Acts 2

1 And in the day of the Pentecost being fulfilled, they were all with one accord at the same place,
2 and there came suddenly out of the heaven a sound as of a bearing violent breath, and it filled all the house where they were sitting,
3 and there appeared to them divided tongues, as it were of fire; it sat also upon each one of them,
4 and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and began to speak with other tongues, according as the Spirit was giving them to declare.
5 And there were dwelling in Jerusalem Jews, devout men from every nation of those under the heaven,
6 and the rumour of this having come, the multitude came together, and was confounded, because they were each one hearing them speaking in his proper dialect,
7 and they were all amazed, and did wonder, saying one unto another, `Lo, are not all these who are speaking Galileans?
8 and how do we hear, each in our proper dialect, in which we were born?
9 Parthians, and Medes, and Elamites, and those dwelling in Mesopotamia, in Judea also, and Cappadocia, Pontus, and Asia,
10 Phrygia also, and Pamphylia, Egypt, and the parts of Libya, that [are] along Cyrene, and the strangers of Rome, both Jews and proselytes,
11 Cretes and Arabians, we did hear them speaking in our tongues the great things of God.'
12 And they were all amazed, and were in doubt, saying one unto another, `What would this wish to be?'
13 and others mocking said, -- `They are full of sweet wine;'
14 and Peter having stood up with the eleven, lifted up his voice and declared to them, `Men, Jews! and all those dwelling in Jerusalem, let this be known to you, and harken to my sayings,
15 for these are not drunken, as ye take it up, for it is the third hour of the day.
16 `But this is that which hath been spoken through the prophet Joel:
17 And it shall be 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 also upon My men-servants, and upon My maid-servants, in those days, I will pour out of My Spirit, and they shall prophesy;
19 and I will give wonders in the heaven above, and signs upon the earth beneath -- blood, and fire, and vapour of smoke,
20 the sun shall be turned to darkness, and the moon to blood, before the coming of the day of the Lord -- the great and illustrious;
21 and it shall be, every one -- whoever shall call upon the name of the Lord, he shall be saved.
22 `Men, Israelites! hear these words, Jesus the Nazarene, a man approved of God among you by mighty works, and wonders, and signs, that God did through him in the midst of you, according as also ye yourselves have known;
23 this one, by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, being given out, having taken by lawless hands, having crucified -- ye did slay;
24 whom God did raise up, having loosed the pains of the death, because it was not possible for him to be held by it,
25 for David saith in regard to him: I foresaw the Lord always before me -- because He is on my right hand -- that I may not be moved;
26 because of this was my heart cheered, and my tongue was glad, and yet -- my flesh also shall rest on hope,
27 because Thou wilt not leave my soul to hades, nor wilt Thou give Thy Kind One to see corruption;
28 Thou didst make known to me ways of life, Thou shalt fill me with joy with Thy countenance.
29 `Men, brethren! it is permitted to speak with freedom unto you concerning the patriarch David, that he both died and was buried, and his tomb is among us unto this day;
30 a prophet, therefore, being, and knowing that with an oath God did swear to him, out of the fruit of his loins, according to the flesh, to raise up the Christ, to sit upon his throne,
31 having foreseen, he did speak concerning the rising again of the Christ, that his soul was not left to hades, nor did his flesh see corruption.
32 `This Jesus did God raise up, of which we are all witnesses;
33 at the right hand then of God having been exalted -- also the promise of the Holy Spirit having received from the Father -- he was shedding forth this, which now ye see and hear;
34 for David did not go up to the heavens, and he saith himself: The Lord saith to my lord, Sit thou at my right hand,
35 till I make thy foes thy footstool;
36 assuredly, therefore, let all the house of Israel know, that both Lord and Christ did God make him -- this Jesus whom ye did crucify.'
37 And having heard, they were pricked to the heart; they say also to Peter, and to the rest of the apostles, `What shall we do, men, brethren?'
38 and Peter said unto them, `Reform, and be baptized each of you on the name of Jesus Christ, to remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit,
39 for to you is the promise, and to your children, and to all those afar off, as many as the Lord our God shall call.'
40 Also with many more other words he was testifying and exhorting, saying, `Be saved from this perverse generation;'
41 then those, indeed, who did gladly receive his word were baptized, and there were added on that day, as it were, three thousand souls,
42 and they were continuing stedfastly in the teaching of the apostles, and the fellowship, and the breaking of the bread, and the prayers.
43 And fear came on every soul, many wonders also and signs were being done through the apostles,
44 and all those believing were at the same place, and had all things common,
45 and the possessions and the goods they were selling, and were parting them to all, according as any one had need.
46 Daily also continuing with one accord in the temple, breaking also at every house bread, they were partaking of food in gladness and simplicity of heart,
47 praising God, and having favour with all the people, and the Lord was adding those being saved every day to the assembly.

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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.

Acts 2 Commentaries