5-2 The First Gospel Sermon
This month the Joshua Generation characteristic encourages us all to be evangelistic. The slogan is “Go ye means go me.” It is by the foolishness of preaching that God will save the world (1 Cor. 1:18-31). Therefore, I would like to turn our attention for this study to the first gospel sermon ever preached. Particularly, I would like for us to consider at least some of the preparation that made that first sermon possible. To prepare us to make the application of the lesson, let’s you and I remember that we are “members one of another” (Eph. 4:25) and that we have “obtained like precious faith” with the apostles though they are long passed. What made the first gospel sermon possible? What made it necessary? Let’s take the second question first.
What made this first gospel sermon necessary? Simply, Adam, and every man and woman who has lived since then, has committed sin against God, others and self, thus bringing the penalty of eternal death and suffering upon all (Rom. 3:23, 5:5-18, 6:23). Paul would say that if one died for all, then all were dead (2 Cor. 5:14). No man has ever been able to find his own solution to sin or even to control of his passions and temptations (Jer. 10:23).
The second question is, “What made the first gospel sermon possible?” The simple answer is, the love of God (John 3:16; Romans 5:6-8). It is the details bringing us to that first sermon that teaches us the value of our soul and of those around us. First, the plan was formulated before the world began (Eph. 1:4). Then, it was some 4000 years in the preparation (Eph. 3:9) until the time was just right for our Lord to enter the earth (Galatians 4:4). Also, there was THE CHOICE. I am talking about the Lord’s choice to give up equality with God to come and to die (Phil. 2:5-8; John 10:17-18). There was also the process of training 12 men of human failings, emotions and intellect (consider Peter, Thomas, Judas) to preach, defend and live by the eternal message they were to carry to the masses and to the individuals. The first gospel sermon was finally delivered in the religious gathering of Pentecost. Its impact began to be felt around the world as Jews from every nation under heaven heard that sermon and flowed into God’s kingdom (Acts 2:5, 41; Is. 2:2). The Man and the first sermon about the Man began changes in the world that have not yet stopped and which are too many to delineate here. In the first century, that message of the first sermon was repeated so often by those who heard it (Acts 8:4; Acts 19:9-10, 1 Thess. 1:6-8) that the whole world heard the gospel.
What does it mean for us? It is still the case that men who are not in Christ are dead in their sins. The same reasons that made the first gospel sermon necessary are true today. Like the apostles and others of the first century, we must spread the message of salvation. That first century church knew that “go ye” means ‘go me.’ Let’s let God use us mightily in His work and preach daily the same message of that first gospel sermon.