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THE BOOK OF ACTS | CHAPTER 2:1-21
OUTLINE AND COMMENTARY - MARK DUNAGAN
I. OUTLINE OF CHAPTER 2:
I. The Coming Of The Holy Spirit: 2:1-13
A. Upon The Apostles: 2:1-4
B. The Reaction Of The Crowd: 2:5-13
II. Peter's Sermon: 2:14-40
A. An Accusation Handled: 2:14-15
B. The Fulfillment of Joel's Prophecy: 2:16-21
C. The Death, Burial, Resurrection Of Jesus: 2:22-36
D. Conviction and Exhortation: 2:37-40
III. The Church Established: 2:41-47
II. INTRODUCTORY COMMENTS:
'No more opportune day could have been selected for the disciples (apostles) to begin their witness for Christ; for Pentecost was the most popular feast of the Jewish year and the whole city was then thronged with pilgrims from every quarter of the globe.' (Erdman p. 33)
'Of the three Jewish feasts, this is the one likely to be best attended. Jews were dispersed over the Mediterranean World, and it would not be possible for many to attend all three feasts during the year. Travel, especially on the sea, would be hazardous, were one to attempt to come to Passover or Tabernacles...so if a Jew had to choose which of the feasts he would attend, it was naturally Pentecost.' (Reese p. 45)
III. COMMENTARY ON CHAPTER 2:1-21:
Act_2:1 And when the day of Pentecost was now come, they were all together in one place.
'PENTECOST'-4005. pentekoste pen-tay-kos-tay'; feminine of the ord. of 4004; fiftieth (2250 being implied) from Passover, i.e. the festival of "Pentecost": -Pentecost.
In the O.T. this Jewish feast is called: (a) The Feast of Harvest ( Exo_23:16 ); (b) The Feast of the First-Fruits ( Lev_23:17 ); (c) The Feast of Weeks ( Exo_34:22 ). 'But after the Greek language became known in Palestine, in consequence of Alexander's conquest..it acquired the name Pentecost (a Greek word signifying the fiftieth part of a thing, or the fiftieth in order), because it was the fiftieth day after the Passover Sabbath.' (Reese p. 43)
Points to Note:
'This feast was a kind of thanksgiving day, a feast of thanksgiving to God for the bountiful crops that were just beginning to be harvested ("first fruits")...It was celebrated...by the special service of offering the first-fruits of the wheat harvest in the form of two loaves of bread ( Lev_23:15-21 ; Num_28:26-31 ).' (Reese p. 43)
Among commentators there is some disagreement concerning upon what day of the week this day fell in New Testament times.
Bruce notes, 'i.e. the fifth day from the first Sunday after Passover ( Lev_23:15 )..This was the reckoning of the Sadducean party in the first century A.D. In the phrase "the morrow after the sabbath" ( Lev_23:15 ) they interpreted the sabbath as the weekly sabbath. While the temple stood, their interpretation would be normative for the public celebration of the festival; Christian tradition is therefore right in fixing the anniversary of the descent of the Spirit on a Sunday. ( The 'fifty days' of Lev_23:15 are to be reckoned inclusively.) The Pharisees, however, interpreted the "sabbath" of Lev_23:15 as the festival day of unleavened bread itself...in that case Pentecost would always fall on the same day of the month...but not on the same day of the week...It was the Pharisaic reckoning that became normative in Judaism after A.D. 70..' (p. 53)
McGarvey makes a good point when he makes the following observation on Lev_23:15 : 'This language is not easily misunderstood; for if even in the first clause, the word "from the morrow after the sabbath" could be construed as meaning from the morrow after the first day of unleavened bread, the latter part of the sentence precludes such a construction; for the count was to be "unto the morrow after the seventh SABBATH" (23:16), and the word sabbath here unquestionably means a weekly sabbath.' (pp. 19-20)
In later Judaism, Pentecost came to be reckoned as the anniversary of the giving of the Law at Sinai..'There is no evidence that Jews in N.T. (or O.T.) times looked on Pentecost as the anniversary of the giving of the Law.' (Reese p. 43)
'HAD COME'-'in process of fulfillment' (Vincent p 448); 'While the Day of Pentecost was running its course' (NEB).
'THEY WERE ALL TOGETHER IN ONE PLACE'-
Point to Note:
Various Charismatic groups try to argue that the "they" of 2:1 includes the 120 mentioned in 1:15. They argue this because it is their contention that every Christian receives the baptism of the Holy Spirit. In response: (a) 'the grammatical construction of 1:26 and 2:1 points only to the apostles as the recipients of the baptism with the Holy Spirit.' (Reese p. 46). The "they" of 2:1 naturally refers back to the 12 apostles (the last group mentioned) in 1:26. (b) The only men speaking by inspiration upon this day will be the 12 apostles (2:14). (c) The crowd addressed their question to the apostles--inferring, they were the only ones manifesting that the Spirit had come upon them (2:37). (d) Only the apostles are working miracles (2:43; 3:1-6; 4:33; 5:12); until they lay their hands on others ( Act_6:6 ; Act_6:8 ). (e) The assumption that every Christian was baptized in the Holy Spirit, is a false assumption to begin with ( Act_8:12-18 ; Act_11:15-17 ; 1Co_12:28-31 ).
Act_2:2 And suddenly there came from heaven a sound as of the rushing of a mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting.
'A SOUND AS OF THE RUSHING OF A MIGHTY WIND'-'It does not appear that there was any wind, only the sudden sound like a violent wind.' (Reese p. 47) 'Lit., of a mighty wind borne along' (Vincent p. 448)
'IT FILLED ALL THE HOUSE'-i.e. the sound. 'such a rushing sound must have arrested people's attention...Men would begin to wonder how to account for a sound like that, when not a breeze was stirring.' (Reese p. 47)
'THE HOUSE'-a house in Jerusalem.
'WERE SITTING'-notice the detail. And carefully note that the apostles weren't engaged in trying to "pray down" the Spirit when this happened, neither were they rolling on the floor.
Act_2:3 And there appeared unto them tongues parting asunder, like as of fire; and it sat upon each one of them.
'TONGUES PARTING ASUNDER'-'They are called "tongues" because they were tongue-shaped in form.' (Reese p. 48). 'tongues of what appeared to be flame, separating' (TCNT). The KJV rendering "cloven tongues", has confused some. The tongues weren't forked in appearance. Rather, the fire-like tongues were distributed among the apostles.
'AS OF FIRE'-'Not consisting of fire, but resembling.' (Vincent p. 449) Fire was often the symbol for purity and the Divine presence ( Exo_3:2 ; Deu_5:4 ; Isa_6:6-7 ). Note that this isn't the fire mentioned by John the Baptist ( Mat_3:11 ). For in that context, the baptism of fire refers to being overwhelmed by condemnation (3:12).
'IT SAT UPON EACH ONE OF THEM'-'Note the singular. One of these luminous appearances sat upon each.' (Vincent p. 449)
Act_2:4 And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.
'OTHER TONGUES'-Which are defined as real human languages in the following verses (2:6-8,11). Even various translators can see this: 'in foreign tongues' (Mof); 'in foreign languages' (Gspd); 'in different languages' (Phi).
'GAVE THEM UTTERANCE'-'as the Spirit prompted their utterances' (TCNT); 'according as the Spirit gave them words to utter' (Wey).
Point to Note:
The speech was inspired, the words were being selected and chosen by God ( 2Pe_1:20-21 ). Speaking in tongues was speaking by inspiration (expressing God's truth infallibly) in a foreign language that one had never previously studied. Vincent notes, 'A graphic imperfect; "kept giving" them the language and the appropriate words as the case required from time to time.' (p. 449)
'UTTERANCE'-669. apophtheggomai ap-of-theng'-om-ahee; from 575 and 5350; to enunciate plainly, i.e. declare: -say, speak forth, utterance.
-'A peculiar word, and purposely chosen to denote the clear, loud utterance under the miraculous impulse.' (Vincent p. 449)
Act_2:5 Now there were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout men, from every nation under heaven.
'DWELLING AT JERUSALEM'-Permanently and temporarily.
'DEVOUT MEN, FROM EVERY NATION UNDER HEAVEN'-'it characterizes them as the best of the adherents of the Jewish religion. They were so anxious to avoid offending God, that they travelled, some of them, thousands of miles to attend the feast at Jerusalem, just as the O.T. prescribed.' (Reese p. 50) 'The Jews were scattered over the Roman Empire at this time, and only the "devout" ones would make the long journey to Jerusalem to keep this feast.' (Boles p. 34)
Points to Note:
Even though the Law of Moses had been given some 1500 years earlier, including the command to assemble and celebrate Pentecost ( Lev_23:2 ; Lev_23:15 ff). Time and culture didn't alter or change His requirements. They only ceased to be binding, when God informed us that a New Covenant, with new laws had been established ( Col_2:14-16 ).
'Feasts like Pentecost attracted thousands of pilgrims. We are told that when Titus besieged Jerusalem (68-70 A.D.), an event which occurred about Passover time, there were no less than three million people in the city.' (Reese p. 50)
Act_2:6 And when this sound was heard, the multitude came together, and were confounded, because that every man heard them speaking in his own language.
'THIS SOUND'-The sound of rushing wind, the sound of the apostles speaking or both.
'THE MULTITUDE CAME TOGETHER'-Apparently people from the city or near the house (possibly the house was near the temple area), began tracking down the source of the noise and the languages they were hearing. From 2:15 we learn that all this is happening around 9:00 in the morning.
'WERE CONFOUNDED'-Luke uses descriptive word after another in this context ('confounded', 'amazed', 'marvelled', 'perplexed'), to point out that the crowd was truly taken back by all of this. 'bewildered' (RSV). 'They did not understand what was happening, nor could they come up with any reasonable explanation of it.' (Reese p. 51)
'EVERY MAN HEARD THEM'-'the Greek imperfect tense, which indicates the continuance of their "speaking" over a period of time.' (Reese p. 51)
'IN HIS OWN LANGUAGE'-i.e. his native tongue (2:8).
Points to Note:
Various groups try to argue that the speaking in tongues of this chapter are a different gift than the speaking in tongues mentioned in 1Co_14:1-40 . But the same Greek expression is used in both cases.
