By Donnie V. Rader
In Acts 2 we find the beginning of the fulfillment of the great commission to carry the gospel to the world beginning at Jerusalem (Mk. 16:15-16; Lk. 24:47). This chapter tells the story of the first converts under this commission. Peter later refers to this as “the beginning” (Acts 11-15).
In this chapter we will see what the prospective converts were told, what they believed and what they did in becoming Christians. Let’s consider an overview of this chapter.
I. The Reception Of The Holy Spirit (vv. 1-13)
The apostles received the Spirit (vv. 1-4). On the day of Pentecost, the apostles (“they”, v. I. refers back to the apostles of Acts 1:26) received the Holy Spirit as was promised in John 14:26; 15:26; 16:13 and Acts 1:1-5. They were able to speak in other languages as the Spirit directed them.
The multitude was amazed (vv. 5-13). There was an audience that had gathered in Jerusalem from all parts of the earth (v. 5). Their reaction to the Spirit-filled apostles was one of amazement (vv. 6-8, 12). Some accused the apostles of drunkenness (v. 13).
II. Peter’s Sermon (vv. 14-36)
Explanation of the events (vv. 14-21). Peter begins by stating that the apostles were not drunk and reasoned why that could not be (vv. 14-15). However, they were witnessing something that was a fulfillment of the prophecy of Joel (vv. 16-21).
Jesus was raised from the dead (vv. 22-36). Now, Peter gets to the heart of his sermon: the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. Three points are made about his resurrection. (1) This is the one that they had crucified (vv. 22-24). Though their wicked hands had put him to death, God had raised him up. (2) David had prophesied of this resurrection (vv. 25-31). Peter quotes from Psalms 16:8-11 and gives evidence that David did not speak of himself, but of the resurrection of Jesus Christ. (3) Jesus is now exalted as Lord and Christ (vv. 32-36). The climax of the sermon is “Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly that God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ” (vv. 36).
III. The Response Of The Multitude (v. 37-41)
A. They asked what to do (vv. 37-40). Upon hearing the evidence of the resurrection, the people asked what they needed to do (v. 37). Peter responded by commanding repentance and baptism for the remission of sins (v. 38).
B. They gladly received the word and obeyed (v. 41). Those who had an open mind to receive the truth, willfully obeyed the instructions they had been given. The number was about 3,000.
IV. They Continued In The Apostles’ Doctrine (vv. 42-47)
They followed apostolic authority (v. 42). After this large number was baptized, they did not seek to serve God as their own desires dictated. Rather, they continued in the doctrine taught by the apostles.
They continued stedfast (vv. 42).
They worshipped (v. 42). The things that are mentioned in verse 42 are acts of worship.
They were benevolent to their brethren in need (vv. 44-45).
They continued in daily service to God (vv. 46-47).
What Do We Learn From This Case Of Conversion?
We learn what they were taught in order to become Christians. They were taught about the resurrection of Christ and what it means.
We learn what they believed. They believed the message they were taught (v. 41).
We learn what they did. They heard the message (v. 22). They believed the message about Jesus (vv. 36, 41). They repented of their sins (v. 38). They were baptized (vv. 38, 41).
We learn what they received upon obedience to the gospel. They received the remission of sins (v. 38). God then added them to the church. We conclude that when they were baptized for the remission of sins they became a part of the church. The same steps one must follow to become a Christian are the same steps to enter the Lord’s church.
You can be saved just like the 3,000 on the day of Pentecost. If you have not obeyed the gospel, why not do what they did?
Guardian of Truth XXXVII: 9, p. 12
May 6, 1993