Bible Study (Acts 2:14-24) – Wednesday September 27, 2023

As a crowd gathered around the Spirit-filled witnessing believers on the day of Pentecost, Peter arose as a spokesperson in Acts 2:14 and delivered a loud, formal, solemn utterance to this crowd of countrymen – residents of Jerusalem. Since they had wondered aloud what was going on, Peter first addressed these Jews by proclaiming that this divine event was the fulfillment of what had been foretold by the prophet Joel in Joel 2:28-32. Joel had spoken of a time in the “last days” when God would pour out His Spirit upon all flesh. All flesh included male and female, young and old, and every level of society … a wide-reaching prophecy. And this day of Pentecost was this prophesied time by Joel, the manifestation of the poured-out Spirit that this crowd was now seeing. The result of such a sending of the Spirit was that everyone in the covenant community would know God and His ways and prophesy, testifying of the risen Christ to others.

Joel’s prophecy also highlighted a warning of divine judgment which is certain to come at the great and magnificent Day of the Lord, when Christ will return in judgment. Such a dramatic return will be foreshadowed by celestial and terrestrial phenomena that will function as clear signs of His imminent return. But this is not a day that is without hope, for Peter declared that anyone who calls upon the name of the Lord in faith will be saved from such judgment against sin. What wondrous gracious salvation from God! And since Peter’s sermon was aimed directly at the people who had been responsible for the death of Jesus, this was an incredibly important message for them to hear.

Peter then continued his sermon by pointing directly to this Lord upon whom they needed to call out to for salvation … none other than Jesus of Nazareth. The audience may have presumed that the story of Jesus had ended with His death, but Peter declared to them that Jesus’ life had been publicly approved of by God and that God had been active in the life and ministry of Jesus. This was confirmed through the many miracles, signs, and wonders that Jesus had done before their very eyes. And His shocking death was not unexpected, because it was actually part of God’s eternal, sovereign plan to redeem a people unto Himself. Nevertheless, these people standing before Peter were culpable and guilty before God because of their willing participation in the evil of killing the Son of God.

But Christ did not stay dead, Peter declared! Instead, God raised Him up, untying the stranglehold of death, bringing the pangs of death to an end … so that the ‘birth’ which is to bring Christ to light might attain its goal. Sin is what brings death and holds the sinner in the grave; but Jesus had no sin of His own, and so it was an impossibility for the grave to restrain Him. This declaration by Peter was the first public proclamation of the resurrection of Christ, and it was for that very purpose of witnessing that Christ had called His apostles, especially Peter, the rock on whom Christ was building His church. What an amazing transformation that the Spirit of the exalted Christ had wrought in the life of this man Peter who had denied Him 3x right before His crucifixion.

One key theological point that we derived from the first part of Peter’s sermon is that the voice of Christ is spoken through preaching. And it is exactly that, the voice of Christ, that hearers must truly hear when the gospel is preached. The resurrected Christ is now the ascended, exalted Christ who is preparing a place for His people, and He has sent His Spirit to indwell His people in order to speak His words so that people might hear His voice. Those who respond in repentance and faith have heard the sweet, softened voice of Christ the Savior, calling them unto salvation. Those who refuse Him who is speaking (cf. Hebrews 12:25) will one day hear the voice of Christ, but they will instead hear the thunderous voice of Christ the Judge on the Day of the Lord. Which voice will you hear?

You can listen to this teaching on Acts 2:14-24 by clicking on the following link: Peter’s Sermon on Pentecost (Part 1)