ACTS CHAPTER 2  


 

ACTS CHAPTER TWO

1. Verses 2:1-21, The initial baptism of the Holy Spirit.
2. Verses 2:22-41, Peter's first message
3. Verses 2:42-47 Local church activity on a daily basis

Verses 2:1-21 The Jewish Pentecost

HISTORICAL BACKGROUND: Study Isaiah 28 as preparation for understanding what happens when the gift of languages is given to the church.

Verse one

1. Day of Pentecost: ten days after the ascension of Christ

A. Sunday: day of resurrection during the feast of firstfruits
Leviticus 23:11, 1st day after the sabbath

B. Pentecost: 50 days after the feast of firstfruits. Leviticus 23:15-16

C. Resurrection ministry is 40 days long (Acts 1:3), therefore, Pentecost is 10 days after the ascension.

2. See Topic: Jewish feasts

3. all together in one place: this geographical designation is indicated by the verb eimi again as an imperfect indicative plus the preposition, EPI, with the adjectival construction, TO AUTO, which means THE SAME THING. Literally, "they were upon the same thing." It is idiomatic to indicate sharing the same geographical location, either as to living conditions, or simply a meeting (Matt. 22:34; Luke 17:35; Acts 1:15; Acts 2:44; Acts 2:47; Acts 4:26; 1Cor. 11:20; 1Cor. 14:23); or a personal physical togetherness (1 Cor. 7:5).

This refers to the same group of Acts 1:14-15, which contained 120 people.

A. probably a house near the temple. Luke 24:53; cf. Acts 2:5-6
B. Verse 2 indicates the whole house, so not the upper room, but possibly the same house.

4. This fulfills the instructions of Christ at Acts 1:4.

Verse 2

1. and suddenly: aphnō (adverb) means, unexpectedly, without warning.

2. there came: aorist active indicative indicates a specific point of time when something occurred. In this passage, most of the aorist tenses are used to indicate simply the historical narrative of what happened.

3. out from heaven: the prepositional phrase, ek ouranos, is probably best understood as out from the sky.

4. a noise: āchos, here indicates an audible manifestation of His presence

A. violent: biaios means very strong and powerful.
B. Rushing: phero is a present middle participle used as an adjective.
C. wind: pnoā refers to a blowing of air, used only here and at verse 17:25, and probably not to bring confusion with the word spirit (pneuma) which is also used for the wind as at John 3:5-8.

5. filled the whole house: plāroo (aorist active indicative)

A. everyone in the house was aware of the sound
B. Verse 6, the sound (probably from the āchos rather than the languages)
C. When the people arrive on the scene, then they hear the languages.

Verse 3

1. and there appeared: horao (aorist passive indicative) indicates a visible manifestation.

2. tongues as of fire: a flame-like appearance.
Fire speaks of Divine justice in two areas, blessing and cursing, which is what was prophesied by Isaiah at Isaiah 28:12-13.

3. Being distributed to them: diameridzomai (present passive participle, plural to refer to the tongues of fire). The passive voice indicates that this was a personal administration by the Holy Spirit.

4. and it rested on each one of them: kathidzo (aorist active indicative) as a 3rd person singular indicates one flame manifestation per believer (upon each one of them - preposition, epi).

 

Verse 4

1. and they were all filled: pleroo (aorist passive indicative) indicates the same point of time and refers to the initial filling/control of the Spirit which results from His indwelling.

2. all of them: pas refers to the "all" of verse 1 and the 120 of verse 1:15.

3. and they began to speak:

A. archomai as an aorist middle indicative, indicates they probably spoke one at a time which would be reasonable in view of 1 Cor. 14:27.

B. to speak: laleo as a present active infinitive (to be speaking) indicates a continuous, or rather prolonged, phenomenon of speaking.

C. The designation THEY, refers to the group rather than each individual. Not EVERYONE in the group spoke. If each one of the 120 possessed this gift, it would SEEM to violate 1 Corinthians 12:30.

4. just as the Spirit was giving them utterance:

A. didomi as an imperfect active indicative indicates that the Holy Spirit was doing this over a period of time and not all in one point of time. It was enough of course, so that each member of the Jewish nation who was present, heard what it was necessary for him to hear.

B. ability: apophteggomai (present middle infinitive) means to speak boldly. The Spirit gave them TO SPEAK OUT BOLDLY. The idea is that He gave them ABILITY to speak, which is what the infinitive indicates.

C. not everyone was speaking in a tongue but only those who received that spiritual gift at this time. 1 Corinthians 12:12-31
It included the apostles as the apostleship gift included that function as 1 Corinthians 14:18 indicates.

D. The manifestation of the gift of languages is NOT a sign of the presence of the Holy Spirit, but rather a sign of the displacement of the nation of Israel, and the institution of a new priestly body.
It's occurrence in conjunction with the arrival of the Spirit is because the Indwelling presence of the Spirit is that mechanic which actually begins to build the new priestly body, by taking the believers and placing them into spiritual union with Christ.

5. The noise of the coming of the Holy Spirit attracted a large crowd who gathered outside the house. These are the ones who heard the message of tongues as a fulfillment of Isaiah 28.

See Topic: Spiritual Gift: tongues

 

Verse 5

1. Jews living in Jerusalem: katoikeo (present active participle) is used to indicate dwelling both permanent and temporary for the feast day.

2. devout men: eulabes is a word of religious devotion. it indicates they are dedicated to their faith or religion, which in this case is the apostate Judaistic system which for decades had distorted the doctrine of the Messianic promise while still giving lip service to the Messianic scriptures, and which Jesus so thoroughly condemned (Matthew 23:1-38). These are not believers at this time.

3. from every nation under heaven: many different languages represented.

 

Verse 6 The sound attracts the people

1. The sound occurred: this is not the languages being spoken, but the noise from the arrival of the Spirit described at verse 2.

2. The people gathered to the area.

3. And then they were bewildered when they heard the specific languages being spoken: sugcheo (aorist passive indicative) means confused. This is the initial reaction, then follows amazement (verse 7).

4. Because: explains the confusion.

5. They were hearing, akouo (imperfect active indicative). They were hearing in the same way that the languages were being spoken; off and on during the time period, as the Spirit was controlling the speakers.

6. own language: dialektos refers to a dialect, and the ones spoken are listed in verses 9-11.

 

Verses 7-8

1. amazed: exzistemi (imperfect middle indicative) means to stand out from ones senses or logic. (they were BEING amazed).

This is the mental attitude of amazement based on two things:

A. The ones who were speaking were uneducated Galileans.
B. The content of the message: The wonderful deeds of God.

2. and marveled: verbal expression of the attitude - thaumadzo (imperfect middle indicative).

3. saying: ouk idou is an idiomatic expression that is rhetorical. Literally, it means, is this not what you see? In English, we would say, Check this out; do you not see what we see? And then the point of focus is mentioned - "that all these who are speaking are Galileans?"
The Galileans were generally uneducated who spoke a course and unrefined Aramaic.

4. our own language: The word DIALEKTOS indicates that these are REAL Gentile languages. And their consternation is, that the languages are being spoken by uneducated men.

This and verses 9-11 represent the basic reaction, not what each person was saying.
Also, it is important to note that these DIALEKTOS are identified as languages (glōssa, tongues) in verse 11. The languages represented may not be a complete list, but are clearly referring to the GENTILE languages used in the geographical areas mentioned.

5. both Jews and proselytes: proselytes are Gentile converts to Judaism.

They had accepted the teachings of Moses as spiritually authoritative and were following that system in various degrees based on the quality of influence from the Messianic hope, just as was the case with the Jews.

Thus, there would be DEVOUT proselytes and not so devout proselytes. We learn of the existence of such proselytes from the gospels as at Luke 7:1-5.

 

Verse 11

1. The megaleion of God: plural neuter refers to magnificent things. The basic message of Isaiah 28:12-13 which is peace and rest through trust in Divine design.

2. There is no mention of interpretation. It is probably not an issue OR Peter's message may well serve as the official interpretation given in Aramaic or more likely, the Koinae Greek.

