The Proven Christ

Posted: May 27, 2018 in Acts, Uncategorized

Acts 2:25-39, “The Proven Christ”

Some moments are just awkward. Have you ever had an experience when a person walks up to you in friendly greeting & conversation, and you have no idea who they are? All you can do is just smile & nod, smile & nod, and try to jog your memory somehow. What’s worse is when you finally do remember, and your gut sinks a bit as you think about how you should have reacted all along.

What’s awkward in social situations can be worse in other arenas. Think about the policeman who doesn’t recognize the mayor he just pulled over for a traffic ticket – or the private who made a joke at the expense of his out-of-uniform commanding officer. Those can lead to some very bad days!

But take it up a notch to something vastly more important. What if you did something horrible to someone, only later to realize that the other person was crucial to your survival? The initial action was bad enough, but once you recognized the ongoing consequences, things become all the worse. Something would need to be done in response. But what? How could things be made right again? You would beg & plead for the answer.

So did the Jews in Jerusalem on the day of Pentecost. They had failed to recognize Jesus as the Messiah, but as bad as that was, they did something worse: they rejected Jesus and delivered Him over to the Romans to be crucified. Much of it had been done in the heat of the moment, but with the passing of time, and proof that Jesus had risen from the grave, the light was beginning to dawn for these Jews…they were in a heap of trouble!

The apostle Peter was making this case to the Jews, giving them some really bad news…but he didn’t leave it there. He also gave them marvelously good news, too! They could be forgiven – they could be saved. All they needed to do was respond to the grace of God, and they could know the salvation of their souls & the gift of the Holy Spirit! The Jews hadn’t recognized Jesus before, but they had the opportunity to recognize Him now…and it wasn’t an opportunity they wanted to pass up!

Remember what led to this point, as the timeframe is crucially important. Just over 50 days earlier, Jesus had been betrayed by Judas Iscariot, condemned by the Jews, crucified by the Romans, and buried in a rich man’s tomb. Three days later, He rose from the dead, appearing many times to His disciples with many convincing proofs. He taught them from the Scriptures, commissioned them to spread the gospel in the power of the Holy Spirit, and ascended to God as the disciples looked on in witness. That final act was only 10 days earlier. Now, those 10 days later, as the disciples waited in Jerusalem (per Jesus’ command), Jesus’ promise came true. God the Holy Spirit came upon the Christians in a new and powerful way – so new, in fact, that the disciples did something previously unseen in Israel: speak in unknown languages.

Of course, this was what attracted the attention of the crowd in the city. Pentecost was a feast day in Israel: Shavuot / the Feast of Weeks. Not only was this a celebration of the springtime harvest, but it was also the day the Jews celebrated the reception of the 10 Commandments on Mount Sinai. Then, it was the law that had been given to Israel; this time it was the Holy Spirit that was given to the church.

Obviously the gathered crowd understood none of this. They were confused, and some openly wondered if the disciples were drunk (even though they were understood to be speaking the praises of God). That’s when Peter spoke up on behalf of all the apostles, explaining the tongues as the fulfillment of prophecy. The Old Testament prophet Joel had written of a day when the Holy Spirit would be poured out not only on prophets & kings, but upon all of God’s people, and there would be miraculous signs as evidence. This was that evidence, and these were the last days spoken of by Joel. Even so, there was still time to be saved, and God’s desire was that people be saved. How they were to be saved was the question.

And that brought Peter to Jesus. God had sent Jesus to the Jews, and had plainly testified about Jesus to the Jews. He had done amazing miracles and given authoritative teaching, but He was rejected, delivered to the Romans, and crucified by lawless hands. Yet although Jesus was dead, He did not stay dead. He rose, because as the Author of life, death could not hold him!

And…that’s where Peter picks up. To this point in his sermon, he asserted the resurrection of Jesus; as he goes on in his sermon, he proves it and teaches of its ramifications. What does it mean that Jesus is risen from the dead? It means He is the Messiah – it means that He is God – it means that He alone can save.

