Acts 6


Acts 6

Verses 1-8 These verses record the institution of the office of deacon and the increase of the church.

  1. “Those days” were the early days of the NT church from around AD33 onwards when the number of disciples multiplied.
  2. The problem that arose was that the Greek widows were not being catered for as the Jewish ones were, in the benevolence being distributed by the church.
  3. The Grecians (Greeks) were non-Jewish widows living in Jerusalem, presumably previously married to proselytes (Gentile converts to Judaism) who were now believers.
  4. The Hebrews were Jewish widows now converted.
  5. The “daily ministration” were the daily distribution of money or gifts in kind (e.g. food) to those in need.
  6. The problem concerned the widows because they and presumably their orphans had no means of support. See James 1:27, I Tim.5:3, 5,9-16 where Paul’s criteria are set forth.
  7. Perhaps they did not have a comprehensive list (as they later did as Paul speaks of the “number”) and only the well-known Jewish widows were being remembered.
  8. The apostles decided to institute the office of deacon, or distributer of alms by the election of the congregation of whom there were to be seven men to oversee this work.
  9. The whole church made their choices known to the apostles-how we are not told.
  10. This tells us the congregation chose them and the apostles ordained them and what their duties were.
  11. The laying on of hands was the setting apart in ordination by the apostles (nowadays church elders) who by this act: a) Commissioned them and identified with them (support/prayer)
  12.                                            b) Conferred on them authority/gifting/power. See II Tim.1:6, I Tim. 4:14, Heb.6:2. This ordination originated with Moses and the Levites (Num.8:10) and Joshua (Num.27:18-23 and Deut. 34:9).
  13. This is a model for the church today where according to our church order confessing male members elect men to office who are then ordained by elders laying on their hands, because it is Biblical.
  14. Numbers in the church grew and noteworthy were the number of priests converted.
  15. The requirements of a deacon are: sincerity, fullness of the Spirit, wisdom, sobriety, blamelessness, one wife (or single), having been proved (I Tim.3:8-13).
  16. Stephen was able to do great wonders and miracles because he was gifted (I Cor.12:9,10).

Acts 6:9-15

The Jews’ false witness against Stephen

  1. The various groups arrayed against Stephen were the synagogue of the Libertines, Cyrenians, Alexandrians, Cilicians and Asians, all presumably Jewish proselytes.
  2. The synagogue of the Libertines were either a very liberal synagogue (antinomian) or one composed of previous slaves (Jews or heathen) of the Romans who had gained their freedom after their enslavement by General Pompey 63BC.
  3. Cyrenians were from Libya (e.g. Simon who carried the cross). Alexandrians were from Egypt’s largest city. The Cilicians and Asians were from what is now Turkey where Paul would evangelise later.
  4. They could not refute Stephen’s message because it was Scripturally based, reasonable and Spirit-inspired (Psalm 119:98, Luke 21:15). He knew his Old Testament history and its explanation/fulfilment in Christ very well.
  5. Instead they pressganged wicked liars to make false charges against him.
  6. The accused Stephen of speaking ill in blasphemy against Moses and God.
  7. The Jews misinterpreted Jesus words concerning the destruction of the temple of his body and his adding to the law of Moses in the Beatitudes (Matt.5 for example).
  8. The accusation would have merited the death penalty because it betrayed hatred of Moses and God (Lev.24:10-16).
  9. Stephen’s face shone (like Moses when he came down from the mount), with joy and holiness, reflecting the glory of God in the face of Christ whom he was beholding (Ps.34:5, II Cor.3:18).
  10. This happened for two reasons: firstly to convince the accusers of his holiness and truth and glory and secondly to prepare him for his upward call.


Next study (DV) Thursday December 20th 8pm on Acts 7.