Others argue that Act_2:1-47 must be interpreted in light of 1Co_14:1-40 . But Acts chapter 2 is very clear about what constitutes this spiritual gift (2:6-11). Stott reminds us, ' Act_2:1-47 is the only passages in which it is described and explained; it seems more reasonable to interpret the unexplained in the light of the explained than vice versa.' (p. 68)
The tongues mentioned in Act_2:1-47 , Act_10:46 are languages that the bystanders completely understood.
People forget that 1 Corinthians chapter 14 is dealing with the abuse of this gift, i.e. using this gift in the assembly when it happened that no one was present who spoke that dialect or language.
'Another says, "What need was there for the Apostles to speak in unlearned foreign languages? The whole world was bilingual. Everyone knew Greek."...It is true that Greek was a universal language in the early days of the church. But, it is also true that many would understand their mother tongue better than Greek.' (Reese p. 110) In addition, the thing that amazed these people, was that Galileans were speaking fluently--the particular dialect from the region in which they had been born (2:7).
Act_2:7 And they were all amazed and marvelled, saying, Behold, are not all these that speak Galilaeans?
'AMAZED AND MARVELLED'-'beside themselves with wonder' (Wey).
'ARE NOT ALL THESE THAT SPEAK'-'Those who believe that more than the twelve apostles were baptized with the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost are hard pressed by this expression. Were all the 120 Galileans?' (Reese p. 52)
'GALILEANS'-'Galilean men came from a despised district ( Joh_7:52 ) where education was scanty, the standard of culture low, and the spoken dialect was peculiar ( Mar_14:30 )....the apostles dress would have aided in their identification by the devout men..' (Reese p. 51) 'This was an international, multi-lingual crowd which gathered...Yet the speakers were known to be Galileans..who had a reputation for being uncultured..so they were looked down upon by the people of Jerusalem as being provincial.' (Stott p. 65)
Galileans spoke a rude Aramaic...i.e. they didn't even excel in their own native language-not to mention a foreign dialect.
Act_2:8 And how hear we, every man in our own language wherein we were born?
'AND HOW HEAR WE'-'And how is it' (NASV) We might say, 'How are they doing that?'
'IN OUR OWN LANGUAGE WHEREIN WE WERE BORN'-Even though Greek was almost universally spoken throughout the Empire, most districts or regions held on to their own dialects ( Act_14:11 ). Vincent notes, 'The Phrygians and Pamphylians, for instance, both spoke Greek, but in different idioms; the Parthians, Medes, and Elamites all spoke Persian, but in different provincial forms.' (Vincent p. 450)
Speaking in tongues was the miraculous ability to FLUENTLY speak in a foreign language and even in a certain regional dialect, that might only be spoken in one area. And to speak it the way a "native", a person born there and or raised in that region all their life would speak it.
Act_2:9 Parthians and Medes and Elamites, and the dwellers in Mesopotamia, in Judaea and Cappadocia, in Pontus and Asia,
'PARTHIANS AND MEDES AND ELAMITES'-'Luke's list comprises five groupings, as he moves with his mind's eye approximately from East to West...that is peoples from the Caspian Sea westwards, many of whom will have been descended from the Jewish exiles who had been transported there in the eighth and sixth centuries B.C.' (Stott p. 63) (See 2 Kings chapter 17).
'These were the lands of the earliest dispersion, to which exiles from the ten northern tribes of Israel had been carried by the Assyrians. They did not lose their identity so completely as is commonly supposed...In spite of the Persian royal decrees, many of those exiles preferred to remain where they were instead of returning to Palestine...so that the number of Jews in these eastern territories ran into millions.' (Bruce pp. 61-62)
Point to Note:
Various groups put a lot of stress on 'Whatever happened to the lost 10 tribes of Israel?' This verse tells us, they were never lost! The deported Israelites didn't become Europeans, The United Kingdom (England) or the United States of America. And neither did they become the Incas, Aztecs or Mayans.
'DWELLERS IN MESOPOTAMIA'-the region lying between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers. 'The language spoken here was probably Syriac (or perhaps including a mixture of the Chaldee).' (Reese p. 53)
'IN JUDEA'-'the language of Galilee was so different from that of Judea as it rendered it remarkable that the apostles could speak like a Judean (i.e. without the usual Galilean peculiarities of pronunciation.' (Reese p. 53) In this text, Judea may also include Syria.
'CAPPADOCIA, IN PONTUS AND ASIA'-'Luke refers to five areas of what we call Asia Minor or Turkey, namely Cappadocia (east), Pontus (north), Asia (west), Phrygia and Pamphylia (south).' (Stott p. 63)
Act_2:10 in Phrygia and Pamphylia, in Egypt and the parts of Libya about Cyrene, and sojourners from Rome, both Jews and proselytes,
'EGYPT AND THE PARTS OF LIBYA ABOUT CYRENE'-i.e. the region of North Africa. 'Jews had lived in Egypt continuously from the earlier parts of the 6th century B.C. and were always receiving fresh accessions...Philo, an Alexandrian Jew himself, estimated in A.D. 38 that there were about a million Jews in Egypt; two out of the five wards which made up the city of Alexandria were Jewish in population.' (Bruce pp. 62-63)
'SOJOURNERS FROM ROME'-'visitors from Rome' (TCNT). 'We have references in Roman inscriptions to at least seven Jewish synagogues in Rome.' (Bruce p. 63)
'PROSELYTES'-4339. proselutos pros-ay'-loo-tos; from the alternate of 4334; an arriver from a foreign region, i.e. (specifically) an acceder (convert) to Judaism ("proselyte"): -proselyte.
-'a proselyte was a Gentile who undertook to keep the Jewish law in its entirely and was admitted into full fellowship with the people of Israel.' (Bruce p. 64) For a male, this included being circumcised. Bruce also notes, 'Nowhere was Jewish proselytizing activity carried on more energetically than in Rome.' (p. 63)
Act_2:11 Cretans and Arabians, we hear them speaking in our tongues the mighty works of God.
'CRETANS'-inhabitants of the island of Crete, which contained a good size Jewish population.
'ARABIANS'-'Arabia in NT is the kingdom of the Nabatean Arabs, east of Syria and Palestine, stretching from the Red Sea to the Euphrates, with its capital at Petra. This kingdom was at the height of its power under Aretas IV (9 B.C.-A.D. 40).' (Bruce p. 64)
'SPEAKING IN OUR TONGUES THE MIGHTY WORKS OF GOD'-Indicating that the audience understood precisely what was being said. For if the "tongues" were babbling-then how did such a diverse audience all reach the same conclusion concerning the specific message of what was being spoken, i.e. 'the mighty works of God'? If you can't understand what a person is saying, for all you know they might be cursing God.
Point to Note:
Some have said that the miracle happened in the ears of the people. But the Holy Spirit didn't come upon those who heard. Stott notes, 'it was not a mistake or a miracle of hearing..so that the audience supposed that the believers spoke in other languages when they did not.' (p. 66) Luke is very clear: The apostles spoke in the languages (2:4), and what people were hearing was true and accurate-they were hearing their own dialects (2:33).
Act_2:12 And they were all amazed, and were perplexed, saying one to another, What meaneth this?
'PERPLEXED'-'utterly at a loss' (Rhm). 'To be wholly at a loss' (Robertson p. 24)
'SAY ONE TO ANOTHER'-'In their amazement, they turned to each other, trying to find an explanation for the astounding events..' (Reese p. 55)
'WHAT MEANETH THIS?'-'What will this be..what will this become?' (Reese p. 55) 'Their question, however, was the very one which the miracle was designed to call forth, and the speech which followed furnished the answer.' (McGarvey p. 25) 'They believed that it was a sign or omen that signified something remarkable, but they did not know what to think of it.' (Boles p. 36)
Act_2:13 But others mocking said, They are filled with new wine.
'BUT OTHERS'-'Of a different class. The first who commented on the wonder did so curiously, but with no prejudice. Those who now spoke did so in a hostile spirit.' (Vincent p. 451) Reese notes, '"others" is heteros (not allos), i.e another class of hears of a different kind than those just named..' (p. 56)
'MOCKING'-to deride, scoff, making fun of. 'Others said contemptuously' (NEB).
'FILLED WITH NEW WINE'-i.e. these men are drunk. '"new wine"..is misleading, for it carries the idea it was just freshly squeezed. That cannot be, for at the time of year when Pentecost falls the only wine available was last year's vintage. The vintage of the current year is still some months off..' (Reese p. 56) 'Lit., "sweet wine"' (Vincent p. 451) '"Sweet wine" was artificially prepared to retain its sweetness and extra strength and was very intoxicating.' (Reese p. 56)
Point to Note:
Some argue, 'If the apostles were actually speaking in foreign languages, what was the occasion for the accusation of drunkenness?' (Reese p. 110) (a) But this argument completely ignores the testimony of the majority who did understand (2:11), and who never made such an accusation. (b) This accusation is just as ridiculous as the claim that Jesus had a demon ( Mat_12:24 ) and was a drunkard ( Mat_11:19 ). (c) Those who made this accusation weren't interested in knowing what 'these things mean'. (d) Those who base their interpretation of this text solely on the accusation of 2:13, are putting all their stock in an accusation given by less than honest hearts.
Act_2:14 But Peter, standing up with the eleven, lifted up his voice, and spake forth unto them, saying, Ye men of Judaea, and all ye that dwell at Jerusalem, be this known unto you, and give ear unto my words.
'PETER'-Who had been given the "keys" to open up the Kingdom of God ( Mat_16:19 ), to the first converts ( Joh_3:5 ).
'STANDING UP WITH THE ELEVEN'-The following facts seem to indicate that all 12 apostles spoke this day: (a) The variety of languages and or dialects spoken. (b) Those convicted addressed their question to all the apostles (2:37), and not just Peter. But it could be that once the attention of the crowd was seized, that the rest of the apostles stopped speaking and Peter then spoke in a language that all present could understand, i.e. Greek or possibly Aramaic.
Reese notes, 'Perhaps we should picture Peter as speaking first, and the others acting as interpreters for the people gathered round each of them. Or perhaps all preached in a different place in that 35-acre temple area.' (p. 57)
'LIFTED UP HIS VOICE'-One must speak up to be heard. 'addressed them in a loud voice' (Wey)
'BE THIS KNOWN UNTO YOU'-'let me tell you what this means' (TCNT).
Act_2:15 For these are not drunken, as ye suppose; seeing it is but the third hour of the day.