God has indeed made Jesus both Lord & Christ, and that’s something that demands our recognition and our response. Respond to the resurrection of Jesus!

Acts 2:25–39

  • The prophesied resurrection (25-32)

25 For David says concerning Him: ‘I foresaw the LORD always before my face, For He is at my right hand, that I may not be shaken. 26 Therefore my heart rejoiced, and my tongue was glad; Moreover my flesh also will rest in hope. 27 For You will not leave my soul in Hades, Nor will You allow Your Holy One to see corruption. 28 You have made known to me the ways of life; You will make me full of joy in Your presence.’

  1. Peter quotes Psalm 16:8-11, primarily from the LXX. It’s interesting that Peter quotes so much from the Old Testament. It indicates how much the Lord Jesus taught these Galilean fisherman during the days after His resurrection, as well as demonstrating the kind of power the Holy Spirit gave to Peter (and the rest of the disciples) with the baptism. Not only were the disciples speaking in tongues they had never known, Peter was readily quoting Scripture he hadn’t likely memorized. The Holy Spirit brought to mind that which Peter had previously read – the perfect word for the perfect time. (Which also goes to show that there was spiritual gifting beyond that of tongues!)
  2. As for the psalm itself, it is attributed to David, being a “michtam” (poem) affirming his trust in YHWH God as David’s own Lord & God. David’s eyes were set upon the Lord, as was his heart & hope. Everything David had – everything for which David trusted in the future – all of it was utterly dependent upon the faithfulness of YHWH God, and God is faithful!
  3. Although the psalm was written by David, from David’s perspective, thinking upon David’s hope – is it only about David? That’s the point Peter is going to make, and there are a couple of key words in verse 27 (Ps 16:10) that argue the point.
    1. Holy One.” The original Hebrew term is interesting: Hasid (חָסִיד ~ “Hasidic”), and it’s taken from the same root for the word hesed (חֶסֶד), or the loyal-love / lovingkindness / mercies of God. Here, the word refers to a “kind one” or “pious one” – someone who truly exemplifies the loyal-love (hesed) of God. So David writes of God’s “Holy One” as being the one who is loyal to God in the same way God is loyal to His people. There’s no question that most of the psalm David writes of himself, and the parallelism with “my soul” might argue the same – that David is referring to himself as the Holy One. Yet is he? First of all, would David truly write of himself as God’s Holy One? It’s possible, but David was also well aware of his faults. He well-understood that everything he had received from God was a gift of God’s grace. But secondly (and most importantly), could David refer to himself as God’s Holy One in reference to what God would do with His Holy One? The Holy One would not experience “corruption” in “Hades”…
    2. “” Despite the KJV translation of this word as “Hell,” the Greek word is “Hades,” (ᾅδης – both in Acts & the LXX), which itself is a translation of the Hebrew word “Sheol,” (שְׁאוֹל). This is a general term referring to the grave / the underworld / the realm of the dead. This is not a reference to the place we would know as Hell, with the lake of fire & outer darkness. (Typically, the word used for that location is “Gehenna.”) Thus, this verse does not establish a doctrine that Jesus went to Hell – it’s simply a prophecy that He would to the grave. But that goes back to the question of whether David was writing of himself, or another. Peter will get to that in a moment, but don’t miss the main point. When David was writing in the rest of the psalm, he wrote of his heart & hope & emotions; here, he writes of a place: the grave. The main point is a physical resurrection; not a metaphysical emotion.
  4. What Peter is doing is establishing the Biblical doctrine of a physical resurrection. Just like the outpouring of the Holy Spirit was prophesied by Joel, the resurrection of the Messiah was prophesied by David. Some pious/Holy One of God had to be physically raised from the dead. The Holy One would enter Sheol, but He would not remain in Sheol. The flesh of the Holy One would not be consumed by decay and rot – this was something that YHWH God would never even allow.
  5. So this was in the Scriptures – it was established as Biblical doctrine. But to whom did it refer? That’s how Peter continues…

29 “Men and brethren, let me speak freely to you of the patriarch David, that he is both dead and buried, and his tomb is with us to this day.