3. Since so many languages were being spoken one right after the other, it gave the impression to ones who were not listening to the information in their own language that the people were drunk.

 

Verse 12, Positive response

1. And they were all being amazed: existāmi (imperfect active indicative). The word means to stand outside of your senses. It indicates that what was going on "shocked" their senses and defied the logic of their own standards and frame of reference.

2. And greatly confused: diaporeo (imperfect active indicative).
The content of the message they heard was information that did not correlate with their frame of reference. They do not know what it means.

3. What does this mean? They recognized it as unusual and unique but did not see the significance. However, they were "positive" to the content they heard and wanted answers as to what it all meant.

Peter's message will correlate it with the Messianic promises of the Old Testament and with Jesus Christ as the fulfillment of those promises.

 

Verse 13, Negative response

1. But others, continually mocking: The present active participle of diachleuadzo, indicates that they were continually mocking while it was all going on.

They ignore the information revealed in their languages and rationalize the rest as drunkenness.

2. Were saying: lego as an imperfect active indicative indicates that they just kept on mocking and accusing them of being drunk. The point is, that they did not say this just one time, but continued to badger and accuse the participants.

 

Verses 14-21 Peter's explanation

Verse 14

1. Taking his stand: authority is demonstrated by standing in front of everyone.

2. with the eleven: Notice the formal designation of the original group as being ELEVEN, just as Luke designated it at Acts 1:26. This is Luke's historical account, and at the time of writing, the impulsiveness of Peter's action, as recorded in Acts 1:26-26, was realized, and it was understood that Paul was the 12th apostle. It can be argued that it is improper to see the choosing of Matthias as inappropriate because Luke does not label it as such in Acts one. However, while we do not know Luke's reasons for forgoing such criticism, we do know that Paul is the 12th apostle chosen by God.

See Topic: Apostles

3. Raised his voice and declared: This continues the air of authority, but of course, he had to make himself heard above the mocking.

4. Let this be known to you: gnōstos, refers to a condition of awareness.
The appeal of, "let this be" encourages objectivity and willingness to hear an explanation. If they do not "listen" they will not perceive.

5. And give heed: enōtidzomai (only here) indicates volition in acceptance. Once the information is perceived, it requires a volitional response.

6. to my words: hrāma emphasizes the spoken word and refers to the content of his message.

 

Verse 15, the logical answer to the claim of drunkenness is self-explanatory. The third hour of the day is 9 AM, Roman time.

Verses 16-21 Comparison to the kingdom promise of the Old Testament

Verse 16, But this is: Peter quotes from Joel 2:28-32 following very closely the LXX (Septuagint) translation, which was translated from the Hebrew in the third century BC.

1. Is: present indicative of eimi. Eimi is the verb of "being" or "status." Sometimes it is used to dramatically indicate similarity.

2. An example of this is found at 1 Corinthians 11:24-25. In reference to the bread, "this IS my body, which is for you." In spite of the claim of Romanists to the contrary, the bread of the communion is NOT the literal body of Jesus, but simply "represents" or symbolizes His body which is sacrificed for the sin of the world. Similarly with the wine, which "IS the new covenant in My blood." However, the wine is not "literally" His blood, but simply symbolizes the spiritual sacrifice of His soul "as a guilt offering," (Isaiah 53:10).

And of course, Jesus used the "is" in the same way when He instituted the communion service at Matthew 26:26-28.

3. With this in view, we should allow the context to determine whether the Joel passage IS what happens on this historical occasion, or if it is simply symbolized, portrayed or exemplified by the phenomenon that occurred here.

4. Joel's message does not refer to the coming of the Spirit at Messiah's first coming, but looks to the 2nd coming and the beginning of the Millennium. But this is LIKE what was spoken by the prophet Joel.

5. The key to Joel's passage is at verse 28. The preposition, AFTER THIS, refers to the events of verses 18ff. Thus, it is AFTER the destruction of the Northern army at Armageddon, that the Spirit will be poured out on the people of Israel, and there will be an abundance of PROPHETIC speaking. The giving of the Spirit in 30 AD, and the giving of the gift of languages is not what Joel is writing about. However, since it is similar, Peter quotes the passage in order to explain to them that this TYPE of occurrence should not be something that is hard to understand, for Joel wrote about it.

Verses 17-18

1. and it shall be: future indicative of eimi used to indicate SIMILARITY.

2. In the last days: technical term referring to the time period known as Daniel's 70th week, but with special focus here, on AFTER the Day of the Lord arrives. It corresponds to "after this" in Joel.

A. When Peter quotes Joel 2:28, he says, “in the last days.”
However, Joel in the OT does not say, “in the last days.”
It says at
2:28, AFTER THESE THINGS - and it specifically refers to AFTER the invasion and destruction of the Northern army, and the establishment of Messiah’s kingdom. v. 2:18-27.

B. Nor is this the term found in the Septuagint translation (LXX),
for it agrees with the Hebrew, “after these things.”
Thus, Peter is giving an INTERPRETIVE comment on the Old Testament reference.

C. Peter knew that the actual prophecy was not to be fulfilled until an “end-times” context, and that’s why he uses the term.

D. The beginning of the church is not the period of time mentioned in the Bible as “the last days.” That term has specific application far beyond the first century. 2 Timothy 3:1; James 5:3; 2 Peter 3:3.

E. Some might want to use Hebrews 1:2 as proof that the time of the early church can be considered “the last days.” Many translations read there as “In these last days, has spoken to us in His Son.”
However the Greek here does not read, “the last days,” but reads, “at the last of these days, has spoken to us in His Son.” The words used in the Greek are totally different and have nothing to do with an end-times context as the term, “the last days” does.

F. So from the perspective of the prophecy itself - it takes place NOT in a church age context, but in a Day of the Lord and Kingdom context.
And according to the Old Testament, that is “in the last days.”

G. “In the last days,” is NOT part of the passage, but is Peter’s orientation to WHEN it will REALLY be fulfilled.
This is another indication that Peter intended to use it as an EXAMPLE of what happened at Pentecost and not a fulfillment.

H. Accordingly, to understand what Peter meant by HIS USE of “in the last days,” we have to examine it in the context of HIS understanding.
In the Old Testament the term occurs only 6 times.

    1. Isa. 2:2, Now it will come about that In the last days,
       The mountain of the house of the LORD Will be established as the
       chief of the mountains, And will be raised above the hills;
       And all the nations will stream to it.

       This is during the Messiah’s earthly kingdom (millennium).

    2. Jeremiah 49:39   
       ‘But it will come about in the last days
       That I shall restore the fortunes of Elam,’”
       Declares the LORD.

       This is during the millennium

    3. Ezekiel 38:16   
       ”and you will come up against My people Israel like a cloud to
        cover the land. It will come about in the last days that I
        shall bring you against My land, in order that the nations may
        know Me when I shall be sanctified through you before their
        eyes, O Gog.”

       This is DURING the 70th week. After this invasion and the defeat
       of Gog, the millennium begins.

    4. Hosea 3:5   
       Afterward the sons of Israel will return and seek the LORD their
       God and David their king; and they will come trembling to the
       LORD and to His goodness in the last days.

       This is DURING the tribulation when they seek the Messiah.
       Hosea
5:15 says, “in their affliction,
       they will earnestly seek Me.”

    5. Micah 4:1   
       And it will come about in the last days
       That the mountain of the house of the LORD
       Will be established as the chief of the mountains.
       It will be raised above the hills,
       And the peoples will stream to it.

       Same as Isaiah - during the millennium.

    6. Jeremiah 23:20   
      
“The anger of the LORD will not turn back
       Until He has performed and carried out
       the purposes of His heart;
       In the last days you will clearly understand it.

       Since THE OTHER 5 refer to the “end times,” it is best that
       this one be assigned to that time period as well. They will not
       FULLY understand the plan of God for them (the nation) until the
       end times.

I. But does Peter “apply” it to the church?
I don’t think that Peter CAN apply it to the church because the language of the prophecy does not allow for it.
And when Peter uses the term “in the last days,” he uses it within the parameters that Joel defines. I.e., AFTER defeat of the Northern army.
Peter would be amiss to make such an application.
Again - as I previously said, Joel’s prophecy was NOT fulfilled at Pentecost.
    1. The Spirit was NOT poured out on ALL FLESH -
       as it will be at the beginning of the Millennium.

