Chapter Two — Part Three: The Book of ActsBy: Pastors Rodney & Adonica Howard-Browne
Publish date: 01/24/2021
1. From the Cross to the Throne.
a. Peter continued his sermon on the day of Pentecost.
b. His message could potentially have been titled, “What Happened from the Cross to the Throne!”
c. Acts 2:22-23 AMPC — You men of Israel, listen to what I have to say: Jesus of Nazareth, a Man accredited and pointed out and shown forth and commended and attested to you by God by the mighty works and [the power of performing] wonders and signs which God worked through Him [right] in your midst, as you yourselves know—23 This Jesus, when delivered up according to the definite and fixed purpose and settled plan and foreknowledge of God, you crucified and put out of the way [killing Him] by the hands of lawless and wicked men.
d. The last time most of the crowd saw or heard of Jesus, He was being crucified on the cross.
e. Perhaps some of them had even been in the crowd that angrily shouted, “Crucify Him!”
f. They saw Him only in His humanity, and may have looked down upon Him, but now they were about to see Him in His majesty.
g. Jesus may have been despised by men, but He was commended and approved by God.
h. The very miracles, signs, and wonders He performed, gave witness to the fact that He was indeed the Son of God and Savior of the world.
i. John 14:11 AMPC — Believe Me that I am in the Father and the Father in Me; or else believe Me for the sake of the [very] works themselves. [If you cannot trust Me, at least let these works that I do in My Father’s name convince you.]
j. Although He was crucified by lawless, heathen, wicked men (the Romans)—it was all done according to the plan of God.
k. God did not abandon Him on the cross—but rather, He delivered Him to death (committed/permitted Him to be put to death); He devoted Him (as a sacrifice).
l. Romans 8:32 AMPC — He who did not withhold or spare [even] His own Son but gave Him up for us all, will He not also with Him freely and graciously give us all [other] things?
2. The Plan of God.
a. Acts 2:23
b. From the foundation of the world, even before Creation, the Father had a master plan to save and redeem His creation—man.
c. Jesus was the “Lamb slain from the foundation of the world” (Rev. 13:8).
d. 1 Peter 1:18-20 AMPC — You must know (recognize) that you were redeemed (ransomed) from the useless (fruitless) way of living inherited by tradition from [your] forefathers, not with corruptible things [such as] silver and gold, 19 But [you were purchased] with the precious blood of Christ (the Messiah), like that of a [sacrificial] lamb without blemish or spot. 20 It is true that He was chosen and foreordained (destined and foreknown for it) before the foundation of the world, but He was brought out to public view (made manifest) in these last days (at the end of the times) for the sake of you.
e. God’s plans, concerning Jesus, were kept secret from the foundation of the world.
f. Matthew 13:35 KJV — That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying, I will open my mouth in parables; I will utter things which have been kept secret from the foundation of the world.
g. God kept His plans secret so that the devil, especially, would not know them.
h. From the time God told Satan in Genesis 3:15 that the Seed of the woman would bruise his head (strip him of his illegally obtained authority), he tried to find and to kill this “Seed.”
i. The devil thought that Abel was the One, and so he murdered him by the hands of his own brother.
j. Through the ages, he tried to murder or destroy every man who could potentially have been the One.
k. If he had known, when he stirred up wicked men to crucify Jesus, that it would end with his thorough and complete defeat, he would never have crucified Jesus!
l. 1 Corinthians 2:7-8 NKJV — But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, the hidden wisdom which God ordained before the ages for our glory, 8 which none of the rulers of this age knew; for had they known, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.
m. WE were the whole reason for God’s intricate and secret plans.
n. We were chosen, before the foundation of the world, to be His holy, set-apart, consecrated children—adopted into His very own family.
o. Ephesians 1:3-5 ERV — Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. In Christ, God has given us every spiritual blessing in heaven. 4 In Christ, he chose us before the world was made. He chose us in love to be his holy people—people who could stand before him without any thought. 5 And before the world was made, God decided to make us his own children through Jesus Christ. This was what God wanted, and it pleased him to do it.
a. Acts 2:24 AMPC — [But] God raised Him up, liberating Him from the pangs of death, seeing that it was not possible for Him to continue to be controlled or retained by it.
b. Acts 2:24 Wuest — Whom God raised up, having loosed the pangs of death because it was not possible for Him to be mastered by it.
c. God raised up Jesus Christ from the dead!
d. The same One Who delivered Christ TO death on the cross, delivered Him FROM death in His resurrection.
e. Once He paid the price for our sin, death could no longer hold Him captive.
f. Death had no power over Him!
g. “His resurrection is a proof that He made a full atonement for our sins, that His sacrifice was accepted as a satisfaction to divine justice, and His blood a ransom for sinners. It is also a pledge and an earnest of the resurrection of all believers.” (Easton)