  1. There’s a few things Peter says about David, but the main point states the obvious: David is dead. David had written the words of Psalm 16, but he didn’t live to see all of those words fulfilled. Parts were, of course: David died & was buried, thus he entered Sheol – but once David was in the grave, his body most certainly faced corruption. 1 Kings 2:10 recorded that David “was buried in the City of David,” and at the time, Peter & the other Jews of Jerusalem knew exactly where to find his tomb.
    1. FYI: There is a place in Jerusalem today celebrated as the tomb of David, but it is likely the wrong location, being on Mt. Zion & not in the City of David. We might not know exactly where to find the bones of David today, but Peter & the other Jews at the time did, and that was his point.
  2. David was a tremendous king, used in awesome ways by God, and surely was declared righteous and holy in God’s sight by God’s grace (despite David’s own failings) – but David certainly wasn’t raised from the dead. That means for as much as David wrote of himself in Psalm 16, he did not write only of himself. Verse 30…

30 Therefore, being a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him that of the fruit of his body, according to the flesh, He would raise up the Christ to sit on his throne, 31 he, foreseeing this, spoke concerning the resurrection of the Christ, that His soul was not left in Hades, nor did His flesh see corruption.

  1. David was a “prophet.” David wrote of the Messiah’s resurrection, having foreseen it. When David wrote the psalms preserved for us in the pages of Scripture, he was writing as a prophet. In fact, any Biblical author could be thought of as a prophet, in that each man was inspired by God the Holy Spirit as he penned the words that were put on the page. That’s not to say that all quotations in the Bible are prophecies (such as those from godless kings or the friends of Job, etc.), but that all the authors of Scripture were functional prophets in that they were directed by God, recording the words of God for the people of God. In this case (and in the 76+ other psalms penned by David), David was writing prophetically. That’s why he could move from writing of himself in Psalm 16:1 when he writes “Preserve me, O God, for in You I put my trust,” and then of the Messiah in Psalm 16:10 regarding the Holy One and Sheol. David need not have personally experienced this death to write of it; he could write of it prophetically regarding his Holy descendant. And he knew that Descendant would come! David remembered God’s covenant promise to him of a future Messiah. David trusted the promises of God.
  2. It’s interesting that Peter calls David both a “patriarch” and a “prophet.” Traditionally, David would seem to fit neither category being that the generation of patriarchs ended with the 12 sons of Jacob, and because David had the role of a king; not the official role of a prophet like Nathan or Elijah. Even so, David still served as both patriarch and prophet. David was the proto-typical king of Israel – the standard by which all other Hebrew kings were judged. He was the patriarch of the Davidic monarchy/dynasty & the forefather of the Messiah. As a prophet, David was the sweet psalmist of Israel who wrote dozens of songs under the divine inspiration of the Holy Spirit. Put it together, and it’s amazing! – Yet as amazing as David was, he wasn’t the Messiah. David was an anointed one of God (“Messiah” = “Anointed”), just as all of the kings were anointed. Even Saul was anointed (and named among the prophets!). But neither Saul, David, nor any of the kings of Israel were the Anointed. The title of Messiah (Christ) ultimately belongs to just one Man: the Holy One promised to come from David’s own line. And that was the promise David remembered in his prophecy: 2 Samuel 7:12–14a, “(12) “When your days are fulfilled and you rest with your fathers, I will set up your seed after you, who will come from your body, and I will establish his kingdom. (13) He shall build a house for My name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever. (14) I will be his Father, and he shall be My son.”That was the Holy One written of by David in Psalm 16, as David spoke as patriarch & prophet looking forward to the Son who be the Christ. And that Christ did not face corruption in the grave! That Christ was raised from the dead! Verse 32…

