I. THE COMING OF THE HOLY SPIRIT
VERSES 1-4 "And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. 2 And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. 3 And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. 4 And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.
A. "And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place."
1. Who were the "all" in this passage?
a. Some (Pentecostal) believe that Luke refers to the 120 spoken of in Acts chapter one in the upper room.
b. We cannot know based on this verse alone, but can determine that it was not the 120, but the twelve apostles that were referred to, based upon other verses in both chapter one and two.
2. If we follow the "noun trail" we can clearly see that the apostles were the individuals referred to in verse one.
a. See attached handout "Follow the Noun Trail."
b. This concludes in chapter 2:14 with, ACT 2:14 But Peter, standing up with the eleven..."
3. By Luke mentioning that they (the apostles) were all in one place this would tend to indicate that it was different than the "Upper room" referred to in chapter one and that Luke was seeking to make this distinction.
B. "And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting...cloven tongues like as of fire"
1. Notice that it was the sound that filled the house, not a wind. The sound was as of a rushing mighty wind in that it had a loud noise similar to the sound of a great wind, perhaps a hurricane or tornado.
a. The purpose was to announce the coming of the "great and notable day of the Lord."
2. The cloven tongues were "like as of fire." They had the appearance of fire likely in that they were very bright as to draw attention.
a. The word cloven literally means, "divided."
b. A great brightness came to rest upon each of the apostles.
3. What was the purpose of each of these two events? To signal the coming of the Holy Spirit to Jews who were gathered for the day of Pentecost. It is certain that both the might sound from Heaven and the bright cloven tongues disappeared after they got the attention of the public.
C. "And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance."
1. The "filling with the Holy Ghost" was clearly the baptism of the Spirit of which the Lord promised his apostles earlier.
a. See Acts 1:5
2. Here is the prime example of speaking in tongues in the New Testament. It was the speaking in other "known" languages.
a. The word "unknown" is found in connection with tongue speaking six times in the KJV. It is not in the original. It has been furnished by the translators. In this case it adds a wrong meaning to the text. Paul is not speaking of some ecstatic, unfathomable "prayer language" but of an understandable language.
II. THE REACTION TO THE SPIRIT'S COMING3. "As the Spirit gave them utterance" means that the words they spoke were guided by the Holy Spirit himself.
VERSES 5-13 And there were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout men, out of every nation under heaven. 6 Now when this was noised abroad, the multitude came together, and were confounded, because that every man heard them speak in his own language. 7 And they were all amazed and marvelled, saying one to another, Behold, are not all these which speak Galilaeans? 8 And how hear we every man in our own tongue, wherein we were born? 9 Parthians, and Medes, and Elamites, and the dwellers in Mesopotamia, and in Judaea, and Cappadocia, in Pontus, and Asia, 10 Phrygia, and Pamphylia, in Egypt, and in the parts of Libya about Cyrene, and strangers of Rome, Jews and proselytes, 11 Cretes and Arabians, we do hear them speak in our tongues the wonderful works of God. 12 And they were all amazed, and were in doubt, saying one to another, What meaneth this? 13 Others mocking said, These men are full of new wine.
A. "And there were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout men, out of every nation under heaven."
1. As we shall see in the next verses these men were from almost every corner of the Roman world. It is obvious that "every nation under heaven" meant the world know to them at that time.
2. Why were they there? They had travelled to Jerusalem for the Passover and had stayed over the fifty day for the feast of Pentecost.
3. It was not accidental that the Spirit would be poured out and the church begun on this day.
a. God had a plan in place. See Galatians 4:4.
b. Just as it was no accident that God chose the era to begin His new covenant, with the Roman empire making everything just right for the beginning of a new religion, so too was the date just right for the fulfillment of the promise of Joel.
4. These were "devout men." Some had travelled hundreds of miles by foot, horseback, sea, or chariot to be there for the express purpose of worshipping Jehovah God. They would be fertile ground for the planting of the gospel seed.
B. "Now when this was noised abroad, the multitude came together....."
1. The loud noise and the bright light did its intended purpose, to start people talking.
2. Crowds started gathering. and each person heard in his own language.
a. It is not necessary to believe that the miracle was in the hearer. In fact this would go against the intention of the text. They were speaking in "other tongues."
