corner graphic   Hi,    
ver. 2.0.19.06.16
Finding the new version too difficult to understand? Go to classic.studylight.org/

Bible Commentaries

Spurgeon's Verse Expositions of the Bible
Acts 2

 

 

Other Authors
Verses 1-21

Acts 2:1-8. And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. “And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance. And there were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout men, out of every nation under heaven. Now when this was noised abroad, the multitude came together, and were confounded, because that every man heard them speak in his own language. And they were all amazed and marvelled, saying one to another, Behold, are not all these which speak Galilaeans? And how hear we every man in our own tongue, wherein we were born?

These men, so far from being able to speak many languages, could not by themselves speak even one correctly. The Galilaean dialect was a base degradation of the true Jewish tongue, so that the Galilaeans were always the subject of sneers and scoffings on account of their mispronunciation. There are several stories in the old Rabbinical writings, all intended to ridicule the Galilaeans; yet these men had now been taught to speak their own language perfectly; and, what was more marvellous still, languages that they had never heard now came pouring forth from their lips with the greatest fluency. How wide the range of those foreign tongues was, we learn from the following verses: —

Acts 2:9-11. Parthians, and Medes, and Elamites and the dwellers in Mesopotamia, and in Judaea, and Cappadocia, in Pontus, and Asia, Phrygia, and Pamphylia, in Egypt, and in the parts in Libya about Cyrene, and strangers of Rome, Jews and proselytes, Cretes and Arabians, we do hear them speak in our tongues the wonderful works of God.

Babel’s curse was now removed, — not by a reversing of God’s curse, for God’s curses and blessings are both like the laws of the Medes and Persians which never can be altered; men still spoke the tongues of confusion, but the apostles were able to speak to them all after receiving that miraculous gift of tongues. Thus was fulfilled that promise of Jesus, “He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do because I go unto my Father;” for Christ never spoke with many tongues, nor did he enable his disciples to do so during his life on earth, but when he had gone back to heaven to his Father, and had received gifts for men, they were enabled to do greater works than he had accomplished by his personal ministry here below.

Acts 2:12-13. And they were all amazed, and were in doubt, saying one to another, What meaneth this? Others mocking said, These men are full of new wine.

That is to say, if a Libyan, for instance, had been listening to one who was preaching in the language of Cappadocia, he might think that the man was merely babbling strange sounds without any meaning in them. To others, the inspired speech of the apostles was only like the incoherent utterance of drunken men.

Acts 2:14-20. But Peter, standing up with the eleven lifted up his voice, and said unto them, Ye men of Judaea, and all ye that dwell at Jerusalem, be this known unto you, and hearken to my words: for these are not drunken, as ye suppose, seeing it is but the third hour of the day. But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel; and it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour our 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 on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy: and I will shew wonders in heaven above and signs in the earth beneath; blood, and fire, and vapor of smoke: the sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before that great and notable day of the Lord come:

Doubtless this refers first to the siege of Jerusalem, when those strange portents were seen in the heavens, and afterwards to that far greater and more notable day of the Lord, the day of judgment, when the moon shall become as blood, and the sun shall become black as sackcloth of hair.

Acts 2:21. And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.

What a glorious gospel verse this is! This is one of the great lifeboat texts of the Bible. He who can get into this boat shall certainly sail to glory in safety. “Whosoever” — there is no exception of character; whatsoever his past life may have been, “Whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord” — here are no hard conditions; — prayer, trust, confession of that trust, — all these make up calling upon the name of the Lord; and whosoever shall do this not only may be, but “shall be saved.” There is no perhaps, no peradventure about it: “Whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.”


Verses 1-42

We cannot too often read the story of that wondrous outpouring of the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost; and let us never read it without asking the Lord to manifest in our midst the fullness of the Spirit’s power. We may not have a repetition of the miraculous gifts which were then bestowed upon the apostles and those who were with them; but we may have that gracious influence which shall convince and convert those who gather to hear the Word. Our success in preaching the Word is entirely dependent upon the presence and working of the Holy Spirit; therefore, let our prayer be,¾

“Lord God, the Holy Ghost,

In this accepted hour,

As on the day of Pentecost,

Descend in all thy power.

