Acts 2:37-47

CPRC Men’s Bible Study

Acts 2:37-40   The response to Peter’s sermon

  1. Pricked in heart means their consciences were disturbed and they were convinced of their sin either in general or specifically in relation to the crucifixion. They were convinced of sin and Christ’s divinity by the Spirit (John 16:8).
  2. They asked what they must do because true repentance includes action (the fruit of repentance called for by John with the pharisees) and seen in Nicodemus’ reparations and the Ephesians burning their occult books.
  3. Repentance is a deep sorrow for sin against God that issues in turning from all known sin to obey God (II Cor.7:10).
  4. Baptism was necessary because it was the New Covenant sign that would replace circumcision and was already enjoined by John.
  5. Repentance is a grace granted by the Spirit (II Tim.2:24,25) and baptism is the sign commanded that signifies regeneration. They are the result of unconditional election (Rom.5:8, Titus 3:5).
  6. The promise of salvation (v38) through Messiah is to all the elect alone and also the ability to obey the command to repent and believe.
  7. The promise is the unconditional, multigenerational covenant that includes believers and their seed as per Abraham, David and Isaiah’s promise in 44:3).

Acts 2:41-47   The life of the early church

  1. Receiving the word meant it produced repentance and faith which in turn would prompt obedience to the outward sign of baptism.
  2. The number is recorded, as were the thousands miraculously fed by Christ, to show the size of the miracle and was the proof that Pentecost had really come and that the apostles would do greater things.
  3. The breaking of bread, we believe, was firstly the Lord’s Supper partaken either in temple or house churches but also fellowship meals together.
  4. Fear coming on every soul means a respect for the Christians because of events.
  5. Signs and wonders proved the apostles were divinely appointed.
  6. What we see is not imposed “communism” but rather a willing generous sharing as each had ability and as need was perceived. It continued the sharing between the apostles they had experienced on the road with Christ, showed they understood it is more blessed to give and what John and Jesus had taught about almsgiving.
  7. As a body they wanted they wanted to express unity and love.
  8. They continued in the temple because it was the natural meeting place, it would take time for the sacrificial system to be replaced and it was a witness to unconverted Jews.
  9. They had the fruit of the Spirit, joy and were sincere.
  10. We suspect it was friends and relatives of the believing community who held them in favour who were added to the church by coming under the preaching

 

Next BS (DV) Saturday August 4th 8pm on Acts 3

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Acts 2: 14-36 (part 2)

 

21. When Scripture states Christ could not “be holden” by death, it means he could not remain dead and his body would not be allowed to decay because he had no sin himself (after his people’s sins had been paid for). The wages of sin is death.He had experienced that vicariously for us but now he must be vindicated as righteous and God’s promise in Psalm 16 be fulfilled. Death only holds those bodily who are sinners and who remained impenitent but the elect will one day be raised as Christ was.

22. Peter quotes Psalm 16:8-11 because this was, after Joel’s the second prophecy clearly fulfilled.

23. Peter shows this Psalm refers to Christ because David himself died, was buried and decayed in the body. Note also Paul’s words Acts 13:33-39 and Isaiah 55:3.

24. David knew he spoke of Christ by revelation. Like Abraham he rejoiced to “see” the day of Christ.

25. God swears an oath to David in a covenant promise just as he swore other oaths or covenant promises e.g.

To Abraham/Isaac (Gen.15:18, 26:3, Deut. 7:8, 29:9-14), I Chron. 16:16, Psalm 105:8,9, Jer. 11:5, Luke 1:73, Heb. 6:13-20)

To Israel (Deut. 28:25, Dan.9:11)

To David (II Sam.7:12, I Chron. 17:11-27) that his seed would reign for ever.

To Christ (Ps.110:4, Heb.7:20-22)

“That by two immutable things,”…. God’s counsel (or decree) and oath, which never change and alter, and from which he never varies (John Gill).

26. Peter’s conclusion is that David prophesied of Christ’s resurrection (v.31)

27. His conclusion is also that God raised up Christ (v.32)

28. His third conclusion is that the coming of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost was the fruit of Christ’s resurrection and ascension (v.33)

29. Christ had to be exalted and receive the promise of the Spirit before pouring out the Spirit because the Spirit was his reward, that he said he would send (John 16 and 17, Psalm 68:18, Eph. 4:9,10) and as the Spirit of the exalted Christ he resurrects us, causes us to ascend and exalts us to sit with Christ.

30. Peter proves Psalm 110:1 refers to Christ because David referred to Jehovah speaking to Adonia (David’s Lord, master and messiah who would be given universal reign).