3. How was each person hearing in their own tongue? It was likely that the twelve apostles had "fanned out" in the assembly speaking in a particular language and preaching.
C. "Behold, are not all these which speak Galilaeans?"
1. This statement was a recognition of the low regard that Galilee held in the eyes of most other Jews.
2. If these men were from Galilee, to those present, it is obvious that they were not able to know all the various languages.
3. This just accentuates the nature of this miracle.
D. "And how hear we every man... we do hear them speak in our tongues the wonderful works of God"
1. It has been said by those who have done extensive research in this that there were twelve distinctive languages represented here. There were two primary languages in the Roman Empire: Latin and Greek. But there were many other native tongues spoken in the many provinces of the empire.
2. The apostles were preaching the word of God. We do not know exactly what there were saying but that it surely was a preparation for what Peter was going to say.
3. Why speaking in tongues is not available to us today.
a. No Holy Spirit baptism
b. No one can have hands laid on them by apostles.
c. Paul told us that these miraculous gifts would cease. See 1 Corinthians 13:8-10.
E. "And they were all amazed, and were in doubt, saying one to another, What meaneth this? 13 Others mocking said, These men are full of new wine."
1. There were two different reactions. One group didn't know what to make of this set of miracles. But another group was ready to apply
2. The comments by Reese in his commentary on Acts, page 56 are very illuminating on the question of "new wine."
III. PETER'S RESPONSEa. "The are full of sweet wine - i.e., these men are drunk! The ASV translated the Greek word gleukos as 'new wine,' but that is misleading, for it carries the idea it was just freshly squeezed. That cannot be, for at the time of year when Pentecost falls the only wine available was last year's vintage. The vintage of the current year is still some months off. 'Sweet wine' was artificially prepared to retain its sweetness and extra strength and was very intoxicating. Perhaps we are to understand that there was something about the behavior or appearance of the apostles that would cause the mockers to make such a charge."
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: 15 For these are not drunken, as ye suppose, seeing it is but the third hour of the day.
A. "But Peter, standing with the eleven..."
1. If it is the case, as we are certain, that the apostles had been preaching individually to the various people gathering together, they now came together and had Peter as spokesman for the group.
2. "The eleven" means Peter with the other eleven apostles. They were now twelve total because of the addition of Matthias.
3. The Lord promised specifically that Peter would have the privilege of using the "keys of the kingdom", i.e. the way of salvation.
a. Matthew 16:16-18
4. He raised his voice so he could be heard in the face of such a large assembly, that numbered in the thousands.
B. "Ye men of Judaea, and all ye that dwell at Jerusalem"
1. Peter first addresses those who were inhabitants of Judaea, probably the largest single group.
2. Next, he addresses all the other with "and all ye that dwell at Jerusalem."
3. Though some of these had just mocked them, Peter begins with a respectful tone.
C. "For these are not drunken, as ye suppose, seeing it is but the third hour of the day."
IV. THE SERMON - THE PROPHECY OF JOEL1. The third hour of the day was the hour of prayer, it was the usual custom for Jewish men to not eat or drink anything before the hour of prayer. Other devout Jews would understand this principle and see how absurd the charge would be.
VERSES 16-21 "But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel; 17 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: 18 And on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy: 19 And I will show wonders in heaven above, and signs in the earth beneath; blood, and fire, and vapour of smoke: 20 The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before that great and notable day of the Lord come: 21 And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved."
A. "But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel"
1. Peter will generally quote from Joel 2:28-32 "And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions: 29 And also upon the servants and upon the handmaids in those days will I pour out my spirit. 30 And I will show wonders in the heavens and in the earth, blood, and fire, and pillars of smoke. 31 The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and the terrible day of the LORD come. 32 And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the LORD shall be delivered: for in mount Zion and in Jerusalem shall be deliverance, as the LORD hath said, and in the remnant whom the LORD shall call."
B. It should be noted that Peter removed any question as to what Joel meant and his application.
1. Peter, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, says that Joel's prophecy was fulfilled on the day of Pentecost and the entire Christian age.