    2. The cosmic signs did not occur as they will BEFORE the
       Day of the Lord and thus BEFORE the Spirit is poured out.

    3. There was no Northern invasion.

 
3. Peter was using the Joel passage as an EXAMPLE of what happened at Pentecost. Or more accurately saying that what happened at Pentecost is an EXAMPLE of what will happen after Messiah's physical victory at Armageddon.
    A. I suggest this, because he quoted Joel 2:30-32a and that was NOT
       fulfilled at that time but must await a future fulfillment at
       the Day of the Lord.
    B. It is probably best to take it:  "This is LIKE what was spoken
       by Joel . . ."
    C. Another reason is - because - Peter is ONLY discussing the
       arrival of the Spirit - NOT the REST of the prophecy.
    ‘AND IT SHALL BE IN THE LAST DAYS,’ God says,
     THAT I WILL POUR FORTH OF MY
     SPIRIT UPON ALL MANKIND; AND YOUR SONS AND YOUR DAUGHTERS SHALL
     PROPHESY, AND YOUR YOUNG MEN SHALL SEE VISIONS, AND YOUR OLD MEN
     SHALL DREAM DREAMS;

     EVEN UPON MY BONDSLAVES, BOTH MEN AND WOMEN, I WILL IN THOSE DAYS
     POUR FORTH OF MY SPIRIT And they shall prophesy.

The only thing that happened at Pentecost was the pouring out of the Spirit and the gift of languages; and that would only be for SOME of the people (1 Corinthians 12:30).
And the gift of languages is not even mentioned by Joel.
D. So, Peter must simply be referencing the KIND of activity that the Holy Spirit will produce when He is poured out at a future "end times" period.

4. That I will pour forth my Spirit: this is a special indwelling of the Holy Spirit on believers of the kingdom.

5. on all flesh: suggested from this passage that this is universal on all believers in the kingdom.

A. Old Testament passages on the subject: only 8 times all together. Isaiah 32:15; 44:3; 59:21; Ezekiel 36:27; 37:14; 39:29; Joel 2:28-29; Zechariah 12:10

B. All of these passages indicate two primary things.

1. The Holy Spirit is given after the second advent of Christ.

2. The ones who receive the Spirit are Jewish believers in the Kingdom only.

3. Possible exception at Joel: "upon all flesh, "but the context even here indicates restriction to Israel. All flesh then, would mean all of Israel now dwelling in the land as believers in the Messiah.

4. This is further supported by the possessive pronoun, YOUR, at Joel 2:28.

C. The coming of the Spirit on this Day of Pentecost in 30 AD, is not on "all flesh" or even on "all Israel," but restricted only to the 120 believers in Jerusalem.

D. Later, it is extended to all believers based on Romans 8:9 and 1 Corinthians 12:13, but never on "all flesh," as Joel indicates will happen in the Kingdom.

6. Your sons and daughters: prophāteuō, future active indicative

A. young men and old men
B. verse 18 - bond slaves: doulos
C. female servants - doulā
D. This all refers to the universal proclamation of Divine wisdom throughout the entire land of Israel so that everyone will be taught of God in Palestine and all Israel will be instrumental in teaching the world. Isaiah 2.2-3;11.9-10; 56:6-8; 60:3, 11-14; Jeremiah 3:17; 31:31-34; Zechariah 8:22-23

E. And they shall prophesy: Repeated for emphasis, but the 2nd use of the word, prophesy, is not in either the Hebrew or the LXX.

7. In those days: the days after the arrival of the Day of the LORD. Specifically, after Jesus sets up His kingdom on the earth.

 

Verses 19-21

1. Now the quote backs up to the period of time just before the arrival of the Messiah.
The signs of Christ's coming - Joel 2:30-31

Joel has these signs occur before the DAY OF THE LORD.
Jesus mentions the same signs and identifies the event as His second coming (Matthew 24:29-30; Luke 21:11, 25; Mark 13:24-25).

The book of The Revelation tells us that the same signs are attendant with the SIXTH SEAL, and precede the outpouring of the God's wrath upon the world (Rev. 6:12-13).

The conclusion is that, the arrival of the day of the Lord, the second coming of Jesus, and the opening of the 6th seal are one and the same event, and that this event occurs immediately AFTER the great tribulation.

A. wonders in the sky: teras - supernatural (unusual) activity.
Luke 21:11, 25; Revelation 6:12-13; Mark 13:24-25

B. signs on the earth: sāmeion - prophesied signs that point to a specific thing. Luke 21:25; Romans 16:21;

C. blood, fire, columns of smoke: Revelation 6:12-17

2. sun turned into darkness: Matthew 24:29;

3. Moon into blood: color effect from the sun's light being blotted.
But this is not "total" darkness like what will occur after Jesus descends to the Mount of Olives just before Armageddon. Zechariah 14:6-7

4. before the great and glorious day of the Lord: This is the arrival of Jesus in the clouds of the sky with power and great glory.

5. and everyone who calls on the name of the Lord:

A. all: pas, invitation given to all. But the all in the context of Joel, refers to the members of the nation.

B. who shall call: epikaleo as an aorist middle subjunctive indicates a POINT OF TIME decision. The word means to call upon for assistance. This is an attitude of total dependence on the object of faith. In this context it is spiritual assistance. Calling upon the name of the Lord means to call upon Him in faith, by accepting the message of the gospel.

C. name: character, reputation and work; in other words, The Plan of God for salvation.

6. Shall be saved: sodzō as a future passive indicative, indicates the immediate results of calling upon Christ. Salvation is an immediate possession of all who call upon Him.

This is a SUMMARY concept that teaches the mechanics of salvation for people of all ages, as is indicated by Paul's quote at Romans 10:13.

Beyond the GENERAL salvation that is given to anyone who trusts in Christ, there are two perspectives to this deliverance in a day-of-the-Lord context.

A. Those who "call upon the Lord" prior to His return at the Day of the LORD, will be delivered from God's wrath by being raptured out from the earth at that time, if they are not martyred first. But even then, they will be part of the rapture when Jesus brings them with Him at His ARRIVAL.

B. Those who "call upon the Lord" after Jesus arrives, will be delivered from God's wrath, while still living on the earth. Any who are not martyred during the time prior to Armageddon, will be rescued by Christ's physical DESCENT at Armageddon, and then be taken into the earthly kingdom.

C. Peter's reference to Joel reminds the hearers that God has a plan for the nation, and that participation in that plan requires calling upon God; trusting in His character and plan.

7. Now, having quoted from the Old testament and reminding them that only through trust in the Messiah will one be saved, Peter makes personal application to the nation and proclaims Jesus as that Messiah who must be trusted (Verses 22-40).

 

Verse 22, Orientation to Messiah's manifestation to the nation

1. Men of Israel: The people are addressed as members of the nation.
They are religious unbelievers, but still have as the root of their religion, the hope of the coming of the Messiah, even though it has been distorted by their organized system of religious slavery.

2. Listen to my words: Peter still will appeal to their Messianic hope. This will be effective for some, but for others, the chains of religion are too strong. Thus, we will see two responses; a positive response of accepting Jesus as the Messiah; and a negative response of rejection.

3. Jesus the Nazarene: A specific identification so there is no misunderstanding.

4. A man: A reference to humanity. Peter starts slowly, but in the end will proclaim this MAN as the DIVINE Messiah.

5. Attested to you: This is the verb, apodeiknumi, which means to be physically displayed. It is a perfect passive participle. The perfect tense looks at the past 3 1/2 to 4 years of His ministry and claims a PRESENT validation of His claims based on that ministry. A validation that will not go away apart from serious compromise and dishonesty on the part of the people who consider it.

6. By God: the first point of controversy is the issue of divine authority. John 5:34-37

"But the witness which I receive is not from man, but I say these things that you may be saved. He was the lamp that was burning and was shining and you were willing to rejoice for a while in his light. But the witness which I have is greater than {that of} John; for the works which the Father has given Me to accomplish, the very works that I do, bear witness of Me, that the Father has sent Me. And the Father who sent Me, He has borne witness of Me. You have neither heard His voice at any time, nor seen His form."