31. Peter concludes that Christ is now ruling as Messiah.

32. Lord and Christ means ruling all things (Phil.2:11) and God’s anointed Saviour/Messiah of his people.

Next Study is on Acts 2:37-47 on June 16th (DV) at Kennedy’s.

Acts 2:14-36 (part 1)

Acts 2:14-36

1.Peter gives this sermon as he was the natural leader and often spokesman for the apostles (Matt.13:13-20, John 6:68-69, his walking on the sea etc). He, along with James and John, got special privileges. He was specifically rebuked and recommissioned by Christ.

2.He refutes the charges of drunkenness because custom among the Jews was not to eat or drink till the fourth hour (10am) and it was only 9.

3. Peter quotes Joel 2:28-32 because what was happening was the fulfilment of this prophecy and God was keeping his promise.

4.THE LAST DAYS are the period between Christ’s first and second coming that is the New Testament age (Heb.1:2)

5. All flesh means all races, Jew and Gentile, all ages, both sexes and every status. The fulfilment of the prophecy was the wonder and sign of different tongues, all the gifts of the Spirit, increased understanding and boldness among the disciples.

6. The prophesying is speaking forth the word of God (I Cor.14:1,3,39), and this may include future events. All believers are prophets in the first sense.

7.Visions are revelation when awake and dreams are revelation when asleep. Both wrought by God the Spirit as direct revelation. Many OT and NT examples eg Joseph, Daniel, even wicked Pharaoh, Belshazzar and Nebuchadnezzar, Agabus, Paul, Peter, Cornelius, Ananias, John. They are important because they include warnings, revelation including Scripture, and guidance.

8. Prophesy, dreams and visions are not evidence of the Spirit’s work today because the canon of direct revelation (Scripture) is complete. They were means whereby God spoke directly to his prophets.

9. God’s servants and handmaidens are all believers.

10. The awful and cataclysmic events mentioned happen in 70 AD (blood and fire as Jerusalem is sacked) and at the end of the world (Rev.6:12).

11.The triune God by the Spirit creates, guides providence and also destroys God’s enemies (II Thess.1:8,9) and eventually this world by fire and recreates the new heavens and earth. He is the almighty arm of Christ.

12. The great and notable day of the Lord is the Second Coming of Christ.

13. Calling on the name of the Lord means repenting and believing (like thief on cross, Philippian jailer in Acts 16:31 etc).

14. Peter calls Christ Jesus of Nazareth and refers to him in his humanity because he wants to emphasize his real humanity and the events surrounding his earthly death.

15. God’s approval means his pleasure and authentication (baptism in Jordan).

16. Miracles are supernatural feats done by men, wonders are strange events in creation and signs are earthly events with a spiritual meaning.

17.The apostles, deacons and evangelists alone performed the miracles, as signs of their authenticity.

18. God’s determinate counsel is his eternal decree and his foreknowledge the love of his elect (Christ and all his) before time (Rom.8:29, 11:2).

19. Peter is accusatory because he wants to clearly apportion the blame for Christ’s death and lead those men to repent. Preaching needs to be sharp and polemical and sometimes specifically directed (e.g.Paul to Festus, Agrippa and Felix, Christ to Sanhedrin) to expose sin.

20.Peter emphasizes the resurrection because it accomplished four things:

  • Authenticated Christ’s divinity
  • Show God was satisfied with his work (and his people justified)
  • Show he was alive now
  • Meant he will return to judge

Next study May 26th 8pm Kennedy’s

Baptism of infants of believers.

Powerful New Testament teaching that elect infants of believers are regenerate!

Therefore are to receive the NT sign of church membership!

  • Children of believers are models to adults of salvation in their humility and passivity (Christ)
  • Children of believers are said by Jesus to believe in him (Matthew 18:6)
  • Children of believers are protected by angels hence saved (Hebrews 1:3)
  • Christ came to save children (Matt.18:11)
  • Irresistible will of God to save them (Matt.18:14)
  • Jesus believed in the regeneration of elect children (quotes Psalm 8:2)
  • John leaped for joy in the womb.
  • Mary believed in the multi-generational covenant with Abraham (Luke 1:50,55)
  • Children of believers, even infants are in the kingdom of God hence born again (Luke 18:15)
  • Children of believers are Christ’s lambs with spiritual life needing fed (John 20:15).

From Belgic Confession class by Rev. Angus Stewart at Covenant Protestant Reformed Church, Ballymena.

Listen here: http://www.cprc.co.uk/belgic34t.mp3

Household and infant baptism Biblical.

