Chapter 2, Acts 2: 1-47, Pentecost, Peter’s first sermon
Heavenly Father, we come before You today as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to You, as this is our spiritual act of worship. We give You our full attention, hearts, and minds. Help us be transformed to the image of Jesus Christ, our Lord, and Saviour, in Jesus’ name, Amen.
VV 1-4, 1 When the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. 2 And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. 3 Then there appeared to them divided tongues, as of fire, and one sat upon each of them. 4 And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.
Easter corresponds to the Feast of First Fruits in the Old Testament. Fifty days after Easter or Feast of First Fruits, is the day of Pentecost, Leviticus 28:16. Pentecost is also known as Feast of Weeks, Feast of Harvest, and Feast of Ingathering, Numbers 28:26 and Exodus 23:16. The Holy Spirit descended upon the 120 disciples in the upper room on Pentecost. The Holy Spirit came with the sound of strong wind and rested on the head of each disciple as a tongue of fire and they spoke in tongues.
In John 3, Jesus compared the Holy Spirit to the blowing of the wind. The Greek word for wind and Spirit is the same word ‘’pneuma’’.
Leviticus 23:16, “Count fifty days to the day after the seventh Sabbath; then you shall offer a new grain offering to the Lord.’’
Numbers 28:26, “Also on the day of the first fruits, when you bring a new grain offering to the Lord at your Feast of Weeks, you shall have a holy convocation. You shall do no customary work.”
Exodus 23:16, “and the Feast of Harvest, the first fruits of your labors which you have sown in the field, and the Feast of Ingathering at the end of the year, when you have gathered in the fruit of your labors from the field.”
VV 5-13, 5 And there were dwelling in Jerusalem Jews, devout men, from every nation under heaven. 6 And when this sound occurred, the multitude came together, and was confused, because everyone heard them speak in his own language. 7 Then they were all amazed and marveled, saying to one another, “Look, are not all these who speak Galileans? 8 And how is it that we hear, each in our own language in which we were born? 9 Parthians and Medes and Elamites, those dwelling in Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, 10 Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya adjoining Cyrene, visitors from Rome, both Jews, and proselytes, 11 Cretans, and Arabs, we hear them speaking in our own tongues the wonderful works of God.” 12 So they were all amazed and perplexed, saying to one another, “Whatever could this mean?”13 Others mocking said, “They are full of new wine.”
Jews and Gentile God-fearer from all over the known first century world viz. Partia, Medes, Elam, Mesopotamia, Judea, Galilee, Cappadocia, Pontus, Asia Minor, Phrygia, Pamphylia, Egypt, Libya, Cyrene, Rome, Crete and Arabia, gathered in the upper room in Jerusalem. They manifested Holy Spirit’s presence by speaking in tongues, or the language of other nations. Everyone was amazed and astonished by this phenomenon. For example, an Elamite would speak in Hebrews, a Roman would speak in Greek, and so on. Some skeptics accused them of being drunk with wine.
VV 14-21, 14 But Peter, standing up with the eleven, raised his voice and said to them, “Men of Judea and all who dwell in Jerusalem, let this be known to you, and heed my words. 15 For these are not drunk, as you suppose, since it is only the third hour of the day. 16 But this is what was spoken by the prophet Joel, 17 ‘and it shall come to pass in the last days, says God, That I will pour out of My Spirit on all flesh; Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, Your young men shall see visions, Your old men shall dream dreams. 18 And on My menservants and on My maidservants I will pour out My Spirit in those days, and they shall prophesy. 19 I will show wonders in heaven above, And signs in the earth beneath, blood and fire and vapor of smoke. 20 The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the coming of the great and awesome day of the Lord. 21 And it shall come to pass, That whoever calls on the name of the Lord Shall be saved.’
Peter stood up and proclaimed no one was not drunk as it was only the third hour or 9 am. This phenomenon was a fulfillment of prophet Joel’s prophesy, Joel 2: 28-32.
Joel 2:28, “And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out My Spirit on all flesh. Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions.”
VV 22-28, 22 “Men of Israel, hear these words, Jesus of Nazareth, a Man attested by God to you by miracles, wonders, and signs which God did through Him in your midst, as you yourselves also know, 23 Him, being delivered by the determined purpose and foreknowledge of God, you have taken by lawless hands, have crucified, and put to death, 24 whom God raised up, having loosed the pains of death because it was not possible that He should be held by it. 25 For David says concerning Him, ‘I foresaw the Lord always before my face, For He is at my right hand, that I may not be shaken. 26 Therefore my heart rejoiced, and my tongue was glad, moreover, my flesh also will rest in hope. 27 For You will not leave my soul in Hades, Nor will You allow Your Holy One to see corruption. 28 You have made known to me the ways of life; You will make me full of joy in Your presence.’