C. "And it shall come to pass in the last days"
1. The "last days" began of the day of Pentecost and will continue throughout the Christian age."
2. See Hebrews 1:1-2
D. "I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh"
1. God would make available His Spirit to all mankind, both Jew and Gentile.
2. This does not imply that all would receive the same measure of that Spirit. Even in the prophecy itself is shows different manifestations to that outpouring. This began here and was fulfilled in its entirety full when the household of Cornelius received the baptism of the Spirit and thus ushered in the Gentiles as part of the body of Christ.
3. Also it would not be necessary that all these events happen on the day of Pentecost for it to be fulfilled. The Spirit being poured out on all flesh is identified to take place in the "last days."
a. But we should not make the mistake of believing that this passage would require the pouring out of the Spirit throughout all of the "last days."
E. "and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy..."
1. Peter describes only a few of the many faceted works of God that would pour forth by means of the Spirit.
2. Three different manifestations of the Spirit's work are mentioned here.
a. The speaking in other tongues.
b. Prophesy - the ability to speak the word of God that has been directly given by the Lord.
1. This took place in the early church in abundance. (See Acts 21:9; 1 Corinthians 14:1)
c. Visions and dreams - the receiving of divine revelation from the Lord.
1. These, too, took place on a regular basis in the first century. (See Acts 9:10, 16; 10:3, 11; 16:9)
d. We have no record of any visions and dreams on the day of Pentecost, nor is it necessary to the fulfillment for there to be any on that single day.
F. "And I will show wonders in heaven above...before that great and notable day of the Lord come"
1. There is a difference of view as to what Peter meant.
a. What were the signs and wonders, were they real, and what was the "great and notable day of the Lord?"
2. Different theories.
a. One view is that the great and notable day of the Lord was the day of Pentecost itself. The signs mentioned: blood, smoke, and vapour, were the sacrifices offered (some say as many as 250,000 lambs at Passover) leading up the Pentecost. Some also think that the sun being darkened and the moon being turned to blood took place at the crucifixion of Jesus. The problem with this view is that it is supposing something that Peter did not say. While the day of Pentecost is certainly the beginning of the "last days" it is only the beginning of them and would precede the "great and notable day."
b. Another view is that the signs are all to be taken figuratively as representing the conclusion of the Mosaic system. The Old Testament used such figures to represent the end of nation, governments, etc. Some who believe this think that the "great and notable day" would be the destruction of Jerusalem. One problem with this view is that the prophecy of Joel, unlike what Jesus spoke to his disciples about Jerusalem in Matthew chapter 24, is intended for all people and not for the Jews alone.
c. Another view is that the "great and notable day" will be the final coming of Jesus. The signs and wonders spoken of will be the end of the world. Those who believe this point to 2 Peter 3:10. But some would point out that these things are to take place before the day of the Lord come, not in conjunction with it, as seems to be inferred from 2 Peter 3:10.
d. It seems likely to this student, though there are some problems with all of these, that the third view is probably the correct one. There are too many verses that speak of the final coming as the "day of the Lord." (See 1 Thessalonians 5:2 and 2 Peter 3:12) While it is true that our Lord looked on the fall of Jerusalem, and the subsequent setting aside of the last remnants of the mosaic system as a momentous event, he never looked on it as being the end of the Christian age, as the "great and notable day" here seems to suggest.
G. "whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved."
1. This same phrase, or it's equivalence, is found two other times in the New Testament.
2. It is spoken by Paul in Romans 10:13 and by Luke in Acts 22:16.
3. It is falsely taught by those who believe in faith-only salvation that this proves that all one has to do is "call on the Lord" by making some public proclamation.
4. But Acts 22:16 tells us what is the true way of "calling on the Lord."
a. Acts 22:16- "And now why tarriest thou? arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord."
b. The "calling on the name of the Lord" takes place at the same time as having sins washed away, which takes place at baptism.
V. JESUS - A MAN APPROVED OF GOD.5. It is also obvious that if "calling on the name of the Lord" was simply some "saying the sinners prayer" or making a confession that "God for Christ's sake had forgiven my sins" why wouldn't Peter have said that to these very ones he was talking to in verse 38.
