Saturday, October 3, 2015

Acts 2 (part 2)

A simple outline of Peter's message in vs.14-40:

I. Introduction: Explanation of what was Taking Place (14-21)
II. Theme: Proof that Jesus is Lord and Christ (22-36)

III. Application and Conclusion (37-40)
The apostle Peter was filled with the Holy Ghost as he preached this message. These are not his words but God’s words thru him. Surely this is an example of what God expects preaching to be. The sermon is:
  1. Pointed (directly addresses the audience)
  2. Plain (clear and easy to understand, no complicated theological terms)
  3. Powerful (v.37 - based on the word - Heb. 4:12)
Notice that there aren't any frivolous stories, jokes, or wasted words. It is very different from the average sermon preached in churches today.   
Introduction (vs.14-21)
(v.14) - Peter was appointed by Christ to be the leader among the 12 apostles (Matt. 16:19). The same man who in fear and confusion had denied the Lord is now going to speak with great boldness and authority for the Lord. The explanation for this transformation is that he saw the risen Christ and is now filled with the Holy Ghost.  
(v.15) - Peter quickly dismisses the ridiculous charge that they were drunk. Drunkenness certainly never made anyone smarter so how could they speak in other languages if they were drunk? Nobody in that culture got drunk at 9:00 AM (I Thess. 5:7). Not to mention the fact that it was a feast day and it was customary for the Jews to not eat or drink before that hour.
(vs.16-21) – Peter quotes the prophet Joel as an explanation of what was taking place. He did not say that the prophecy was being completely fulfilled (for example, vs.19-20 didn’t take place). He is saying that what was taking place was in ACCORDANCE with Joel’s prophecy. It was a foretaste of it and if the nation would repent it would be soon fulfilled. The “this” in “this is that” refers to the prophecy he was quoting. Peter certainly understood the prophecy that he was quoting because Christ opened prophecy to him (Lk. 24:45) and he was filled with the Holy Ghost. The prophet Joel says NOTHING about the Body of Christ and this present Mystery Age. Joel 2 deals with the tribulation period, Second Advent of Christ, and Kingdom Age which concern the LAST DAYS in regards to Israel (See Isa. 2:1-5, not to be confused with the last days of the mystery in 2 Tim. 3).
Theme (vs.22-36)
(vs.22-24) – The earthly ministry of Christ to Israel was filled with works that proved He was sent by God the Father (Jn. 5:36) but they rejected and crucified their Messiah because they were in spiritual darkness. The Jews thought that the fact Jesus was crucified proved He was not the Messiah because they were looking for a mighty King to rule and reign on the earth. Peter explains that the crucifixion was planned by God (God knew they would reject Him) but that they were responsible for it (He did not make them reject Him). The very One that they crucified, God raised from the dead. 
(vs.25-31) - Peter quotes the prophecy of David about the resurrection of Christ found in the 16th Psalm. It was not possible that Christ should “be holden” of death because He was the Holy One. Psalm 16 teaches that the Messiah would rise the 3rd day (corruption sets in on the 4th day, Jn. 11:39) and that after He was risen He would reign.  
(vs.32-36) – Peter says that he and the apostles are witnesses to the fact that God fulfilled Psalm 16 by raising up Christ from the dead. He is not only risen but He also ascended to Heaven and is exalted at the right hand of the Father. The fact that He sent the Holy Ghost as He promised and that they could see and hear the evidence of that proves it. Peter quotes Psalm 110 which teaches that the Messiah is the LORD and that after His rejection He would ascend back to Heaven until He returns to judge His enemies and set up His kingdom.  
Peter indicted Israel for murdering Jesus and let them know that God exalted that same Jesus as Lord and Christ. Yes, he talked about the death, burial, and resurrection but he did not preach the good news that Christ died for their sins and that they could be saved instantly and permanently by simply believing that. He preached the cross as bad news and did not glory in the cross as Paul later does after he received the gospel of the grace of God by revelation (Gal. 1:11-12; 6:14). If Peter knew that gospel in Acts 2, what was his problem in Acts 10 and why did Paul have to communicate his gospel to him in Acts 15 (Gal. 2)?
Application and Conclusion (vs.37-40)
(v.37) - Peter did not have to give an invitation because the people were under such conviction of the Spirit that they immediately spoke up and asked what they needed to do in light of the fact that they crucified their Messiah.
(v.38) – This verse is a Jewish apostle’s response to a question asked by Jews that just heard him preach a message about their Jewish Messiah and yet many are the false teachers that lift it from its context and try to force it on Gentiles today! This is the same message that John the Baptist preached except now it is with the promise of the Holy Ghost (Mk. 1:4-5) and Israel must repent for killing her Messiah. The phrase "for the remission of sins" in v.38 doesn't refer back to the cross (as many teachers claim it does) anymore than it did when John the Baptist preached it BEFORE the cross. The baptism of repentance did not look back to the cross but forward to the Second Coming of Christ when Israel will have their sins remitted as a nation (Acts 3:19). Water baptism didn’t save but it was required as an expression of the faith and repentance under the gospel of the kingdom (Mk. 16:16).
To prove that this message is NOT for us today just compare it with Acts 16:30-31 when the apostle to the Gentiles answered a Gentile sinner when he asked, "what must I do to be saved?" Water baptism is NOT part of the gospel of the grace of God (1 Cor. 1:17).

(v.39) – The promise of the Holy Ghost poured out was made to Israel. The “afar off” in this verse are not the Gentiles (as commonly taught) but the dispersed Jews (Dan. 9:7).

(v.40) – After reading 14-40 you might think that Peter’s sermon was short. Not every word of what he preached is recorded here. He exhorts them to separate from apostate Israel and take their place with the “little flock” that will inherit the kingdom (Matt. 21:43; Lk. 12:32).


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