Nicodemus conceded this authority (John 3:2), but the other religious leaders did not.

7. With miracles, wonders and signs: Respectively we have dunamis, teras, and sāmeion.

A. These three words are basically the same. The difference is in the area of perspective or emphasis.

B. The synoptic gospels use dunamis regularly for the miracles of Jesus. But John does not use it at all. Instead, he uses sāmeion in the same way that the Synoptics use dunamis.

C. The distinction between them is thus lost when used alone. But when together, the basic differences must be noted.

D. Dunamis emphasizes the POWER behind the miracle. It indicates something that is extra natural or supernatural and thus, divine.

E. Teras emphasizes man's initial reaction to the miracle. It causes wonder or amazement.

F. Sāmeion emphasizes the purpose of the miracle. It points a finger of identification and validation to a person or object or message.

8. Which God performed through Him: The aorist active indicative of the verb, poieo indicates the TIME PERIOD that God validated Jesus through miracles.

A. This is a direct reference to the sustaining ministry of the Holy Spirit (Isaiah 11:1-2; 42:1; 61:1).

B. Jesus made the claim of dependence on God the Father: John 14:10, "but the Father, abiding in Me, does His works."

C. Jesus performed many signs that convinced a lot of people: John 2:23 "Many believed in His name, beholding His signs which He was doing."

D. Nicodemus recognized this: John 3:2, "For no one can do these signs that you keep on doing unless God is with him."

9. In your midst: The PUBLIC ministry of Jesus that was conducted without scheme or trickery.

10. Just as you yourselves know: The details of the historical facts had been clearly proclaimed all throughout the land of Israel. Matthew 4:24; 9:26, 31; Mark 1:28, 45; Luke 4:14, 37; 5:15; 7:17.

 

Verse 23

Messiah's sacrifice

1. This man: The demonstrative pronoun is houtos and literally means THIS ONE. Specifically, this ONE and no other.

2. delivered up: This is the adjective, ekdotos, and is the only place it occurs in the New Testament. It comes from the preposition, EK (out from), and the verb, DIDOMI (to give, or provide). It refers to the PROVISION of the Savior, rather than the actual sacrifice on the cross. This is the act of God that GIVES the Son; makes Him available; sends Him into the world (1 John 4:9); and includes the sacrifice (spared not His own Son, Romans 8:32).

3. By the predetermined plan:

A. The word, plan, is boulā, and refers to a design or intent or plan.
In this case, it is God's design for the salvation of the human race.

B. The word, predetermined, is horidzo as a perfect passive participle.
The verb means to establish, determine, mark out a boundary for.
The participle is used as an adjective to indicate a particular quality assigned to God's plan. It is a plan that has been established and determined by God at a time that predates history.

1. 2 Timothy 1:9, "According to His own purpose and grace which was given to us in Christ Jesus before the everlasting times."

2. Titus 1:2, "Which the non-lying God promised before the everlasting times."

C. Ephesians 1:11 indicates that the believer has been DESTINED to an inheritance that is "according to the purpose of the One Who works all things according to the design (boulā) of His will."

D. God has designed a plan in eternity past that will provide salvation for the human race. This salvation is based on the giving of His Son as the Savior, who will die for the sins of the world. This sacrifice by the Son would require a rejection by His people so that He could be publicly displayed as a sin bearer, and seen to die physically so that the subsequent resurrection from the dead would be proof that He ALSO died spiritually and gave His soul as a ransom for all.

E. Although God had a DETERMINED plan, those people involved all acted as free moral agents and CHOSE their own mental workings and their own course of action. Whether it be the Jewish leaders, the multitude, Judas, Pilate or the Roman soldiers, they all acted from their own volition and are held morally and spiritually accountable on that basis.

4. and foreknowledge: This is the noun, prognosis, and means the possession of knowledge of events BEFORE those events historically occur.

A. The success of this plan ALSO depended on God's foreknowledge since the various actions of key personnel had to be certain, and it is NOT God's way to MAKE people do things. Accordingly, the Messiah (this man) was given over to the enemies by not only the PLAN, but also by the FOREKNOWLEDGE of God. The foreknowledge of God is perfect knowledge and therefore the plan and the provision was perfect.

B. Peter speaks about this foreknowledge of the Savior and describes the Lamb as "unblemished and spotless, having been foreknown before the foundation of the world, and manifested in these last times" (1 Peter 1:20).

C. And yet Paul makes it clear that all of this happened "when the fullness of time came" (Gal. 4:1).

D. For complete details on these issues see Topics: Foreknowledge and Predestination

5. Of God: This focuses on the CHARACTER of God.

A. His sovereignty: God has a desire. That desire is that all of Adam's progeny be saved. But of course, He does not MAKE anyone believe, so He provides what everyone needs in order to make their own decisions. 2 Peter 3:9; 1 Timothy 2:4

B. His love: because God loves all of Adam's progeny, He takes the necessary steps to provide what they need to be saved. John 3:16; Romans 5:8

6. You nailed: the Jewish nation as a collective unity is in view.
The verb is a 2nd person PLURAL and sees all individuals of the Jewish nation collectively guilty of what the nation did through the leaders and multitudes at the crucifixion. The emphasis is not on the DEED, but on the attitude that led to the deed. The FACT of the deed is in the plan, but woe to those who CHOOSE to do the deed (Mt. 18:7; Lk. 22:22).

A. The leaders: Matthew 27:1
B. The multitude: Matthew 27:20-23

7. You nailed to a cross: Literally, this reads, "you killed by crucifying through the hands of lawless men."

A. the verb, you killed, is anaireo, which means to remove, or take away - usually, by killing. Thus, it is quite often translated simply as kill or slay or destroy. It is an aorist active indicative to describe the historical point of time that the deed was done.

B. by crucifying: this is an aorist active participle of prospāgnumi used to indicate the instrumentality of the killing.

C. through the hands of lawless men: the word is anomos and means those who have rejected law as a governor to their behavior, either characteristically, or in a particular point of time. In this case it refers to the Romans, as a CLASS, who had no spiritual LAWS to govern their actions. Thus, Pilate, who could find no guilt in Jesus, still succumbed to the religious and political pressure, and delivered Jesus up to be crucified (Mat. 27:26); and the soldiers, who were without moral or spiritual law, abused Him (Mat. 27:27-31).

8. SUMMARY

A. The plan of God: Acts 3:18; 4:28; Luke 22:22
B. Judas: Acts 1:16; John 18:2-3; 13:2; Luke 22:3
C. The nation: John 19:12-16; Mat. 27:25
D. The Romans: Mat. 27:26-31
E. The demon rulers: 1 Cor. 2:8; John 13:2

 

Verse 24, Messiah's resurrection

1. Whom God raised up: the verb is anistāmi as an aorist active indicative.
The resurrection is an integral part of the Savior's work, for it is proof that He IS who He said He is, and that He DID what He said He came to do.

A. It is PROOF: Acts 17:31, having furnished proof by raising Him

B. And it is VALIDATION: 1 Corinthians 15:14, "and if Christ has not been raised, then our proclaiming is vain, your faith also is vain."

2. Having put an end to: This is an aorist active participle of LUO, and refers, again to the historical fact of LOOSING the hold of physical death.

3. the agony: the word is odin, and refers to the BIRTH PAINS of death.

A. It is the status of the body that is in view. Separated from soul and spirit, the body is just dust and chemicals.

B. The birth pains of death is a sign of promised life through resurrection.

C. In the case of Jesus, that promise was fulfilled within a three days; for most believers, the promise will be delayed for many years.

D. The resurrection loosened the hold of death on the body, and the Lord was raised in a new immortal body to pave the way for the resurrection of all believers at His second coming.

4. Since it was impossible: ouk ān dunaton (not NOT possible).

5. For Him to be held by it: krateo as a present passive infinitive.
The IMPOSSIBILITY factor is based on prophecy as the Old Testament quotes will indicate. Since it had been prophesied that the Messiah was to be raised from the dead, then it was certain that God would bring it about. And all of this was still based on both the PLAN and the FOREKNOWLEDGE of God.