“The young, the old inspire With wisdom from above;

And give us hearts and tongues of fire,

To pray, and praise, and love.”

Acts 2:1-13. And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance. And there were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout men, out of every nation under heaven. Now when this was noised abroad, the multitude came together, and were confounded, because that every man heard them speak in his own language. And they were all amazed and marvelled, saying one to another, Behold, are not all these which speak Galilaeans? And how hear we every man in our own tongue, wherein we were born? Parthians, and Medes, and Elamites, and the dwellers in Mesopotamia, and in Judaea, and Cappadocia, in Pontus, and Asia, Phrygia, and Pamphylia, in Egypt, and in the parts of Libya about Cyrene, and strangers of Rome, Jews and proselytes, Cretes and Arabians, we do hear them speak in our tongues the wonderful works of God. And they were all amazed, and were in doubt, saying one to another, What meaneth this? Others mocking said, These men are full of new wine.

The people who came together were greatly astonished to find the disciples of Christ speaking to them in their own tongues. Though all the speakers were Jews, and naturally knew no tongue but their own, yet they were able to talk in divers languages. Therefore some of their hearers, mocking, said, “These men are fall of new wine.”

Acts 2:14-21. But Peter, standing up with the eleven, lifted up his voice, and said unto them, Ye men of Judaea, and all ye that dwell at Jerusalem, be this known unto you, and hearken to my words: for these are not drunken, as ye suppose, seeing it is but the third hour of the day. But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel; And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out 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 on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy: and I will show wonders in heaven above, and signs in the earth beneath; blood, and fire, and vapor of smoke: the sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before that great and notable day of the Lord come: and it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.

I did not detain you to speak about the moon turned into blood, or the sun darkened into midnight; those matters are of small consequence to you and to me compared with this sentence: “Whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.” What a blessed door of hope is this! What a window, letting the light of heaven shine into the darkest despondency! Whosoever shall address himself to God by repentance, by faith, by prayer, shall be saved.

Acts 2:22-23. Ye men of Israel, hear these words; Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you by miracles and wonders and signs, which God did by him in the midst of you, as ye yourselves also know: him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain:

This was bold talking, for Peter was doubtless addressing many of the very people who had put the Lord to death, and he charges them with it. Observe how he declares that Christ’s death was in accordance with “the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God,” yet he expressly says that “by wicked hands” they had crucified and slain him. It never occurred to Peter that the counsel of God deprived men of the responsibility and guilt of their actions. No neither need it ever occur to you. If anyone shall say to you,” When anything is according to the foreknowledge and counsel of God, how can God blame the doer of it?” you may tell him that he has first to explain to you what he means; and if he says there is a difficulty in it, ask him to tell you what the difficulty is. Those who knew better than the objector, could see none. The inspired apostle Peter could see none; but when he was most vehement in charging these men with guilt, yet, at the same time, he said that it was by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God. Surely, be was a bad pleader to introduce into his argument anything that could be readily construed into an excuse for those he was accusing. But there is no real excuse in it; the free agency of man is as true as the predestination of God; the two truths stand fast for ever. It is the folly of man to imagine that they disagree. If you do wrong, you are accountable for the wrong; and if there is a providence which ordains everything, — as certainly there is, — yet that providence takes not away from any man the full responsibility for aught that he doeth. So, truly did Peter say to these Jews concerning Christ, “Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain.”

Acts 2:24-32. Whom God hath raised up, having loosed the pains of death: because it was not possible that he should be holden of it. For David speaketh concerning him, I foresaw the Lord always before my face, for he is on my right hand, that I should not be moved: therefore did my heart rejoice, and my tongue was glad; moreover also my flesh shall rest in hope: because thou wilt not leave my soul in Hell, neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption. Thou hast made known to me the ways of life; thou shalt make me full of joy with thy countenance. Men and brethren, let me freely speak unto you of the patriarch David, that he is both dead and buried, and his sepulcher is with us unto this day. Therefore being a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him, that of the fruit of his loins, according to the flesh, he would raise up Christ to sit on his throne; he seeing this before spoke of the resurrection of Christ, that his soul was not left in the abode of the dead, neither his flesh did see corruption. This Jesus hath God raised up, whereof we all are witnesses.

