Study Notes

Acts 2:14-41


Fifty days after Jesus rose from the dead, Jews from all over the world were in Jerusalem to celebrate the feast of Pentecost.

Suddenly, everyone heard a sound like a tornado or a hurricane. Thousands rushed to the source of the sound, only to find a group of Galileans emphatically praising God by speaking in tongues. Many understood what was being said, but others shouted, "They're all drunk!"

2:14-21 This Is What Was Spoken

Simon Peter told the crowd, "These men aren't drunk - it's only nine in the morning!"

And then he began to preach a sermon that was one of the most powerful and productive in the entire history of the church. He said,

Acts 2:16 "..this is what was spoken of through the prophet Joel"

I love this, because something really strange was happening, but Peter explained it.

You know, there's an abundance of strange things happening in Christianity today. Unfortunately, there's a severe shortage of people who can stand up and say, "This is that which is spoken of in Scripture."

No matter what is being taught or practiced, Christians need to be able to make this same defense.

The apostle Paul clearly told us to...

1Cor. 4:6 ...learn not to exceed what is written

So if nobody can say, "This is that which is spoken of in Scripture", then it shouldn't be part of our Christian faith or church practice.

2:22-23 Jesus The Nazarene

Peter begins to preach about Jesus, but he doesn't try to glamorize or exaggerate the message.

He calls Him, "Jesus the Nazarene." Not an impressive title. Because Nazareth was "on the other side of the tracks." The Nazarenes were not as civilized as those in Jerusalem, and had a large Gentile influence in their area. They tended to be have a lower moral standard than people from other parts of Israel.

Near the beginning of Jesus' ministry, a guy named Philip went looking for his friend Nathaniel.

John 1:45-46 Philip *found Nathanael and *said to him, "We have found Him of whom Moses in the Law and also the Prophets wrote - Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.” Nathanael said to him, "Can any good thing come out of Nazareth?” Philip *said to him, "Come and see.”

Miracles And Wonders And Signs

Nathaniel did go and see. He saw what everyone was seeing: a Man who did incredible miracles, wonders, and signs. Giving sight to the blind, healing leprosy, even raising the dead!

Nailed To A Cross

But 53 days before Peter's sermon, this miracle worker had been put to death - nailed to a cross.

Crucifixion is among the most horrific, painful, and torturous ways to die ever conceived of by man. And the Jews to whom Peter was speaking were well familiar with it. You see, the Romans crucified criminals along well-traveled roads, to instill fear in the citizenry of breaking the law.

The Predetermined Plan Of God

But as terrible as it was, Jesus' suffering and death wasn't an accident. It had been in the works since before creation. It was the predetermined plan of God.

You see, God knew from the beginning that if He created human beings with a free will, they would choose to rebel against Him - to sin. And that's exactly what has happened.

Rom. 3:23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God

And sin brings separation from God. But God isn't content with that, because He loves us so much. That's why the predetermined plan of God would be for Jesus...

Matt. 20:28 give His life a ransom for many.

And so it happened that...

John 3:16 "...God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life."

The situation could be easily summed up with this statement:

Rom. 6:23 For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

This was the only way that sinful people could spend eternity with the God Who loves them.

And so Jesus' death was always God's predetermined plan.

2:24-31 Impossible For Death To Hold Him

It is a basic law of the universe that sin brings death.

But Jesus Christ never sinned. He was...

Hebr. 4:15 ...tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin.

And so when Jesus was killed, the spiritual laws that govern the universe declared His innocence. Death had no legal hold on Him.

Acts 2:24 " was impossible for Him to be held in its power."

And so, Jesus arose from the dead.

Peter told the crowd, "People, it was David who wrote this, but he wasn't writing it about himself. We all know that David died and his body decayed in his tomb. No, this was a prophecy of Jesus Christ, who did not decay in a tomb, but raised up from the dead."

2:32-35 We Are All Witnesses

Peter confirmed that Jesus rose from the dead. "All these people you see here watched Jesus die, and then we saw Him alive again."

2:36 Whom You Crucified

Peter has proven his point:

- Jesus Christ lived.

- He healed people and preached the good news of salvation.

- He was killed, but rose from the dead.

- And this had all been written about in prophecy long before it happened.

But now he makes it personal:

Acts 2:36 "...this Jesus whom you crucified.”

"Whom WE crucified? Wait a second! It was the Roman soldiers that crucified Jesus! It wasn't me! This isn't my fault!"

But it was their fault.

And it is your fault.

And it is my fault.

Remember that Jesus was crucified to pay the death penalty for sinners. We are those sinners. Christ was tortured and crucified for each of us. Therefore, we did crucify Him. We are individually completely responsible.

2:37-41 What Shall We Do?

You know that Jesus lived. You know that He died in your place. You know that He rose from the dead. The crowd asked, "What shall we do?" Are you asking the same question this morning? Is your heart pierced through with the knowledge that this is true and that you must act on it to be saved?

What shall you do?

Rom. 10:9 ...If you confess with your mouth Jesus {as} Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved

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