'FOR THESE ARE NOT DRUNKEN'-The charge of drunkenness must first be handled. For such a charge was very serious: 'it was a strict violation of Jewish law to drink intoxicants on a feast day, especially before noon, for on feast days devout Jews did not even eat their first meal till after the sixth hour, let alone drink.' (Reese p. 57)
'THE THIRD HOUR OF THE DAY'-i.e. about 9:00 a.m. 'If the charge itself was made in jest, there is good humor in Peter's dismissal of it: it is only the third hour since sunrise, he says, and therefore too early for them to have had any opportunity to drink to excess.' (Bruce p. 67) McGarvey notes, 'Peter had heard what the mockers said, and although it came from only a few, he spoke of it as though it expressed the sentiment of the multitude. This had the advantage of avoiding a personal issue with those who had made the remark, while it was calculated to excite for it the disgust of those who had taken the matter seriously. His answer was not a complete refutation of the charge, for men might be intoxicated at any hour of the day; but the early hour made it highly improbable...while the rest of his discourse was relied upon to demonstrate the falsity of the charge.' (p. 27)
Point to Note:
Be impressed that the various charges brought against Christianity in this book are about as unfounded or lame as this accusation. This should tell us (as many of us already know), that the world doesn't have a good argument against the claims found in the Bible.
Peter's sermon will demonstrate or argue the following points: (a) The time of the fulfillment of the OT prophecies had come. (b) God was with Jesus-as the miracles clearly proved. (c) God raised Jesus from the dead-and the O.T. had even taught such. (d) Jesus is now the reigning Messiah-therefore come to Him for salvation.
Act_2:16 but this is that which hath been spoken through the prophet Joel:
'BUT'-Far from these events being manifestations of drunkenness.
'THIS IS THAT'-The events taking place mark the beginning fulfillment of what the prophet Joel had mentioned.
Act_2:17 And it shall be in the last days, saith God, I will pour forth of My Spirit upon all flesh: And your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, And your young men shall see visions, And your old men shall dream dreams:
'AND IT SHALL BE'-Quotation from Joe_2:28-32 .
'IN THE LAST DAYS'-( Isa_2:2 ; Mic_4:1 )
Point to Note:
Peter, an inspired speaker, defines the "last days" for us. The Bible is it's own best interpreter. The period of time, known as the last days began on the day of Pentecost. This expression doesn't refer to a period of time right before the end, rather it applies to the entire Christian age ( Heb_1:2 ; 1Jn_2:18 'it is the last hour').
Far from thinking that God had postponed the arrival of the Kingdom of God, the apostles affirm that everything is right on track ( Act_3:24 ). 'Peter's use of his prophecy announces that these days the days of fulfillment--have arrived. In another place Peter himself tells how the prophets who foretold the coming manifestation of the grace of God "searched and inquired about this salvation; they inquired what person or time was indicated by the Spirit of Christ within them when predicting the sufferings of Christ and the subsequent glory" ( 1Pe_1:10 f). But now that Christ has been "manifested at the end of the times" ( 1Pe_1:20 ), His apostles have no further need to search and inquire (as the prophets did) what person or time the prophetic Spirit pointed forward to; they KNOW that the person is Jesus of Nazareth and that the time that upon which they themselves have entered.' (Bruce p. 68)
Isa_2:2 and Mic_4:1 had also mentioned the establishment of God's House (the Church- 1Ti_3:15 ), in the last days. We will find that Church in existence, the Church that Jesus Himself promised to build ( Mat_16:18 ), in Act_2:47 .
'I WILL POUR FORTH'-'to illustrate the generosity of God's gift of the Spirit' (Stott p. 74) God didn't "drizzle" the Spirit upon the apostles.
'MY SPIRIT'-The Holy Spirit. Which is a distinct person within the Godhead ( Eph_4:30 ); and is a Divine Being Himself ( Act_5:3-4 ).
'UPON ALL FLESH'-
Point to Note:
At this point various groups try to argue that "all flesh" means that God promises the outpouring of the Spirit (along with the miraculous gifts which follow) to every Christian. But every Christian in the N.T. didn't have a spiritual gift ( 1Co_12:29-31 ). The phrase "all flesh" must be limited, because without any limitations, "all flesh" would mean everyone-Christian and non-Christian. The expression refers to Jews and Gentiles. At Pentecost the Spirit was poured out on Jews (the apostles), at the household of Cornelius, the Spirit is poured out on Gentiles ( Act_10:1-48 ).
'YOUR SONS AND DAUGHTERS SHALL PROPHESY'-( Act_21:9 )
'YOUR YOUNG MEN SHALL SEE VISIONS, AND YOUR OLD MEN SHALL DREAM DREAMS'-The prophecy itself defines "all flesh" for us. 'Sons, daughters, young men, old men, servants, handmaids'; all these expressions inform us that the Spirit would be given-regardless of one's social status, gender, or rank.
Point to Note:
Some groups argue that the above passage teaches us that women should hold any and all positions of leadership in the Church that men hold. That is, women can be elders, preachers, etc.. Because some say that the above passage teaches us that no "role" or "gender" distinctions will be found in the Kingdom of God. But such an argument proves too much. For the text also mentions "young men and daughters". Can teenagers be elders? ( 1Ti_3:1 ff; Tit_1:6 ff).
Act_2:18 Yea and on My servants and on My handmaidens in those days Will I pour forth of My Spirit; and they shall prophesy.
'YEA'-'And even' (Rhm)
'MY SERVANTS'-'Even on the servants--for they are mine' (TCNT). 'Slaves, actual slaves of men. The humblest classes will receive the Spirit of God ( 1Co_1:26-31 ).' (Robertson p. 27)
Act_2:19 And I will show wonders in the heaven above, And signs on the earth beneath; Blood, and fire, and vapor of smoke:
Act_2:20 The sun shall be turned into darkness, And the moon into blood, Before the day of the Lord come, That great and notable day.
Points to Note:
If one reads the O.T., they will find such language is often used in reference to God's judgment upon various nations ( Isa_13:9 ff; Isa_34:1 ff; Eze_32:7 ff; Amo_8:9 ). Thus it can refer to times "of social and political revolution" (Stott p. 75); as when a nation completely crumbles. Jesus even used the same language in reference to the destruction that would come upon the city of Jerusalem ( Mat_24:29 ; Luk_21:25-26 ).
Various writers remind us that at least one of these signs "the sun shall be turned into darkness", had been literally fulfilled some seven weeks earlier, when Jesus was crucified ( Luk_23:44-45 ).
'BEFORE THE DAY OF THE LORD COME, THAT GREAT AND NOTABLE DAY'-
Points to Note:
The Day of the Lord (esp. in O.T. prophecies) did refer to judgments that God brought upon nations. Basically two views exist concerning the use of the above phrase in this passage: (a) It refers to the destruction of Jerusalem. (b) It refers to the Second Coming of Christ.
Actually both views could fit the passage: Bruce notes, 'a day of judgment, to be sure, but more immediately the day of God's salvation to all who invoke His name.' (p. 69) In either case we must admit that Joel's prophecy was fulfilled over a period of "time" It wasn't all fulfilled on the day of Pentecost. For one thing, no women prophesied on this day (2:17). This prophecy contains a number of things (a) The Spirit's outpouring which happened in the First Century, and then ceased when the complete revelation had been given ( 1Co_13:8-13 ). (b) Judgment, which could include the destruction of Jerusalem and or the Second Coming. (c) And a period of salvation prior to that Judgment or a chance to escape the coming wrath of God (2:21).
The one advantage that the Second coming view has in this context: Being saved will protect one from the wrath of God to be revealed in the last day ( 1Th_1:10 ), but being a Christian wouldn't necessary protect one from the judgment coming upon Jerusalem-especially if one was in the area at the time.
Act_2:21 And it shall be, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.
'WHOSOEVER'- Joh_3:16 . No predestination here.
'SHALL CALL ON THE NAME OF THE LORD'-Which involves much more than merely claiming to believe in Jesus ( Mat_7:21 ). In this very context, Peter will tell us what is involved in "calling on the name of the Lord", repentance and baptism ( Act_2:38 ). See also- Act_22:16 . Reese notes, 'He who would be saved must "call" in the appointed time and in the appointed way..' (p. 62) For it will be vain to attempt to call on the name of the Lord-after He has come ( 2Th_1:8 ).
'SHALL BE SAVED'-'Saved from what?' (Reese p. 63) A passage that infers the existence of hell--a place that everyone needs to be saved from.
To call on the name of the Lord means that one realizes that Jesus is the only hope for salvation that they have. That all other supposed places of refuge are vain. It also infers that a person has accepted the fact, that they can't save themselves or atone for their own sins--through good works, their own moral goodness or acts of tremendous self-sacrifice. It also involves being completely prepared to accept God's plan of saving us. Hence, the person who rejects baptism or thinks they can be saved without being baptized, has yet to reach the point at where they realize that calling upon the name of the Lord means that you completely trust His way of saving you ( Act_2:38 ).
THE BOOK OF ACTS | CHAPTER 2:22-47
OUTLINE AND COMMENTARY - MARK DUNAGAN
I. INTRODUCTORY COMMENTS:
Bruce divides up Peter's sermon into the following points: (a) the announcement that the age of fulfillment has arrived (2:16-21); (b) a rehearsal of the ministry, death and triumph of Jesus (2:22-24). (c) citation of O.T. scriptures whose fulfillment in these events prove Jesus to be the Messiah (2:25-36). (d) a call to repentance (and baptism). (p. 69)
Stott notes, 'No fewer than nineteen significant Christian speeches occur in his (Luke's) second volume...There are eight by Peter (in chapters 1,2,3,4,5,10,11,15), one each by Stephen and James (in chapters 7 and 15), nine by Paul (five sermons in chapters 13,14,17,20, and 28, and four defence speeches in chapters 22 and 26). Approximately 20% of Luke's text is devoted to addresses by Peter and Paul.' (p. 69)
Thus the book of Acts also becomes a book of gospel sermons, the original sermon outline book or 'sermons that convict'. We need to be impressed that in these sermons, an abundance of Scripture is usually cited. For example, Erdman notes concerning the sermon found in this chapter, 'The purpose of his address was to prove that Jesus of Nazareth is the Messiah, the divine Savior of the world; in demonstrating this theme he used as his proofs Old Testament quotations which indeed comprised nearly half of his sermon.' (p. 38)
Point to Note:
This proves: (a) The apostles believed that the O.T. was the inspired Word of God. (b) That one could "prove" from the Scriptures that Jesus was the Messiah ( Act_17:2-3 ). (c) That the Scriptures were within the understanding of the common man.