Acts 5:17-42


Acts 5:17-33

Confrontation between Jewish authorities and the apostles

  1. The Sadducees are specifically mentioned in v 17 because they appeared to control the council and certainly occupied chief positions e.g. high priest.
  2. They arrested and imprisoned the apostles to try and stop the church growing. See Luke 3:20.
  3. God counteracted this by freeing the apostles because he wanted their ministry to continue.
  4. The “words of this life” are the whole counsel of God/the gospel.
  5. The purpose of calling together the council or Sanhedrin was to hear different views and make a combined decision about how to act.
  6. Upon discovering the prison shut but the apostles gone their concern was how the movement would grow.
  7. They really ought to have wondered how the apostles got out. See Luke 21:12 ans Acts 12:19.
  8. The authorities (Captain of temple guard and his officers) were afraid of being stoned because the apostles had such a following and even unbelievers esteemed them.
  9. Being accused of bringing Christ’s blood upon them, the authorities, because it was true must have had troubled consciences.
  10. It was the intention of the apostles to blame the unbelieving authorities for Christ’s death. See Acts 2:36.
  11. Peter emphasized the need to obey God rather than men to make clear their stance.
  12. Peter in v 30 did agree with the accusation of v 28.
  13. Peter emphasized the resurrection in v 30 because it is a gospel fundamental, it exposed the Jews’ impotence and the power of God to irresistibly fulfil his purposes.
  14. Mentioning the “God of our fathers” and “Israel” implies that the Jews ought to have known about the coming Messiah from the Pentateuch who was sent to bless Israel.
  15. Since he is divine the Spirit clearly witnessed, indeed decreed the death resurrection and exaltation of Christ but he also convinces the elect of all these truths.
  16. The Jews were enraged because they were being pronounced guilty, they hated Christ and wanted to silence the apostles and their consciences.
    • This reaction shows that sin:
    •  a)  Hates being exposed by the truth (John 3:19-21)
    • b) Hates repentance
    • c) Enslaves and holds people till irresistible grace frees them.

Acts 5:34-40

  1. Gamaliel was a revered Pharisee and teacher and member of the council who taught Saul of Tarsus (Acts 22:3).
  2. His advice was given without the apostles being present perhaps because the council would not want the apostles to know they had any support in the council.
  3. His warning was for the council to take care because two men who had caused previous insurrections namely Theudas and Judas had both been killed and their followers scattered.
  4. Gamaliel’s advice was just to leave the apostles alone because if the movement was of God it could not be successfully opposed but if it was not it would fizzle out.
  5. It seemed a principled suggestion and actually sensible and pragmatic.
  6. From the Jews’ viewpoint it may have appeared bad advice because their influence would wane if the apostles message spread.
  7. They beat the apostles because they were cruel and vindictive, wanted to assert their authority and try to deter them.

Acts 5:41-42

  1. The apostles rejoiced because they were counted worthy of suffering for Christ. (Matt.5:11,12, II Cor.1:7, I Pet.4:12,13, Rom.8:17, I Pet.2:20)
  2. They continued to teach and preach.
  3. Their attitude and action are examples for us to:

Obey the Lord by preaching and witnessing to the true Christ as opportunity presents and being ready to suffer for his sake.


Next study Acts 6:1-15 Saturday December 1st 8pm DV.


Please remember that we are all called to study Scripture to be approved by God and personal Bible Study is always blessed and remembered, so come prepared and recruit others!

Acts 5:1-16

Acts 5:1-10

The story of Ananias and Sapphira in contrast to Barnabas introduced appropriately by the word “but”.

  1. Perhaps Ananias and Sapphira wanted to be members of the church for the status or to appear righteous but they were hypocrites planted by Satan.
  2. They sold land or a house but kept back some of the proceeds but told the church they had brought all the proceeds as a gift.
  3. It was not wrong per se to give only part of the sale price because it was theirs.
  4. Their deception was to tell lies about how much the sale was perhaps wanting to appear righteous and generous.
  5. We guess the Spirit told Peter expressly what Ananias had done cf. Acts 8:29, 10:19, 16:7, I Sam. 9:15, 16:12, I Tim.4:1.
  6. Peter quizzed Sapphira and not Ananias perhaps in the hope she would repent and tell the truth. Ananias clearly as the head and leader bore ultimately the greater responsibility.
  7. Their sin was deceit/lying to God and men perhaps motivated by self-aggrandisement and the love of money. Satan moved them.
  8. They had lied to men but the greater sin was to lie to God and not only men.
  9. Ananias had conceived the pretence believing no one would know including God.
  10. The punishment was so swift and severe to make them an example to the early church and expose hypocrisy (bit like man gathering sticks on the Sabbath in Numbers 15:32). It was a major public sin (like Achan’s). The wages of sin is death and with some it does not tarry.
  11. God inflicted the punishment.
  12. They had tempted or tested the Spirit unaware of his omniscience and power.
  13. The great fear was reverence and awe tinged with alarm (Gr: for fear is PHOBOS).

