Acts 2:14-39

Some present at Pentecost were bewildered by the tongues they heard while others mocked, saying “These men are filled with new wine.” In response to this Peter stood up, answered their charges and preached the first gospel sermon, appealing to three Old Testament Scriptures to prove his points (Joel 2:28; Psalms 16:8-10; Psalms 110:1). Peter said, “These men are not drunken as ye suppose…but this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel.” Peter ended his quote of Joel with the following words: “Whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved” (Acts 2:11, 21). The blessings of the Holy Spirit were intended for all flesh, although all were not promised Spirit baptism. Some, through the apostle’s hands, received spiritual gifts (Acts 8:17-19). Still, others, who were neither baptized in the Holy Spirit nor who received a supernatural gift, were blessed by receiving the promise that is for all man kind through the gospel — blessings are far greater than either being baptized in the Spirit or receiving a supernatural gift. That gift is salvation which is promised to all who “call on the name of the Lord.”

The heart of Peter’s sermon was his testimony (along with the other eleven apostles) of the resurrection of Christ. He introduced Jesus as being a man approved of God unto them by the signs, wonders and miracles which He had done in their midst (Acts 2:22). He then charged, that while Jesus was delivered up by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, they by wicked hands had crucified and slain Jesus (Acts 2:23).

God had raised Him up (Acts 2:24)! That statement was likely as startling as the tongues had been! Peter made three points to prove his testimony that Jesus was raised from the dead:

  1. The witness of the apostles.
  2. The fulfillment of Old Testament prophecies.
  3. Jesus’ own personal testimony to His resurrection.

There is no greater evidence to the resurrection of Jesus than the testimony of eyewitnesses. All the gospel accounts list personal appearances Jesus made to different ones after His resurrection, and 1 Corinthians 15:1-9 adds a few more. These witnesses were greatly afflicted. Some were beaten, some imprisoned and others made the greatest sacrifice of all; they became martyrs because of their testimony. Yet, none of the twelve every recanted their testimony.

Peter explained that the resurrection of Christ was to be expected for David had predicted that Christ would be raised. Forcefully, Peter shows that although the prophecy is written in the “first person”, this could not be a reference to David. Peter’s statement, “I may testify to you freely of the patriarch David that he both died, and was buried and his tomb is with us to this day,” serves to show that David’s body had seen corruption and he was still in Hades, but the one of whom he spoke would neither see corruption nor would His soul be left in Hades. David was speaking of his Son who was to come. Quotation from their Old Testament Scriptures bore great weight with Jewish listeners.

Peter crowned his argument for the resurrection of Christ by telling the audience that what they had seen and heard had come from Jesus Himself! “Being therefore by the right hand of God exalted, and having of the Father the promise of the Holy Sprit, he had poured forth this which ye see and hear” (Acts 2:33). Such was compelling evidence. They KNEW they had SEEN tongues like as of fire which sat upon each of the apostles. They KNEW they had HEARD the apostles speak in tongues which they themselves understood. And Peter said, “Jesus poured this out.” Jesus was alive and had testified He was by pouring forth His Spirit which was manifested in tongues like as of fire and men speaking with other tongues as the spirit gave them utterance. Again, this was a strong proof of the claim Peter made: “Whom God raised up.”

Peter’s last appeal to Old Testament scripture was to Psalms 110:1. In Acts 2:33, Peter said that Jesus had received of the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit. He does not mean that God gave Jesus the Holy Spirit after His resurrection. What Jesus had received was the promise the Holy Spirit made that Jesus would be raised from the dead and that He would be made Lord of all. Peter said, “For David ascended not into the heavens: but he saith himself, The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand, Till I make thine enemies the footstool of thy feet” (Acts 2:34-35). Jesus was made Lord by the Father who gave all authority into His hand (Mt. 28:18). Christ was made by God the head of the church, the king of the kingdom, the chief corner stone and a priest like unto Melchizedek. While not all now recognize Jesus as Lord, someday all will for Paul wrote: “Therefore God gave unto him a name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow and that every tongue should confess that Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father” (Phil. 2:9-11).

Is it any wonder then, when these people were convinced they had crucified a man whom God approved, that God had raised Him up and gave into His hand all authority, that “they were pricked in their hearts and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, brethren what shall we do?” (Acts 2:37).

Jim McDonald

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