acts, God manifests the meaning of the resurrection….
1:21-25 The book of Acts starts with the job description of an apostle a “witness ...of his resurrection”
2:29-32 Peter explains Pentecost as born of the resurrection. The Spirit was given to interpret it.
4:1-2 Peter is arrested by the Sanhedrin which is grieved that he preached “the resurrection from the dead.”
4:19-33 For they understood that the resurrection is a judge- ment on all power that uses execution to justify itself.
17:19-31 Paul is questioned by the Areopagus and when he talks of the resurrection some mock and some query.
17:32 For they understood that the resurrection means that God judges our lives, and if we’re going to make it out of the grave, we are in God’s hands.
Shouldn’t the resurrection have brought joy wherever the apostles went? Are Peter and Paul teaching it wrong if it kept meeting with so much resistance? No. We can’t comprehend the good news till we face the bad. For the resurrection is our salvation, but we can’t begin to fathom what it offered by being saved till we see that we’re in danger of being lost.
The resurrection means God watches our lives. If God can overturn death it means God cares why a man dies. Which in turn means he cares how a man lived. But if he’s only overturned Jesus’ death sentence, then it means most of us deserve our verdicts. That means we need to be saved. Therefore repent.
The resurrection means that salvation is not natural, it's supernatural. Obviously we can’t bring ourselves back from the dead. If we can’t evade death in the first place then we certainly can’t come back from it. We are in God’s hands. Therefore have faith.
The resurrection means that love is stronger than death. If God is for you who can be against you? If he can undo the verdicts against us, what government can ultimately cow you, what judgement can intimidate you, what sadness can own you? Therefore be brave.
Questions for Household Growth
Why does Pilate ask Jesus, “what is truth?”
How does Paul engage the Athenians?
What does the resurrection mean today?