6. This is the first RECORDED public defense of the resurrection. It has added impact because the fact of the resurrection is a current event, and can be confirmed by eyewitnesses. In fact, all the factors for either proof or disproof are clearly known and available for all interested parties.

See Topic: Resurrection of Christ and Resurrection: facts of proof

 

Verses 25-28, Old Testament documentation for the resurrection of Christ
The quote is from Psalm 16:8-11

Verse 25

1. For David says of Him: this indicates that the Psalm quoted refers to the future Messiah and not limited to David.

2. I was always beholding: this is the verb, proorao as an imperfect active indicative. It is the future Messiah speaking through David. It indicates a faith-rest attitude of dependence on God's character and plan in the face of pressure.

3. The Lord: In Psalm 16, it is LORD, which is the personal name of God, Yahweh, and in this case refers to the first member of the Godhead - God Most High.

4. In my presence: Refers to the personal care and protection provided by God for both David and the Messiah.
For the Messiah, it is realized as stated at John 8:29 and 14:10.

5. For He is at my right hand: this is the place of personal value and trust. The one who stands or sits here is the most trusted person and can be depended upon to represent my cause with diligence and faithfulness.

6. That I may not be shaken: This is HINA plus the verb saleuo as an aorist passive subjunctive to indicate the purpose/result of having The Most High at my right hand. The avoidance of SHAKING indicates total relaxation and control in any and every situation of life because I am trusting in the character and plan of God. Specifically, it refers to the Messiah's peace and security in the face of the crucifixion.

PRINCIPLE: the believer today has the very same potential for inner peace and confidence through trusting in God. Philippians 4:6-7; Hebrews 3-4

See Topic: FAITH REST

Verse 26, the result from peace and security is true inner happiness

1. Therefore my heart was glad: the verb is euphraino as an aorist passive indicative, and refers to the specific time period when the Messiah was going through the pressures of His trials and persecution.

We learn at Hebrews 12:2, that it was indeed a joyful occasion for the Messiah when He kept His focus on The Father's plan.

2. And my tongue exalted: this refers to an overt expression of the inner joy. The verb is agalliao as an aorist middle indicative.

3. Moreover, my flesh also will abide in confidence:

A. Flesh: sarx refers to the physical body and therefore to His physical life.

B. Will abide: the verb is kataskānoo as a future active indicative, and means to make a nest and settle down; to dwell in comfort and security. It indicates the establishment of a specific routine of life.

C. In hope: the noun elpis means confidence. It is experienced because the Messiah knows that the Father's plan will not abandon Him so there is absolutely nothing to fear.

D. Confidence in life extends to confidence in death.

1. For the Messiah: He knows He will be raised up after three days and be invited to sit at the right hand of the Father (Ps. 110:1).

2. For believers: We know there is a future resurrection.

 

Verse 27

1. Because you will not abandon: this is a future active indicative of the verb, egkataleipo plus the negative. Although the soul will go into Hades at physical death, it is only temporary.

2. my soul: psuschā refers to the REAL person that is simply HOUSED by the physical body.

3. To hades: this is the place where the souls go at death prior to Christ's resurrection. When the Messiah is resurrected, all the believing souls in hades will be taken to heaven and from then on, when a believer dies, the soul will go into the presence of God.

See Topic: DEATH: Physical

This is talking about the fact that the Messiah will not spend very long in hades, but be given a resurrection body instead. This is confirmed by the next statement.

4. Nor allow Your Holy One: This is a technical term for the Messiah with emphasis on the testimony of His character. The Greek word for holy here is not the normal one (hagios), but is HOSIOS, which is similar indicates religious (spiritual) devotion. In this case, it refers to the fact that the Messiah is totally dedicated to the Father.

5. To see corruption: this refers to the decay of the physical body, which begins after three days. It should be obvious that here, the Psalm goes beyond himself and is speaking only of the Messiah, as Peter will explain for us in verses 29-35.

A. See: The verb is horao and refers to the EXPERIENCE of something.

B. corruption: the noun is diaphthora which is physical decay.
The translation, "undergo decay" is accurate because that is the sense of this verb and noun together.

6. At Christ's death, the body went into the grave (Mat. 27:59-60), and the soul went into the paradise side of hades (Luke 23:43; Eph. 4:9).

 

Verse 28

1. You have made know to me: The verb is gnoridzo as an aorist active indicative to indicate the experience of resurrection LIFE through the power of God in raising Him up. In the Hebrew, the hiphil imperfect of yAda should be rendered, "you make known to me" rather than, "you will make known to me." This communicates the reality of resurrection life based on "not seeing corruption." Paul's past tense idea does not contradict that, for the MAKING KNOW (the experience) of the ways of life BEGAN at the moment the Messiah was raised up.

2. the ways of life: In context this refers to the experience of resurrection life, and should be the single focus rather than trying to make it refer to spiritual blessing IN TIME.

3. You will make me full: this is a future tense however, and refers to the quality of life that the Messiah will experience as He continues to fulfill the Father's plan until "the end comes" as per 1 Corinthians 15:24-28.

4. of gladness: the noun is euphrosunā, and literally means GOOD THINKING.

The good thinking is the contentment and joy that the Messiah experiences based on His success and promotion.

5. with Your presence: the Messiah's place of promotion is to the right hand of the Father.

6. It is probably best to keep these last two verses of Psalm 16 restricted to the Messiah, but the believer too will be promoted to fantastic spiritual blessing and honor when he inherits his eternal destiny.

 

Verses 29-35, Peter's inspired interpretation of the quote.

Verse 29

1. Brethren: Literally, men, brothers, which is much more personal.

2. I may: impersonal verb that means it is possible, permitted, and proper. the idea of FOR ME, is implied but accurate.

3. to say with confidence: the verb is lego as an aorist active infinitive plus the noun parrāsia, which means boldness and assurance. The principle of dogmatic confidence based on assured knowledge of truth.

4. regarding the patriarch David: the person in question as the writer of Psalm 16.

5. that he both died and was buried: both verbs are the aorist tense to establish the historical fact of David's death and burial.

6. and his tomb is with us: This is not necessarily any PROOF that there has been no resurrection, but it is a vivid picture that there has not been one. Thus, his body DID undergo decay and the Psalm must be speaking of someone other than David.

 

Verse 30

1. And so because he was a prophet: The word is prophātās and can refer to either the office, function or gift of prophet. that is, one who proclaims the truths of God either from an exhortation standpoint or from a forth-telling standpoint. David did not have the OFFICE of prophet, but had the function of prophet, and received divine revelation concerning future events for Israel.

2. and knew: This is a perfect active participle of oida, which indicates, not only the possession of knowledge (which would be the Greek word, ginosko), but the acceptance of that knowledge, and reliance upon it for relating to all the issues of life.

In this case, it is specific information about the character and plan of God concerning the future of the nation of Israel.

3. that God had sworn to him with an oath: Divine promise based on God's character.

4. To seat one of his descendants on his throne: This is theologically called the Davidic Covenant and is delineated at Psalm 89:30-37; 1 Samuel 7:12-16.

 

Verse 31

1. He looked ahead: The verb is proorao as an aorist active participle, which is used to indicate prophetic vision.

2. he spoke: the verb laleo means to communicate rather than to actually speak, although the psalms were designed to be chanted or sung. But the original expression was in writing through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit.

3. Concerning the resurrection of the Christ: the christos, which means anointed one and refers to the Divine Messiah.

4. that He was neither abandoned to hades: Ephesians 4:9-10

5. nor did his flesh undergo decay: Resurrection after 3 days so that there was no corruption of the physical body. Although, such corruption would not prevent resurrection, but the prophetic statement is made to indicate an IMMEDIATE raising up rather than a resurrection with the rest of humanity at the last day.

 

Verse 32

1. This Jesus: The very one I have been talking about, who was publicly demonstrated in your midst by the content of his message and the miracles.

