In Acts 2:22-40, by the Spirit's enablement, Peter bore witness to the fact that Jesus is Lord and Christ (v.36). In this message, Peter proclaimed God's sovereignty over the events of Jesus's life and ministry, death, resurrection, and exaltation. In his message, Peter used Scripture to explain those truths. Furthermore, he exhorted his listeners to respond in obedience to those truths. Consequently, the Lord added 3,000 souls to the community of 120 believers (1:15), giving birth to the church of Jesus Christ (2:41-47). This message is a model for evangelistic preaching for pastors, non-pastoring preachers, and congregations. The following lists some vital elements to apply when preaching evangelistically to the glory of God:
1. Peter spoke by the power of the Holy Spirit (vv.4, 14-40). In verse 4, it states that Peter and the 11 disciples, at a minimum, were filled with the Holy Spirit. Thus, being filled with the Spirit, they spoke the mighty deeds of God in various languages. In other words, they were praising God in the languages of the Jews and proselytes that were present (vv.8-11). Then, Peter, filled with the Spirit, citing Joel 2:38-42, explained that the Spirit's arrival on Pentecost was in (partial) fulfillment of that prophecy. Then, Peter proclaimed the Lord Jesus Christ and the necessity of obedience (vv.14-40). Notice other occasions when the Holy Spirit empowered and emboldened believers to speak (Acts 2:4; 4:8, 31; 13:9-11). Today, Scripture commands believers to be filled with the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 5:18) and to walk in the Spirit (Galatians 5:16). In other words, believers must yield to the Holy Spirit as He controls and directs their speech and conduct. Applying this today, pastors and non-pastoring preachers must proclaim the gospel by the power of the Holy Spirit, and not their own (also see the content of Paul's prayer request in Ephesians 6:19-20).
2. Peter proclaimed God's sovereignty over Jesus's ministry, death, resurrection, and exaltation, again using Scripture (vv.22-36). From verses 22 to 36, Peter declared the following:
a. Jesus performed powerful works, wonders, and signs by God (v.22). It was through Jesus the Nazarene (a reference to His humanity) that God supernaturally healed, fed, raised the dead, and more. Thus, Jesus did not perform the works of Satan (Matthew 12:24; Mark 3:22; Luke 11:15), but the works of God.
b. Jesus was killed according to the purpose and foreknowledge of God (v.23). Jesus's arrest, the erroneous charge of guilt, verdict by His Jewish accusers, and His crucifixion by the Romans were according to God's predetermined plan and foreknowledge (also see Acts 4:27-28). Yet, Jesus's accusers were still guilty of opposing God and killing the Messiah.
c. Jesus was raised from the dead by God (vv.24-32). Although Jesus was killed by the hands of lawless men, God raised Him back to life, proving that death was powerless to keep Jesus in the grave and that God would not allow His Son to suffer decay. Peter cited Psalm 16:8-11 to prove that Jesus rose in fulfillment of Scripture and personal witness.
d. Jesus was exalted to the right hand of God (vv.33-35). God exalted Jesus to His (God's) right hand, which is the place of preeminence, honor, and authority. This time, Peter quoted Psalm 110:1 to show that Jesus's exaltation was in fulfillment of Scripture. In connection to His exaltation, Jesus poured forth the Holy Spirit, whom He received from God (v.33). Peter declared that the Spirit's arrival was the explanation for what the people saw and heard.
e. Jesus is Lord and Christ (v.36). Peter proved with certainty that Jesus is Lord and Messiah. This was the summation of his message. Jesus, the one through whom God performed miracles, whom they crucified, but whom God raised, and who poured forth the Holy Spirit is God incarnate, the sovereign one, and God's anointed one.
3. Peter exhorted his listeners to repent and publicly identify with the Lord Jesus Christ (vv.38-40). After they were convicted of executing the Messiah the people asked, "Brethren, what shall we do?" (v.37). Peter commanded them to repent. They must turn from their sin of rejecting Jesus, and believe in Him as Lord and Christ. Also, Peter told them to publicly identify with Jesus Christ's death and resurrection by being baptized in His name. Having repented, baptism would symbolize that they had been forgiven of their sins. Moreover, Peter kept on testifying and exhorting them to be saved from this perverse generation! Again, this meant they had to repent and believe in the Lord Jesus Christ to deliver them from perishing.
Acts 2:22-40 describes essential elements for pastors and non-pastoring preachers for preaching evangelistically. Being Spirit-filled, Peter proclaimed a scripturally-saturated, God-honoring, Christ-centered message and exhorted people to respond rightly. Applying this today, pastors and non-pastoring preachers, by the power of the Holy Spirit, must proclaim Jesus Christ as Lord; crucified for sinners; raised from the dead; and exalted to the Father's right hand. Pastors and preachers must proclaim these truths in accordance with the Scriptures. Also, they must exhort men and women to repent of their sins, believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, and be saved. Then, those who turn from their sins must be baptized, symbolizing that they have trusted in Christ and identify with His death and resurrection, just as Christ commanded (Matthew 28:19). This is how pastors and non-pastoring preachers can preach evangelistically to the glory of God.