The hope of God, the promise of Israel, is found in Jesus: God’s King & Saviour.
v.1-13 – The arrival of the Holy Spirit and the declaration of the Gospel.
v.14-36 – Peter’s story of Salvation History:
v.14-21 – God’s Spirit is being poured out on His people. (Joel prediction)
v.22-35 – Because God’s Messiah has come, died & been resurrected. (David’s prediction)
v.36 – Therefore Israel needs to understand: the crucified and resurrected Jesus is God’s King & Saviour.
v.37-41 – The hope of Jesus, and the gift of the HS, is for all those who repent.
v.42-47 – A picture of the New Covenant Community, which God is building through His Spirit.
Observations:[ut_togglegroup] [ut_toggle title=”Verses 1-13″] This event, although involving mainly Jews, is nevertheless symbolically a reversal of Babel, and is a telling picture of what will be accomplished in the following centuries through the spread of the Gospel.
v.1 – Pentecost (properly, the fiftieth day after the Passover), the second of the three great Jewish festivals; celebrated at Jerusalem yearly, the seventh week after the Passover, in grateful recognition of the completed harvest (Exo. 23:16; Lev. 23:15f; Deut. 16:9): Acts 2:1; 20:16; 1 Cor. 16:8
v.3 – For the association of the Holy Spirit with fire, see Matt 3:2; Lk 3:16. In the OT, fire symbolises the presence of God, Ex 3:2ff
v.4 – While there is some confusion in parts of the New Testament (particularly 1 Corinthians) about what speaking in tongues is, it’s pretty clear here – they were speaking different languages.
[/ut_toggle] [ut_toggle title=”Verses 14-36″] Note Peter’s constant reinforcement that “God did…”. He wants Israel to know that this is God’s doing, God’s fulfilment.
v.17-21 – The quotation is from Joel 2:28-32. In Joel it occurs after a locust plague had ravaged the land, creating a severe famine. Joel calls the people to repentance with the promise of forgiveness and the advent of the Day of the Lord and the Messianic Age.
v.25-28 – The quotation here is from Psalm 16:8-11 (LXX 15). Cf. Paul’s argument from the same Psalm in 13:34-37.
v.33 – ￼The outpoured Spirit is the visible proof of the exaltation of Christ. “Just as the apostles were witnesses to Jesus’ resurrection, so the Jewish crowd itself was witness to the exaltation of Christ as they had witnessed the gift of the outpoured Spirit at Pentecost.” John Polhill
v.34 – See Mt 22:42ff; Mk 12:35ff; Lk 20:41ff for Jesus’ use of Psalm Ps 110. It was generally recognised as Messianic. See also 1 Cor 15:25; Heb 1:13; 5:6ff, also Heb 10:13; Rom 8:34; Eph 1:20,22; Col 3:1; 1 Peter 3:22. David did not really ascend into heaven to take his seat at God’s right hand, but Christ did. See Lk 22:69 for Jesus’ words.
[/ut_toggle] [ut_toggle title=”Verses 37-41″] v.38 – Repentance was an essential aspect of Gospel preaching from the days of its first announcement. It still is.
v.38 – Baptism as an outward sign of repentance and remission of sins was not a new idea to those who heard Peter. In particular, they would have known of John’s baptism. The new feature of Christian baptism is that it is ‘in the name of Jesus’ and is associated with ‘the gift of the Holy Spirit’.
v.40 – By rejecting the Messiah (Lk 17:25) this ‘generation’ had come under the judgement of God (Mt 23:36; Lk 11:54). The only way of escape was to accept the good news, and with it, accept the Messiah.
[/ut_toggle] [ut_toggle title=”Verses 42-47″] v.42 – “For NT testimony to the authority of the apostolic teaching cf 1 Cor 12:28; 14:37; Eph 2:20; 3:5. The apostles’ teaching was authoritative because it was delivered as the teaching of the Lord through the apostles.” F.F. Bruce
v.42 – “Its basic meaning is “association, communion, fellowship, close relationship.” In secular Greek it could involve the sharing of goods, and Paul seems to have used it this way in 2 Cor 9:13. It was also used of communion with a god, especially in the context of a sacred meal; and Paul used it in that sense in 1 Cor 10:16. Since it appears in a list in Acts 2:42, it is not easy to determine its exact nuance in this context. The key may be to see the the terms “breaking of bread” and “prayer” in apposition to “fellowship.” The meaning would then be that they devoted themselves to a fellowship that was expressed in their mutual meals and in their prayer life together.” John Polhill
v.42 – The breaking of bread is in all probability, a reference to the Lord’s Supper, but probably also in the context of more general eating together – an agape meal.
v.43 -The signs and wonders performed by the apostles are illustrated in the following chapters. “The apostles’ miracles, like those of their Lord, were ‘signs’ of the advent of the Messianic Age.” F.F. Bruce
v.44-45 – (Also see 4:32ff) Philip Hughes, reflecting on Acts 2:44,45, writes in his commentary on 2 Corinthians, “From its earliest days the Christian community at Jerusalem was extremely poor. The preaching of the apostles at Pentecost and in subsequent days led to the conversion of thousands of Jews. The material cost to these people of becoming Christians must have been immense. “Coming as they did from the background of Jewish fervour and exclusivism, in view of their conversion to Christianity they became victims of social and economic ostracism, ecclesiastical excommunication and national disinheritance. Their business enterprises must in most cases have collapsed in ruins and family bonds been heart-breakingly severed. “The situation to which this led was met by the touching and spontaneous manner in which the members of this young fellowship demonstrated their oneness of heart and soul by sharing their possessions and resources with each other.
v.46-47 – “The subsequent narrative of Acts will show that it did not always remain so [harmonious]. Sincerity sometimes gave way to dishonesty, joy was blotched by rifts in the fellowship, and the favour of the people was overshadowed by persecutions from Jewish officials. Luke’s summaries present an ideal for the Christian community which it must always strive for, constantly return to, and discover anew if it is to have that unity of spirit and purpose esential for an effective witness.” John Polhill
What difference has the resurrection made in my own life, how I see my relationship with God?
- Am I conscious of the role of God’s Spirit in my own life?
- Am I open to being shaped by God’s Spirit, or resistant to it? (Examples?)
What difference has the resurrection made to my understanding & engagement with God’s people?
- What does it look like to encourage the work of the Spirit in others at Village?
- As someone who is being restored (i.e. not the finished product) by God’s Spirit, how do I forgive and encourage others who are going through the same process?
- Given that our unity is in Jesus, and it’s about Jesus, how does that change how we see the purpose of God’s community and our engagement with it?
What changes can we (as a Community Group / Church) encourage so that when people look at us, they see the one whom God has made Lord & Saviour?
- Do we use what we have for the good of those around us? What is that good?
- Does what we speak about reflect what has made us who we are?
- How does the hope of the resurrection free us in our decision making about life and the future?