II. COMMENTARY ON CHAPTER 2:22-47:
Act_2:22 Ye men of Israel, hear these words: Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God unto you by mighty works and wonders and signs which God did by him in the midst of you, even as ye yourselves know;
'HEAR THESE WORDS'-'listen to this' (TCNT); 'Oh men of Israel, listen!' (Tay). McGarvey notes, 'It is impossible for us, at this distance of space and time, to realize, except in a faint degree, the effect on minds so wrought up of the next announcement made by Peter.' (p. 29)
'JESUS OF NAZARETH'-'Since many men had the name "Jesus) (the O.T. equivalent was "Joshua"), our Savior was designated by Peter as being the Jesus who came from Nazareth.' (Reese p. 63)
'APPROVED OF GOD'-584. apodeiknumi ap-od-ike'-noo-mee; from 575 and 1166; to show off, i.e. exhibit; figuratively, to demonstrate, i.e. accredit: -(ap-)prove, set forth, shew.
-'to point out or shew forth' (Vincent p. 452); 'a man accredited to you from God' (Wey); 'a man attested' (RSV); 'singled out' (NEB). The miracles that Jesus performed were part of his credentials that He was sent from God or that God was with Him ( Joh_3:2 ; Joh_5:36 ).
Point to Note:
The following three phrases are descriptive terms for the miraculous. They also give us clues concerning the purpose behind the miracles.
'MIGHTY WORKS'-'powerful deeds, works that demonstrated the mighty power of God.' (Reese p. 63) 'evidences of God's power operating among them.' (Bruce p. 70)
'WONDERS'-5059. teras ter'-as; of uncertain affinity; a prodigy or omen: -wonder.
-'because they excited wonder in those who witnessed them.' (Reese p. 63)
'SIGNS'-4592. semeion say-mi'-on; neuter of a presumed derivative of the base of 4591; an indication, especially ceremonially or supernaturally: -miracle, sign, token, wonder.
-'because they were designed to present evidence to convince people concerning Jesus' person and message ( Joh_5:36 ; Joh_10:35 ; Joh_20:30-31 ; Heb_2:4 ).' (Reese p. 63)
Hence, when we examine these three descriptive terms, we find that the miracles were: "Mighty deeds"-Indicating the source was Divine. "Wonders"-which meant the miracles appealed to the imagination and emotions of mankind. "Signs"-the miracles also appealed to the human intellect-i.e. God must be with that man, I need to listen to what he was to say.
'IN THE MIDST OF YOU'-Many of the miracles were public. Some were even performed right in the very presence of Jesus' enemies ( Mar_2:1-11 ; Mat_12:9-14 ). And we should note that even the critics of Jesus could not deny that a miracle had been performed by this man ( Joh_11:46-47 ). Bruce notes, 'That these acts were indeed performed by divine power had been generally acknowledged expect by those who saw that such an acknowledgement would involve undesirable theological implications ( Luk_11:15 ).' (pp. 69-70)
'EVEN AS YE YOURSELVES KNOW'-
Point to Note:
The crowd that Peter was speaking to would include Jews who lived in Palestine, many who had been present when Jesus healed someone. We also need to remember that the Jews visiting from other parts of the Empire-had been in Jerusalem in previous years. And Jesus had also been in Jerusalem-on previous feasts during the last three years of his public ministry ( Joh_2:13-25 ; Joh_5:1 ff; Joh_7:2-10 ). Therefore, even for those outside of Palestine, this probably wasn't the first time they have heard about Jesus and His miracles.
In addition, many of these same people might have stayed over from the Passover Feast, during which Jesus was put to death. That event would still be fresh in their minds.
Hence, notice how God gives people great opportunities to accept Him. God isn't letting the multitudes go home without first hearing "the rest of the story".
Act_2:23 him, being delivered up by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye by the hand of lawless men did crucify and slay:
'BEING DELIVERED UP BY THE DETERMINATE COUNSEL AND FOREKNOWLEDGE OF GOD'-'in accordance with God's definite plan and with his previous knowledge' (TCNT); 'by the fixed purpose and intention of God' (Gspd).
'DETERMINATE'-3724. horizo hor-id'-zo; from 3725; to mark out or bound ("horizon"), i.e. (figuratively) to appoint, decree, sepcify: -declare, determine, limit, ordain.
Points to Note:
The plan to have Jesus die for the sins of the world, goes back even beyond the Creation ( Eph_3:10-11 ; 1Pe_1:20 ).
Peter makes it clear that the crucifixion of Jesus was no accident, neither was it an act of desperation on the part of God, a last minute idea or a change from the original plan. Therefore any and all doctrines linked with the assumption that Jesus didn't come to die or that the death of Christ wasn't part of the original Divine plan--must be a false doctrine.
The phrase "delivered up by'-reminds us that the enemies of Jesus would have never been able to kill Him, unless He allowed it to happen ( Joh_10:17-18 ; Joh_19:11 ).
'BY THE HAND OF LAWLESS MEN'-'with the help of heathen men' (TCNT)
'DID CRUCIFY AND SLAY'-Even though the Jewish leaders and the crowd had used the Roman authorities and soldiers to do the actual "dirty work", this verse reminds us, 'Their guilt was not diminished because they had employed others to do the actual killing.' (Reese p. 64) (See Act_5:28-30 )
Point to Note:
'A dispute, much in the news these days, revolves around the question, Who crucified Jesus? It is often considered a mark of anti-semitism to accuse the Jews of guilt in the crucifixion of Christ, as Peter did...If there is a breach between Christian and Jewish peoples today, it is not caused by ill feelings over who crucified Jews. It is because there is no agreement between unbelief--in the case of the Jew who rejects Jesus--and belief--on the part of the Christian who accepts Jesus as Savior.' (Reese p. 64)
Act_2:24 whom God raised up, having loosed the pangs of death: because it was not possible that he should be holden of it.
'WHOM GOD RAISED UP'-'Likely there had been rumors of His resurrection spreading through Jerusalem, but now Peter stands and without equivocation declares that what had been only rumored is actually the fact!' (Reese p. 65)
'HAVING LOOSED THE PANGS OF DEATH'-'putting an end to the agony of death' (NASV)
'PANGS'-5604. odin o-deen'; akin to 3601; a pang or throe, especially of childbirth: -pain, sorrow, travail.
-Carefully note, this verse isn't teaching that Jesus suffered after He died ( Luk_23:43 ). Rather we can take this expression in a couple of ways: (a) 'Birth pains..so that his resurrection is pictured as a regeneration, a new birth out of death into life.' (Stott p. 76) 'Death is represented "in travail", the birth-pangs ceasing with the delivery; i.e., the resurrection.' (Vincent p. 453) (b) Death is pictured here 'as a cord or rope that binds a man or confines him. This "bond" God loosed in the case of Jesus.' (Reese p. 65) See Psa_18:4 ; Psa_116:3 . 'the Hebrew original means "snares" or "traps" or "cords" of death where..death are personified as hunters laying snares for prey.' (Robertson p. 30)
'IT WAS NOT POSSIBLE THAT HE SHOULD BE HOLDEN OF IT'-'being impossible for death to retain its hold upon him' (TCNT). In view of the fact that the death of Christ had been fixed in the mind of God, His resurrection must also have been pre-determined. In addition, seeing that Jesus is God ( Joh_1:1 ), it is impossible that death could have any lasting effect upon Him. Note: The body of Jesus remained in the tomb three days, not because that is the length of time it took Jesus to beat death in a wrestling-match. Rather, that was the time period that God had determined ( Mat_12:39-40 ).
'HOLDEN'-2902. krateo krat-eh'-o; from 2904; to use strength, i.e. seize or retain (literally or figuratively): -hold (by, fast), keep, lay hand (hold) on, obtain, retain, take (by).
PROVING THE RESURRECTION FROM O.T. SCRIPTURE:
Act_2:25 For David saith concerning him, I beheld the Lord always before my face; For he is on my right hand, that I should not be moved:
'FOR DAVID SAITH'-'Two of Peter's affirmations in the above announcement needed further proof: (1) that Jesus had been delivered up in accordance with the predetermined plan of God, and (2) that God raised Him from the dead.' (Reese p. 66)
Point to Note:
The Jewish people were under the same misconception that many Premillennialists are under in our own time. They thought the Messiah was coming to deliver them from the Roman occupation, restore political and military glory to Israel and reign in Jerusalem. But the O.T. had spoken of one being raised from the dead. Now if that applied to the Messiah--then it also demands that He would die ( Isa_53:1 ff). Which means that the He wasn't coming to establish an earthly empire and it also infers that the biggest problem the Jewish people had wasn't the Romans--it was their own sins! ( Rom_8:31-32 ; Luk_19:10 )
'CONCERNING HIM'-Peter quotes from Psa_16:8-11 . Carefully note both Testaments (OT/NT) continually endorse each other as being accurate. Peter claims that David wrote Psa_16:1-11 , and the Psa_16:1-11 found in your O.T. translation tells you the exact same thing. Peter claims that Psa_16:8-11 applies to Jesus Christ. 'The manner in which it is quoted by the two apostles is..very strong evidence that by the Jews of that day it was generally admitted to be a Messianic psalm.' (P.P. Comm. p. 53)
'I BEHELD THE LORD ALWAYS BEFORE MY FACE'-'"Beholding" means "looked up to, fixed my attention on, as my helper and advocate". The verb is in the imperfect tense, expressing habit.' (Reese p. 66) 'I have had the Lord ever before my eyes' (TCNT); 'I have ever fixed my eyes upon the Lord' (Wey); 'I was always beholding the Lord in my presence' (NASV). Jesus always did those things which were pleasing to the Father, and He always knew that the Father was with Him ( Joh_8:29 ).
'FOR HE IS ON MY RIGHT HAND'-'In the courts of justice, advocates stood at the right hands of their clients.' (Reese p. 66) See Psa_109:31 .
'THAT I SHOULD NOT BE MOVED'-4531. saleuo sal-yoo'-o; from 4535; to waver, i.e. agitate, rock, topple or (by implication) destroy; figuratively, to disturb, incite: -move, shake (together), which can[-not] be shaken, stir up.
-'so that I need not be disturbed' (Nor). Indicating that the Father was with Jesus continually, even during His suffering and death.