Here Peter appealed to the eleven, and to all the disciples then present who had seen Jesus after he had risen from the dead. It must have been a very impressive sight as they all stood up bearing witness that they had seen the Christ, who was crucified, alive after his death. It was a wonderful public attestation to that grandest of all facts, the raising again from the dead of Jesus of Nazareth, the Son of God.

Acts 2:33. Therefore being by the right hand of God exalted, and having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Ghost, he hath shed forth this, which ye now see and hear.

Was not that enough to convince them? They saw and they heard the proofs of the working of the Spirit among them, and Peter told them that “this” was the gift of Christ, who had ascended up on high. It must have been a very striking thing, to have been there, and to have heard and seen these tokens of God setting his seal to the work of Jesus.

Acts 2:34-36. For David is not ascended into the heavens: but he saith himself, The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand, until I make thy foes thy footstool. Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ.

What a climax to Peter’s sermon! How simple and yet how triumphant is the argument! We do not wonder that men were convinced by it.

Acts 2:37. Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, —

There is a great distinction between being cut to the heart and being pricked in the heart. Those who were cut to the heart stoned the preacher; but they who are pricked in the heart yield a sweet obedience to the will of God: “They were pricked in their heart,” —

Acts 2:37-40. And said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do? Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. For the promise is unto you and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call. And with many other words did he testify and exhort, saying, Save yourselves from this untoward generation.

Not, “save yourselves”; but “save yourselves from this untoward generation.” Come out from among them. They are guilty of the death of Christ; you will be found guilty of it, too, unless you now disown the people who committed that awful crime. Come right out from among them, and be altogether separated from them.

Acts 2:41-42. Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls. And they continued stedfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.


Verses 1-47

Acts 2:1. And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place.

The first lesson that we ought to learn from this inspired record of what happened on the day of Pentecost is, that we cannot expect a revival until there, is unity among Christians. The Spirit of God will not visit and bless a church where there is strife. These disciples in Jerusalem “were all with one accord in one place” “in prayer and supplication,” as the fourteenth verse of the previous chapter tells us.

Acts 2:2-6. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it felled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance. And there were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout men, out of every nation under heaven. Now when this was noised abroad, the multitude came together,—

It was a great cause for surprise that men should be able to speak in foreign tongues without any previous instruction. The sound was heard outside the upper room where they were gathered, many pressed to the door to listen, and then went away to tell the strange news, and thus “the multitude came together,”—

Acts 2:6-7. And were confounded, because that every man heard them speak in his own language. And they were all amazed and marvelled, saying one to another, Behold, are not all these which speak Galilaeans?

“These men are Jews, and they come from a country district where the people are more than ordinarily illiterate. It is strange that they should be able to speak in foreign languages.”

Acts 2:8-11. And how hear we every man in our own tongue, wherein we were born? Parthians, and Medes, and Elamites, and the dwellers in Mesopotamia, and in Judaea, and Cappadocia, in Pontus, and Asia, Phrygia, and Pamphylia, in Egypt, and in the parts of Libya about Cyrene, and strangers of Rome, Jews and proselytes, Cretes and Arabians, we do hear them speak in our tongues the wonderful works of God.

“I think you, good sir, come from Parthia?” “I do, and I am astonished to hear these Jews speak the Parthian tongue.” “And you, sir?” “I am from Media, and I am amazed to hear them speak the language of the Medes; ‘tis strange, ‘tis passing strange. We hear we every man in our own tongue, wherein we were born?’”

Acts 2:12-13. And they were all amazed, and were in doubt, saying one to another, What meaneth this? Others mocking, said, These men are full of new wine.

They heard languages which they did not understand as well as those they did understand; so, putting the worst possible construction upon the wondrous scene, they said that the speakers were drunk. It is the mark of a wicked mind when we are ready to attribute evil reasons in the lack of any other. Let us never do this, but always be ready to believe all the good about men that we can.

