What One Must Know to be Saved: Solomon’s Colonnade

March 19, 2011

In an effort to revive my blogging activities, I am going to re-post some “greatest hits” beginning with this series titled “What One Must Know to be Saved.”   This is the third article in that series, and was first published in July 2008.

Today we will continue our inquiry into what one must know to be saved, by looking at the message Peter preached to the crowd in Acts 3.

In the first part of the chapter, we read of Peter healing a crippled man. This filled the people who witnessed the healing with wonder and amazement. A crowd gathered, and Peter seized the opportunity to preach the gospel to them.

The audience on this day was similar to the one on Pentecost. Peter addressed them as “Men of Israel.” He spoke to them of the “God of our fathers.” And he bluntly held them responsible for the crucifixion of Jesus. They were not merely responsible on some general or abstract sense, but apparently had been present in the crowd a few weeks earlier, calling for Jesus to be crucified.

Peter preached about the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus, crediting Jesus with the healing of the crippled man. He pointed out that Jesus was the Christ and that his suffering was prophesied repeatedly in the Old Testament. Peter then called them to repent and to turn to God. He alluded to Christ’s return. And he warned them that failure to obey Christ would result in their being cut off from the people of God.

The primary points of Peter’s sermon were strikingly similar to those in chapter 2:

  1. Jesus is the Christ
  2. Jesus was crucified and raised from the dead, in fulfilment of Old Testament prophecy.
  3. Obedience to Jesus is essential for his people (Lordship)
  4. In response we are called to repent and turn to God for forgiveness.
  5. Times of refreshing are promised.

Not surprisingly, fewer details were recorded about this second sermon than had been recorded about the preceding sermon. The important point is that the details which were recorded are completely consistent with those from the preceding sermon. In both cases Peter addressed a crowd of Jews in Jerusalem, and in both cases he taught the same basic message.

We see elements of the same message in his speech before the rulers, elders, and teachers of the law in chapter 4, and also before the Sanhedrin in chapter 5.

As we continue through the book of Acts, we continue to find the message emphasizing the eyewitness testimony that Jesus rose from the dead.

Next time we will examine what Peter taught Cornelius in Acts 10.


  1. You don’t mention the striking difference between the sermons of which you speak and the sermons our preachers give to their audiences. Peter was preaching to non-Christians, and they were hearing the gospel. Do we have opportunities to follow his example? I think most of our sermons do not seem much like the ones you describe from early chapters in Acts. And we don’t seem to be able to find hearers as he did. Is it our sermons at fault? Or are we simply not able to get the hearing that allowed remarkable growth in the church in those days?

  2. These examples weren’t Sunday morning church services, and the audiences were primarily non-Christians. When people are preaching to Christians, the message is necessarily different. I think the things Peter preached to these groups are the things we should be sharing with our non-Christian friends during the week.

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