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Bible Commentaries

The Bible Study New Testament
Acts 2



Other Authors
Verse 12

Amazed and confused. They could not account for the cause of this they were hearing.

Verse 13

These men an drunk. In their attempt to "make fun" of what is happening, they accuse them of being drunk - as if that could account for it. [A very potent sweet wine was made by soaking raisins and fermenting the juice.]

Verse 14

Then Peter stood up. He speaks for the Twelve. He is about to use the "keys" (Matthew 16:19) to open the "door of grace." [He also used these "keys" at the house of Cornelius ( Acts 10), and with Simon the magician ( Acts 8).] With the other eleven. They now begin their witness to Christ.

Verse 15

It is only nine o'clock in the morning. This was the normal time for breakfast, and much too early to be drunk! [Breakfast was normally at this time during feast days.]

Verse 16

This is what the prophet Joel spoke about. Peter turns to Joel, who lived about 800 B.C, for an explanation of these things (see Joel 2:28-32).

Verse 17

This is what I will do in the last days. The Jews called the last age of time which would begin at the coming of the Messiah, the last days (see Isaiah 2:2). Note that Peter clearly identifies the last days as HAVING BEGUN! I will pour out my Spirit. Symbolic of anointing. See Acts 2:4. Upon all men. On all the races of men, not Just Jews only. Your sons and your daughters. "To prophesy" in the New Testament means to speak God's truth through special power from God. It includes the idea of predicting the future, but this is only a part of it. Both the men and women in Acts 2:4 were filled with the Spirit, also Philip's four unmarried daughters who had the gift of prophecy (Acts 21:9). Visions . . . dreams. Such as Peter had at Joppa (Acts 10:9-17) Paul had a dream of special message (Acts 16:9-10).

Verse 18

Even on my slaves. God does not place "class limitations" on his Good News (See Galatians 3:28).

Verse 19-20

I will perform miracles. Johnson understands this to refer to the coming destruction of Jerusalem (70 A.D.). "Day of the Lord" is used by Joel to mean a great disaster (see Joel 2). Compare notes on Matthew 24:29-31. See also 1 Thessalonians 2:16; Colossians 1:23.

Verse 21

Whoever calls on the name of the Lord. Faith is more than knowledge (James 2:19). To "call on the name of the Lord" is to do more than say, "Lord, Lord, open to us." Faith is action (Matthew 7:21). See notes on Acts 22:16.

Verse 22

Listen to these words! He boldly declares Christ to them. They had been here long enough to have seen at least the events of Christ's final week, plus his crucifixion. They were "eye witnesses" to the miracles, wonders, and signs which proved his Messiahship. The Resurrection is proved by: (1) the prophecy of David; (2) the testimony of the apostles; (3) the earthquake, the darkness, and the raising of some dead (Matthew 27:52-53). They had first hand knowledge of all this.

Verse 23

Had already decided. God knew before Creation that man would sin, and he decreed that Jesus come and die as our "sin offering" (Ephesians 3:9-11; 2 Timothy 1:9; 1 Peter 1:20]. And you killed him. The fact that God knew what they would do, does not take away their guilt. They acted of their own free will. These people had been part of the crowd who shouted: "nail him to the cross" (Matthew 27:23). [At least some of them had been.]

Verse 24

It was Impossible that death should hold him prisoner. Because he was life (John 1:4); and because it was the Father's will that he should rise from death. This verse sums up the four Gospels.

Verses 25-28

For David said about him. Psalm 16:8-11. The spirit, not the exact words, is quoted. In the world of the dead. He would not remain in the grasp of death. David did not say this about himself, but spoke of a descendant (Acts 2:29-30). Devoted servant. The Lord Jesus.

Verse 29

He died and was buried. David's grave was inside the city walls, and they had all seen it.

Verse 30

God made a vow. Note Peter's reasoning. God had promised David that Christ would sit on his throne. [ 2 Samuel 7:11-16; Psalm 89:3-4; Psalm 89:35-37; Psalm 132:11.] Note what James says in Acts 15:15-18.

Verse 31

So he spoke about . . . the Messiah. Peter again emphasizes that David spoke of the Lord Jesus.

Verse 32

God has raised this very Jesus. "David prophesied it; we have all seen it." This is their testimony.

Verse 33

He has been raised to the right side of God. See Philippians 2:6-11. He sits on a heavenly throne. What you now see and hear. These supernormal events are proof that Jesus is not king (Acts 2:30). He has "poured out" this gift.

Verse 34

For David himself. On "where are the dead?" see notes on Luke 16:19-31. Rather he said. Psalm 110:1. (Jesus also quotes this and applies it to himself, Matthew 22:43-46) The Lord. God the Father. My Lord. Christ. Sit here at my right side. (See Acts 2:33.) The "right side" is the place of honor, and implies being part of the Supreme Government. (See also Revelation 5:6-10.)

Verse 35

Until I put. Christ must rule until God defeats all enemies, and then give up the Kingdom to the Father (1 Corinthians 15:24-28).

Verse 36

All the people of Israel. He has been building up to this. This is the climax! He has proved Jesus to be the Messiah!