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: 23 Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain:
A. "Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you by miracles and wonders and signs"
1. Jesus had declared his works as the great validation of his ministry.
a. See John 10:36-37
2. Neither his friends, nor his enemies, could deny that he had worked great miracles.
a. John 3:2
b. Matthew 12:22-24
3. There is often much made of the "differences between miracles, wonders, and signs. While there might be some subtle difference I believe that they are simply giving emphasis to the same class of actions. These are things that could only be done by the hand of God.
B. "which God did by him in the midst of you, as ye yourselves also know"
1. While there were a few exceptions, nearly all the miracles of Jesus were done in the public for all those who happened to be present to see. Jesus did not go out of his way to gather a crowd. But neither were these things "done in a corner" (Acts 26:26)
2. The purpose of Jesus miracles was to prove that he was the messiah.
a. John 20:30-31
C. "Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands crucified and slain:"
1. The action of the crucifixion of Jesus was more than just accident, or by the will of evil men alone. Jesus made it very plain that no force on earth could execute him without his consent.
a. Matthew 26:52-53
2. It was by God's determinate counsel and foreknowledge.
a. It was not a haphazard act, in response to any fluid situation. It was an action that God had pondered over before the fact. The New Testament states that the plan of salvation, with the crucifixion at the center was conceived before time itself began.
b. See 2 Timothy 1:9; Titus 1:2; 1 Peter 1:2; Revelation 13:8.
D. "ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain:"
1. This statement indicted both Jew and Gentile.
2. "Wicked hands" literally means "men without the law." ASV - "Lawless" NASV - "Godless"
a. It is very likely that Peter was referring to the Roman authorities, who were needed by the Jewish leaders to carry out the murder of Jesus.
VI. JESUS - RAISED FROM THE DEAD3. The Jewish leaders hatched the plot, incited the Jewish masses, and the deed was completed by the gentile Romans.
VERSE 24 - "Whom God hath raised up, having loosed the pains of death: because it was not possible that he should be holden of it."
A. "Whom God hath raised up"
1. See also verse 32.
B. "Because it was not possible that he should be holden of it."
1. Why? Three reasons.
a. Because of the union of divinity with manhood. The very nature of Christ made it impossible that he should remain dead. Jesus was "God come in the flesh." (See John 1:1-2)
b. Because of God's character, which makes it impossible for Him to abandon one who so completely puts his trust in Him.]
25 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: 26 Therefore did my heart rejoice, and my tongue was glad; moreover also my flesh shall rest in hope: 27 Because thou wilt not leave my soul in hell, neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption. 28 Thou hast made known to me the ways of life; thou shalt make me full of joy with thy countenance.c. Because the Scriptures, which cannot be broken, declared the resurrection of Christ.
A. "For David speaketh concerning him"
1. Found in Psalm 16:8-10
2. As has been stated before, it is likely that David was writing this with some immediate thought about his secure relationship with the heavenly Father.
3. But it is obvious that Jews of Peter's day, quite correctly, understood this passage as one concerning the messiah. It is one that the crowd would readily understand.
B. "Because thou wilt not leave my soul in hell, neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption."
1. Jesus would not be allowed to remain in hades, the realm of the dead. KJV is an antiquated translation of this. Hell at the time of the KJV was simply a "hidden place." It is hades in his passage, the place of departed spirits, not "Hell" (gehena), the place of eternal punishment.
VERSES 29-31 "Men and brethren, let me freely speak unto you of the patriarch David, that he is both dead and buried, and his sepulchre is with us unto this day. 30 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; 31 He seeing this before spake of the resurrection of Christ, that his soul was not left in hell, neither his flesh did see corruption.2. It also teaches that Jesus body did not go through the normal process of decomposition that other bodies begin to go through after death.
A. "Men and brethren, let me freely speak unto you of the patriarch David..."
1. Peter shows logically that David could not be speaking of himself, because he was dead, buried and that they could visit his tomb even then. The implication is that God could not have been speaking specifically of David but of someone else in the future.