Act_2:26 Therefore my heart was glad, and my tongue rejoiced; Moreover my flesh also shall dwell in hope:
'THEREFORE'-Because of the assurance expressed in the previous verse.
'MY HEART WAS GLAD'-'For this my heart is gladdened' (Ber). The heart here includes the thoughts and the whole person. See Heb_12:2 .
'MY TONGUE REJOICED'-Jesus often praised the Father ( Joh_11:41-42 ). 'told its delight' (TCNT)
'MY FLESH ALSO SHALL DWELL IN HOPE'-'even my body too, will rest in hope' (TCNT); 'my body, too, shall rest in confidence' (Knox). That is, in hope of the resurrection. 'In addition to my heart being glad and my tongue rejoicing, my body I commit to the grave, with the confident expectation that before it begins to decay, it will be raised up.' (Reese p. 67)
Act_2:27 Because thou wilt not leave my soul unto Hades, Neither wilt thou give thy Holy One to see corruption.
'BECAUSE'-This is the reason for the hope, confidence and gladness expressed in the previous verse.
'MY SOUL'-Carefully note that these verses admit that man possesses a dual nature ( Mat_10:28 ). This also infers that Jesus simply had one "spirit" or soul, i.e. His own eternal spirit.
'HADES'-86. haides hah'-dace; from 1 (as negative particle) and 1492; properly, unseen, i.e. "Hades" or the place (state) of departed souls: -grave, hell.
Point to Note:
The KJV translation of 'hell' instead of 'hades' has unfortunately given people the idea that Jesus went to hell after He died and gave those in hell a second chance to be saved. We should note that hades is not hell, for hades is viewed as the dwelling place of ALL the dead, including the righteous dead ( Luk_16:23 ). In addition, Jesus told the repentant thief, that 'paradise' was His (Jesus') destination after death and not torment ( Luk_23:43 ). Carefully note that 1Pe_3:18-20 is talking about Jesus preaching through Noah prior to the flood, to the people who are "now" in prison. They weren't in hell when Jesus in the spirit preached to them.
Unfortunately, for the English reader of the KJV, the KJV translators rendered three different Greek words (Gehenna, Haides and Tartarus), by one single English word (hell).
'THY HOLY ONE'-This Psalm was speaking of the resurrection of a single individual. 'my soul'.
'CORRUPTION'-1312. diaphthora dee-af-thor-ah'; from 1311; decay: -corruption.
-His body would be raised before any decay set in.
Act_2:28 Thou madest known unto me the ways of life; Thou shalt make me full of gladness with thy countenance.
'THOU'-i.e. the Father.
'MADEST KNOWN'-Jesus knew beforehand that He would be raised from the dead.
'WITH THY COUNTENANCE'-'Thou wilt fill me with happiness in thy presence' (TCNT). Probably a reference to the ascension of Jesus, and His being in the immediate presence of the Father, as He had been from all eternity ( Joh_17:5 ).
'That this passage predicts the resurrection of some person from the dead previous to the corruption of his body, is undeniable; and the only question between Peter and his hearers would have been, Of whom did David speak?' (McGarvey p. 32)
Act_2:29 Brethren, I may say unto you freely of the patriarch David, that he both died and was buried, and his tomb is with us unto this day.
'I MAY SAY UNTO YOU FREELY'-'I can speak to you confidently about' (TCNT); 'I can speak quite plainly to you' (Mof); 'I can say this..without fear of contradiction' (Knox)
'PATRIARCH'-'It is a title of dignity, signifying the head of a house. It seems to be here applied to David, because he is spoken of as head of the family from which Christ sprang.' (P.P. Comm. p. 53)
'DAVID'-This is said, because Psa_16:1-11 is written in the first person. But it is clear that these words don't apply to David. McGarvey notes, 'It was well known to the Jews, as it now is to all interpreters of the prophetic Psalms, that David habitually speaks in the first person when prophesying of the Christ.' p. 33)
'HE BOTH DIED AND WAS BURIED'-Both are recorded facts found in the O.T.
'HIS TOMB IS WITH US UNTO THIS DAY'-Which obviously means that David hasn't been resurrected. Reese notes, 'David's tomb was on the south side of Mount Zion (the western hill of the two hills on which Jerusalem was built)...Hyrcanus (134 B.C.) opened it, and took out 3000 talents of silver, and used a tenth of that sum to induce Antiochus Sidetes to raise the siege he had around Jerusalem. David's tomb was again violated by Herod, who carried off much wealth.' (p. 69)
Act_2:30 Being therefore a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him, that of the fruit of his loins he would set one upon his throne;
'BEING THEREFORE A PROPHET'-Which means that David spoke by inspiration, i.e. he was an inspired writer. 'Since the body of David was still in the tomb, and he therefore was not speaking about himself, he must have been speaking of someone else. In this case, David had predicted a future event when he prophesied.' (Reese p. 69)
'KNOWING THAT GOD HAD SWORN WITH AN OATH TO HIM'-Which means that God said this to David-while David was still physically alive. 'solemnly sworn to him' (TCNT); 'made a solemn vow' (Rieu)
'THAT'-The subject matter of the oath God gave to David.
'OF THE FRUIT OF HIS LOINS'-'one of his descendants' (TCNT)
'UPON HIS THRONE'-See Psa_89:3-4 ; Psa_132:11 ; 2Sa_7:11-16 .
Act_2:31 he foreseeing this spake of the resurrection of the Christ, that neither was he left unto Hades, nor did his flesh see corruption.
'FORESEEING THIS'-i.e. the fulfillment of God's solemn oath, that one of his descendants would sit upon his (David's) throne.
'SPAKE OF THE RESURRECTION OF THE CHRIST'-At the resurrection and ascension Jesus was raised to sit and reign from David's throne.
Points to Note:
Jesus has been reigning since the ascension ( Eph_1:20-23 ). McGarvey notes, 'It also corrected their conception of an earthly reign of the Christ, and showed them that he was to sit on David's throne AFTER HIS RESURRECTION, and not before his death.' (p. 33)
This verse also demonstrates that 'David's throne', isn't to be viewed as the literal throne (physical chair) that David sat on when he ruled.
In addition, this verse tells us that Jesus know reigns from heaven. Hence, the kingdom that He rules over must be a spiritual kingdom ( Eph_1:22-23 ). Since Jesus is now on His throne, the following O.T. passages have been fulfilled ( Dan_7:13-14 ; Zec_6:12-13 ). And if Jesus now rules, then the Kingdom of God must be in existence ( Dan_7:14 ; Dan_2:44-45 ).
The reader should note that the expression 'David's throne' in the O.T. referred to God's throne, i.e. the position of authority and rule over the people of God ( 1Ki_2:12 ; 1Ch_29:23 )
The section of Scripture creates a number of problems for the theory of Premillennialism. One writer notes, 'But consider what the premillennialists say will happen. Christ will return from heaven with the rapture saints, raise the righteous dead, and rule on David's throne in the Millennium. If David returns in the rapture or if he is raised with the righteous dead, HE WILL NOT BE ASLEEP when Christ reigns!! Although the prophet says that he will be asleep when Christ reigns--read 2Sa_7:12 ).' 1
Act_2:32 This Jesus did God raise up, whereof we all are witnesses.
'THIS JESUS DID GOD RAISE UP'-David was speaking of Jesus of Nazareth.
'WHEREOF WE ALL ARE WITNESSES'-The apostles add their own eyewitness testimony. (1:8; 22).
Point to Note:
The testimony of the apostles should be taken seriously: (a) They were the personal followers of Jesus, those closest to Him. If anyone could have found fault in Jesus--it would have been these men. But they declared Him to be sinless ( 1Pe_2:22 ). (b) Various factors make it difficult to believe that these men were deceived or that they just plain lied to us: (1) Even though they suffered, gained no earthly advantage, were tortured, etc..they still continued to preach the gospel message ( 2Co_4:7-11 ; 2Co_6:3-10 ) (2) 12 of them existed-it's harder to deceive 12 men than 1. (3) Skeptics existed among them ( Joh_20:25 ). (4) Other people existed, who could of contradicted their story ( 1Co_15:6 ), but none of the other eyewitnesses did. (5) Since it must be admitted that the writings of the apostles give mankind the highest moral standard and ethical system known--we must accept the fact that they were giving us the truth when they claimed that Jesus had been raised from the dead.
'But where was He now, if He was raised from the dead?' (Bruce p. 72)
Act_2:33 Being therefore by the right hand of God exalted, and having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, he hath poured forth this, which ye see and hear.
'BY THE RIGHT HAND OF GOD'-Comparing this verse with 2:30, we must conclude that when we see the expression "by the right hand of God", we could also say, 'on David's throne' or 'on God's throne'. See Rev_3:21 ; Heb_1:3 .
'HAVING RECEIVED OF THE FATHER THE PROMISE OF THE HOLY SPIRIT'-Two views on this expression exist: (1) The promise of the Holy Spirit applies to the promise to send the Holy Spirit upon the apostles ( Act_1:4 ; Joh_14:26 ) (2) The promise applies to the promise spoken by the Holy Spirit through David, i.e. Act_2:25-30 .
'HE HATH POURED FORTH THIS, WHICH YE SEE AND HEAR'-'The glorified Jesus is responsible for what you have seen and heard this day...and what you've seen and heard is proof that He is glorified.' (Reese p. 71)
Points to Note:
Thus far we find Peter presenting four lines of evidence to prove the resurrection: (1) The miracles of Jesus-should of told them that God was with Him (2:22). (2) The O.T. clearly predicted the resurrection of a specific individual ( Psa_16:1-11 ). (3) The apostles had been eyewitnesses. (4) The events taking place on this day--Jesus' way of showing the crowd that He was indeed reigning on David's throne.
Be impressed that God doesn't expect these people to believe without any evidence. Notice that the apostles never use "purely emotional or subjective" arguments, like 'Just ask God if this is true', or 'pray that God would give you a sign', or 'if you get a warm feeling in your heart--then you know that this is the truth'.