Acts 2:14-15. But ,Peter, standing up with the eleven, lifted up his voice, and said unto them, Ye men of Judaea, and all ye that dwell at Jerusalem, be this known unto you, and hearken to my words: for these are not drunken, as ye suppose, seeing it is but the third hour of the day.

“It is but nine o’clock in the morning; you cannot really imagine that these men are drunk.” We might have thought it hardly worth while to take notice of such an observation; but Peter knew how to conciliate the crowd, and to meet them upon their own ground. He began where they left off, but he went on to say what they little expected to hear:—

Acts 2:16-21. But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel; And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out 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 on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and they shalt prophesy, and I will shew wonders in heaven above, and signs in the earth beneath; blood, and fire, and vapor of smoke: the sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before that great and notable day of the Lord come: and it skull come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.

Peter was speaking to a Jewish audience, so he began by quoting from the Old Testament. He was wise to win their attention by a long passage out, of one of their own prophets. Now he comes nearer to his main point:—

Acts 2:22-23. Ye men of Israel, hear these words; Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you by miracles and wonders and signs, which God did by him in the midst of you, as ye yourselves also know him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain:

How boldly he puts the truth before his hearers! He charges home the murder of Christ upon them, yet he skillfully softens it by that introduction about “the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God.” This is a very wonderful verse, because it shows us that everything is predetermined and foreknown by God; and yet when men do wickedly, they are responsible for it. “Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain.” There is no man in this world who knows where these two great truths of man’s free agency and divine predestination meet. There have been all sorts of schemes and inventions to make the two doctrines agree; and one set of men has denied one of the truths, and another set has denied the other; but do you nothing of the kind. Believe them both, yet do not pretend that you can reconcile them. It may be that, in another state, with larger capacity of mind than we at present possess, we shall be able to reconcile these two truths. I am not sure that we shall do so; and I do not know that even angels can understand this great mystery; but it is a grand thing to exercise faith where we cannot comprehend what is revealed to us. He who only believes what he can understand will have a very short creed, and soon he will have none at all; but he who believes what he cannot understand, simply because it is taught him by revelation from God, is the man who walks humbly with his God, and he shall be accepted. I thank God for the mystery that conceals so much from us; where would there be room for faith if all things were as plain as A B C?

Acts 2:24-28. When God hath raised up, having loosed the pains of death: because it was not possible that he should be holden of it. For David speaketh concerning him, I foresaw the Lord always before my face, for he is on my right hand that I should not be moved: therefore did my heart rejoice, and my tongue was glad; moreover also my flesh shall rest in hope: because thou wilt not leave my soul in hell, neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption. Thou hast made known to me the ways of life; thou shalt make me full of joy with thy countenance.

Note how Peter keeps to the Old Testament. Those quotations added force to his argument, for his hearers believed the ancient Scriptures to be the very voice of God, and therefore he gave them much of it. Having quoted from the Psalms, Peter goes on to make this comment upon David’s words:—

Acts 2:29-32. Men and brethren, let me freely speak unto you of the patriarch David, that he is both dead and buried, and his sepulcher is with us unto this day. Therefore being a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him, that of the fruit of his loins, according to the flesh, he would raise up Christ to sit on his throne; he seeing this before spake of the resurrection of Christ, that his soul was not left in hell, neither his flesh did see corruption. This Jesus hath God raised up, whereof we all are witnesses.

Standing up with the eleven apostles, and with the greater company of disciples behind them, it was a noble utterance of Peter: “This Jesus hath God raised up, whereof we all are witnesses.”

Acts 2:33. Therefore being by the right hand of God exalted, and having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Ghost, he hath shed forth this, which ye now see and hear.

“This, which is a mystery to you, is the result of Christ’s exaltation at the right hand of his Father.”

Acts 2:34-36. For David is not ascended into the heavens: but he saith himself, The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand, until I make thy foes thy footstool. Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ.

