The First Gospel Sermon – Acts 2

A small diorama/model of what the temple in Je...

A small diorama/model of what the temple in Jerusalem may have looked like with the surrounding city during the time of Christ (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Having gone through all of the reminders of what Peter’s listeners had witnessed Jesus do while He was among them, as well as David’s prophecy, Peter uttered what had to be the most chilling words he could have told them:

Let all the house of Israel therefore know for certain that God has made him both Lord and Christ, this Jesus whom you crucified. (Acts 2:36)

Verse 37 says that when they heard this they were “cut to the heart.” How many of them, one might wonder, had been among the frenzied crowd that was calling out “Crucify Him” just about 50 days earlier? So they asked Peter and the other eleven apostles what they should do. Peter’s answer in Acts 2:38 may be the most important verse in the this whole book:

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.

But Peter made certain that they knew that this was not just a “good idea,” considering what had been done to the Lord. It was not something that just a few of them — the ones who may have been among that mob mentioned above. And it was not just a passing ritual to be done for now, but meaning no urgency for times to come. Quite the contrary, Peter’s next words sealed it as the promise of the path to salvation for all to come, as he said in verse 39:

For the promise is for you and for your children and for all who are far off, everyone whom the Lord our God calls to himself.

I don’t know how Peter could have made it any clearer. That was not the end of this, the first gospel sermon. Verse 41 says that “with many other words he bore witness and continued to exhort them, saying, ‘Save yourselves from this crooked generation.’” About three thousand of them were baptized then, as the church immediately took hold. Now, this number has brought about some criticism from skeptics, of course, saying that 12 men could not have baptized so many. But of course, Jesus’ other disciples would have been baptized already, and would be there to help. God’s will would be done. I suppose that as a number of these were baptized, several of them joined in completing the task with those who remained, as well.

Verses 42-47 indicate that what followed, was great unity of spirit and of purpose, as the believers had fellowship with the apostles and assisted in the growth of that early church. As the following indicates, the work of the Lord’s gospel was now in full swing:

And all who believed were together and had all things in common. And they were selling their possessions and belongings and distributing the proceeds to all, as any had need.  And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts, praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved.

Schedule for this week
Read or listen to audio of today’s selection from Acts here
Read or listen to audio of today’s selection from 2 Chronicles here

/Bob’s boy
___________________
some images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers

All of my comments in this blog, however, are solely my responsibility.  When reading ANY commentary, you should ALWAYS refer first to the scripture, which is God’s unchanging and unfailing word. Reading schedules, as well as a link to the site where you can get the reading plan that I’m currently following for yourself can be found on the “Bible Reading Schedules” page of my website at http://graceofourlord.com.  

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