Acts 5:12-16

  1. Signs in Scripture are supernatural pointers to spiritual reality i.e. have a deeper meaning. They are usually performed by God’s messengers e.g. Moses, Elijah/Elisha, Christ and the apostles and confined to certain times in history where God had to authenticate and show the authority of his messengers. They include miracles and can even be performed by the wicked e.g. magicians in Egypt and Antichrist ( II. Thess. 2:9). Also Belshazzar’s writing on the wall* and Hezekiah’s sundial. They may be a portent*
  2. Wonders are happenings that are strange, sometimes natural events or calamities (Joel 2:30,31) that make people seek a reason for them. They me be a vision e.g. Rev.12:1,3.
  3. These two are often mentioned or occur together. God causes both, one through his servants, the other directly.
  4. These two class of miracles are thus described as signifying something deeper and making people question why.
  5. Their purpose is to authenticate that the messenger is divinely appointed and authoritative (in the case of the apostles before the completion of the canon of Scripture I Cor.12, II Cor.12:12).
  6. The apostles healed many people and drove out demons. Paul also struck a man blind.
  7. Peter may be singled out for special privilege because he was the natural leader.
  8. Miracles done by his shadow seem even more amazing than Jesus’ miracles where he touched people, was touched or gave commandment.
  9. The miracles served to keep some people away (“the rest”) from the apostolic band perhaps because they were opponents.
  10. They dare not join the church probably because they were not true believers and would come with wrong motives.
  11. But many others thought highly of the apostles and the church and joined them.

Next study Acts 5:17-40 (bottom page 40) November 5th 8pm (DV).

Acts 4:23-37


Acts 4:23-31

  1. After they were let go by the Sanhedrin Peter and John went to the gathering of the disciples (possibly the 120) and related all that had happened.
  2. Their reaction was united prayer.
  3. They started their prayer with God as creator because this was the beginning of his decree and first revelation of almighty power.
  4. The church quoted David in Psalm 2:1 because what had happened was in direct fulfilment of this prophesy. It is notable that David is at least twice quoted in first books of Acts.
  5. They called Christ “thy holy child” which in the Greek is either boy or servant perhaps to emphasise his humanity, his human helplessness and the fact he was God’s child and servant in the same way we are God’s children (Gal.3:26, I Thess.5:5 and Heb.12:5).
  6. Four people/groups are mentioned.
  7. Herod represented the kings of the earth and the people of Israel even though he was an Edomite.
  8. Pilate and the gentiles represented the rulers and the heathen (Romans).The people of Israel represented themselves the Jews.
  9. The wicked deeds of all these were decreed and under the sovereign control of God and this also means nothing in our lives is outside his control, Fatherly care and love.
  10. God’s hand is his providence and power to act-note how our hands can do everything from wielding a heavy hammer to intricate microscopic operations (similarly his working). This ought to comfort us in relation to the details of our lives.
  11. In the face of these threats the church asked God for boldness and confirmatory miraculous signs because it would be natural to be intimidated.
  12. Healing and other miracles were important because the apostles needed authentication before the authoritative canon of Scripture was closed. (II Cor 12:12).
  13. The shaking of the building served as an encouragement to those inside and proves God is working. C.f. Isaiah 6, Acts 16, Elijah on the mount, Mount Sinai, many Psalms e.g. 77:18, and the time of Golgotha. This tells us of the almighty Spirit.                               Acts 4:32-37
  1. The unity of the early church was manifest in them sharing all they had.
  2. They had all things in common because they recognised God as the giver and their need to help the needy (II Cor.8:8-14, II Cor. 9:7 f. f). This was before the first deacons and the role of the widows.
  3. The power with which the apostles witnessed to the resurrection was the power of the Spirit.
  4. “Great grace” is God’s enabling to preach and witness boldly (
  5. I Tim.1:7), give generously and desire the means of grace. It was exhibited in the fruit of the Spirit and the ability to fulfil their callings.
  6. Their generous sharing is descriptive not prescriptive. In other words God recognises private property but also that giving be done freely without coercion. He does expect the rich to be rich in good deeds of sharing (I Tim.6:18).
  7. Barnabas (son of encouragement) was the nickname given to Joses, a Levite born in Cyprus who sold land and brought all the proceeds to the apostle as an example of generosity contrasted with events in the next chapter.

