Practical Reflections on Acts: Acts 2:29-40

Acts 2:29‑40  •  5 min. read  •  grade level: 8
29-30. “Men and brethren, let me freely speak unto you of the patriarch David, that he is both dead and buried, and his sepulcher is with us unto this day. Therefore being a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him, that of the fruit of his loins, according to the flesh, he would raise up Christ to sit on his throne.”
Then, as patriarch of the kingdom, David’s life brought blessing. Now they had only his sepulcher containing his bones no blessing there!
But the patriarch had also been a prophet. They not only had his sepulcher, but they had his inspired words. They gloried in the former but did not have faith to lay hold of the latter. How important that we not get occupied with the vessel that is used, but in faith lay hold of the words of life that are delivered through it, from God to our hearts.
31. “He seeing this before spake of the resurrection of Christ, that his soul was not left in hell, neither his flesh did see corruption.”
Though David won mighty victories over Israel’s enemies, it was faith that gave him to view an infinitely mightier victory, the resurrection of Messiah from the dead a victory in which the corruption of the grave did not touch the Victor.
32. “This Jesus hath God raised up, whereof we all are witnesses.”
Witnesses! God has given full testimony through innumerable witnesses to the truth concerning the person and work of Christ. Peter and the others were witnesses of His humble life and His glorious resurrection; they were “eyewitnesses of His majesty” (2 Pet. 1:1616For we have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of his majesty. (2 Peter 1:16)). Oh! that our lives might bear witness to His person, majesty and work.
33. “Therefore being by the right hand of God exalted, and having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Ghost, He hath shed forth this, which ye now see and hear.”
Did they need proof that the lowly Jesus of Nazareth was risen and exalted at the Father’s right hand? They had both seen and heard the Witness the Spirit poured out as a consequence of His exaltation. What is seen and heard in our lives today? Is it that which glorifies our risen Lord? “Be filled with the Spirit” (Eph. 5:1818And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit; (Ephesians 5:18)).
34-35. “For David is not ascended into the heavens: but he saith himself, The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit Thou on My right hand, until I make Thy foes Thy footstool.”
It is not David—the one in whom they gloried—but the lowly Jesus whom they despised that now sits in the place of power. Until they repented, they were foes of Him whom David owned as Lord. How important that believers walk in moral separation from the ways of this “present evil world” a world which is a foe of the Lord Jesus Christ.
36-37. “Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ. 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?”
How could Peter, an “unlearned and ignorant” fisherman, speak so as to cause this powerful effect of troubling the consciences of that great crowd of devout Jews? He used the Word of God, as guided by the Spirit of God. That gave moral authority to his words, convicting his hearers. This same effect will also be produced today if there is submission to the Spirit’s guidance using the Word.
Evidently the other apostles had been standing by Peter as he spoke without saying anything themselves. The troubled listeners cry out for help, both to the one who spoke and to those with him.
We may not always speak verbally about our Lord, but our lives ought to be found morally standing with those who are speaking the truth of God.
38. “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.”
Peter was the one who answered the question directed to the group of apostles. The others, recognizing that the Spirit was using Peter in this particular instance, made no attempt to answer. What a wonderful oneness of mind!
How good to learn to wait quietly when another servant is being used by the Spirit. In such instances, silent prayer may be of much greater help than public participation.
Peter’s answer to their question begins with the word “repent.” What rich blessings we often lose as believers because we do not walk before our God in a repentant spirit! “A broken and a contrite heart, O God, Thou wilt not despise” (Psa. 51:1717The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise. (Psalm 51:17)). “But whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy” (Prov. 28:1313He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy. (Proverbs 28:13)).
39. “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.”
What a wonderful encouragement for those who in faith and submission move in a repentant spirit before God: blessing for them, for their children, and even for those for whom blessing seemed impossible—those that are afar off. Truly, our God delights to bless the contrite in heart!
40. “And with many other words did he testify and exhort, saying, Save yourselves from this untoward generation.”
“Testify and exhort.” The Spirit records the essence of Peter’s message, rather than his exact words. Those to whom he spoke were identified with a nation existing under judgment. That caused Peter to speak earnestly. Let’s live and speak in the same fervent spirit that precious souls might still be delivered from coming judgment.
Ed.