Peter delivered his first sermon. Jesus of Nazareth performed God’s miracles, signs, and wonders to the Jewish leaders but they did not believe Him. They arrested and killed Him, but God raised Him back to life on the third day. The death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth were predetermined and foreknown by God.
Peter quoted psalm 16:8-11, “I have set the Lord always before me because He is at my right hand I shall not be moved. Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoices, My flesh also will rest in hope. For You will not leave my soul in Sheol, nor will You allow Your Holy One to see corruption. You will show me the path of life, in Your presence is fullness of joy, at Your right hand, are pleasures.”
VV 29-31, 29 “Men and brethren, let me speak freely to you of the patriarch David, that he is both dead and buried, and his tomb is with us to this day. 30 Therefore, being a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him that of the fruit of his body, according to the flesh, He would raise up the Christ to sit on his throne, 31 he, foreseeing this, spoke concerning the resurrection of the Christ, that His soul was not left in Hades, nor did His flesh sees corruption.
Peter quoted the Davidic covenant of 2 Sam 7:12-13, “When your days are fulfilled and you rest with your fathers, I will set up your seed after you, who will come from your body, and I will establish his kingdom. He shall build a house for My name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever.’’
Peter delivered his first sermon on the day of Pentecost, the birthday of the first-century Christian church.
VV 32-36, 32 This Jesus God has raised up, of which we are all witnesses. 33 Therefore being exalted to the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, He poured out this which you now see and hear. 34 “For David did not ascend into the heavens, but he says himself: ‘The Lord said to my Lord, ‘’Sit at My right hand, 35 Till I make Your enemies Your footstool.” 36 “Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly that God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ.”
Peter filled with the Holy Spirit testified to Christ’s resurrection, exaltation to God’s throne, and impartation of the Holy Spirit. He quoted Psalm 110:1.
Philippians 2: 9-10, ‘’Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name’’. David was not resurrected because he was buried in a tomb.
Psalm 110:1, “The LORD said to my Lord, sit at My right hand, till I make Your enemies Your footstool.”
LORD is Yahveh. Through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, David prophesied and called his son, Yahveh.
VV 37-39, 37 Now when they heard this, they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “Men and brethren, what shall we do?” 38 Then Peter said to them, “Repent and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39 For the promise is to you and to your children, and to all who are afar off, as many as the Lord our God will call.”
Convicted and cut to the heart, they were willing to follow Peter’s instructions. Peter commanded them to repent of their sins. If we confess and repent of our sins, God will forgive us. Today, you can claim the promise of salvation by confessing and repenting your sins to Jesus. Salvation is by grace through faith in Christ.
VV 40-42, 40 And with many other words, he testified and exhorted them, saying, “Be saved from this perverse generation.” 41 Then those who gladly received his word were baptized, and that day about three thousand souls were added to them. 42 And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers.
The first Christian church was born on Pentecost and 3000 souls were saved. They continued to learn from the apostles, fellowshipped, observed holy communion, and prayed.
VV 43-47, 43 Then fear came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were done through the apostles. 44 Now all who believed were together, and had all things in common, 45 and sold their possessions and goods, and divided them among all, as anyone had need. 46 So continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they ate their food with gladness and simplicity of heart, 47 praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved.
The apostles performed miracles, signs, and wonders. The first-century Christians in Jerusalem practiced a form of communism. They sold all their possessions, gave all they had to the apostles, and divided the wealth among all. They continued to worship and praise God in the temple, observed Holy communion in the house church, and the church grew from strength to strength.
Pentecost was the birthday of the first-century Christian church in Jerusalem. On Pentecost, the disciples were baptized by Holy Spirit. The disciples practice their faith by learning the apostles’ doctrines, worship, fellowship, Holy Communion, and prayer. Salvation is by grace, through faith in Christ.
Heavenly Father, thank You for the day of Pentecost when the first-century Christian church was born. Thank You for the gift of the Holy Spirit on Pentecost, to empower the apostles to preach, teach, heal, exorcise, and fulfill the great commission. Thank You for the gift of the Holy Spirit to be our helper, teacher, truth revealer, and advocate, in Jesus’ name, Amen.