There does not seem very much that is original or striking in that sermon; certainly, it is not a very sensational one; there is no fine metaphor in it;, no garnishing of poetry; but, in plain, simple language, Peter proves that it is Jesus Christ of whom David spoke in the Psalms. This was exactly what the people wanted to have proved; many of them were ready to receive such proof as that, and they did receive it.

Acts 2:37-40. Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do? Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call. And with many other words did he testify and exhort, saying, Save yourselves from this untoward generation.

That is to say, “Come out from among the ungodly; leave the world behind, and escape for your lives.”

Acts 2:41-47. Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls. And they continued stedfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers. And fear came upon every soul: and many wonders and signs were done by the apostles. And all that believed were together, and had all things common; and sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all men, as every man had need. And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart, praising God, and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.

Oh, that we might have the same blessed experience! God grant it, for Christ’s sake! Amen.


Verses 14-43

Acts 2:14. But Peter, standing up with the eleven, lifted up his voice, and said unto them, Ye men of Judaea, and all ye that dwell at Jerusalem, be this known unto you and hearken to my words:

A great crowd had gathered in the street, and the apostles, under divine inspiration, addressed them in different tongues, Peter as the leader coming prominently to the front: “Peter, standing up with the eleven, lifted up his voice.” They were twelve witnesses of the resurrection of Christ from the dead, for they had seen him after he had risen, and had eaten with him; they constituted a jury of twelve honest and true men, and Peter as their foreman, “standing up with the eleven,” gave their verdict!

Acts 2:15. For these are not drunken, as ye suppose, seeing it is but the third hour of the day.

At nine o’clock in the morning, it was not to be supposed that they had become drunken.

Acts 2:16-18. But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel; And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out 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 on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and they shall/prophesy:

Every member of the Christian community should be anointed by the Holy Spirit. The blessing would not simply be given to one here and another there, but there would be a wonderful outpouring that should fall upon the whole multitude of believers.

Acts 2:19-21. And I will shew wonders in heaven above, and signs in the earth beneath, blood, and fire, and vapor of smoke: the sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before that great and notable day of the Lord come: and it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.

This is a wonderful connection in which to find such a promise as this, ¾a darkened sun, a blood-red moon,¾ yet “whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.” When the worst comes to the worst, prayer will still be heard, and faith will lead to salvation! O matchless grace of God! Is there not someone here who will call upon God’s name now before that evil day comes in all its fullness? “Whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.” Oh, that every one of you would lay hold of that promise! It is said that drowning men will catch at a straw. This is no straw, but a gloriously strong lifebuoy; only get into it, and it will float you to glory.

Acts 2:22. Ye men of Israel, hear these words; Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you by miracles and wonders and signs, which God did by him in the midst of you, as ye yourselves also know:

Note that Peter does not begin with the Deity of Christ. He will get to that soon; but, like a wise speaker, he commences with points upon which they were all agreed, or which they could not deny. He therefore calls Christ “a man approved of God,” and he reminds them of the “miracles and wonders and signs, which God did by him” in their midst. They knew that God had thus attested his mission, so he appealed to them for confirmation: “As ye yourselves also know.”

Acts 2:23. Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain:

There is a wonderful blending, in this verse, of the predestination of God and yet the responsibility of man. I suppose our finite faculties cannot yet discern where these two things meet; but faith, in the absence of every other power, believes them both. The predestination of God does not alter the moral quality of the acts of wicked men. Man acts freely, as freely as if there were no divine predestination; yet the free agency of man does not affect the foreknowledge and predestination of God.

Acts 2:24. Whom God hath raised up, having loosed the pains of death: because it was not possible that he should he holden of it.

It was possible for him to die, but it was not possible for him to be held in the bonds of death.

Acts 2:25. For David¾

Speaking of Christ in the Psalm which, at first sight, might seem to refer to David himself, but which was even by the Rabbis believed also to refer to the Messiah, and which we know did indeed refer to the Messiah.

Acts 2:20-27. Speaketh concerning him, I foresaw the Lord always before my face, for he is on my right hand, that I should not be moved: therefore did any heart rejoice, and my tongue was glad; moreover also my flesh shall rest in hope: because thou wilt not leave my soul in hell, —

Hades, the world of separate spirits, —

Acts 2:27. Neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption.