2. God raised up again: the verb is an aorist active indicative of anistāmi to indicate the historical fact of the resurrection

3. To which we are all witnesses: We have seen Him alive, Acts 1:3.
Paul gives a list of eyewitnesses at 1 Corinthians 15:5-8.
Notice that Peter says "we all," which probably should be understood as referring to the entire group of 120.

 

Verse 33, Messiah's Glorification

1. Therefore, having been exalted to the right hand of God:
This refers to the ascension and session of the Messiah which calls to mind from their frame of reference the passage at Psalm 110:1.
The aorist passive participle, again communicates the historical fact.

See Topic: Ascension and Session of Christ

2. And having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit:

The verb is lambano as an aorist active participle, and refers to the Father's bestowal of the Holy Spirit's presence for the church, in fulfillment of what Jesus taught (John 7:37-39; 14:16, 26; 15:26).

However, the crowd would have no knowledge of the promises Jesus made to the disciples or even in general, such as at John 7. The mention of PROMISE then, probably takes us back to the Joel passage and sees it as a promise from God that the religious crowd would be familiar with. Once again, however, it is clear that the chronology at Joel does not allow for a dual fulfillment of the prophecy, but only a similarity, and it is that that Peter has in mind.

3. He has poured forth this: The verb is ekcheo, as an aorist active indicative and refers to the APPLICATION of the gift that was given to Jesus. The Father gave Jesus the gift of the Spirit's presence for the church, and Jesus then bestowed it historically upon the church.

4. Which you both see and hear: the empirical evidence of an unusual phenomenon, which is the arrival of the Holy Spirit upon the believers.

See Topic: HOLY SPIRIT: Indwelling

 

Verse 34-35, Amplification of the fact that David was not the fulfillment

1. For it was not David who ascended into heaven: We know this because Jesus said that no one (human) has ascended into heaven at John 3:13.

2. But he himself says: and then Peter quotes from David's Psalm 110:1 to indicate that it was a divine personality that was invited to sit down.

3. The Lord said to my Lord: In the Hebrew this is, "Yahweh said to my Lord." David sees another person instead of himself being invited by Yahweh to sit at the right hand of God. This OTHER person is the Messiah after His victory as the suffering servant. The one doing the inviting is God the Father. The writer of the book of Hebrews identifies the one invited as THE SON (Heb. 1:8-13), which is only a confirmation of what Psalm 2:7-9 does.

4. Jesus challenged the Pharisees about this issue of two divine personalities, but they were unable to find an answer (Mat. 22:41-46).

 

Verse 36, Summary statement to put the challenge clearly before them. Ie, Jesus is the Messiah.

1. Therefore: based on this information that I have just given to you.

2. Let all the house of Israel: Reference to the Jewish nation as a collective body. This is then a challenge to the nation as a whole because God is going to build a new evangelistic agency and will displace the nation, while using individuals from the nation to construct the new body.

3. The following statement is put forth as a divine indictment of the nation of their failure by rejecting Jesus as the Messiah. The nation will not recover, but individuals can trust in Christ and become part of the new body.

4. know: this verb is ginosko as a present active imperative. This verb refers to the PERCEPTION of information rather than the actual acceptance and utilization of that information. This is a statement of challenge, and could better be rendered as "RECOGNIZE."

5. that God has made Him: the verb is poieo as an aorist active indicative, and refers to the historical fact of the Messiah's ESTABLISHMENT as the Messiah and deity.

6. both Lord: the Greek word is kurios and simply refers to someone who is in authority. However, in this context, it refers to the one who is given absolute authority, so that He is LORD OF LORDS (Rev. 19:16). This TITLE takes them back to the Old Testament and the fact that the Messiah would be both Lord and LORD; that is, both sovereign master (adonay) and the personal God (Yahweh).

7. and Christ: Again, the Greek is christos and means anointed one. It refers to the one who has been anointed by God as the one who would carry out the Father's plans for bring salvation to the human race. The Hebrew word, meshiyach means the anointed one, and has been transliterated into the Greek, the English, and probably most languages. It is the Messiah.

8. this Jesus whom you crucified: The standard verb is stauroo, and occurs as an aorist active indicative to indicate the historical fact of the nation's part in killing their Messiah.

 

Verse 37, The Response of the People

1. Now when they heard this they were pierced in the heart:
The success of any communication is the impact it has on the hearers. Whether there is a negative or a positive response, if the information has been HEARD and PERCEIVED, then the communicator has succeeded.

A. the word pierced is the verb, katanussomai as an aorist passive indicative. This is the only place this word is used, and clearly indicates the idea that the information has entered into the heart and made an impact.

B. In the heart: the word kardia refers to the mentality of the soul.
This is where issues are evaluated and considered. It is here where one decides the value and validity and usability of data that is perceived.

C. For details on the function of the soul see Topic: The Heart.

2. Brethren, what shall we do: the information has made a positive impact on a large number of these people. They recognize the issues Peter has clarified and they accept them, but now they don't know what to do about it. The deed has been done; Jesus was rejected and crucified and resurrected. What now is our responsibility?

 

Verse 38, The means of salvation

1. And Peter said to them: The Jews who were listening

2. Repent: the verb is metanoeo as an aorist active imperative, which indicates a command, and required policy. The verb means to change the mind, and indicates a new outlook on the spiritual issues that have been discussed. It does not mean to change behavior, but to change one's thinking. As a result of changing the mind about Jesus as the Messiah, one will turn to God and receive the blessings of forgiveness of sins (salvation). The command is in the 2nd person plural (you all), and is addressed to those who have expressed a positive desire toward the information about the Messiah. The aorist tense describes the IMMEDIATE action that is necessary.

3. and let each one be baptized: The ritual is in clear obedience to the instructions of Jesus given at Matthew 28:19. the aorist passive imperative of baptidzo indicates a point of time that will be subsequent to the repentance.

This occurs in the 3rd person singular, and provides a clear SYNTACTICAL break that introduces a separate idea.

A. The reason there is a syntactical break is because of the change from the 2nd person plural to the 3rd person singular.

B. The 2nd person occurs again in the statement, you shall receive.

C. This switch and return creates a syntactical parenthesis between the word repent and the word receive. It would read like this; "Repent you-all (and let each one be baptized "because of" the forgiveness of sins) and you-all shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit."

D. A.T. Robertson writes of this as follows:

"This change marks a break in the thought here that the English translation does not preserve. The first thing to do is make a radical and complete change of heart and life. Then let each one be baptized after this change has taken place, and the act of baptism be performed 'in the name of Jesus Christ'" (Word Pictures, Acts, pages 34-35).

E. The Greek language employs a 3rd person in the imperative, and it is best rendered as "let him or her." But here we have a personal adjective, hekastos, which means, each. Thus, it would be rendered as, "let each one be baptized."

F. The passive voice simply indicates that the subject must receive the action of the verb "baptize."

4. FOR the forgiveness of your sins: A big question centers around the translation of the word rendered "for." The word is "eis" which is a preposition that has a variety of uses; to, toward, for, unto, because of. The context must determine which is the better choice.

A. So the question that is asked is: Is baptism "for" the forgiveness of sins or "because of" forgiveness of sins?

B. In other words, do I get baptized in order to receive forgiveness or in order to testify to the forgiveness I received when I trusted in Christ?

C. Acts 10:37-48 makes it perfectly clear that "salvation" occurs at the moment of time that someone believes.

1. In Acts 10, they were listening to Peter's gospel message, and while he was still speaking, believed in their soul what he was teaching.

2. Immediately, they received the Holy Spirit because they were of course, saved at that moment of belief.

3. Then Peter suggests that they should receive water baptism SINCE they had already received the Spirit - ie, were saved.

4. Thus, it should be clear that the ritual of water baptism -

a. Did not save them
b. Did not cause them to receive the Spirit
c. But was a testimony of their salvation "after the fact" of being saved and "cleansed" from their sins.

D. At Matthew 3:11, I baptize you with water FOR (eis) repentance.
It is NOT - to produce repentance, but "because" repentance has already taken place.
At Luke 3:7-8, "John was saying . . . bring forth fruits in keeping with repentance . . ."
this tells us that the repentance comes first and then they were baptized to demonstrate that they had repented?

