Fourfold Message on Three Levels

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Here, then is a fourfold message— two events (Christ’s death and resurrection), as attested by two witnesses (prophets and apostles), on the basis of which God makes two promises (forgiveness and the Spirit), on two conditions (repentance and faith, with baptism).

It is not enough to ‘proclaim Jesus’. For there are many different Jesuses being presented today. According to the New Testament gospel, however, he is historical (he really lived, died rose and ascended in the arena of history), theological (his life, death, resurrection and ascension all have saving significance) and contemporary (he lives and reigns to bestow salvation on those who respond to him). Thus the apostles told the same story of Jesus at three levels— as historical event (witnessed by their own eyes), as having theological significance (interpreted by the Scriptures), and as contemporary message (confronting men and women with the necessity of decision).

— John Stott, Acts: The Bible Speaks Today, KL 1338-1347, emphasis original.

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