Act_2:34 For David ascended not into the heavens: but he saith himself, The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand,
'FOR DAVID ASCENDED NOT INTO THE HEAVENS'-'Peter does not demand belief upon his own assertion, but he again appeals to the Scriptures, and to words which could not have received a fulfillment in the case of David.' (Gr. Ex. N.T. p. 88)
'BUT HE SAITH HIMSELF'-i.e. David said. 'As he applied Psa_16:1-11 to the Messiah's resurrection, so he now applies Psa_110:1-7 to the Messiah's ascension. For David did not ascend to heaven (34), any more than he had been preserved from decay by resurrection.' (Stott p. 77)
'THE LORD SAID TO MY LORD'-i.e. the Father said the David's Lord, that is, the Father said to Jesus. 'In this appeal he reproduces the very words in which, some seven weeks before, our Lord Himself had convicted the scribes of error in their interpretation of this same Psalm ( Mat_22:44 )...and, "unlearned" in the eyes of the scribes, had answered the question which they could not answer, how David's Son was also David's Lord.' (Gr. Ex. N.T. pp. 88-89) 'Jehovah said to Him whom I, David, acknowledge to be my superior and sovereign.' (Reese p. 71)
'SIT THOU ON MY RIGHT HAND'-'to the place of supremacy over the universe.. Luk_22:69 ).' (Bruce p. 73)
Points to Note:
'No passage of Scripture is so constantly referred to in the N.T. as this 110th Psalm.. 1Co_15:25 ; Heb_1:13 ; Heb_5:6 ; Heb_7:17 ; Heb_7:21 ; Heb_10:13 ; Mar_12:35 ; Luk_20:41 .' (Gr. Ex. N.T. p. 89)
The Jewish religious leaders admitted that this Psalm did indeed apply to the Messiah ( Mat_22:42 ff).
Act_2:35 Till I make thine enemies the footstool of thy feet.
'TILL'-The Premillennialists have Jesus reigning when all His enemies are conquered. But that isn't what Psa_110:1-7 taught. This Psalm taught the truth that the Messiah would rule while He had enemies ( Psa_110:2 'Rule in the midst of Thine enemies.'). And Paul said, 'For He must REIGN until He has put all His enemies under His feet.' ( 1Co_15:25 )
'FOOTSTOOL OF THY FEET'-'referring to the custom of victorious kings placing their feet upon the necks of their enemies ( Jos_10:24 )' (Robertson p. 33)
Act_2:36 Let all the house of Israel therefore know assuredly, that God hath made him both Lord and Christ, this Jesus whom ye crucified.
'THEREFORE'-The conclusion that must be drawn from the above facts and Scriptures.
'KNOW ASSUREDLY'-'know beyond all doubt' (TCNT); 'accept as certain' (NEB). 'be assured, know without any hesitation or possibility of mistake' (Reese p. 72)
Point to Note:
God feels that a person can be 100% convinced of something, without actually seeing the event itself. God feels that enough evidence has been presented in the Scriptures, to "know for certain" that Jesus is the Son of God and is now presently reigning as King.
'MADE'-'appointed or constituted' (Reese p. 72) 'Not of course that Jesus became Lord and Christ only at the time of his ascension, for he was (and claimed to be) both throughout his public ministry. It is rather that now God exalted him to be in reality and power what he already was by right.' (Stott p. 77) ( Rom_1:4 ; Mat_28:18 )
'LORD'-( Rom_10:9 ; Php_2:11 ). '"Lord" not only as the bearer of a courtesy title, but as bearer of "the name which is above every name" ( Php_2:9 ). To a Jew, there was only one name "above every name"--the Ineffable Name of the God of Israel, represented in synagogue reading and in the LXX text by the title "Lord". And that the apostles meant to give Jesus the title "Lord" in this highest sense of all is indicated by the way in which they do not hesitate on occasion to apply to Him passages of OT scripture referring to Jehovah ( Isa_45:23 = Php_2:10 ; Isa_8:13 = 1Pe_3:15 ). Indeed, in this very context it may well be that the promise "that whosoever shall call on the name of Jehovah shall be delivered" ( Joe_2:32 ) is viewed as being fulfilled in those members of Peter's audience who repentantly involve Jesus as Lord.' (Bruce pp. 73-74)
'CHRIST'-5547. Christos khris-tos'; from 5548; anointed, i.e. the Messiah, an epithet of Jesus: -Christ.
-Jesus is the Messiah predicted in the OT.
'THIS JESUS'-His very same Jesus who they had crucified.
'WHOM YE CRUCIFIED'-(2:23) 'the stinging effect with which.. Peter's words would fall on the ears of his audience, many of whom may have joined in the cry, Crucify Him!' (Gr. Ex. N.T. p. 90)
Act_2:37 Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and the rest of the apostles, Brethren, what shall we do?
'HEARD THIS'-'If Jesus of Nazareth was indeed the appointed Messiah, then no guilt could be greater than of treating Him as He had been treated. They had refused Him in whom all their hope of salvation rested; what hope of salvation was left to them now?' (Bruce p. 75)
'PRICKED IN THEIR HEART'-2669. kataponeo kat-ap-on-eh'-o; from 2596 and a derivative of 4192; to labor down, i.e. wear with toil (figuratively, harrass): -oppress, vex.
-'of the sharp, painful emotion, the sting produced by Peter's words.' (Vincent p. 455) 'to pierce, to sting sharply, to stun, to smite.' (Robertson p. 34); 'conscience-smitten' (TCNT); 'cut to the heart' (RSV); 'they felt crushed' (Beck).
'SAID UNTO PETER AND THE REST OF THE APOSTLES'-Indicating that these were the only men demonstrating the effects of being baptized in the Holy Spirit.
'WHAT SHALL WE DO?'-
Points to Note:
Here we find a very practical example of how the Holy Spirit would convict the world of its sin ( Joh_16:8 ). The Holy Spirit "opens hearts", not mysteriously or miraculously. And neither does He violate the freewill of the individual. Rather, He convicts an individual when that individual listens to and accepts the message He revealed through the apostles and or their writings ( Heb_4:12-13 ).
Peter had been given the keys (authority) to open up and allow men and women to enter the Church/Kingdom of God ( Mat_16:18-19 ). While Peter plays a prominent role, please note 'it is equally clear that he is but one of the apostles; he is not set over them, but acts with them; he is not their superior, but their fellow...inquirers after salvation do not ask at his mouth only..' (P.P. Comm. p. 54)
The apostles didn't rebuke these individuals for believing that there is something that one must 'do' to be saved. While salvation is based on the grace of God, that doesn't mean that it is unconditional.
In saying, 'What shall we do', these individuals manifested "faith" in the gospel message they had just heard ( Rom_10:17 ). Hence, Peter doesn't mention the need for faith, for they already believed.
Even after one has committed sin, even the sin of being guilty of putting the Son of God to death--that sin can still be forgiven. Thus the prayer of Jesus, concerning those who crucified Him is now being answered ( Luk_23:34 ).
Act_2:38 And Peter said unto them, Repent ye, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ unto the remission of your sins; and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.
'REPENT'-3340. metanoeo met-an-o-eh'-o; from 3326 and 3539; to think differently or afterwards, i.e. reconsider (morally, feel compunction): -repent.
-'Change your mind and your life. Turn right about and do it now' (Robertson p. 34) McGarvey notes, '"Brethren, what shall be do?" shows plainly that repentance is not mere sorrow for sin, but a change which follows after it.' (p. 38) For a great definition of repentance see 2Co_7:10-11 .
'BAPTIZED'-907. baptizo bap-tid'-zo; from a derivative of 911; to immerse, submerge; to make overwhelmed (i.e. fully wet); used only (in the N.T.) of ceremonial ablution, especially (technically) of the ordinance of Christian baptism: -Baptist, baptize, wash.
'EVERYONE OF YOU'-One cannot be baptized for another individual.
'IN THE NAME OF JESUS CHRIST'-( Mat_28:19 ; Act_10:48 ; Act_8:16 ; Act_19:5 ). Which means by His authority, which recognizes that baptism is something that Jesus Himself had commanded ( Mar_16:16 ). We should note that here we have one more evidence that Jesus is God, for 'baptism in the name of one of the Persons of the Trinity (Godhead) involves the names of the other Persons also ( Mat_28:19 ).' (Gr. Ex. N.T. p. 91) Stott notes, 'which means "by his authority, acknowledging his claims, subscribing to his doctrines, engaging in his service..' (p. 78)
Points to Note:
Certain Pentecostal groups argue that it is only Scriptural to baptize in the name of Jesus. They must ignore Mat_28:19 .
The baptism being commanded is water baptism. For this is the baptism that is commanded ( Act_10:48 ), and the baptism that is linked with salvation (8:35-38). In addition, the mode of baptism is immersion, for that is the correct meaning of the Greek word rendered 'baptize'. In addition, various passages dealing with baptism infer that baptism is an immersion from what is stated in the context: Act_8:38 'they both went down into the water'; Mat_3:16 'went up immediately from the water'; Rom_6:4 'buried with Him through baptism'; Col_2:12 .
Some argue that baptism is simply something cultural, i.e. how people in the First Century manifested their obedience to God. And that we can be saved today without being baptized. But Jesus removed baptism from the cultural realm, when He demanded this of people from all cultures and nations ( Mar_16:15-16 ).
Neither can it be argued that baptism is simply a Jewish practice (the Jewish ritual cleansing baths) which the Church copied. For the ritual baths of the Jews were frequent for the individual, while baptism is a one-time event. And baptism is linked with the forgiveness of sins--and not some mere ceremonial impurity.
Points to Note:
Some have argued that the word "unto", actually means "because of". Hence Peter is telling these people, 'repent and be baptized...because you have already been forgiven', i.e. one is saved prior to baptism.
But if that is true: (a) Then one is saved prior to repentance, for repentance and baptism are both linked with "unto the remission of your sins". 'both repentance and baptism have the same relationship to remission of sins here in Peter's instructions. If there is no remission before repentance (and I know of no faith-only teacher who would so hold), then there is no remission before baptism.' (Reese p. 78) (b) Then why is Peter commanding them to be baptized? (c) According to 2:40, prior to anyone being baptized (2:41), the text tells us that nobody has been saved yet. (d) Jesus plainly placed baptism prior to salvation ( Mar_16:16 ).
Boles in his commentary notes a whole list of denominational scholars which render the Greek word here, "for the putting away..in order to..aim, purpose, the object to be obtained, in order to receive, to this end, .." (p. 47)
Reese notes, 'Edgar J. Goodspeed (Baptist scholar), in his version of the Scriptures, translated "You must repent and be baptized every one of you in order to have your sins forgiven". When he was asked about this very un-baptist translation (it certainly does not uphold the doctrine of faith-only as the way to salvation), he replied, "I am first a Greek scholar, and then a theologian". In other words, the faith-only theology will just have to suffer, for Act_2:38 makes baptism essential to salvation.' (pp. 77-78)
Other Scriptures demonstrating the necessity of baptism: Mar_16:16 ; Act_10:48 ; Act_22:16 (compare with Act_9:1-11 )--even essential after Saul had seen Jesus, sincerely repented and had been engaged in fervent prayer); Rom_6:3-5 ; Gal_3:26-27 ; Eph_4:5 (one unimportant baptism??); Col_2:12-13 .