B. "Therefore being a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him that of the fruit of his loins..."
1. There is some question as to how much David understood about what he spoke. It is sure that he did have some understanding of his prophecy and that it had some reference to the one whom God had promised him would sit on his throne.
2. It is just as sure that the Jews of Jesus' day understood this promise given as having a messianic fulfillment, as well as with David's son Solomon.
a. See 2 Samuel 7:11-16; Psalm 89:3,4; 132:11.
3. David was a prophet in the sense that he spoke inspired words. His psalm were intended as word from the Lord.
C. "He would raise up Christ to sit upon his throne"
1. The word Christ means "the anointed one."
2. It is therefore obvious that the Jews-
a. Looked upon the Messiah to be a descendant of David.
b. The Messiah would sit upon the throne of David.
c. That he would die (see Isaiah chapter 53) but be raised, having not seen the physical corruption that normally accompanies death.
3. Premillinialists believe that this is the promise of an earthly reign of Christ, but a careful study of the Scriptures tell otherwise.
32 This Jesus hath God raised up, whereof we all are witnesses." 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. 34 For David is not ascended into the heavens: but he saith himself, The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand, 35 Until I make thy foes thy footstool. 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.a. Psalm 89:35-37 tells us that the throne of David would be established in Heaven forever. The next passages, with Christ ascending into Heaven to sit of the right hand of God and thus ruling from David's throne, drives home this very point.
A. "This Jesus hath God raised up, whereof we all are witnesses."
1. Here is the application of the sermon. Jesus of Nazareth, spoken in this way to draw attention to the Jesus Peter was referring to, is the Messiah because he fulfilled what David said concerning the Messiah.
2. We need to remember the timing of Peter's sermons. It was a mere forty days after the resurrection of Jesus. Jesus' tomb was know to all. No doubt many had made the short trip to see that the tomb was empty. They had also heard the stories of Jesus appearing to his apostles, and as many as 500 hundred people at one time. Hence the time was ripe to drive home the obvious conclusion.
B. "Therefore being by the right hand of God exalted..."
1. Jesus had returned to the Father, from whom he had come.
2. One of the great proofs of the truthfulness of all this, in addition to the empty tomb, was the sending of the Holy Spirit, which they were witnessing then. He had been promised by Joel as a sure sign of the messiah's coming.
C. "For David is not ascended into the heavens"
1. Peter tells them that it is obvious from the occupied tomb that David was not the subject of the prophecy. He is not the reason for Joel's prophecy of the Holy Spirit. Only the Messiah's enthronement would be reason for all of this.
D. "The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand, 35 Until I make thy foes thy footstool."
1. Found in Psalm 110:1
a. Understood by Jews of Jesus' day to refer to the Messiah.
b. See Matthew 22:42-46.
2. This is the promise of the Messiah's exaltation, which would take place after his suffering for mankind (Isaiah 53).
3. This is just another way of saying what Jesus meant in Matthew 28:18, that he had all authority in heaven and on earth.
4. The duration of this rule is given, "Until I make thy foes thy footstool." Paul expands on this in 1 Corinthians 15:24-26.
E. "Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ."
1. Even given the fact that the death of Jesus was according to the pre-arranged plan of God, it still was true that those Jews there on the day of Pentecost were responsible for killing the Messiah, whom they had professed to earnestly desire.
2. But Jesus had taken the acts of sinners and transformed it into triumph.
3. The resurrection and ascension was the validation of Jesus' claims of being the Messiah (Christ) and thus ascended David's throne in heaven and became Lord, in fulfillment of David's prophecy.
VII. THE CONCLUSION OF THE SERMON4. This statement was meant to convict Peter's listeners of their sins and to encourage them to ask the next question.
37 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? 38 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. 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. 40 And with many other words did he testify and exhort, saying, Save yourselves from this untoward generation. 41 Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls.
A. "Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart..."
1. Coffman affirms that this is equivalent with faith in Jesus Christ.
2. It is certain that they did believe in Christ. They were convinced that they had crucified the Messiah, the Son of God, the Christ. If not, why were they so desperate to seek a way out of their guilt.