Next study Sat. October 6th on Acts 5:1-16

Acts 4:1-22

Acts 4:1-22


  1. The priests, temple captain and Sadducees interrupted Peter’s speaking. The priests were Levites, descendants of Aaron, the temple captain was head of the temple guard (police), there to keep order, and the Sadducees were an aristocratic political/religious group who were the majority in the Sanhedrin and of which the High Priest and chief priests were a part.
  2. They were upset because of the apostle’s preaching Christ.
  3. The Sadducees significantly would object to any mention of resurrection because they were materialists, believers in free-will, keepers of the Pentateuch, who did not believe in angels, resurrection or spirits (Acts 23:8).
  4. Because it was late, they arrested and put in prison the apostles with the plan to put them on trial the next day.
  5. Many thousands of the people (5,000) were converted.
  6. The church was growing explosively after the 3,000 converted at Pentecost




The trial of Peter and John.

  1. The elders/rulers would have been heads of families/communities and magistrates who judged, the scribes or lawyers whose job was knowledge of the law (written and oral), transcribing and teaching it. The scribes instituted synagogues and some were in Sanhedrin. See Matt.26:59, Luke 22:66, John 11:47 and 18:13.
  2. Annas was the former High Priest (AD6-15) father-in-law to Caiaphas (High Priest AD 18-36). They appeared to rule together and were present to persecute Christ and the early apostles.

3, 4. The kindred of the high priest who were part of the Sanhedrin were relatives which is evidence of nepotism (favouritism) and corruption.

  1. These groups make up the Sanhedrin of whom there were 71, who all had to be men over 30 and married. It was the highest religious and administrative court/parliament of the Jews with a wide jurisdiction (see Acts 9:2) which rules AD6-66.
  2. Their question assumed that some power, not divine, had accomplished this miracle though deep down they most likely knew it was of God.

7.Peter spoke by the power of the Holy Spirit (II Timothy 1:7) which teaches that he is the source of holy boldness.

  1. According to Peter what was done was a good deed.
  2. Peter emphasized their guilt in crucifying Christ because they were guilty and under God’s judgment and needed to hear and be confronted with their sin so they could repent and believe.
  3. The resurrection is emphasized because it was the proof of Christ’s Messiahship, proof Christ’s persecutors had failed and underlay the power devolved to the apostles by him. The resurrection was the ultimate demonstration of the almighty power of God, central in all history (Eph.1:19-20, 3:20).
  4. Peter proved the resurrection by appealing to fulfilled prophecy in Psalm 118 where the rejected stone is made the headstone. (He could also have mentioned Psalm 16:10).
  5. Salvation was explained in terms of the “name” because in Hebrew the name stands for the person and he was asked in whose name the healing was accomplished. The name of Jesus means Jehovah Salvation. His name is powerful, baptism and prayer are in his name. God is his name.

Vv 13-22

  1. Ignorant and unlearned meant they had no formal education and perhaps their accents and clothes showed they were Galilean fishermen.
  2. Their lack of education would have meant they naturally would have been unable to speak so boldly, quoting Scripture in public in court.
  3. The council acknowledged the important fact these men had been with Jesus for three years.
  4. The council could not deny the fact of the miracle.
  5. They wanted to condemn them or shut them up but had no good reason to do so.
  6. They decided to command them to keep quiet but were worried more people would follow them, or perhaps that they would riot if they were locked up and yet they wanted them at the very least, to stop their activities.
  7. As a civil court they did have authority to command but not to override a command of God.
  8. Peter and John said they must obey God rather than men.
  9. The circumstances under which we must obey God rather than men is when men are being used to make us compromise or sin.
  10. Peter and John were compelled to speak because the Lord had commanded them (Matt.28:19-20, Acts 1:8).
  11. Scripture mentions the lame man was over 40 because the longevity of the infirmity and it’s seeming irreversibility makes the miracle even more remarkable (similarly lame man 38 years at pool of Siloam)

Next study (DV) Sat. Sept 15th   to finish Acts 4.