The Bible interprets the meaning of Act_2:38 for us. For the same speaker (Peter) wrote, 'baptism now saves you' ( 1Pe_3:21 ). That should settle the meaning of the word "unto".
'REMISSION OF YOUR SINS'-859. aphesis af'-es-is; from 863; freedom; (figuratively) pardon: -deliverance, forgiveness, liberty, remission.
Points to Note:
This indicates that the New Covenant is now in force. For one of the benefits of that Covenant would be the forgiveness of sins ( Jer_31:31-34 ). Which also demands that at this point the First Covenant (the law of Moses), has been removed. ( Heb_8:6-13 ; Heb_9:1-28 ; Heb_10:1-10 ) Thus these conditions for salvation apply to all who live and need salvation after the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
Seeing that Jesus linked forgiveness of sin with His blood ( Mat_26:28 ); and Peter linked forgiveness with baptism, we must conclude that baptism brings one into contact with the benefits of the sacrifice of Christ ( Rom_6:3-5 ).
Since this message of forgiveness was proclaimed to devout Jewish individuals (2:5), this is one more proof that one cannot find salvation in Judaism-or in any other religion. Jesus is the only way ( Act_4:12 ).
'AND YOU SHALL RECEIVE THE GIFT OF THE HOLY SPIRIT'-
Points to Note:
The phrase "gift of the Holy Spirit", can either mean the Holy Spirit is the gift or the Holy Spirit gives the gift.
We already know what this passage isn't teaching: That everyone who was baptized, was then baptized in the Holy Spirit. For Holy Spirit baptism was a promise (1:5), to specific individuals ( Joh_14:26 ) and was the rare exception, not the rule ( Act_8:16 ; Act_11:15-17 ). Or, that following baptism the Christian automatically receives spiritual gifts. See Act_8:14-16 .
To say that this refers to a non-miraculous indwelling doesn't fit with Act_8:15 . For that passage is teaching that one can be baptized without receiving the Holy Spirit.
Two views seem reasonable: (a) The gift of the Holy Spirit does refer to the Spiritual gifts (same type of expression is used in Act_8:20 ; Act_10:45 ; Act_11:17 of such an indwelling). But this verse doesn't give us the "how". This gift didn't happen automatically after one was baptized ( Act_8:12 ff), but came about through the laying on of the apostles hands (8:18). This view would also say that the "promise" of 2:39 applies to the fulfillment of Joel's prophecy, i.e. that the Spirit would be poured out upon various individuals in the early Church. (b) The other view is that the gift of the Holy Spirit applies to all the blessings that the Holy Spirit has promised when a person becomes a Christian. And that the promise of 2:39, is the promise given to Abraham, that in him all the families of the earth would be blessed ( Act_3:25-26 ; Gal_3:15 ; Gal_3:29 ; Act_13:32 ; Act_13:26 ).
Turner puts it this way, 'it is the sum total of blessings promised by the Spirit..he was saying, 'upon your submission to Christ, the past will be forgiven, and you will receive whatever blessings, and all blessings, God has for you in this Christian dispensation.' (Plain Talk 17/3/7)
In the end we must allow other passages to properly define the "gift of the Spirit" in this passage. For the apostles received the baptism of the Spirit (1:5); the household of Cornelius received something similar (I say similar because it wasn't the exact same thing that happened at Pentecost for it didn't qualify them to be the official eyewitnesses or enable them to pass on the spiritual gifts 11:15-17); other Christians received the Spirit and spiritual gifts through the laying on of the apostles hands ( Act_8:17 ) (although all did not- 1Co_12:29 ff).
Act_2:39 For to you is the promise, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call unto him.
'FOR TO YOU IS THE PROMISE'-Peter isn't referring to the baptism of the Holy Spirit, for that wasn't promised to everyone ( Joh_14:26 ). The promise probably includes such things as 2:21, salvation to those who call upon the name of the Lord, the forgiveness of sins to those who repent and are baptized (2:38), and all the other blessings promised by the Holy Spirit to those who come into Christ ( Eph_1:3 ; Act_3:25-26 ).
'YOUR CHILDREN'-'the blessings of salvation shall not be confined to their generation.' (Reese p. 79). Since this verse is connected with 2:38, it is to be inferred that the conditions for salvation laid down in 2:38 are not limited to or by a particular culture or time, but are the conditions of salvation for all time.
'TO ALL THAT ARE AFAR OFF'-Not only the Jews scattered among the nations, but non-Jews ( Eph_2:13 ; Eph_2:17 ). Unfortunately, some try to argue that Jewish converts had to be baptized, but Gentile converts didn't. The book of Acts and this verse doesn't support that view. See also Mar_16:15-16 ; Act_10:48 ; Act_18:8 .
'EVEN AS MANY AS THE LORD OUR GOD SHALL CALL UNTO HIM'-God calls people through the gospel message ( Mat_28:19-20 ; 2Th_2:14 ; Rom_10:13-14 ; Joh_6:44-45 ).
Act_2:40 And with many other words he testified, and exhorted them, saying, Save yourselves from this crooked generation.
'WITH MANY OTHER WORDS'-Indicating that Peter continued to preach. 'Showing that Luke does not pretend to give all that Peter said.' (Robertson p. 36) Carefully note the integrity of the word of God.
'TESTIFIED'-'to make solemn attestation or call to witness.' (Robertson p. 36) 'solemnly, earnestly' (Vincent p. 456)
'EXHORTED'-'the imperfect suggests the continuous exhortation which followed upon the Apostle's solemn protest.' (Gr. Ex. N.T. p. 92)
'SAVE YOURSELVES'-'Literally, Be ye saved.' (Robertson p. 37) 'This exhortation should have prevented any one from ever conceiving the idea so often expressed by modern revivalists, that a sinner can do nothing toward saving himself. While it is true that the sinner can do nothing in the way of procuring or meriting his own salvation, or of forgiving his own sins, he must do that which is prescribed as the method of accepting the salvation procured for him and offered to him. To this extent he saves himself.' (McGarvey p. 41)
'FROM THIS CROOKED GENERATION'-4646. skolios skol-ee-os'; from the base of 4628; warped, i.e. winding; figuratively, perverse: -crooked, froward, untoward.
Jesus had said the same thing concerning that generation ( Luk_9:41 ; Luk_11:29 ; Luk_17:25 ). In addition, Jesus had spoken of a great calamity coming upon this generation ( Mat_23:36 ), including eternal destruction (23:33). 'The idea is that the crooked generation which denied and crucified the Lord is hurrying on to their destruction.' (P.P. Comm. p. 54) 'saved from the fate awaiting that generation in the eternal world.' (McGarvey p. 41)
Point to Note:
It is significant to note that a whole generation can become infected by a wrong idea or attitude. In our own time the generation that rebelled during the sixties, many of them are still in bondage to warped ideas. Many in that generation not only perverted moral values, they ended up perverting politics, the education system, the family, and the various forms of media in our country. In fact, many of those who are advocating the New Hermeneutic, and who are trying to liberate the Church from the authority of the apostles writings, are still being motivated by that same sixties mentality, i.e. defy authority, don't let anyone tell you what to do and that love doesn't need rules.
Act_2:41 They then that received his word were baptized: and there were added unto them in that day about three thousand souls.
'RECEIVED HIS WORD'-588. apodechomai ap-od-ekh'-om-ahee; from 575 and 1209; to take fully, i.e. welcome (persons), approve (things): -accept, receive (gladly).
-'receiving with approval' (Gr.Ex. N.T. p. 93); 'accepted what he said' (Mof).
'WERE BAPTIZED'-Which infers that those who rejected Peter's preaching were not baptized. Thus, people who reject the need to be baptized have rejected the gospel message. Carefully note that conversion is a process. These people weren't saved at the point that they believed Jesus was the Son of God (2:37).
'ADDED IN THAT DAY'-see verse 47. The Church Jesus spoke of is now established ( Act_20:28 ; Mar_16:18 ), and upon baptism the Lord Himself is adding the saved to this body. It is also referred to as the Kingdom of God ( Joh_3:5 ; Col_1:12-14 ).
'ABOUT THREE THOUSAND SOULS'-
Point to Note:
'Some men, trying to defend a sprinkling or pouring mode of baptism, have argued that 3000 could not have been immersed during the remainder of that day, nor could a sufficient supply of water have been found near Jerusalem to accommodate a crowd like that.' (Reese p. 81) In response: (a) Peter's sermon started at 9:00 a.m., and 12 apostles baptizing a person per minute could have baptized 3000 people in 4 1/2 hours. (b) Jerusalem had more than enough water. Various pools existed in Jerusalem (the pool of Siloam, Upper Gihon and Lower Gihon, the Pool of Bethesda and the Pool of Hezekiah.)
Carefully note that people in the NT were baptized immediately 2:41 'in that day' ( Act_8:35-36 ; Act_10:47-48 ; Act_16:33 ). Reese notes, 'It is rather anomalous to preach yourself purple in the face on the subject of the necessity of immersion to salvation, and then put off the actual baptism of a penitent believer for a week or two or longer.' (p. 82)
Act_2:42 And they continued stedfastly in the apostles' teaching and fellowship, in the breaking of bread and the prayers.
'AND THEY'-the new converts, the 3000 baptized in 2:41. Here we find some of the obligations of membership. Salvation brings responsibilities ( Eph_2:10 ; 1Co_15:58 ).
'CONTINUED STEDFASTLY'-4342. proskartereo pros-kar-ter-eh'-o; from 4314 and 2594; to be earnest towards, i.e. (to a thing) to persevere, be constantly diligent, or (in a place) to attend assiduously all the exercises, or (to a person) to adhere closely to (as a servitor): -attend (give self) continually (upon), continue (in, instant in, with), wait on (continually).
-'to give constant attention' (Rhm); 'regularly present' (TCNT); 'were in constant attendance' (Wey).