32 This Jesus God has raised up, of which we are all witnesses.

  1. Jesus fits the bill! “This Jesus” = Jesus of Nazareth, described in verse 22-24. The same Jesus who did untold numbers of miracles – the Jesus who taught with incredible authority – the same Jesus who the people once cheered, but then jeered & rejected & demanded that He be crucified…this same Jesus was the one David wrote about in His death and resurrection. Jesus was raised up by the power of God, proving His identity as the Messiah.
  2. How could the people of Jerusalem know Jesus was raised? Because (at least) a dozen witnesses of His resurrection stood in front of them. It took 2-3 witnesses of an event to establish something as fact. Legally, it took a minimum of 2-3 witnesses for a person to be put to death. Here, there were 12 apostles of the Lord Jesus, all personally attesting that they had seen Jesus risen from the grave. And that doesn’t even begin to mention the other Christians out of the 120 in Jerusalem at the time, some (if not all) were also personal witnesses to the Risen Jesus. The people of Jerusalem were faced with overwhelming proof that Jesus was alive!
  3. And if the eyewitnesses were not enough, then there was even more proof. Verse 33…
  • The results of the resurrection (33-35)

33 Therefore being exalted to the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, He poured out this which you now see and hear.

  1. Jesus’ resurrection led to His ascension. Jesus’ ascension led to His exaltation. When Jesus bodily rose into the heavens (Acts 1:9), He didn’t stay suspended in mid-air among the clouds. Jesus went somewhere: the presence of God. Even that seems to have been alluded to in Psalm 16, as the Lord God was always at the “right hand” of the singer – an idea that will be repeated in the later quote from Psalm 110. Jesus was raised physically, and He was raised ultimately to the highest place of all: the right hand of Almighty God, being “exalted” and glorified to that place.
  2. The point is that Jesus is alive – it was evident & proven. How so? Because of His current activity. Jesus’ presence at the right hand of God led to the presence & baptism of the Holy Spirit in Jerusalem. Everything that was going on at the time (the sound of the Spirit & the tongues of the Church) was evidence of the work of the living resurrected Christ. How could it be otherwise? When the Church spoke in other languages (tongues), they spoke “the wonderful works of God,” (2:11). If this was demonic, how could they speak praises? If this weren’t of God, how would they be glorifying God? This was part of the assurances the apostle Paul gave to the Christians at Corinth regarding the spiritual gifts. One of the ways they could know the gifts were real or not was if the people using the gifts glorified the Lord. 1 Corinthians 12:3, “Therefore I make known to you that no one speaking by the Spirit of God calls Jesus accursed, and no one can say that Jesus is Lord except by the Holy Spirit.” Obviously anyone can utter words & even Satanists can repeat the phrase “Jesus is Lord,” but Paul’s point is that no one can mean those words except those who truly believe them. The only people who can sincerely confess Jesus as Lord are those who are indwelt by God the Holy Spirit. Here, Peter makes a similar point. The miraculous things that were happening that day in Jerusalem were clearly that of the Lord God. There was not a thing going on among the disciples that was demonic in origin; it was the obvious work of the Holy Spirit, Who had been promised. The fact that the Holy Spirit was among the Church was evidence of the active work of the Living Jesus. He promised the Spirit, and He gave the Spirit.
  3. In fact, the apostles weren’t the only witnesses of this. Peter turned it right back to the crowd: the people of Jerusalem were themselves witnesses! They saw and heard the evidence of the Holy Spirit, thus they saw and heard the evidence of Jesus’ current living activity. For that matter, the people of Jerusalem remembered the crucifixion of Jesus & they knew of the events surrounding His burial. If they wanted to go find His tomb, they could have taken an easy walk down the road. But they knew something more…they also knew the rumors of Jesus having risen from the dead, and it was the only explanation for everything else that had surrounded Him.
    1. We can imagine how all of this was starting to sink into the minds & the hearts of those listening to Peter. They were slowly coming to the realization that they had done something terrible, and were witnessing something wonderful, and that something needed to be done. 
  4. Peter isn’t done yet. He’s proven that David wasn’t writing of himself when writing of the resurrection, because David didn’t rise from the dead. That was something done only by Jesus, who went on to ascend to heaven, be exalted to God’s right hand, and pour out the Holy Spirit. Once more, David didn’t do any of this, either. Verse 34…