 

The baptism of believers professing faith is not in question but baptism of the households or infant children is unacceptable to Baptists.

If it can be shown that there is one covenant in all ages, that the Old and New Covenant initiatory signs are equivalent and that it is commanded for infants then infant baptism/household baptism is Biblical.

The covenant, expressed in the formula, “I will be your God and you shall be my people”, ratified in the Covenant head namely Jesus Christ and effected by his atonement and the outpouring of the Spirit (BC and AD) is everlasting and includes the elect of all ages, who are Christ’s sheep and are irresistible regenerated, justified, sanctified and glorified. The regeneration is unconditional and we are passive. The BOND of faith that this covenant brings about, expressed by Christ in the vine and branches simile (John 15) may or may not issue in conscious expressed faith of the elect person who may be in the womb (John), an infant or mentally retarded or dumb. In this ONE covenant disclosed by God in the OT the sign mandated for believers and their seed (Gen.17:7) alongside the promise to save elect seed (Isaiah 44:3, 59:21) was circumcision and in the NT baptism. These signs signify exactly the same reality which is the washing of regeneration/salvation (Titus 3:5, Col.2:11-13). Hence believers, households (Acts 16) and young children who also believe (Mark 10:13,14). There are many examples of NT household baptism.

Acts (study 5)

Acts 2:1-4
The outpouring of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost and the accompanying signs.

Pentecost took place 50 days (7 weeks and I day) after Passover (Leviticus 23:16,17). It had “fully come” may mean it was the fulness of God’s time (Gal.4:4) or the dawn of the day that had begun according to Jewish reckoning the evening before at 6pm, or it could mean that this was the fulfilment of all prophecy and types.
The Old Testament feast that corresponded to Pentecost was the feast of firstfruits (of the wheat harvest). The fulfilment was the first harvest of souls into the N.T. church.
The believers were “with one accord in one place” because Christ had instructed them in Acts 1:4 to pray and wait. We guess it was in a room in the temple, big enough for 120 people.
The sound like that of a mighty rushing wind was a sign of the coming of the Spirit because wind and breath are both associated with the Spirit (John 3:8, Ezekiel 37:9).
This association teaches us that just like wind the Spirit is under God’s sovereign control, is irresistible, is powerful though unseen.
The cloven tongues like fire were the other sign of the Spirit, perhaps alluding to his dividing his gifts and blessing to every man (I Cor.12:11) but since fire in Scripture is a sanctifying influence, purifying, refining, consuming sin (Heb.12:29), also signifying God’s presence (Ex.3:2, 19:18), Mal.3:2,Matt.3:11, Luke 12:49, his vengeance (II Thess.1:8), his word (Luke 24:32, Jer.20:9).
This allusion tells us the Spirit makes holy, convicts of sin, righteousness and judgment (John 16:8), enlightens (light), brings repentance and faith, reveals Christ, comforts (heat) and cleanses from sin.
They spoke in all the languages adopted by the dispersed Jews from every country in the Roman Empire. These were real languages unfamiliar to the disciples. It was a sort of reversal of the confusion of Babel.
This tells us the Spirit works worldwide and will make the church truly catholic and universal and reminds us of the need for Scripture in all languages.
Pentecost was not the birth of the church because it was there in the Old Testament from Adam, Abraham and among Israel but it was the birth of the N.T. church. We guess Peter spoke his sermon in Hebrew.
The Spirit today does not use tongues or fire because these signs authenticated the authority of the apostles (I Cor.13:8) but we have the complete canon of Scripture.

Acts 2:5-13
There were many Jews living in and visiting Jerusalem who were devout because they were frequently in the temple or local synagogues (like Cornelius) and devoted to Judaism. Luke wants to emphasise the spread and extent of their origin. Many were probably already believers.
There was a multitude in Jerusalem because every male Jew was to attend the three great pilgrimage feasts every year and God chose this time because they were gathered and would be ingathered as a harvest.
The first reaction was one of confusion and disbelief because this was unprecedented.
The second reaction was of amazement and marvelling because Galileans were speaking foreign languages.
The third reaction was to mock, calling them drunk because they must have sounded inebriated.
Luke may well have mentioned all the languages and nationalities to show us that these believers would be dispersed back home and be used to plant churches in all these parts, many of which Paul would visit.

