Acts 2

The Holy Spirit Comes at Pentecost

1 When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place.
2 Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting.
3 They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them.
4 All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues[a] as the Spirit enabled them.
5 Now there were staying in Jerusalem God-fearing Jews from every nation under heaven.
6 When they heard this sound, a crowd came together in bewilderment, because each one heard their own language being spoken.
7 Utterly amazed, they asked: “Aren’t all these who are speaking Galileans?
8 Then how is it that each of us hears them in our native language?
9 Parthians, Medes and Elamites; residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia,[b]
10 Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya near Cyrene; visitors from Rome
11 (both Jews and converts to Judaism); Cretans and Arabs—we hear them declaring the wonders of God in our own tongues!”
12 Amazed and perplexed, they asked one another, “What does this mean?”
13 Some, however, made fun of them and said, “They have had too much wine.”

Peter Addresses the Crowd

14 Then Peter stood up with the Eleven, raised his voice and addressed the crowd: “Fellow Jews and all of you who live in Jerusalem, let me explain this to you; listen carefully to what I say.
15 These people are not drunk, as you suppose. It’s only nine in the morning!
16 No, this is what was spoken by the prophet Joel:
17 “ ‘In the last days, God says, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions, your old men will dream dreams.
18 Even on my servants, both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days, and they will prophesy.
19 I will show wonders in the heavens above and signs on the earth below, blood and fire and billows of smoke.
20 The sun will be turned to darkness and the moon to blood before the coming of the great and glorious day of the Lord.
21 And everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.’[c]
22 “Fellow Israelites, listen to this: Jesus of Nazareth was a man accredited by God to you by miracles, wonders and signs, which God did among you through him, as you yourselves know.
23 This man was handed over to you by God’s deliberate plan and foreknowledge; and you, with the help of wicked men,[d] put him to death by nailing him to the cross.
24 But God raised him from the dead, freeing him from the agony of death, because it was impossible for death to keep its hold on him.
25 David said about him: “ ‘I saw the Lord always before me. Because he is at my right hand, I will not be shaken.
26 Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices; my body also will rest in hope,
27 because you will not abandon me to the realm of the dead, you will not let your holy one see decay.
28 You have made known to me the paths of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence.’[e]
29 “Fellow Israelites, I can tell you confidently that the patriarch David died and was buried, and his tomb is here to this day.
30 But he was a prophet and knew that God had promised him on oath that he would place one of his descendants on his throne.
31 Seeing what was to come, he spoke of the resurrection of the Messiah, that he was not abandoned to the realm of the dead, nor did his body see decay.
32 God has raised this Jesus to life, and we are all witnesses of it.
33 Exalted to the right hand of God, he has received from the Father the promised Holy Spirit and has poured out what you now see and hear.
34 For David did not ascend to heaven, and yet he said, “ ‘The Lord said to my Lord: “Sit at my right hand
35 until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet.” ’[f]
36 “Therefore let all Israel be assured of this: God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Messiah.”
37 When the people heard this, they were cut to the heart and said to Peter and the other apostles, “Brothers, what shall we do?”
38 Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.
39 The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off—for all whom the Lord our God will call.”
40 With many other words he warned them; and he pleaded with them, “Save yourselves from this corrupt generation.”
41 Those who accepted his message were baptized, and about three thousand were added to their number that day.

The Fellowship of the Believers

42 They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.
43 Everyone was filled with awe at the many wonders and signs performed by the apostles.
44 All the believers were together and had everything in common.
45 They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need.
46 Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts,
47 praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.

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Acts 2 Commentary

Chapter 2

The descent of the Holy Spirit at the day of Pentecost. (1-4) The apostles speak in divers languages. (5-13) Peter's address to the Jews. (14-36) Three thousand souls converted. (37-41) The piety and affection of the disciples. (42-47)

Verses 1-4 We cannot forget how often, while their Master was with them there were strifes among the disciples which should be the greatest; but now all these strifes were at an end. They had prayed more together of late. Would we have the Spirit poured out upon us from on high, let us be all of one accord. And notwithstanding differences of sentiments and interests, as there were among those disciples, let us agree to love one another; for where brethren dwell together in unity, there the Lord commands his blessing. A rushing mighty wind came with great force. This was to signify the powerful influences and working of the Spirit of God upon the minds of men, and thereby upon the world. Thus the convictions of the Spirit make way for his comforts; and the rough blasts of that blessed wind, prepare the soul for its soft and gentle gales. There was an appearance of something like flaming fire, lighting on every one of them, according to John Baptist's saying concerning Christ; He shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire. The Spirit, like fire, melts the heart, burns up the dross, and kindles pious and devout affections in the soul; in which, as in the fire on the altar, the spiritual sacrifices are offered up. They were all filled with the Holy Ghost, more than before. They were filled with the graces of the Spirit, and more than ever under his sanctifying influences; more weaned from this world, and better acquainted with the other. They were more filled with the comforts of the Spirit, rejoiced more than ever in the love of Christ and the hope of heaven: in it all their griefs and fears were swallowed up. They were filled with the gifts of the Holy Ghost; they had miraculous powers for the furtherance of the gospel. They spake, not from previous though or meditation, but as the Spirit gave them utterance.

