Series: But God
Title: Which leader are you following?
Date: Sept. 9, 2018
Scripture: Acts 2:22-24 and Acts 3:11-15
Intro: Growing up do you remember playing a game called, “Follow the Leader.” The game was pretty simple, you picked someone to be the leader and then you had to follow them and copy what they did. If they skipped, you skipped. If they whistled, you whistled. If they climbed on a pew, you climbed on a pew. Then after so many minutes you switched to a new leader and process started all over again. As a child it was fun to “Follow the Leader,” but as we grew up we quickly realized we would always being following a leader in our life: teacher, principal, mayor, governor, a president, law enforcement, a boss, a pastor, a religious teacher, etc. As people we seem to understand this fact of life but what we often fail to recognize is that we follow leaders spiritually as well. To be totally honest there are only 2 spiritual leaders in which a person can follow: God (Restoration) or Satan (Destruction). Our sermon for today is called, “Which leader are you following?”
Read: Acts 2:22-24 and 3:11-15
The Scripture which I just read were portions from two of Peter’s sermons. Each sermon describes the death and resurrection of Jesus. Within these two sermons we have both spiritual leaders on display: Satan and God.
I would like for you to notice the way in which Peter describes those people who put Jesus to death. (Godless, they disowned Jesus (The Holy and Righteous One, The Prince of Life), desired the company of a murderer)
The description of these people should not surprise us because they were following the example of their spiritual leader Satan.
- John 8:44 – You are of your father the devil, and you want to do the desires of your father. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth because there is no truth in him.
Satan desires to destroy and that is exactly what the people did when the put Jesus to death. They sought to destroy Jesus and put an end to His message. They were just following in the foot-steps of their spiritual leader.
How is it that people would follow after a murderer and liar?
- 2 Cor. 4:3-4 – And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing, in whose case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelieving so that they might not see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.”
- Satan blinds (obscures) minds = Brain washing. Satan fills their minds with lies about God so that they won’t accept God.
- Satan doesn’t care about people he desires for them to be destroyed. SO, he blinds their minds and it causes them to be ignorant of the truth. When people are ignorant of truth the will desire to destroy truth.
So, the people who put Jesus to death were spiritually blind and ignorant. This state allowed them to follow in the footsteps of their spiritual leader, Satan.
I am sure Satan was ecstatic over the death of Jesus. He had finally destroyed the Promised One and now people would come and worship him rather than God. Satan could finally become greater than God OR so he thought.
Let’s read the first part of verse 24 together
BUT GOD raised Him up again,…
God is the other spiritual leader that we can follow and He desires RESTORATION.
- Jesus didn’t stay dead; HE rose from the grave 3 days later just as He said He would.
- How? BY the command of God the Father and the power of the Holy Spirit. (Rom. 8:11)
Let me show you just how wonderful the phrase, BUT GOD raised Him up again, really is.
It is WONDERFUL because:
- It shows us that God is greater than Satan
- For those of us who are believers we just say, “Duh!”
- That which is created is not greater than the CREATOR
- It opens the door for us to receive JUSTIFICATION (Romans 4:24-25)
- Justification = The freedom from the penalty of sin
- We receive JUSTIFICATION through the REPENTANCE of our sins
- Penalty of sin = DEATH
- Physical and Spiritual
- 1 Cor. 15:56-57 – The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law; but thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
- It paves a path for us back to our Heavenly Father
- 1 Peter 1:20-21 – For He was foreknown before the foundation of the world, but has appeared in these last times for the sake of you who through Him are believers in God, who raised Him from the dead and gave Him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God.
- It allows us to walk in newness of life
- Romans 6:4 – Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life.
Closing: Which leader are you following today? Satan, the one who destroys or God, the ONE who RESTORES? No matter who you are, what you do, or where you live you are following either Satan or God. Choose wisely the one you will follow.