David was speaking of someone who, though he should die, would never in his body feel the natural effect of death, namely decay.

Acts 2:28-29. Thou hast made known to me the ways of life; thou shalt make me full of joy with thy countenance. Men and brethren, let me freely speak unto you of the patriarch David, that he is both dead and buried, and his sepulcher is with us unto this day.

Peter craves liberty to speak with freedom, and then he very shrewdly gives to David the high title of patriarch, which is not generally given to him, so as to win their attention and approval: “Let me freely speak unto you of the patriarch David, that he is both dead and buried, and his sepulcher is with us unto this day,” and therefore he did not speak about himself in the words Peter was quoting.

Acts 2:30-32. Therefore being a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him, that of the fruit of his loins, according to the flesh, he would raise up Christ to sit on his throne; he seeing this before spake of the resurrection of Christ, that his soul was not left in hell, neither his flesh did see corruption. This Jesus hath God raised up, whereof we all are witnesses.

Peter points to the eleven around him, there they stood, steadfast in the midst of the surging crowd, assenting to the bold declaration of their leader.

Acts 2:33-35. Therefore being by the right hand of God exalted, and having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Ghost, he hath shed forth this, which ye now see and hear. For David is not ascended into the heavens: but he saith himself, The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand until I make thy foes thy footstool.

See how he builds up his argument with clear and cogent reasoning.

Acts 2:36. Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ.

How those men must have started when he came to that which was the finale of his address, the point at which he had aimed all along!

Acts 2:37. Now when they heard this, they were picked in their heart, —

The pointed truth had gone home to their heart, and they were wounded by it.

Acts 2:37. And said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do?

These may have been the same people who mockingly said, “These men are full of new wine.” They began badly, but they ended well. I hope none of you have come here to mock; but if you had done so, and then went out pricked in your heart by the truth you had heard, it would be better than coming in an attentive frame of mind, and then going out unimpressed as so many do. God prevent it!

Acts 2:38. Then Peter said unto them, Repent,¾

Change your mind entirely, be sorry for what you have done, repudiate what you have done by a holy repentance of it: ‘Repent,’ —

Acts 2:38. And be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins,

Peter urged them to repent, and bade them confess their faith by being baptized in God’s appointed way.

Acts 2:38. And ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.

“You shall be sharers in this wonderful manifestation which has so astounded you.”

Acts 2:39. For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.

What promise did Peter mean? Why that promise in the 21st verse, “Whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.” That promise is also given to you, my hearers, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even in the most distant heathen land, for the “whosoever” in the promise applies to every one who “shall call on the name of the Lord.” Do not therefore shut yourselves out, or try to shut others out, but believe the promise, call upon God, and you shall be saved.

Acts 2:40. And with many other words did he testify and exhort, saying, Save yourselves from this untoward generation.

Peter first bore witness to the truth, and then pleaded with his hearers to receive his testimony. All true ministers will both “testify and exhort.” Some are always exhorting; they cry, “Believe, believe,” but they do not tell their hearers what is to be believed. Others are always testifying; they preach good doctrine, but they do not like to exhort sinners to repent, and believe the gospel. Each of these is a one-legged ministry, but we must have two legs to our ministry, and, like Peter, “testify and exhort saying, Save yourselves from this untoward generation.” “Come out from those who crucified Christ, quit the generation that is guilty of the blood of the Son of God, put your repentance between you and them, put your public baptism between you and them, avow that you belong not to them, but to him whom they crucified, and whom God hath exalted.”

Acts 2:41. Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls.

They not only believed what he said, but they were glad to believe it; acknowledging that they had greatly sinned, they rejoiced that there was a promise which covered even their sin: “Whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.” Then, having repented and believed, they were baptized upon profession of their faith, according to the true Scriptural order.

Acts 2:42. And they continued stedfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.