Verses 5-13 The difference in languages which arose at Babel, has much hindered the spread of knowledge and religion. The instruments whom the Lord first employed in spreading the Christian religion, could have made no progress without this gift, which proved that their authority was from God.

Verses 14-21 Peter's sermon shows that he was thoroughly recovered from his fall, and thoroughly restored to the Divine favour; for he who had denied Christ, now boldly confessed him. His account of the miraculous pouring forth of the Spirit, was designed to awaken the hearers to embrace the faith of Christ, and to join themselves to his church. It was the fulfilling the Scripture, and the fruit of Christ's resurrection and ascension, and proof of both. Though Peter was filled with the Holy Ghost, and spake with tongues as the Spirit gave him utterance, yet he did not think to set aside the Scriptures. Christ's scholars never learn above their Bible; and the Spirit is given, not to do away the Scriptures, but to enable us to understand, approve, and obey them. Assuredly none will escape the condemnation of the great day, except those who call upon the name of the Lord, in and through his Son Jesus Christ, as the Saviour of sinners, and the Judge of all mankind.

Verses 22-36 From this gift of the Holy Ghost, Peter preaches unto them Jesus: and here is the history of Christ. Here is an account of his death and sufferings, which they witnessed but a few weeks before. His death is considered as God's act; and of wonderful grace and wisdom. Thus Divine justice must be satisfied, God and man brought together again, and Christ himself glorified, according to an eternal counsel, which could not be altered. And as the people's act; in them it was an act of awful sin and folly. Christ's resurrection did away the reproach of his death; Peter speaks largely upon this. Christ was God's Holy One, sanctified and set apart to his service in the work of redemption. His death and sufferings should be, not to him only, but to all his, the entrance to a blessed life for evermore. This event had taken place as foretold, and the apostles were witnesses. Nor did the resurrection rest upon this alone; Christ had poured upon his disciples the miraculous gifts and Divine influences, of which they witnessed the effects. Through the Saviour, the ways of life are made known; and we are encouraged to expect God's presence, and his favour for evermore. All this springs from assured belief that Jesus is the Lord, and the anointed Saviour.

Verses 37-41 From the first delivery of that Divine message, it appeared that there was Divine power going with it; and thousands were brought to the obedience of faith. But neither Peter's words, nor the miracle they witnessed, could have produced such effects, had not the Holy Spirit been given. Sinners, when their eyes are opened, cannot but be pricked to the heart for sin, cannot but feel an inward uneasiness. The apostle exhorted them to repent of their sins, and openly to avow their belief in Jesus as the Messiah, by being baptized in his name. Thus professing their faith in Him, they would receive remission of their sins, and partake of the gifts and graces of the Holy Spirit. To separate from wicked people, is the only way to save ourselves from them. Those who repent of their sins, and give up themselves to Jesus Christ, must prove their sincerity by breaking off from the wicked. We must save ourselves from them; which denotes avoiding them with dread and holy fear. By God's grace three thousand persons accepted the gospel invitation. There can be no doubt that the gift of the Holy Ghost, which they all received, and from which no true believer has ever been shut out, was that Spirit of adoption, that converting, guiding, sanctifying grace, which is bestowed upon all the members of the family of our heavenly Father. Repentance and remission of sins are still preached to the chief of sinners, in the Redeemer's name; still the Holy Spirit seals the blessing on the believer's heart; still the encouraging promises are to us and our children; and still the blessings are offered to all that are afar off.

Verses 42-47 In these verses we have the history of the truly primitive church, of the first days of it; its state of infancy indeed, but, like that, the state of its greatest innocence. They kept close to holy ordinances, and abounded in piety and devotion; for Christianity, when admitted in the power of it, will dispose the soul to communion with God in all those ways wherein he has appointed us to meet him, and has promised to meet us. The greatness of the event raised them above the world, and the Holy Ghost filled them with such love, as made every one to be to another as to himself, and so made all things common, not by destroying property, but doing away selfishness, and causing charity. And God who moved them to it, knew that they were quickly to be driven from their possessions in Judea. The Lord, from day to day, inclined the hearts of more to embrace the gospel; not merely professors, but such as were actually brought into a state of acceptance with God, being made partakers of regenerating grace. Those whom God has designed for eternal salvation, shall be effectually brought to Christ, till the earth is filled with the knowledge of his glory.