34 “For David did not ascend into the heavens, but he says himself: ‘The LORD said to my Lord, “Sit at My right hand, 35 Till I make Your enemies Your footstool.” ’

  1. Quoting Psalm 110:1. Another psalm of David, quoted a few short weeks earlier by Jesus in reference to Himself. Luke 20:41–44, “(41) And He said to them, “How can they say that the Christ is the Son of David? (42) Now David himself said in the Book of Psalms: ‘The LORD said to my Lord, “Sit at My right hand, (43) Till I make Your enemies Your footstool.” ’ (44) Therefore David calls Him ‘Lord’; how is He then his Son?”” After Jesus’ triumphant arrival into Jerusalem and His very public cleansing of the temple, the Jewish leadership tried repeatedly to discredit Jesus…only to fail miserably every time. Finally, Jesus turned the tables with this conundrum from Psalm 110. If the Messiah was the Son of David, how could the David view the Messiah as greater than him & worthy of reverence and service? Youngers serve their elders; not vice-versa…especially in royal dynasties! To this, the Pharisees & Sadducees were stumped or refused to respond, yet there is only one clear answer from Psalm 110 & the rest of Scripture: the Messiah is no ordinary Man or king. The Messiah is not only the Son of David, but also the Son of God.
  2. Depending on which English translation you read, there may be a bit of confusion as to the two mentions of “Lord.” NKJV capitalizes the first, using the convention of LORD for a substitution of the divine name (YHWH). Although this is accurate to the Hebrew, it is not to the Greek. The Greek used by Luke uses the same word in both instances (κύριος), which is why NASB, ESV & others do not capitalize the first word. But again, the Hebrew is clear, using YHWH & the normal word for “Lord,” (אָדוֹן ~ Adonai). A literal translation of the verse might be: “He declares, YHWH, to my Lord,” demonstrating that there are two different Persons in view. As for Peter, he reiterates the same point made by Jesus to the Pharisees & Sadducees, showing that if David was the one writing the psalm, then King David was actively acknowledging someone else as his Lord (“said to my Lord”). That Lord was said to be at the right hand of God, and God promised that that Lord would be utterly victorious over his enemies.
  3. What was it that Peter just testified of Jesus in verse 33? Jesus had ascended to the heavens, and was “exalted to the right hand of God.” If that was where Jesus sat, then Jesus is the Lord of David! Jesus’ ascension proves His identity! 
  • The proof of the resurrection (36)

36 “Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly that God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ.”

