Mar
14

Cut to the Heart

By

 

CUT TO THE HEART
by Eddie Lawrence
(You are encouraged to hear this message as it was preached and use the outline below to get the full import of the teaching. Be ready to take notes as you listen. The sermon can be heard at http://gracehouse.info.sermons/ )
TEXT: Acts 2:36 “Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly that God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ.”
37 Now when they heard this, they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “Men and brethren, what shall we do?”

38 Then Peter said to them, “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39 For the promise is to you and to your children, and to all who are afar off, as many as the Lord our God will call.”
Transition: Notice “The Cut and the Cry”.  Peter preached the Word. The people were cut to the heart. There was a cry from their cut hearts wanting to know what to do. This shows us how the power of God’s Word under the influence of the Holy Spirit can move upon the human heart. God’s Word is like a sword (Heb. 4:12) that lays the heart open and cuts even to the middle of the bone. In other words, the Scripture has the power to expose our very intentions hidden deep in the heart. When this happens, what should we do?
This passage of Scripture speaks specifically to people who are lost being told what they need to do. But I believe there are principles from what Peter related to them that we can also loosely apply to believers who hear God’s Word. Let me share four observations from this passage that show us what to expect when we are cut to the heart by God’s Word.
1. Your Thinking Will Have to Change
Acts 2:38 Then Peter said to them, “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39 For the promise is to you and to your children, and to all who are afar off, as many as the Lord our God will call.”
-The word “repent” means to change the way you think. To begin do life differently. A change of mind will result in a change of behavior. The audience that Peter preached to had just been told they had crucified Jesus and God had made him Lord and Christ. They were challenged to change the way they viewed Jesus. The right view was not an imposter but that he was Lord and Christ.
2. There will Be Follow-Through Required
Acts 2:38 Then Peter said to them, “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39 For the promise is to you and to your children, and to all who are afar off, as many as the Lord our God will call.”
-For the lost person who confesses Christ, their first step of demonstrating that they have changed and are following Christ is to be baptized. They are not baptized to be saved but because they have been. The term “for the remission of sins” means to be baptized with reference to the fact that your sins have been remitted. The principle I want you to see is that when you hear truth, there is to be an action that will follow.  Are we not called to be doers and not just hearers of the Word? (James 1)
-The Lord will test us and the enemy will tempt us at the point of revelation that we have received into our hearts. By the way, Jesus taught in the parable of the soils that the enemy is at work to steal the word before it gets deep in the heart (Mark 4).
-Hearing the word, receiving it and then refusing to follow through on it, means we will not grow and we can even become deceived because we know the Word, even though we are not doing the word. Knowing the word is not enough. It is the first step but we have to follow through.
3. You Will Need to Resolve the Fallout Caused by Your Old Way of Doing Things
Acts 2:38 Then Peter said to them, “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39 For the promise is to you and to your children, and to all who are afar off, as many as the Lord our God will call.”
-Forgiveness that we have received gives us the power to forgive those who offend us. When we refuse to forgive our heart becomes hard to the Word.
-Our own forgiveness is also the key to the attacks of the enemy against our minds trying to tell us we are unworthy to live for God, or to be used by God.
4. You will Need to Depend Upon The Holy Spirit to Empower Your Change
Acts 2:38 Then Peter said to them, “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39 For the promise is to you and to your children, and to all who are afar off, as many as the Lord our God will call.”
-The Holy Spirit is the promised helper sent to us now to empower us to live the Christian life.
-When we attempt to live our the instruction of the Word in our own effort we are walking in the wrong direction that will cause us to settle down in religiousville where it is all about externals. We are to live empowered lives through the Spirit of Christ so that we begin to demonstrate the likeness of Christ himself in our sphere of influence.

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