“Cut to the Heart”
Pastor David Moore
Old Testament reading: Hosea 6:1-3 (NIV)
“Come, let us return to the Lord. He has torn us to pieces but He will heal us; He has injured us but He will bind up our wounds. After two days He will revive us; on the third day He will restore us, that we may live in His presence. Let us acknowledge the Lord; let us press on to acknowledge Him. As surely as the sun rises, He will appear; He will come to us like the winter rains, like the spring rains that water the earth.”
Theme: How could a small group of Christians in 300 years spread the Gospel to the whole Roman empire, starting with one person, Jesus?
New Testament reading: Acts 2:32-41
“God has raised this Jesus to life, and we are all witnesses of the fact. Exalted to the right hand of God, He has received from the Father the promised Holy Spirit and has poured out what you now see and hear. For David did not ascend to heaven, and yet he said,
“‘The Lord said to my Lord: “Sit at my right hand until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet.”’ “Therefore let all Israel be assured of this: God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ.”
When the people heard this, they were cut to the heart and said to Peter and the other apostles, “Brothers, what shall we do?”
Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off—for all whom the Lord our God will call.”
With many other words he warned them; and he pleaded with them, “Save yourselves from this corrupt generation.” Those who accepted his message were baptized, and about three thousand were added to their number that day.
Four potential answers to the Christian’s success in spreading the Gospel to the Roman empire:
1. Christians died well.
2. Christians were inclusive with all people.
3. Christians treated women well, like they were real people, women had freedom.
4. Christians take care of others better, and of all types and groups of people. ~D. Moore
The deeper one examines the factors that caused Christianity to grow greatly is the occurrence of a vast release of energy and virtually is unexplained in history. Without the release of energy, the future course of the religion is inexplicable. ~D. Moore
Luke tells us they were cut to the heart. The Holy Spirit comes down and enters their hearts. This is what makes someone a follower of Jesus. John 16:8 “When the Spirit comes into the world, he will convict the world of sin and righteousness.” ~D. Moore
People were cut to the heart by the truth of Jesus. They were cut by the death of Christ and His resurrection. The apostles had seen their events/experienced them which made internal changes in all of them. ~D. Moore
Being cut means someone comes to realization that Christianity is all about, “Jesus rising from the dead” must be true.
Acts 2:37: When the people heard this, they were cut to the heart and said to Peter and the other apostles, “Brothers, what shall we do?”
When Paul was questioned by king Agrippa, Paul proclaimed it was true that Jesus was resurrected. Paul, in Corinthians, said that at one event 500 people saw the risen Christ. There were scores of people during the 40 days who saw Christ.
Sin is not just breaking God’s laws; it is breaking His heart.
When we realize what lengths God has gone to for us, that we would feel quite free to break His heart with what we do, that should cut a person’s heart. ~D. Moore
When I was in college, I was told there was nothing I could do to make God stop loving me. And that changed me. ~D. Moore
We have been mad at God for giving us rules, but we missed the truth. We sometimes see God as the killjoy, the enemy, but He is always protecting us, taking the pain we deserve. We should be saying to Jesus, “I forgot all too easily what you have done for me. I have been treating you as someone I should fear rather than someone I love, and I am sorry.” ~D. Moore
What it means to be a Christian is not about following rules, but rather understanding who God is and what He has done for us, then shaping our lives around Him. ~D. Moore
Isaiah 53:4-5: Surely He hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem Him stricken smitten of God, and afflicted. But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon Him; and with His stripes we are healed.
“All we, like sheep, have gone astray, we have all turned our way, and the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.” Our sin is serious, but God is greater than our sins.
There are two types of people who interact with God:
1. One type of person who is intent on manipulating; I’ll obey to get this or that; they obey with conditions.
2. Other people obey God with real obedience, there are no conditions, they are willing to serve.
God’s love is greater than anything you will ever encounter in this world. It’s unconditional. His love is infinite. It is everlasting.
We were created to be in a relationship with someone better, more powerful than us (God). What kind of person are you, with God?
God bless, have a good week