3. There is a result to the preaching of the Gospel in every case.
a. This shows the positive response to the Gospel.
b. There are also those who react in a negative way. Sometimes it is even bitter. (See Acts 7:54)
B. "Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins."
1. Repent - a change of attitude that results in a change of conduct."
2. Baptized - immersed.
3. "In the name of Jesus Christ"
a. by the authority of Jesus Christ.
b. See also Colossians 3:17
4. For the remission of sins - forgiveness of sins.
a. Since baptism is for the remission of sins it is necessary for salvation.
b. Denominationalists hold that this means to be baptized because their sins had already been forgiven. Matthew 26:28 has the same phrase, "for the remission of sins." It cannot mean that Christ shed his blood because sins had already been forgiven. The same phrase is used in both passages.
C. "And ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost." (Some differing views among brethren)
1. That the gift is salvation.
2. That the gift is the miraculous gifts of the Spirit.
3. That it is the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. I believe that this is the proper interpretation.
4. The original language can either mean that the Holy Spirit is the gift himself, or that it is a gift from the Holy Spirit. The later thought is expressed in the first two theories. The former is expressed in the last theory.
D. "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"
1. Here is the fulfillment of the Great Commission. "You, and to your children" undoubtedly refers to the Jews, while "all that are afar off" would logically refer to the Gentiles.
a. Concerning the Gentiles, see Ephesians 2:12-17.
2. What is the "promise" mentioned here? It is not the baptism of the Holy Ghost envisioned here. If so, it would mean that every Christian would automatically receive it upon conversion. It is the salvation and indwelling of the Spirit that the individual Christian receives when they are added to the body of Christ.
3. The call spoken of here is that of the Gospel. See 2 Thessalonians 2:14.
E. "And many other words..."
1. We can know from this that we have only a skeleton outline of what Peter and the other apostles said on that day. This is enough to understand the message and to reach out to all those who read it with a believing heart.
VIII. THE LIFE OF THE EARLY CHURCH2. "Save yourselves" shows that there was something that they could do to alter their final condition before God. The word "untoward" simply means crooked or sinful.
42 And they continued stedfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers. 43 And fear came upon every soul: and many wonders and signs were done by the apostles. 44 And all that believed were together, and had all things common; 45 And sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all men, as every man had need. 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, 47 Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved."
A. "And they continued stedfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers."
1. The apostles' doctrine is simply the teaching that came from the apostles.
2. The fellowship here is the sharing with one another that took place in the early church, where no one was allowed to suffer for those necessary things.
3. The breaking of bread here is likely referring to the Lord's Supper and not a common meal. This is in contrast to the breaking of bread from house to house, which is definitely referring to common meals.
4. They were constantly in prayer to God.
B. "And fear came upon every soul: and many wonders and signs were done by the apostles."
1. Fear here is not in the sense of abject terror, but a deep reverence for the power of God that was being wielded by the apostles.
C. "And all that believed were together, and had all things common..."
1. This shows the great fellowship that the Jerusalem Christians had for each other.
2. They were not forced to give everything, neither can we infer from this passage that they gave up the personal ownership of things (See Acts 5:4). This was not a communist arrangement.
a. Those who had property and possessions sold them and gave to other brethren as there was a need. This is seen in Acts 4:32-37.
D. "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"
1. The Christians met together in the temple area. This may be in reference to the meeting together as the church on the Lord's day, or it may have reference to the practice continued for a number of years for the Christians in Jerusalem to continue to take part in the prayer services in the temple.
2. "Breaking bread" and "eat their meat" has to do with the close social relationship that Christians had with each other. They were united in the family of God and had a closeness that few congregations have ever come close to matching.
E. "Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved."
1. "Having favor with all the people" does not refer to every single individual, for we can readily see that they had no favor with the leaders. What it is saying is that the masses of the people respected and were favorably inclined toward the church. This is one reason why the church grew so rapidly.
2. The word "church" here is added by the translators and is not part of the oldest manuscripts. But it is a logical conclusion. The Lord was adding people to the body of believers, the church. It is incorrect to say that anyone "joins the church."