SPECIAL TOPIC: THE KERYGMA

There are so many opinions about Christianity. Our day is a day of religious pluralism, just like the first century. Personally, I fully include and accept all groups who claim to know and trust Jesus Christ.  We all disagree about this or that but basically Christianity is all about Jesus.  However, there are groups that claim to be Christian that are seemingly "look alikes" or "johnny-come-latelies."  How do I tell the difference?

Well, there are two ways:

A. a helpful book to know what modern cult groups believe (from their own texts) is The Kingdom of the Cults by Walter Martin.

B. the sermons of the early church, especially those by the Apostles Peter and Paul in the book of Acts, give us a basic outline of how the first-century inspired authors presented Christianity to different groups. This early "proclamation" or "preaching" (of which Acts is a summary) goes by the Greek word kerygma. Following are the basic truths of the gospel about Jesus in Acts:

1. fulfills many OT prophesies – Acts 2:17-21,30-31,34; 3:18-19,24; 10:43; 13:17-23,27; 33:33-37,40-41; 26: 6-7,22-23

2. sent by YHWH as promised – Acts 2:23; 3:26

3. performed miracles to confirm His message and reveal God's compassion – Acts 2:22; 3:16; 10:38

4. delivered up, disowned – Acts 3:13-14; 4:11

5. crucified – Acts 2:23; 3:14-15; 4:10; 10:39; 13:28; 26:23

6. raised to life – Acts 2:24,31-32; 3:15,26; 4:10; 10:40; 13:30; 17:31; 26;23

7. exalted to God's right hand – Acts 2:33-36; 3:13,21

8. will come again – Acts 3:20-21

9. appointed Judge – Acts 10:42; 17:31

10. sent Holy Spirit – Acts 2:17-18,33,38-39; 10:44-47

11. Savior for all who believe – Acts 13:38-39

12. no one else is Savior – Acts 4:12; 10:34-36

Here are some of the ways to respond to these Apostolic pillars of truth:

1. Repent – Acts 2:38; 3:19; 17:30; 26:20

2. Believe – Acts 2:21; 10:43; 13:38-39

3. Be baptized – Acts 2:38; 10:47-48

4. Receive the Spirit – Acts 2:38; 10:47

5. All may come – Acts 2:39; 3:25; 26:23

This schema served as the essential proclamation of the early church, though different authors of the New Testament may leave out a portion or emphasize other particulars in their writings. The entire Gospel of Mark closely follows the Petrine aspect of the kerygma.  Mark is traditionally seen as structuring Peter's sermons, preached in Rome, into a written Gospel.  Both Matthew and Luke follow Mark's basic structure.

 

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