Acts 3:1-26

CPRC Men’s Bible Study

Acts 3:1-11             The first miracle in early church.

  • Peter and John went to the temple at hour of prayer because they knew there would be many people there, “the hour of prayer; being the ninth hour”, or three o’clock in the afternoon. It was customary with the Jews to pray three times a day, Daniel 6:10 which, according to the Psalmist in Psalm 55:17 were evening, morning, and at noon; in the morning was at the third hour, as in Acts 2:15 or nine o’clock in the morning; that at noon was at the sixth hour, as in Acts 10:9 or twelve o’clock at noon; and that in the evening at the ninth hour, as here, or three o’clock in the afternoon. (John Gill). The Christians may well have continued this custom.
  • The lame man is described as handicapped from birth to emphasise his hopelessness and the seriousness and longevity of his handicap.
  • The “Beautiful gate” was the east gate where all the people would access the inner court and so the lame man would have the greatest exposure and presumably he would be known to all the people.
  • The man could neither stand nor walk. (He likely had bilateral club feet-see pic JK)Lameness is one of many pictures of sin’s infirmity (Lev.21:28-exclusion from priesthood) precluding walking with God (as Enoch did). Healing would be a proof of Christ’s Messiahship (Matt.11:5, Is.35:6).
  • Congenital club feet
  • The apostles wanted his full attention, perhaps they could tell if he had faith and they certainly wanted him to know the source of his healing.
  • Peter lifted him up because he had never, by himself, done this before.
  • He leaped, proving the “perfect soundness” (v16) in his limbs.
  • Solomon’s porch was the long portico around the perimeter of the temple where the disciples often met (Acts 5:12)
  • The people wondered and were amazed and would pay attention to the apostles, having been made receptive.
  • The man was very thankful, praising God, believing in Messiah and leaping for joy.
  • The miracle was to authenticate the apostles’ authority and their message. The miracle typified the work of the Spirit in conversion and the redemption of Christ which will one day include our bodies.
  • Acts 3:12-26     Peter’s sermon
  • Peter spoke to the crowd that had gathered, mainly Jews.
  • Peter was answering the question on many lips, “How did this happen?”His answer was that faith in the power of Jesus Christ had caused this miracle.
  • Peter cited the patriarchs because they were revered, the ones given covenant promises about Christ of which this was a fulfilment and they were in the sphere of God’s covenant.
  • Peter emphasised the denial and murder of Jesus so they would be convicted of that great sin.
  • The names Peter used namely Just, Holy One and of life undeniably pointed to Christ’s messiahship and each name they had explicitly denied calling him a blasphemer and unrighteous.
  • Jesus was the one through whom the lame man believed and by whom he was healed.
  • The Jews were spiritually ignorant of Christ’s identity (c.f. Luke 24, Acts 13:27, 17:30) but this was no excuse.
  • Peter explained their action was necessarily part of God’s plan (decree) c.f. Gen.50:20.
  • Repentance means turning from sin to God. Refreshing conjures up pictures of coolness, water and washing. Times of refreshing are the pouring out of the Spirit granting repentance and faith and all spiritual blessings (Jesus’ wells of water in John 8).
  • God will send Jesus by the Spirit to regenerate people. He was preached before by all the prophets and John.
  • The times (KAIROS=proper or due time) of restitution are the end of the age (world) when this one is dissolved, and God makes new heavens and earth.
  • Moses reference to the Prophet in Deuteronomy 18 is to Christ (note that to ignore or disobey him meant destruction).
  • This Prophet would be like Moses in being a human being, mediator, spokesman, leader and redeemer.
  • All the other prophets speak of Christ typically or prophetically, of his work and end times.
  • The audience of Jews were descended from the patriarchs and prophets.
  • The order of the proclamation of the gospel is Jew first (Rom.1:16) then Greek (Gentiles).
  • Jesus was and is sent to bless by turning away people from their sins by granting repentance and faith thus breaking the curse.
  • The “every one” who repent are the elect who will do so by irresistible grace so no implication of universal atonement.


Next study (DV) on Acts 4:1-22 will be August 25th 8pm.





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

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

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