Next study May 5th Acts 2:14-36

Acts (4)

CPRC Men’s Bible Study

Acts 1:15-26

  1. Peter speaking to the 120 in the upper room refers to Psalms 109:8 and 69:25-28 in characterizing Judas.
  2. Peter describes the death of Judas as a falling headlong and bowels gushing out. We understand that as other scripture says he hanged himself (Matthew 27:5) this he did, and no-one cut down the body but eventually the rope broke, the body fell, and because of putrefaction of the abdominal wall on hitting some sharp rock it split open and the bowels gushed out. This brings together the two accounts.
  3. Peter argues for a twelfth apostle on the understanding that Judas’ “bishoprick” i.e. eldership would be taken by another.
  4. The requirement for being an apostle was having continued with Christ during his whole three-year ministry.
  5. Another requirement was having seen the risen Christ.
  6. Peter concludes they needed to appoint a twelfth apostle which followed from his argument based on the scripture.
  7. The prayer of the apostles is significant in that they were acknowledging God, involving him and asking that he make his will clear.
  8. The apostles’ prayer appeals to God’s omniscience and guidance.
  9. It was necessary to select a replacement for Judas because Christ had appointed twelve, twelve is the number of the church/elect (12 tribes, 12 apostles, 144,000 in Revelation 7:4 and 21:12-14).
  10. Casting lots we think, was putting it to a secret ballot like we do among all professing male members when we elect a new office bearer. Probably only the apostles (11) voted.
  11. Casting lots was appropriate because the two men appeared equally capable of the office and it would not have been appropriate to enter a long discussion of their merits and demerits, they would leave it to providence.
  12. It was a valid selection because Proverbs 16:33 says God controls the outcome of the lot (as he did with Jonah!)
  13. Even though we never hear of Matthias again nevertheless we believe he had a foundational role in the New Testament church as did all the other apostles in terms of witness and teaching (Acts 2:42, Eph.2:20).

Next study (DV) Saturday April 14th 8pm probably at George’s home.

Acts (3)

CPRC Men’s Bible Study

Acts 1:9-14

Part 1

  1. Scriptures referring to Christ’s ascension (in Bible order)

Psalm 68:18, 110:1, Mark 16:19, Luke 9:51, 24:51, John 3:13, 6:62, 7:33,8:14, 14:2-4,16:7,28, 20:17, Acts 3:21, Rom.8:34, Eph.1:20-22, 4:8-11, Phil.2:9, I Tim.3:16, Hebrews (10): 1:3-4, 13, 2:9, 4:14-16, 6:19-20, 8:1, 9:12,24, 10:12, 12:2, 1 Pet.3:22. Total  30. Why so many in Hebrews? Because the OT ministry of the tabernacle and high priest, especially on the day of atonement, are fulfilled in Christ’s ascension into the true tabernacle above where he as sacrifice and priest brings himself.

  1. The nature of Christ’s ascension was a bodily, miraculous ascension from earth to heaven in the final stage of his exaltation (Phil. 2:9) at the end of his earthly work. It signified his successful completion of all his work and his reward in taking his throne to reign (in grace over his church, his iron rod over the nations, and his providence over all things), entering the most holy place to intercede for us.
  2. In previous resurrection appearances he had appeared suddenly and also disappeared at will but in this one which was pre-arranged, he uniquely ascended bodily without change of state.
  3. Cloud(s) in Scripture have various significance. The cloud signified God’s presence in the wilderness, it hides a clear vision of God (Ex.13:21). Clouds and chariots signify God’s angels and it would be fitting if he was escorted into glory by those beings. He will come in the same way. We also have a cloud of witnesses (glorified saints) in heaven. See Matt.17:5, Luke 21:27, Heb.12:1, I Thess. 4:17, Rev.1:7, Ps.104:3, Ps.68:17, 2 Kings 2:11).
  4. In like manner meaning similarly, bodily, miraculously Christ will return but every eye will see him.
  5. Angels appear as at other times to bring a message to disciples to grant them understanding/interpretation c.f. Daniel, Zachariah, Mary, Joseph. White apparel signify their glory and holiness.
  6. The angels perhaps ask the question to encourage them to stop staring and get on with their business of witnessing.
  7. For himself the ascension of Christ meant his vindication, his glory, coronation and reward, joy (Heb.12:2), unlimited power, the Spirit without measure to pour out, the continuation of his work of intercession, his being out of reach of Satan and his demons, in fact Satan was permanently cast out of heaven at the ascension (Rev.12:10-12) and the prelude to his return.
  8. The significance of Jesus’ ascension for the church is the absolute confirmation of the effectiveness of his atonement (Lev.16:17), our future glory as we shall ascend likewise, the outpouring of the Spirit he earned, the fact he will come again, his reigning (and us in him) over self, sin and the world, his effective intercession for us and his preservation (by all his power) of us over all the power of Satan. We are seated with him even now (Eph.2:6).