E. Notice Matthew 12:41, They repented "at" (eis) the preaching of Jonah. They repented because of the preaching of Jonah.

5. And you shall receive: now Peter returns to the 2nd person plural which ends the parenthesis and continues the thought from the first verb "repent."

A. In other words, let's read it and skip the parenthesis. "Repent and you shall receive the gift . . ."

B. What is the basis for receiving the gift of the Holy Spirit, repentance or baptism? Clearly, it is repentance (and the FAITH that is a mental extension of changing the mind) that saves and brings about the immediate results of that salvation.

C. At Galatians 3:2 Paul uses a rhetorical question to establish this. He asks, "Did you receive the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the message of faith?" An in verse 3, he confirms it by asking, "Are you so foolish, having begun by the Spirit (through faith - implied), are you now being matured by the flesh?" And of course the answer is that it is FAITH that saved them and gave them the Spirit, and it is FAITH that is now the basis for living the Christian life. Paul continues at Galatians 5:5-6, "for we through the Spirit BY FAITH are waiting for the hope of righteousness. For in Christ Jesus, neither circumcision nor un-circumcision means anything, but faith expressing itself through love."

6. The reason Peter even mentions being baptized - and so closely in connection with receiving the Holy Spirit (being saved in this instance) is because water baptism was a testimonial required as evidence of one's repentance (change of mind or faith). If a person is involved with a non-Christian belief system, and trusts in Christ, there needs to be an overt demonstration of the change of mind; the rejection of the wrong belief system. At this time, for the Jews, water baptism was the designed ritual to demonstrate a rejection of Pharisaic Judaism and acceptance of Jesus as the Messiah. Water baptism did not SAVE anyone, but served as an overt sign of repentance. Without the overt sign, the veracity of one's rejection of the old and acceptance of the new would be in question; especially in an environment where the two are in such obvious contradiction and conflict.

7. Peter does the same thing at Acts 3:19, but without mentioning the ritual of baptism.

A. Repent therefore: the word, metanoeo, means to change the mind.
It does not mean to change behavior, but to change one's thinking.

As a result of changing the mind about Jesus as the Messiah, one will turn to God and receive the blessings of forgiveness of sins (salvation) and the quality of life that is characterized by peace and joy (times of refreshing).

B. and return: this verb is epistrepho, and means to change one's direction or action. This then, logically follows the change of MIND. Without the action that follows that change of mind, any claim of a change is under suspicion. That is why John told the people to "bring forth fruit in keeping with repentance" (Mat. 3:8). Jesus told the people to "repent and believe the gospel" (Mark 1:15). Faith is the ACTION part of trusting God. Repentance (change of mind) is the recognition of one's need and acceptance of the Father's verdict through the convicting of the Holy Spirit concerning "sin righteousness and judgment" (John 16:9-11). That is why Paul's evangelistic ministry is summed up by proclaiming "repentance toward God and faith in our Lord Jesus Christ" (Acts 20:21). Since Judaism, and by way of application, any NON-Christian belief system, is diametrically opposed to true Christianity, TRUE faith should be characterized by a TURNING AWAY from that false belief system and by demonstrating overtly an acceptance of Christ as Savior. Jeremiah talks about this action of walking in the right way as he quotes God, saying, "Stand by the ways and see and ask for the ancient paths, where the good way is, and walk in it; and you shall find rest for your souls" (Jer. 6:16). A summary of Paul's evangelistic message showing this emphasis tells the people to "repent and turn to God, performing deeds appropriate to repentance" (Acts 26:20). However, this is not an act of WORKS that is in view, but simply an OBVIOUS rejection of one's present belief system, for without that rejection, it is just as OBVIOUS that there has been no true embracing of total trust in Christ. This ACTION is only a SIGN or TOKEN of the saving faith that was expressed and is not the SAME AS faith, nor does it accomplish what faith accomplishes. It is faith and faith only that brings forgiveness of sins and the imputation of God's righteousness (justification).

C. that your sins may be wiped away: the word, wiped away, is an aorist passive infinitive of exaleipho, which means to blot out, introduced by the preposition, EIS. It is used only here in reference to forgiveness of sins, but parallels the other words that communicate total and complete removal of the sin debt from the one who believes in Jesus (Psalm 103:12; Isaiah 1:18; 43:25; Rev. 1:5).

Although Peter mentions a TURNING AROUND idea, it is only repentance AND the faith expressed through that change of mind that brings about forgiveness (Luke 24:47; Acts 10:43; 13:38-39).

7. Paul did not place the same kind of emphasis on water baptism because its purpose had been distorted and abused (like so many other things within the early church). However, he did incorporate the ritual into his evangelistic ministry (1 Cor. 1:14-17). That passage also clearly indicates that Paul placed no salvation benefit on the ritual, for he sums up the whole thing by saying, "God did not send me to baptize, but to proclaim the gospel" (1 Cor. 1:17).

See Topic: BAPTISMS

8. the gift of the Holy Spirit: It is the gift WHICH IS the Holy Spirit. The presence of the Holy Spirit within each believer IS the gift that was promised by Christ. This refers to the indwelling of the Spirit which eventually would be the possession of every believer as it would be received at the very moment of trusting in Christ (Rom. 8:9; 1 Cor. 12:13; 2 Cor. 1:22; 5:5; Eph. 1:13-14).

 

Verse 39, the availability of the gift which is the Holy Spirit

1. For: the use of GAR to explain how it is that if they believe they could receive the Spirit.

2. the promise is for you and your children: The promise made by Joel to the NATION, and made by Jesus to the disciples. Each individual of the present nation, and each individual of future generations.

3. and for all who are far off: This is a reference to the Gentiles (Eph. 2:11-13, 17; Luke 2:30-32).

4. As many as the Lord our God: This refers to Yahweh, the Most High God, as He was known throughout the Old Testament; God the Father (my, our your), as Jesus consistently described Him.

5. shall call to Himself: The verb is proskaleo, as an aorist middle subjunctive, that refers to the salvation invitation extended to all people. It means to summon or call someone to yourself; to invite. It is used 30 times, and only here for the divine summons of God inviting people unto salvation. Paul describes this as, "God is now declaring to men that all everywhere should repent" (Acts 17:30). And he writes at Titus 2:11 that "the grace of God has appeared bringing salvation to all men;" and sums up his ministry by telling King Agrippa that he "kept declaring both to those of Damascus first, and at Jerusalem, and throughout all the region of Judea, and to the Gentiles, that they should repent and turn to God, performing deeds appropriate to repentance" (Acts 26:20).

This does not refer to the status of ELECTION (chosen), but to the CALL or INVITATION into that status. Jesus said that "many are called, but few are chosen" (Mat. 22:14).

 

Verse 40, Teaching ministry after salvation

1. And with many other words: this is a summary of the teaching session.

Peter did not just give the gospel and leave it at that. He continued to teach them about growth and service as is indicated by the word, "exhorted." We do not know how long the session went on, but MANY OTHER WORDS suggests repetition, review, amplification, and proofs. The result is that when it was over, three thousond people had trusted in Christ as the Messiah and made the necessary OVERT decision to reject Pharisaic Judaism and embrace the teachings of Jesus.

2. he testified: this is an aorist middle indicative of diamarturomai, which means to witness to something THROUGH (dia) or thoroughly. It carries with it a solemnity and seriousness that focuses on the value and profundity of the message.

3. and continually exhorted them: This is the verb, parakaleo, as a present active indicative, and means to exhort, encourage, urge to action. The action urged is to make decisions that will deliver them from the evil effects of the immoral and religious environment in which they live.

4. saying, be saved: this is sodzo as an aorist passive imperative, and is the usual word for salvation from the penalty of sin. However, it is also used for deliverance from the viewpoint and influence of evil, and for that matter, deliverance from ANYTHING, both physical and idealistic.

