May 14th C. Preaching in Power – Peter (Jerusalem – To the Jews) Peter preaches the Gospel
14: But Peter, standing up with the eleven, lifted up his voice, and said unto them, Ye men of Judaea, and all ye that dwell at Jerusalem, be this known unto you, and hearken to my words: 15: For these are not drunken, as ye suppose, seeing it is but the third hour of the day. 16: But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel; 17: And it shall come to pass 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 on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy: 19: And I will shew wonders in heaven above, and signs in the earth beneath; blood, and fire, and vapour of smoke: 20: The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before that great and notable day of the Lord come: 21: And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved. 22: Ye men of Israel, hear these words; Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you by miracles and wonders and signs, which God did by him in the midst of you, as ye yourselves also know: 23: Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain: 24: Whom God hath raised up, having loosed the pains of death: because it was not possible that he should be holden of it. 25: For David speaketh concerning him, I foresaw the Lord always before my face, for he is on my right hand, that I should not be moved: 26: Therefore did my heart rejoice, and my tongue was glad; moreover also my flesh shall rest in hope: 27: Because thou wilt not leave my soul in hell, neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption. 28: Thou hast made known to me the ways of life; thou shalt make me full of joy with thy countenance. 29: Men and brethren, let me freely speak unto you of the patriarch David, that he is both dead and buried, and his sepulchre is with us unto this day. 30: Therefore being a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him, that of the fruit of his loins, according to the flesh, he would raise up Christ to sit on his throne; 31: He seeing this before spake of the resurrection of Christ, that his soul was not left in hell, neither his flesh did see corruption. 32: This Jesus hath God raised up, whereof we all are witnesses. 33: Therefore being by the right hand of God exalted, and having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Ghost, he hath shed forth this, which ye now see and hear. 34: For David is not ascended into the heavens: but he saith himself, The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand, 35: Until I make thy foes thy footstool. 36: Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ.
The church grows
37: Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do? 38: Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. 39: For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call. 40: And with many other words did he testify and exhort, saying, Save yourselves from this untoward generation. 41: Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls. 42: And they continued stedfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers. 43: And fear came upon every soul: and many wonders and signs were done by the apostles. 44: And all that believed were together, and had all things common; 45: And sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all men, as every man had need. 46: And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart, 47: Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.
Peter stands up to preach and specifically to answer the cynics who said they are drunk. Peter addresses the Men of Judea and the inhabitants of Jerusalem. He says we are not drunk because it is it only 9am. But this phenomenon is the same thing that was spoken of by the Prophet Joel. Joel prophesied of the return of Christ to establish his kingdom and a new covenant with Israel. Joel said that it will come to pass in that day that the Lord will pour out his Spirit upon all flesh and your sons and daughters will prophesy etc. – There will be wonders in the heavens above and signs in the earth beneath blood and fire and vapour of smoke. The sun shall be turned into darkness and the moon into blood, before that great and notable day of the Lord shall come. And whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. Now Peter is not saying that this event was being fulfilled on this day. What he was saying was the same Spirit which will be manifest in that day is the same Spirit who is now in operation for all to see. The day of Pentecost did not herald the day of the Lord. There was not darkening of the sun or moon. There was no blood, fire and vapour of smoke. What was happening was that the Holy Spirit was manifesting himself in the witness of the Apostles through the communication of the Gospel in languages. Peter addresses the people of Israel. He begins with his subject. Jesus of Nazareth. Approved of God among you by miracles and wonders and signs. This was his subject and the ‘Signs’ were the proof of his Messianic claims. He was delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God but You took him and crucified him BUT God raised him from the dead. David prophesied of this. Then he addresses the men more personally. Let me speak freely of David. He is dead and buried right! David being a prophet and knowing that God had promised him a seed to sit on his throne he seeing this before spoke of the resurrection of the dead, when he said… that his soul was not left in hell, neither his flesh did see corruption. This Jesus God has raised up and we are witnesses of this fact. He is even now seated at the right hand of God exalted and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit he has given the Holy Spirit to us and the Holy Spirits ministry you now see and hear. Peter brings his masterful speech to an end by saying.. Therefore let all the house of Israel know for sure, that God hath made the same Jesus, who you crucified, both Lord and Christ. The people were ‘pricked in their heart’, in other words they understood clearly what Peter was saying and they were struck with conviction of their sin. So they responded saying, what shall we do? Peter responded in the way he had preached to Israel right through the towns and villages of Judea. Repent, and be baptized every one of you. in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and you will also receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. Because the promise is unto you Israel, and your children, and to all Jews that live far away, as many as the Lord our God shall call to return unto him. And Peter said so much more than this such as. Save yourselves from this contradictory generation. (Christ often referred to ‘This Generation’, it was the generation that saw his signs and heard his word that would come under the judgment of God for their rejection of his word.) Those that gladly received his word were baptized right then. About three thousand were added to the company of disciples. This group of disciples attended consistently in hearing the teaching of the Apostles in fellowship one with another and they ate together and spent much time in prayer. The fear of God descended on everyone and many signs and wonders were performed by the Apostles (which are not recorded here). The believers were united and they shared their possessions and if they needed money they sold what they could and distributed the money according to need. The disciples united in worship in the temple and they ate together in their houses with great joy and total devotion. They praised God and God gave them approval with all the people. The Lord was adding to their number every day those who were being saved.