Part 2

  1. The disciples went to an upper room in Jerusalem after the ascension because Christ had instructed them to remain in Jerusalem until the Spirit was poured out (Luke 24:49, Matthew 28:16).
  2. A sabbath day’s journey was what the Jewish leaders had worked out was lawful to travel on the sabbath and about 1000 metres.
  3. The names plus the 120 in the room did not constitute the whole church at that time, but rather the closest disciples. There were other Jews and Gentiles e.g. Zacchaeus, Joseph of Arimathea, rich young ruler, Nicodemus, Bartimaeus, the man born blind, many Samaritans (John 4), the demoniac, the Syrophoenician woman and the centurion.
  4. The gathering were characterized by unity. They prayed in line with the Lord’s prayer and for the Spirit (Luke 11:13).
  5. There were ten days between the ascension and Pentecost because God works to a timetable and Pentecost, the time for the Spirit to be outpoured (in line with the wheat harvest and giving of the law) came 50 days after the waving of the sheaf of first-fruits (Resurrection) (Lev. 23:15,16) and was a time when Jerusalem was full of Jews and proselytes from all over the empire. Christ’s appearances lasted 40 days after the resurrection and then there were ten more till Pentecost. Ten is the number of completeness (10 commandments, ten plagues, ten virgins etc) and it meant they had to persevere in prayer.

 

 

Next study (DV) Saturday March 24th on Acts 1:15-26

Acts (study 2) 1:6-8

 

 

CPRC Men’s B.S.  Acts 1:6-8

  1. The disciples, along with almost all the Jews were seeking an earthly Messianic kingdom like David’s (Amos 9:11, Acts 14:16, Is.22:22, Jer.30:9). Pre-millenial dispensationalists e.g. Brethren, are guilty of the same error today.
  2. They conceived of a Jewish monarchy in land of Israel.
  3. After Pentecost the disciples would not have asked the same question because the Spirit with which they were endowed, revealed the truth of Christ’s eternal spiritual kingdom to them and reminded them of what he said like, “My kingdom is NOT of this world” (John 18:36). Interesting cross references worth looking up are Luke 22:18, 23:42 (the penitent thief had this truth revealed to him!), 2 Peter 1:11, James 2:5, Mark 15:43 and over 80 N.T. references.
  4. Jesus’ answer discounted the importance of knowing the time (no-one is meant to know!) but not the reality of his coming kingdom which they would see coming in power at Pentecost (note the two disciples on the Emmaus road were told same as disciples Luke 24:49).
  5. After the outpouring of the Spirit Jesus said the disciples would have authority (v 7) to know more about the times (eschatology) because as prophets they would be given more revelation e.g. Peter (2 Peter 3), John (I John 2:18 esp. re antichrists) as well as being reminded of and able to record his discourse about the end times in Matthew 24,25. The power the disciples would receive is actual power (dunamis) not just authority.
  6. “But” indicates that the more important truth that the Spirit would be given to them to enable them to fulfil their calling in life.
  7. The power to be given the disciples would be to witness (including preaching) and work miracles like tongues and healing. The result would be mass conversions and the writing of inspired Scripture.
  8. They were to tell others what they saw and knew (personally and in preaching), confront enemies and error, do miracles and live godly lives.
  9. The fourfold geographical order in verse 8 is a prophecy and a command which was, and is being, fulfilled.
  10. Naturally people start their witness where they live and progressively as led, further afield (Jer.12:5, Ezek.3:5).
  11. This is normative for mission. We start at home, we send to other parts of our country (where there are scattered sheep) and then overseas.
  12. We are in stage 4 (the ends of the earth) and our calling is to be involved. We can do this firstly by being informed (mission mags and websites e.g. PRCA), secondly by praying, thirdly by supporting financially, finally as part of a church -sending men.

 

Next study (DV) March 3rd 8pm Kennedys Acts 1:9-14 (pages 10,11)

Operation Mobilisation

Operation Mobilisation (Ships)

                     

Strengths                                                                     Weaknesses
Multinational and multicultural.                               Interdenominational (LCD)
Emphasis on prayer/Bible study.                               Not Reformed
Evangelism                                                                      False gospel, lay preaching.
World Mission
Faith based (finances)
Leadership

I benefited enormously from my two years on Logos, seeing some wonderful places, learned about the world, met many believers from all over, discussed doctrine, got into trouble, learned to pray, sinned grievously but had prayer answered when I met my wife. I plan to elaborate on the points above in the future.