The invitation of verse 38, was for SALVATION. This instruction is an urging to put into practice the new information that they have received, and reject the immorality and religious distortions that are so dominant within their society. We know this because Peter says "be saved from this crooked generation," which is not the issue in salvation from the penalty of sin. Such deliverance can only occur through FIRST a salvation relationship with God, and THEN through knowledge and application of His viewpoint and policy for living here on earth. The use of the aorist tense (point of time focus) is to stress the need for an immediate decision. This deliverance begins immediately upon the choice to reject the false standards which the message of Peter exposes, but a continued deliverance from human viewpoint and evil requires constant diligence in spiritual growth (learning God's word) and obedience (using God's word).

Paul wrote to the Galatians concerning this when he told them that Jesus "gave Himself for our sins so that He might deliver us our from this present evil age" (Gal. 1:4). Peter mentions it again at Acts 3:26 when he says that God sent Jesus "to bless you by turning every one of you from your wicked ways." This refers to the blessing that follows salvation from the penalty of sin, and is dependent on a way of life that rejects sin and human viewpoint (wicked ways).

5. this perverse generation: The word is skolios and means literally, something that is physically crooked or twisted. Figuratively, it refers to something that is not in line with established (straight) moral and spiritual standards. It thus has the idea of dishonest, unscrupulous, immoral, or perverse. The focus on THIS generation does not distinguish that particular time period from any other as being more evil, but simply stresses that for them, the PRESENT generation has the potential to affect the quality of life that they live after trusting in Christ. The very same idea applies to every following generation, for it is the WORLD SYSTEM under the authority and influence of Satan and man's own sin nature that is in view.

 

Verse 41, The response to Peter's message

1. So then: Summary words to introduce the results of Peter's teaching

2. Those who had received his word: The verb is an aorist middle participle of apodechomai, which means to receive something favorably. The aorist tense is looking at the point of time of the whole day and summarizing the final results of every one's decision to accept not only the salvation information, but also the exhortation to reject the present evil they were involved with.

3. were baptized: the overt ritual that demonstrated their decision to reject Pharisaic Judaism and identify with the NEW Messianic teachings revolving around the death and resurrection of Jesus.

4. And there were added that day about three thousond souls (people).

This is clearly a statement of an additional number of people being joined with those who were proclaiming and living Jesus as the Messiah.

 

Verses 42-47, Summary of local church activity on a daily basis

Verse 42

1. And they were constantly devoting themselves: this is a periphrastic construction in the Greek, which makes an emphatic statement concerning the consistency of the verbal action.

A. The construction has the imperfect indicative of eimi, which literally means, "they kept on being."

B. And then the present active participle of proskartereo, which means to hold fast to or persevere in something.

C. The intensity and consistency is indicated in the context by the communal conditions that were begun.

2. To the apostles' teaching: the noun, didachā, refers to either the act or the content of the message; thus, doctrine or instruction. In this case, the teaching was like what was heard from the prophets in the Old Testament. It was direct revelation from God, communicating the details of the Mystery of Christ for both growth and testimony.

3. and to fellowship: the noun, koinonia, refers to an agreeable interaction between the people as they begin applying the moral and spiritual truths to every area of their life.

4. to the breaking of bread: this does not refer to normal meals, for that is mentioned later as a separate factor. This refers to the observance of the communion ritual, which was commanded by Jesus. The details of it are found at 1 Corinthians 11:23-26.

See Topic: COMMUNION: The Design of the ritual

5. and to the prayers (plural): the activity of talking to God in the three categories of ACCESS, FELLOWSHIP and SERVICE.

A. ACCESS prayer refers to the personal confession of sin or sins in order to be "in fellowship" with God (1 John 1:9) so that He will hear us (Psalm 66:18).

B. FELLOWSHIP prayer refers to praise and thanksgiving as we express to God our experience of peace and joy.

C. SERVICE prayer refers to that which appeals to God for assistance and action in our life or the lives of others.

See Topic: PRAYER: Summary

 

Verse 43

1. And everyone kept feeling a sense of awe: literally, this reads, "and reverence was becoming (or occurring) to every soul," but the SMOOTHING out of the English is not a violation of the intent of the writer.

2. And many wonders and signs were happening through the apostles:

A. The word for wonder is, teras, and it means something that causes wonder and amazement. It may or may not be a supernatural thing, but usually is.

B. The word for sign is, sāmeion, and it refers to a supernatural phenomenon that is used as a PROOF of verification concerning the validity of the message.

C. These wonders and signs would have included various miracle activity, and probably mostly healings.

 

Verse 44-45, The communal arrangements

1. And all those who had believed: this is the verb, pisteuo, as an aorist active participle, which indicates that a point-of-time decision had been made which then constituted that person as a BELIEVER.

2. were together: This is the same construction we saw at verse 1, and indicates a geographical togetherness. Not everyone was DWELLING in the same location, but a large number of the new converts were from other towns and had no place to stay. The NEW organization was basically centered in the one location around the temple from which it then launched out to households throughout the city.

3. and had all things in common: This expresses a communal type arrangement although they were not all LIVING in the same spot. But it does mean that they were organized into a unified GROUP that shared equally in the material needs they all had, as is explained at verse 45.

4. And they were selling their property and possessions: This is a summary statement and should best be taken as referring to EXCESS property and possessions, for people still needed places to live. Nor does it mean that absolutely EVERYONE was selling, for it was not commanded policy as Acts 5:4a indicates. Two examples of this are Barnabas (Acts 4:36-37) and Annanias (Acts 5:1f).

5. and were sharing them with all: the verb is diameridzo, which means to distribute. The proceeds from the sales were then distributed to the MEMBERS of this group according to who had need, which would refer food, shelter and clothing needs.

6. This COMMUNAL type activity was not a commanded policy, nor did it continue to be the pattern. It was employed here because of the sudden and large mass of people who became associated with the apostles' teachings,, and who actually lived in other cities.

However, the practice of material assistance to other believers continued to be a normal expression of Christian service.

See Topic: Christian Welfare

 

Verse 46 DAILY

1. And day be day: Literally, according to a day, from preposition, kata, plus the noun, hāmera.

2. continuing with one mind: The verb is the same as at verse 42, proskartereo, which indicates a constant diligence and devotion.

The phrase, with one mind, is the word homothumadon, which means "of the same passion or emotional expression." It does not exclude the MIND, but focuses primarily on the emotional unity of the people.

3. in the temple: This was primarily for evangelistic purposes, but it also was a good place for bivouacking a large group of people, which was common enough during the feast days.

4. and breaking bread from house to house: they organized the celebration of the communion according to the location and size of the various homes of the believers.

5. they were taking their meals together: the feeding of the large group also required organization with the various households.

6. with gladness: this is the noun, agalliasis, and refers to the overt expression of joy. This indicates that there was an emotional fulfillment experienced as these people were learning and practicing the teachings of Jesus.

7. and sincerity: this noun is aphelotās, which means simplicity of motivation. That is, without religious, moral or emotional complications.
It indicates a minimum of mental attitude sins and detail of life distractions.

 

Verse 47

1. praising God: the verb, aineo, as a present active participle indicates the humility attitude toward God that recognizes Him as the source for their present spiritual and physical blessings.

2. and having favor with all the people: the word, favor, is actually GRACE (charis), which indicates that the people as a whole, the unbelieving Jews living in Jerusalem, were being impacted by the message and actions of this group of people.

3. And the Lord was adding to their number: the verb is prostithāmi as an imperfect active indicative, to express God's personal involvement with the numerical growth of the church. God is the one who ADDS a person to the body of believers; that is, adds them to the body of the church universal.

But it is BASED UPON the volitional decisions of the people whether they are added or not. They are saved by faith, and then those who are thus saved, are joined to the group.

4. day by day: indicates daily SUCCESS in evangelistic activity.

5. Those who were being saved: This is a present passive participle of the verb, sodzo, which indicates in context, saved from the penalty of sin.

Thus, the church has its strong and powerful beginning, basically "taking over" Jerusalem. But in spite of this great initial success, the religious leaders will soon REGROUP and begin to RETAKE the religious control of the city. That opposition begins to form and express itself in Acts four.

 
 

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©Ron Wallace, http://www.biblefragrances.com. Anyone is free to reproduce this material and distribute it,
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