They believed the doctrine that was taught by the apostles, and they had fellowship with them and with all other Christians with whom they were associated. They did not try to go to heaven by some underground railway without confessing Christ; but, having confessed their faith in Christ they further manifested their devotion to him “in breaking of bread, and in prayers.” I do not know how many prayer-meetings they had, they must have kept on praying, and praising, and preaching pretty well all day long.

Acts 2:43. And fear came upon every soul: and many wonders and signs were done by the apostles.


Verses 36-47

You know that Peter had been preaching a plain, simple, straightforward sermon upon the death, crucifixion, and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ. He, who was once such a coward that he trembled before a little maid, now that he is filled with the Spirit, boldly charges this crowd with being murderers and deicides because their kind put to death the Lord of life and glory. If you turn to the 36th verse, you will see the effect of Peter’s plain preaching through the power of the Holy Spirit: —

Acts 2:36-37. Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ. Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart,

A little later in this same Book, we read of those who listened to Stephen’s sharp, sword-like sentences, “When they heard these things, they were cut to the heart,” and soon they stoned Stephen to death. To be “cut to the heart” is not enough, but to be pricked in the heart is to receive a mortal wound. Happy is the man who has had his sin killed through having received a deadly wound from the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God. These people who heard Peter preach “were pricked in their heart, “and, first, they were in doubt as to what they should do but, secondly, they were resolved that, whatever they should be told to do they would do at once.

Acts 2:37-38. And said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do? Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sin, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.

Nobody but a Baptist minister could have preached that sermon, at least, we shall have to wait a long while before we hear any other saying to a whole congregation, “Repent, and be baptized every one of you.” This is indeed the full proclamation of the gospel, and we have no more right to leave out the baptism than we have to leave out the repentance. “Repent, and be baptized every one of you.” Peter was not like those hyper-Calvinists who are afraid to give an exhortation to a sinner because he is spiritually dead, but he spoke out boldly to those who had asked “What shall we do?” and said to them, “Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins.”

Acts 2:39. For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.

This is a most blessed verse. The promise is to us, and to our descendants; not merely to our children, but also to our grandchildren, ay, and to our race as far as it yet may run; and the next clause, “and to all that are afar off” proves that the promise is made to the far-off ones as well as to our children, with only this limitation, “even as many as the Lord our God shall call.”

Acts 2:40. And with many other works did he testify and exhort, saying, Save yourselves from this untoward generation.

Not, “save yourselves from hell;” that Christ alone can do for you, but “save yourselves from this generation” by coming boldly out from among the ungodly, taking upon you the distinctive mark of the Christian, and so separating yourselves from those upon whom the sentence of death shall fall.

Acts 2:41-45. Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls. And they continued steadfastly in the apostle’s doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers. And fear came upon every soul: and many wonders and signs were done by the apostles. And all that believed were together, and had all things common; and sold their possessions and goods and parted them to all men, as every man had need.

What a notable instance this was of the power of divine grace! We should not usually suppose that the Jewish race would be given to any excess of making common property; but where grace came in the first flush of its dawn, see to what prodigies of liberality it excited the early believers.

Would that we had more of this generous spirit nowadays!

Acts 2:46. And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart,

I believe that wherever two or three disciples of Christ meet together it is competent for them to celebrate the Lord’s supper. That ordinance is not, as some think it to be a church ordinance, to be confined to the official assembling of all believers; but wherever two or three are met in Christ’s name, there he is; and where he is, there may the emblems of his broken body and shed blood be partaken of in memory of him.

Acts 2:47. Praising God, and having favor with all his people. And the lord added to the church daily such as should be saved

May he do the like unto all our churches, and he shall have the glory world without end! Amen.

 


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography Information
Spurgeon, Charle Haddon. "Commentary on Acts 2:4". "Spurgeon's Verse Expositions of the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/spe/acts-2.html. 2011.

Lectionary Calendar
Sunday, June 16th, 2019
Trinity Sunday
ADVERTISEMENT
Commentary Navigator
Search This Commentary
Enter query in the box below
ADVERTISEMENT
To report dead links, typos, or html errors or suggestions about making these resources more useful use our convenient contact form
Powered by Lightspeed Technology