'IN THE APOSTLES' TEACHING'-Not that the Apostles invented the teaching, but that the teaching (doctrine) was being revealed through them ( Eph_3:3-5 ; Joh_16:13 ). Jesus commanded that new converts be taught ( Mat_28:20 ).
Point to Note:
Carefully note what genuine conversion looks like. What are the fruits that follow when a person really does believe that Jesus is his or her Lord? Are they lax in attendance? Do they try to argue that what the apostles taught doesn't apply to us? Note that these Christians devoted themselves to following the teaching (doctrine) that the apostles delivered ( 2Th_2:15 ). Churches which continue in the apostles teaching--are the same Churches that recognize Jesus as their Head ( Joh_13:20 ; Luk_10:16 ).
Stott notes, 'We note that those new converts were not enjoying a mystical experience which led them to despise their mind or disdain theology...On the contrary, they sat at the apostles' feet, hungry to receive instruction, and they persevered in it.' (p. 82)
'FELLOWSHIP'-2842. koinonia koy-nohn-ee'-ah; from 2844; partnership, i.e. (literally) participation, or (pecuniary) benefaction: -(to) communicate(-ation), communion, (contri-)distribution, fellowship.
-'a relation between individuals which involves a common interest and a mutual, active participation in that interest and in each other.' (Vincent p. 457)
Points to Note:
"Fellowship" here may be its own category. It may include the ideas of: (a) The 3000 realized that they now had the most important thing in common ( 1Co_1:9 ; 2Co_13:14 ; 1 John 1:3.7 ). (b) Each one of them was participating to do what they could to spread the gospel, encourage each other, help each other out, etc..'Fellowship speaks of that common interest and mutual participation in those things which concern the welfare of each other.' (Reese p. 83) (c) It can also refer to financial assistance, which will be mentioned in this chapter (2:44-45; Rom_15:26 ; 2Co_8:4 ; Php_1:5 ).
We should note that we don't find the word "fellowship" used in the Bible in reference to social or recreational activities.
The word "fellowship" here could also be linked with the breaking of bread and the prayers, i.e. that the fellowship under consideration was "in" those things. The ASV simply says, 'fellowship, in the breaking of bread and the prayers.'
'THE BREAKING OF BREAD'-i.e. the Lord's Supper. Reese notes, 'Some writers have urged that the thing spoken of here is a common meal..But it would be difficult to interpret this of an ordinary meal, for the Greek reads, 'THE breaking of THE bread"...The context evidently is speaking of the worship services of the church. The apostles' teaching, fellowship, and prayers, completely circle "the breaking of bread".' (p. 83) For passages on the Lord's Supper see: Mat_26:26 ; Mar_14:22 ; Luk_22:19 ; 1Co_11:23 ff).
Point to Note:
According to the above verse these Christians regularly participated in the above things. We know that the Church partook of the Lord's Supper on the First Day of the Week ( Act_20:7 ). This verse infers ("continuing stedfastly"), that such was being done on a very frequent basis. A yearly, monthly or semi-annual Lord's Supper doesn't fit into Act_2:42 . But a weekly partaking would fit. See also Heb_10:25 ; 1Co_16:1-2 ; 1Co_11:18-34 .
'THE PRAYERS'-probably prayers together as a congregation. From 1Co_14:15 ; 1Co_14:26 we also learn that Christians sang when they assembled together.
Act_2:43 And fear came upon every soul: and many wonders and signs were done through the apostles.
'FEAR CAME UPON EVERY SOUL'-This may refer to the awe and reverence which fell upon these early Christians. 'There was a sense of awe at what God was doing in His world.' (Reese p. 84) 'The conviction of sin that followed Peter's preaching was no momentary panic, but filled the people with a long-lasting sense of awe. This impression was intensified by the wonders and signs which the apostles performed.' (Bruce p. 80)
This verse may also be referring to the sense of awe that came upon those outside the church (2:47). 'and restrained them from interfering with the disciples..the disciples had time to multiply and to consolidate and establish themselves before the storm of persecution fell upon them.' (P.P. Comm. p. 55)
'MANY WONDERS AND SIGNS WERE DONE THROUGH THE APOSTLES'-Which indicates: (a) They were the only ones in this chapter who had been baptized in the Holy Spirit. (b) That the gift of the Holy Spirit promised in 2:38, doesn't refer to the baptism of the Holy Spirit or the immediate promise of being able to work miracles following one's conversion.
'WERE DONE'-'represents an imperfect tense verb, speaking of continual action.' (Reese p. 84)
Act_2:44 And all that believed were together, and had all things common;
'WERE TOGETHER'-i.e. not together in the same house. But rather, united in mind and purpose. This verse informs us that unity can be achieved without watering down the doctrines found in the Bible. They had unity, because they all agreed to follow the same standard of authority, i.e. the apostles teaching (2:42; Joh_17:20-21 ). Here we find 3000 people-from diverse geographical regions, all being able to agree on what the apostles were teaching. ( Eph_3:3-5 ) The same is possible today!
'HAD ALL THINGS COMMON'-Which is explained in the next verse.
Act_2:45 and they sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all, according as any man had need.
Points to Note:
Unfortunately, some have claimed that the early Christians practiced communism. But carefully notice the language of the text: (a) 'This is not...were everything is confiscated and placed in a central store-house and then doled out equally to all.' (Reese p. 85) Notice that such goods and funds were only given to members "in need". (b) The selling of such possessions was completely voluntary- Act_4:34-37 . (c) The early church definitely believed in the right to own and keep private property ( Act_5:4 ). (e) The money didn't end up enriching the leadership in the Church. The money wasn't used to buy a church headquarters, estate, compound or mansion were everyone lived. (f) Christians didn't sell everything they owned. Reese notes, 'What it does say is that Christians were willing to use whatever they had when others had need. "It's yours if you need it" was the prevailing attitude..Another reason for such a practice...was that many of those who came from abroad to the feast of Pentecost may have stayed longer than anticipated, and they would now be denied the hospitality by the Jews who had not yet embraced Christianity...The verbs throughout this section are in the imperfect tense, expressing the constant recurrence of this act. The sale and distribution took place from time to time as special occasions of distress or want called for them.' (p. 85)
Stott notes, 'None reproached, none envied, none grudged; no pride, no contempt was there...The poor man knew no shame, the rich no haughtiness.' (p. 84)
It is sad that some have charged that this "giving" was responsible for the famine mentioned in Act_11:28-30 . That is, this "experiment" in the early church turned out to be a failure. But such an accusation infers that the apostles weren't inspired men. For this was done with their approval (4:37).
'AS ANY MAN'-Which is defined in 2:44 as those who believed and in 4:34 as those among them. In the Bible we don't find the Church being a welfare agency for the world. This giving went to needy Christians.
Act_2:46 And day by day, continuing stedfastly with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread at home, they took their food with gladness and singleness of heart,
'DAY BY DAY'-'Through the weeks that followed the day of Pentecost.' (Reese p. 86)
'WITH ONE ACCORD'-'with one intent' (Rhm); 'they met by common consent' (Phi).
'IN THE TEMPLE'-Which was probably one of the few areas in which 3000 people could meet on a regular basis.
Points to Note:
From this statement that they met in the temple some have erroneously assumed that the early church didn't few itself as distinct from Judaism. The early preaching of the apostles destroys that idea (2:38-40; 4:10-12, 19-20; 5:29-32). They met in the Temple area because many of the courts were open to the public and it was the ideal place for 3000 people to meet (5:12). In addition, meeting in the temple area also gave the apostles a chance to preach to non-Christians.
Others have assumed that the expression "day by day" means that the early church partook of the Lord's Supper every day. Such isn't the case ( Act_20:7 ).
'BREAKING BREAD AT HOME'-This expression is connected to "food". Indicating that "breaking bread" in this verse refers to a social meal. 'They had their meals in their homes' (Beck).
'GLADNESS AND SINGLENESS OF HEART'-'in simple-hearted gladness' (TCNT); 'unaffected joy' (NEB). These Christians were grateful, they were satisfied, and such things as 'what others have', etc...didn't affect their joy. Here we find an absence of strife, jealousy, envy, gossip or hate. We also find an absence of that attitude which says, 'I'm unfulfilled, I need to be me, I'm not getting what I deserve.'
Points to Note:
Carefully consider how the Bible places a distinction between worship or what Christians did as a congregation, and what Christians did in their homes. We don't find social meals and entertainment as being the function or work of the local congregation. See 1Co_11:18-34 .
Some argue that the New Testament Church had a social meal in its assembly before or after the Lord's Supper. But Act_2:42-46 places any social meals in the private homes of the members.
Act_2:47 praising God, and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to them day by day those that were saved.
'PRAISING GOD'-(3:8,9). 'continually praising God' (TCNT). In their public and private lives, in the temple and at home, these Christians continued to give God all the credit. How different from professed Christians whom seem to spend more of their time complaining.
'HAVING FAVOR WITH ALL THE PEOPLE'-'winning respect from all the people' (TCNT). For the time being, many Jewish people looked upon these Christians with respect and favor. But this wouldn't be true of all the people, especially the Jewish leaders as chapters 4-5 will reveal.
As always, some of those who admired these Christians may not become Christians themselves. Just as some of those who believed in Jesus, never professed or obeyed Him ( Joh_12:42-43 ). Having warm feelings about Christianity doesn't make you a Christian.
'AND THE LORD ADDED'-Notice carefully, that when one was baptized, the Lord automatically added them to the Church. We don't find the early Church or the apostles "voting" on potential candidates for membership. 'the verb tense pictures continuous action. He went on adding.' (Reese p. 87) The Church is a vital and necessary relationship for the Christian ( Act_20:28 ). For it is the body of the saved ( Eph_5:23 ). In the New Testament we don't find the apostles teaching people that they can be saved or Christians without worshipping and working with a local congregation of God's people.
'TO THEM'-i.e. the Church (KJV). Which is also the Kingdom of God. See Col_1:12-14 .
'THOSE THAT WERE SAVED'-Seeing that the Church is purchased with the blood of Christ ( Act_20:28 ); and the blood of Christ is associated with the remission of sins ( Mat_26:28 ); and baptism is for the remission of sins ( Act_2:38 ); it makes perfect sense that the Lord immediately adds to the Church (the blood bought body) those who accept the gospel and are baptized (come into contact with the benefits of Christ's death).
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Dunagan, Mark. "Commentary on Acts 2". "Dunagan's Commentaries on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/
the First Week of Advent