Verse 37

They were deeply troubled. Peter has explained the meaning of the signs and wonders they have seen! Now it is clear to them that they are guilty of rejecting God's Messiah and nailing him to the cross! What shall we do, brothers? This is both a cry of anguish over their guilt, and a confession of faith in Jesus! Will there be any forgiveness for such as they???

Verse 38

Peter said to them. They have already declared their faith in Christ (Acts 2:37). Now, for the very first time, the terms of pardon under the New Covenant will be announced. Peter will tell them how to reach out through faith to seize the sacrifice of Christ and make themselves part of it. Turn away from your sins. That Isaiah, repudiate what you have done. Turn away from sin, and turn to God. [The technical term is; repent.] And be baptized. This act is a visible demonstration of both faith and turning from sin. [Repentance is a change of mind: baptism is a change of state.] In the name of Jesus Christ. By his authority. Without his authority, it would be only "water baptism." With his authority, it becomes the new birth of John 3:5. So that your sins will be forgiven. This is the promise. When their faith became real through turning from sin and being baptized in the name of Jesus, they would be forgiven for their sins, including the sin of killing Jesus. The promise of forgiveness is to all who comply with these terms of salvation. And you will receive God's gift, the Holy Spirit. McGarvey says the meaning here is the Holy Spirit as a gift. The world cannot receive this Helper. [Note that here, the gift of the Spirit comes in connection with baptism. That Isaiah, forgiveness of sins and the Spirit as a gift, are two results of turning from sin and being baptized. See notes on Matthew 28:19-20; Romans 6:1-11; John 7:38-39.]

Verse 39

For God's promise. The promise of pardon and the Spirit as a gift. Was made to you and your children. To these Jews who had rejected Christ, and to their descendants. And to all who are far away. To everybody in the whole world (the Gentiles). All whom the Lord our God calls to himself. "All men will be taught by God. " See John 6:44-45. EVERYONE MAY COME!

Verse 40

Save yourselves. This was why he urged them with many other words. True, they could not EARN their salvation [only Jesus could do that for them], but their faith was to reach our through turning from sin and being baptized. This was an act of their FREE WILL (compare the "looking" of John 3:14). This wicked people. Those of the Jewish nation who had rejected Christ [and would continue to reject him (Matthew 23:36; Matthew 24:21; Deuteronomy 28:52-57)].

Verse 41

Many of them believed. Those who believed, were baptized immediately! [Those who did not believe had no reason to be baptized.] About three thousand people. The Twelve could have done the baptising themselves. Chrysostom, assisted by the church elders, immersed 3,000 in one day in 404 A.D. There were plenty of deep pools in Jerusalem. Certainly the Seventy-two would be there, and perhaps others of the disciples. Group. Messianic community. The one church exists in a locality as a group.

Verse 42

They spent their time. A group implies companionship, solidarity. In contrast to "saving souls," the Good News makes disciples to Christ! A disciple wants to learn and live the message, and to be part of the COMMUNITY. The very worst calamity for a Christian, was to be excluded from the life of the COMMUNITY (1 Corinthians 5:9-13; 2 Corinthians 2:5-11). Taking part in the fellowship. Johnson sees in this the pooling of their money and resources to take care of the needy among their group. It may include the complete life of the community. Fellowship meals. For some centuries, the Lord's Supper (Holy Meal) was eaten in the setting of a fellowship meal. See note on Acts 20:7. Prayers. In the Jewish religion, the priests did the praying. In Christ, every believer is a priest (Revelation 1:6)! Johnson thinks this entire verse speaks of their public worship. But there was not the sharp line at this time between public worship and everyday life.

Verse 43

To be filled with awe. Especially the unbelievers. Compare Acts 2:22.

Verse 44-45

And shared their belongings. Remember that many of the group did not live here, but had come to Jerusalem for Passover and Pentecost. Alford (Greek Testament) points out that this situation was unique to the "Church at Jerusalem." It was not done with the idea of bringing all to the same economic level, but to meet the need of the poor among their group. Both Jew and Gentile ignored their own poor. What we see here was something NEW! See notes on Acts 4:32; Acts 6:1-4.

Verse 46

Every day. They met in the temple to be instructed by the apostles. Probably there were "outsiders" there as well. They had their meals together. Compare Acts 2:44. Lipscomb says: "It is probable that they met at their homes in companies [small groups] and each company engaged in worship." This would not be as a substitute for public worship, but the same principle as the "Ladies' class." Most Christians today are weak in regular devotion and natural witness to those outside. In the Jerusalem church, we see a spirit of ENTHUSIASM - so full of their new found love for Jesus Christ that they cannot get enough of him!!!

Verse 47

The Lord added to their group. We commonly use "church" in a specialized sense [Methodist church; Catholic church, etc.]. The ONE CHURCH which Jesus built on the rock foundation of his DIVINITY exists in a locality as a group. It is correct to say that the same reaching out through faith that make you part of Christ, also makes you part of Christ's church (see Acts 2:38). In other words, you do not JOIN the church, salvation makes you a member. Pentecost was the birth-day of the Lord's Church (Acts 1:8; Colossians 1:13; Ephesians 2:19-22).


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.

Bibliography Information
Ice, Rhoderick D. "Commentary on Acts 2:4". "The Bible Study New Testament". College Press, Joplin, MO. 1974.

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Friday, May 29th, 2020
the Seventh Week after Easter
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