  1. The conclusion of all of this? Jesus is the Messiah! Jesus of Nazareth (the Man attested to Israel by God) is the Messiah (Christ), the Lord of David. Psalm 110 & its fulfillment proves decisively that God the Father declared Jesus to be both the Sovereign Lord of Israel and the true Anointed One of God.
    1. Jesus is “” Not only is this a statement of Jesus’ supreme authority (which it is), but it is also a likely reference to His deity. As seen in Psalm 110, there is a word for God’s divine name in Hebrew, but there isn’t one in Greek. The convention among the Jews was to never say the divine name aloud, but instead say the word for “Lord” in its place. I.e. “Adonai” instead of “Yahweh.” This is what the translators of the LXX adopted in their Greek version of the Hebrew Bible, as well as what the writers of the New Testament followed. Thus, when Peter named Jesus as Lord, he was naming Jesus as the Lord God.
    2. Jesus is “” Again, “Christ” (Χριστός) is the Greek word referring to the Anointed One (Messiah) of God. This was to be the long-expected King of Israel to be the fulfillment of God’s covenant promise to David – but not that promise alone. The Messiah was also to fulfill the promises to Moses (being the Prophet who spoke the words of God), the promises to Abraham (being a blessing to the entire world), and even the promises to Adam (to crush the head of the serpent). This title also has implications to Jesus’ deity, in that the only way some prophecies of the Messiah could be fulfilled (such as having an everlasting kingdom & His future return in the glory of God) could only be fulfilled if the Messiah actually is God.
    3. Question: Peter said “God has made this Jesus…both Lord & Christ.” How exactly did God “make” Jesus “both Lord and Christ.” If Jesus always existed as God (which He has), how could Jesus be made any more than what He already was? This isn’t so much as a creation, as it is a declaration. As the eternal Word of God, the 3rd Person of the Trinity, the Son has always existed & being the Lord Messiah of Israel was always God’s plan for Him. But His incarnation as a Man was something new – it was expected, but His identity was unknown until it actually happened. That is how Jesus was “made” Lord & Christ – when God raised Jesus from the dead, God “made” Jesus both Lord & Christ in full view of the world.
  2. This is amazing news! (Both then & today!) The Messiah has been revealed, and His identity proven – God Almighty walked among men, and has been exalted to the highest place. Fantastic news! It was also convicting news to the Jews standing there. Peter gives them a sobering reminder that despite all of the proof that Jesus is the long-awaited Hebrew Messiah, the same Jews standing in front of Peter on the day of Pentecost were among the Jews who sent Jesus to the cross on the day of Passover. Jesus is the one “whom you” They were guilty of executing the Christ! Before David was made king, he feared to lay a hand upon Saul, even though Saul was guilty of great sin against David. David had multiple opportunities to harm him and seek revenge, but because Saul was God’s anointed king, David refused to touch him. The nation of Israel, on the other hand, delivered the Ultimate Anointed to the Romans, subjecting Him to physical torture and death. They were guilty of a far more heinous crime!
    1. Lest we forget, we bear no less guilt! We too, have rebelled against God & rejected Jesus as Lord. The only reason we did not cry out “Crucify! Crucify!” is because we weren’t there. We would have done the same thing, because that’s just what our sinful nature does. Every time we said “no” to Jesus, especially after having been told that He is Lord, was another time we rejected Him and rebelled against Him. (Praise God for His forgiveness! Praise God He removes our guilt!)
  • The response to the resurrection (37-39)

37 Now when they heard this, they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “Men and brethren, what shall we do?”

  1. Can you imagine the feeling at the moment? As the light dawned on what they had done to Jesus (their Messiah – their King & God), their hearts collectively dropped to their stomachs like stones! The phrase “cut to the heart” is graphic, and appropriately so. This is the only instance in the New Testament of this particular word for “cut,” and it refers to a piercing or stabbing. IOW, it was the feeling of violence. Obviously this was not a literal stab to the heart, but the emotional feeling of a gut punch – the sudden realization of sorrow & trouble. 
  2. For the Jews of Jerusalem, they knew they needed to do something. They didn’t know what, but they needed to do something. This sort of news requires a response! (From them, and from us.)

