- Acts 2:37-42
- Acts 2:37 (KJB)
- 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?
- Were pricked - Agitated greatly, cut through, or pierced
- Peter’s sermon had gotten right to the heart of the matter that Jesus
was the promised Messiah and Israel had been blind to this reality, now that
they know who He was and the fact that they had crucified Him pricked them
in their hearts and caused much consternation and anxiety within them. In
verse 12, they had asked what all of this means but now they have been
anguished in their hearts. They now want to know what they must do? They may
have thought that there was something they could do to make up for the
injustices which Jesus suffered. They might have been thinking about making
some type of guilt or sin offering under the law. Instead, in the next verse
Peter gives the Gospel message to them.
- Acts 2:38 (KJB)
- 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.
- Repent - Change one’s mind or be converted
- Remission - Deliverance, forgiveness, or suspension of punishment
- Peter responded to them, not in the letter of the law concerning some
kind of offering instead he responds with the Gospel message. The first
thing he tells them that they must repent. Repentance is an act whereby your
mind is changed about something which leads to a lifestyle commensurate with
that change of mind. The word “repent” in the Greek is in the Imperative
Mood which means it is a command and not an option. Repentance is not
something that is done before the moment of salvation but repentance is
simultaneous with salvation. Repentance is never initiated by man but by
God. (2 Tim 2:25 KJV) In meekness
instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them
repentance to the acknowledging of the truth; A
person being spiritually dead would be unable to do any type of work for
salvation. We find in 2 Timothy 2:25 that God is the one who gives
repentance so the truth may be acknowledged. Only one that is saved will be
able to acknowledge the truth.
- Then Peter states that a person must be baptized in
the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sin. This is not speaking of
water baptism because there is no way that water baptism can ever remove
sins from a person and initiate salvation. The baptism which is in view is
not water baptism but it contains two elements.
(Rom 6:3 KJV) Know ye not, that so many of us
as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death?
The first element is being baptized into the death of
Christ. Now this is not speaking of water baptism but the fact that we are
baptized into Christ through the spiritual rebirth. That baptism into Christ
affects us by giving us a death to the things of the world. We read that we
were baptized into His death. When Christ went to the cross, He died for the
sins of His Elect but He also showed us that He died to the things of the
world. This thought is carried from verse 2 concerning the death of the
believer to the things which oppose true Christianity.
(Rom 6:2 KJV) God forbid. How shall we, that
are dead to sin, live any longer therein? The
baptizing that we receive is a uniting of the believer into Christ and into
the death of the magnetism and performance of sin. Water baptism is just an
outward sign of what happens inwardly when someone becomes saved and has no
significance in salvation.
- Then Peter goes on to preach that it is to be done in the name of Jesus.
These are not just words which are appended to our prayers but the name of
Jesus carries with it all the authority of Heaven and the power of Eternal
God. For one to be in the name of Jesus, they must be saved by Christ. This
is why Peter states that these things must be done in the name of Christ
because only He has the authority to save someone. For if a person is
granted repentance by God and is baptized into the death of Christ and in
the name of Christ, the second element is they are given the gift of the
Holy Spirit to indwell them eternally. Christians are made alive unto the
things of God by means of the indwelling Holy Spirit but those in worldly
religions are attempting to reach God while remaining dead in their sins.
(John 4:24 KJV) God is a Spirit:
and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.
This is how we truly worship God. Once we are saved, we
have the Spirit of God indwelling us and that is how we worship Him in
spirit and in truth because the Holy Spirit lead us into all truth.
(John 16:13 KJV) Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will
guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever
he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will show you things to
come. Once we become a person who is spiritually alive,
then we worship God the biblical way and not the religious way.
- Acts 2:39 (KJB)
- 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.
- (Acts 1:4 KJV) And, being assembled
together with them, commanded them that they should not depart from
Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father, which, saith he,
ye have heard of me. Peter now states that the
promise of the Holy Spirit is not just a gift given to a certain few. Many
might have been under the notion that it would be the leaders of Israel who
would receive the promise and then teach from that standpoint. That is not
so, there would be no super spiritual class of clergy. The promise of the
Holy Spirit would be given to every single person who became saved through
the Lord Jesus Christ. The promise was to those who were hearing Peter, and
to their children, which would mean the next generation and all the
generations to come until the last one. Then the promise is to those who are
afar off and this would mean those around the world who became saved, and
finally all that the Lord calls to salvation, no matter where they are in
the world or in whatever social status, will receive the gift of the Holy
Spirit. The last phrase would also include all the countries of the world
down through all the ages until the last one is saved and the Lord returns.
- Acts 2:40 (KJB)
- And with many other words did he testify and exhort, saying, Save
yourselves from this untoward generation.
- Untoward - Crooked, evil, devious, corrupt, unjust, and full of
- Save yourselves - Be saved, preserved, or kept safe
- Peter’s sermon must have went on for a while longer and the rest of it
is not recorded here for us but the summary would be that through salvation
they would be able to turn away, or repent, from the ways of the untoward
generation in which they lived. It would not only be their generation, but
this would apply to all of them till the last one. A person who is saved
would be saved from the evil which will come upon all of the generations
throughout time. Peter is stating that there is only one way a person can
escape the evils of this world and that is through Christ. When you look at
the alternate meanings of the word “untoward,” it definitely reads like it
is describing our time. That is why we can see that the Bible never goes out
- Acts 2:41 (KJB)
- Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and
the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls.
- That…received - Welcomed, receive favorably, or receive with pleasure
- This must have been a huge crowd that was listening to Peter because
this verse is stating that not everyone who heard Peter had gladly received
the words. Yet, Peter’s sermon had great effect upon the crowd because three
thousand people had become saved that day and had become baptized. Notice
the order that they received the word and became saved first, then they were
baptized in water as a testimony to their inward transformation. In just one
day, the power of the Gospel increased the number of believers from
approximately 120 to 3,120. This should give us tremendous encouragement
because we never know what impact any phase of ministry will have on those
who are hearing. This is why it is important that we always remain vigilant
- Acts 2:42 (KJB)
- And they continued stedfastly in the apostles' doctrine
and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.
- Continued stedfastly - Adhere firmly to or remain devoted to
- Doctrine - Teaching
- After the three thousand had become saved, they had not dispersed yet
but chose to stay in Jerusalem. Since salvation had taken place, they now
began to show a hunger for learning the Word of God. They had started
learning the teachings of the Apostles and they were stedfast or had
remained devoted to the teachings they were now learning. Jerusalem had
become one big Bible conference as they were not only learning the true
Gospel, but also had remained to fellowship with the Apostles, which
included having meals together and times of worship which included prayer
times. We are not sure how long this large crowd had remained together in
Jerusalem until they finally had to go back to their homes but while they
were together they had enjoyed a great time of fellowship and spiritual
growth as the seeds of the true Gospel were now starting to sprout.