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10 AM

4-30-23 Saved!


David Peterson / General

Salvation / Acts 2:42–47

Sermon type: Textual-Topical

Proposition: We are saved from sin, death, and hell, which means we’re saved from being locked up within ourselves and separated from God. We’re called to be the community of the saved seeking the lost.


1. Saved—a keyword in Luke’s writings

2. What does it mean?

I. The Significance of Being Saved (Acts 2:21, 40)

1. Explanation

a. The OT Background—Joel (Acts 2:20-21 and Joel 2)

b. The NT Background—Luke’s first book (Acts 2:40 and Luke 16:19-31)

2. Application

3. Illustration

Believing in Hell Deters Crime Better Than Believing in Heaven

A classic question of motivational psychology asks whether fear of punishment or hope of reward is more effective in influencing human behavior. A recent study from the University of Oregon answers the question—and in distinctly theological terms.

Azim Shariff of the UO’s Culture and Morality Lab commented: “The key finding is that, controlling for each other, a nation’s rate of belief in hell predicts lower crime rates, but the nation’s rate of belief in heaven predicts higher crime rates, and these are strong effects … At this stage, we can only speculate about mechanisms, but it’s possible that people who don’t believe in the possibility of punishment in the afterlife feel like they can get away with unethical behavior. There is less of a divine deterrent.”

Source: Nancy Haught, “Belief in hell better predictor of crime than promise of heaven, UO professor finds,” The Oregonian (Updated 1/10/19)

The Preacher’s Notebook: The Collected Quotes, Illustrations, and Prayers of John Stott (“The Love of God Does Not Send Anyone to Hell”)

“The Love of God Does Not Send Anyone to Hell”Themes: God: Love; Hell; Jesus: Death“The love of God does not send anyone to hell. The love of God, with arms extended on a cross, bars the way to hell. But if that love is ignored, rejected and finally refused there comes a time when love can only weep while man pushes past into the self-chosen alienation which Christ went to the cross to avert.”SOURCE: Michael Green, The Empty Cross of Jesus (Hodder and Stoughton, 1984), 76.

II. The Sign of Being Saved (Acts 2:43-45)

1. Explanation

a. The OT background — Deuteronomy 15:4

b. The NT fulfillment

2. Application

a. The sign of salvation and judgment by works

3. Illustration

The Preacher’s Notebook: The Collected Quotes, Illustrations, and Prayers of John Stott (Fear of Hell Prompted His Conversion)

Dr. Paul Wiesner, PhD of Vienna, of Jewish parentage, engaged in cancer research, described his experience to me on February 17, 1961: “I had no need of religion. I was full of self-confidence. My conceit was fantastic. I was bloated with conceit.”Then he was struck by an illness and paralyzed, and admitted to National Hospital for a brain operation. The night before, a great fear seized him. “I was frightened that I might be called to account for my life by some Superior Being. I was frankly terrified of hell. It was terrible.” He sent for [a] parson friend but before [the] parson arrived, he found peace. “It all happened in 20 minutes.” [He was] baptized after [an] operation which was largely successful.

III. The Source of Being Saved (Acts 2:42)

1. Explanation

a. Life lived in Christ—in his word (apostles’ teaching), in his church (fellowship), in sacramental presence (breaking bread), in his intimacy with the father (prayer)

b. It began in baptism (Acts 2:38)

2. Application

3. Illustration

In the 12th century, Anselm of Canterbury compared a restless believer to a tree that can’t thrive because it’s “frequently transplanted or often disturbed.” Anselm warns: “If he often moves from place to place at his own whim, or remaining in one place is frequently agitated by hatred of it, [he] never achieves stability with roots of love.”

Source: Jonathon Wilson-Hartgrove, The Wisdom of Stability (Paraclete Press, 2010), pp. 82-83, 149

Max Lucado on the Importance of Christian Community

Questions can make hermits out of us, driving us into hiding. Yet the cave has no answers. Christ distributes courage through community; he dissipates doubts through fellowship. He never deposits all knowledge in one person but distributes pieces of the jigsaw puzzle to many. When you interlock your understanding with mine, and we share our discoveries, when we mix, mingle, confess and pray, Christ speaks.

Source: Max Lucado, Fearless: Imagine Your Life Without Fear (Thomas Nelson, 2009), p. 144


1. The Joy of Being Saved

I’ve found a friend who is all to me,

His love is ever true;

I love to tell how He lifted me,

And what His grace can do for you.


Saved by His pow’r, by His pow’r divine,

Saved to new life, to new life sublime!

Life now is sweet and my joy is complete,

For I’m saved, saved, saved.

2. The call to share it with others


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