38 Then Peter said to them, “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.

  1. Peter gives two commands, and one promise. Command #1: Repent – Command #2: Be baptized. Promise: the gift of the Holy Spirit. Take it one at a time…
  2. Command #1: Repent. The Greek word literally refers to a change of mind / change of thinking, but it’s more than that. A change of action is implied, accompanied by sincere sorrow and regret. This isn’t what we tell our kids (“Say you’re sorry!”); it is to be earnest. No one is forgiven by God on the basis of lip-service; they need to feel the weight of their sin against God, and forsake it to cling to God Himself.
  3. Command #2: Be baptized. During the ministry of John the Baptist, the practice of baptism (literally “immersion”) was associated with repentance. John called people to repent, and the symbol of their new start in life & their new commitment to God was to be totally immersed in the Jordan River. The same practice that was often done with new converts to Judaism was done upon the Jews themselves as they turned away from their sins and awaited the Messiah soon to come. Now Peter declared that the Messiah had come in the person of Jesus, and this time the baptism of the Jews would declare their commitment to Him.
    1. The prepositions get a bit muddied with traditional English conventions. It could be rendered, “be baptized, each of you, upon the name of Jesus Christ into forgiveness of your sins.” No matter how you render it, it raises the question if baptism brings forgiveness of sin? e., is baptism required in order for someone to be forgiven of their sins by God? The short answer: No. Peter’s point isn’t that baptism brings forgiveness; it is Jesus who forgives. Being baptized on/upon/in Jesus is simply being publicly identified with Him. Our identification with Jesus comes as a response of having faith in Jesus, and when we have faith in Jesus, we have everything Jesus promises to give, including forgiveness. The overwhelming testimony of the New Testament is that salvation comes by faith alone; not by works or any other ritual. The rite of baptism without faith in Jesus is called “getting wet.” Baptism as a result of faith acknowledges the forgiveness already received from Jesus; it never earns His forgiveness. Faith on the name of Jesus brings us into the forgiveness of Christ; baptism simply acknowledges that fact.
  4. Promise: “You shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” Remember that all of this began when the people of Jerusalem witnessed the visible and audible evidence of the Holy Spirit’s empowerment of Jesus’ disciples. That empowerment & Spirit-baptism was not limited to the disciples alone – as Joel had written (and Peter had quoted), that God would “pour out of My Spirit on all flesh,” (2:17). All of them had the opportunity to receive of the Spirit. More than that, all of them had the opportunity to be saved: “And it shall come to pass that whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved,” (2:21). This is what was guaranteed to them should they repent & be baptized. If they would commit themselves to Jesus Christ in faith, they would be saved!

39 For the promise is to you and to your children, and to all who are afar off, as many as the Lord our God will call.”

  1. What Peter told the crowd was gloriously good news! What makes it better is that it isn’t limited. The offer was not only for the Jews in Jerusalem on Pentecost Sunday; this offer is for everyone in the entire world! Be it the children and future generations of the Jerusalem Jews, the Gentiles around the Roman empire, or to men & women around the globe today – whoever it is who hears the call of God to be saved through Jesus Christ can be saved through Jesus Christ! Those who respond to God’s call receive true forgiveness of sin and the gift of God the Holy Spirit: His presence within us, His empowerment of us, and His personal guarantee of our salvation.
  2. The only question is whether you will respond. The call of God has gone out to the entire world, but a call requires an answer. Have you answered?


As the Jews in Jerusalem wondered about the miracle taking place in front of them, the realization dawned that everything Peter declared to them was true. The Jesus they had rejected & crucified just weeks earlier had risen from the dead. His death and resurrection had been prophesied, as had His ascension and exaltation to the right hand of God. The evidence of it was right in front of their eyes. That left them with only one conclusion: they were guilty of the death of the Son of God.

That was the bad news…but Peter offered good news, too. The people of Jerusalem could be forgiven and saved! God desired to save them & to pour out His Spirit upon them. All they needed to do was respond to His call.

That news has not changed today! This is the good news (the gospel) of Jesus Christ: Jesus has come – He is the Lord – He is able to save. What do we do? The same thing Peter told the Jews on Pentecost: repent & be converted (as shown through baptism). Turn away from your sins, recognizing them for what they are & recognizing Jesus for who He is. Then, commit yourself to Jesus inwardly & outwardly – trust Him by faith, and declare that trust to the world through public baptism. Those who do are saved! Those who answer the call of God are forgiven & receive the gift of the Holy Spirit…this is God’s very promise to you, and God does not lie.


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