Cross References 66

  • 1. Leviticus 23:15,16; Acts 20:16; 1 Corinthians 16:8
  • 2. Acts 1:14
  • 3. Acts 4:31
  • 4. S Luke 1:15
  • 5. S Mark 16:17; 1 Corinthians 12:10
  • 6. Luke 2:25; Acts 8:2
  • 7. ver 12
  • 8. Acts 1:11
  • 9. 1 Peter 1:1
  • 10. Acts 18:2; 1 Peter 1:1
  • 11. Acts 16:6; Acts 19:10; Romans 16:5; 1 Corinthians 16:19; 2 Corinthians 1:8; Revelation 1:4
  • 12. Acts 16:6; Acts 18:23
  • 13. Acts 13:13; Acts 14:24; Acts 15:38
  • 14. S Matthew 27:32
  • 15. 1 Corinthians 14:23; Ephesians 5:18
  • 16. 1 Thessalonians 5:7
  • 17. Numbers 11:25; Isaiah 44:3; Ezekiel 39:29; John 7:37-39; Acts 10:45
  • 18. S Acts 21:9
  • 19. Acts 21:9-12
  • 20. Luke 21:11
  • 21. S Matthew 24:29
  • 22. Genesis 4:26; Genesis 26:25; Psalms 105:1; Acts 9:14; 1 Corinthians 1:2; 2 Timothy 2:22
  • 23. Joel 2:28-32; Romans 10:13
  • 24. S Mark 1:24
  • 25. S John 4:48; Acts 10:38
  • 26. S John 3:2
  • 27. Isaiah 53:10; Luke 22:22; Acts 3:18; Acts 4:28
  • 28. Matthew 16:21; Luke 24:20; Acts 3:13
  • 29. ver 32; Ac 13:30,33,34,37; Acts 17:31; Romans 6:4; Romans 8:11; Romans 10:9; 1 Corinthians 6:14; 1 Corinthians 15:15; 2 Corinthians 4:14; Ephesians 1:20; Colossians 2:12; Hebrews 13:20; 1 Peter 1:21
  • 30. John 20:9
  • 31. ver 31; Acts 13:35
  • 32. Psalms 16:8-11
  • 33. S Acts 22:5
  • 34. Acts 7:8,9
  • 35. 1 Kings 2:10; Acts 13:36
  • 36. Nehemiah 3:16
  • 37. S Matthew 1:1; 2 Samuel 7:12; Psalms 132:11
  • 38. Psalms 16:10
  • 39. S ver 24
  • 40. S Luke 24:48; Acts 1:8
  • 41. S Philippians 2:9
  • 42. S Mark 16:19
  • 43. Acts 1:4
  • 44. John 7:39; John 14:26; John 15:26
  • 45. Acts 10:45
  • 46. Psalms 110:1; S Matthew 22:44
  • 47. S Matthew 28:18
  • 48. S Luke 2:11
  • 49. Lk 3:10,12,14; Acts 16:30
  • 50. ver 41; Ac 8:12,16,36,38; Acts 9:18; Acts 10:48; Acts 16:15,33; Acts 19:5; Acts 22:16; Colossians 2:12
  • 51. Jeremiah 36:3; Mark 1:4; S Luke 24:47; Acts 3:19
  • 52. S John 20:22
  • 53. Isaiah 44:3; Isaiah 65:23
  • 54. Isaiah 57:19; Acts 10:45; Ephesians 2:13
  • 55. Deuteronomy 32:5; Philippians 2:15
  • 56. ver 47; Acts 4:4; Acts 5:14; Acts 6:1,7; Acts 9:31,35,42; Acts 11:21,24; Acts 14:1,21; Acts 16:5; Acts 17:12
  • 57. Matthew 28:20
  • 58. S Matthew 14:19
  • 59. S Acts 1:14
  • 60. Acts 5:12
  • 61. Acts 4:32
  • 62. Matthew 19:21; Luke 12:33; Luke 18:22; Acts 4:34,35; Acts 6:1
  • 63. Luke 24:53; Acts 3:1; Acts 5:21,42
  • 64. ver 42; S Matthew 14:19; Acts 20:7
  • 65. S Romans 14:18
  • 66. S ver 41; Acts 5:14

Footnotes 6

  • [a]. Or "languages" ; also in verse 11
  • [b]. That is, the Roman province by that name
  • [c]. Joel 2:28-32
  • [d]. Or "of those not having the law" (that is, Gentiles)
  • [e]. Psalm 16:8-11 (see Septuagint)
  • [f]. Psalm 110:1

Acts 2 Commentaries

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