CHAPTER 2 | Verses 37-47

Verse 37: “After they heard their hearts were pierced, and they said to Peter and to the rest of the Apostles: ‘What should we do men and brethren?’”

They heard (and) their hearts were pierced: They were convicted.

What should we do: They were willing to do whatever Peter told them to do. For some, this is a problematic question because it is asked in the context of a salvation experience (Peter had been sharing about what they needed to do in order to be brought out of this world and into the congregation of the L-rd).

Salvation is by grace, and not through works. However, salvation through works is not what this question is implying. Instead it speaks about a response. They wanted to know how they should respond to what they had heard, the information that Peter had shared with them.

Verse 38: “Peter said unto them: ‘Repent and be baptized, each one, in the name of Yeshua the Messiah for the forgiveness of sins, and receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.”

Peter said…. ‘repent’…: Peter responds by giving them commandments. We are not saved by the commandments, but they teach us how to respond, they show us the specific response required for our salvation. It is when we follow this plan that we can know, for sure, that we are saved. Nothing is left to the imagination.

Repent: Repentance implies a change in direction – toward God. We get to God through the work of Messiah – baptism testifies to this work of Messiah.

Be baptized: We are not saved by baptism. Baptism is a testimony of our faith in Messiah’s baptism – not what he did in the Jordan River, but His baptism of death, burial, and resurrection (Romans 6v3-5).

Each one: Salvation is available to all. It is not exclusive (Romans 10v13).

In the name of Yeshua the Messiah: He is our Saviour, and His name also shows us His character. Baptism is about unity. It brings us into a position where we are found to be acceptable and are able to be used by God for His purposes.

The forgiveness of sins: Sin has to be dealt with if we want the promise of God (His Holy Spirit). This text tells us that there is a willingness by God to forgive our sins but there is a very specific way of receiving this forgiveness. If we do not follow this way we are not going to experience forgiveness.

Gift: The Holy Spirit is a gift and cannot be earned (Isaiah 59v20-21 unites the giving of the Holy Spirit with a redemptive experience). The outcome of redemption is manifested in our lives as we depend on the Holy Spirit.

Verse 39: “For to you is the promise and to your children and all those who are far away – whosoever the L-rd our God should call.”

Promise: There is a relationship, Biblically, between the Holy Spirit and promise. The word ‘promise’ goes all the way back to covenant. When we utilize the anointing of the Holy Spirit, in order to serve God and do His purposes, we are going to be transformed, and be the recipients of the (Kingdom) blessings of God.

To your children: Throughout the Bible there is an emphasis placed on the next generation. The ‘next generation’ should cause us to be Kingdom minded (Deuteronomy 6v6-7).

All those who are far away: Those who are beyond the borders of Israel i.e. The nations. Through redemption, God is going to move among nations and bring them into unity with the people of God. 

Whosoever the L-rd our God should call: In its context, this is a very inclusive statement, reaching beyond normal borders. This calling comes by means of the gospel message, available for ‘you, your children, and all who are far away’.

Verse 40: “With many other words he testified and exhorted them saying: ‘Be saved from this perverse generation.’”

Exhorted: Encouraged

Be saved: This is a commandment. However, we cannot save ourselves. We do not have the ability or the capacity to make ourselves acceptable for the Kingdom of God. If we were simply at the mercy of being chosen by God this would have no relevance whatsoever. Even though we cannot save ourselves we do have the ability to respond, and, in this case, it is a response that says “yes” to the calling of God.

Perverse: Crooked, out of order (it does not reflect the order or purpose of God).

Note: Only by means of a salvation experience, by faith, can we begin to move in the order of God’s will. Without a salvation experience we have no hope that we can reflect God’s order, or purposes, in our lives. Salvation is the starting point of that. Salvation begets change in our lives – we become a new creation through the process of regeneration. We are also sanctified, whereby we begin to reflect the purposes, the holiness, of God. It is wrong to say that God, in the absence of any faith on our part, regenerates us or causes us
to become new creations, and that only after becoming that new creation do we respond to the gospel.

Verse 41: “Therefore, they, with gladness, received his word and were baptized, there was added of them that day 3,000 souls.”

Received his word: They accepted this revelation, of the good news, with joy. There is a receiving of the word before there is any testifying of the effects of that word.

Baptized: Baptism implies a change of status or condition (This all comes through the work of Messiah).

3,000 souls: The number 3 has to do with revealing something. Here we see the revealing of the plan and outcome of salvation

Verse 42: “These were consistently in the teaching of the Apostles and the fellowship, and they broke bread and they prayed.”

Consistently: Diligently, frequently.

In the teaching of the Apostles and the fellowship: Part of the sanctification process. When we are consistently, diligently, and thorough in the Apostles doctrine (Word of God) then what is going to be potentially available for us is fellowship – not a group of people who are at odds with each other but a group of people who are connected, united. Truth produces unity.

Broke bread: They spent time with one another and got to know each other.

Prayed: To really feel a burden for someone and to intercede for them requires fellowship. The closer we are to people the more likely we are to intercede for them.

Verse 43: “It came about on every soul fear. There were many wonders, and also signs, that were done through the Apostles.”

On every soul: This penetrated to their inner being. It was not superficial.

Fear: A respect or a prioritizing of the things of God in their lives.

Wonders: Something miraculous that only God could bring about, acts of God.

Signs: A sign has to do with revelation. When God does a miracle, it is not just to meet needs, but it confirms revelation, confirms His purposes.

Verse 44: “Many of the ones believed in Him, and they had all things in common.”

They had all things in common: Faith brought about a congruency among the people. They saw things in the same way. This does not happen naturally (It can also be seen as one of those signs and wonders, it is supernatural). These people became one in every aspect of their existence. Every part of that congregation was a concern to every member of that congregation (Like a body – if there is a toothache the whole body is affected).

Verse 45: “And their goods and their possessions they sold, and divided them among all, according to as much as there was need.”

Their possessions they sold: This does not mean that they liquidated everything they had. They sold certain things that they owned (their goods in excess, or things that they could live without) based upon the specific needs within the congregation.

When there were needs, people were making business decisions in order to assist one another. The congregation grew into a (kind of) large family and decisions were not just based upon individual need but on the corporate needs.

Verse 46: “Every day they continued in oneness in the temple. Breaking bread from house to house, sharing food and rejoicing with sincerity of heart.”

Oneness: One mindedness, unity is being emphasized.

In the temple: Peter and John were not segregated from the temple. They stayed there by choice, as they wanted to testify that they were believers in the God of Israel.

Verse 47: “They were praising God and had favour with all the people. And the L-rd added to the ones being saved, each day, to the church.”

Had favour with all the people: They had a very unique testimony before others (The Jewish people living in Israel at that time).

The L-rd added to the ones being saved: They did not save themselves, but God was adding to them, and was doing so because of the testimony of these early believers.

When we live lives that demonstrate our faith, manifesting sanctification in our lives, it has an impact on others. God saving others does not happen in a vacuum. Our testimony makes a difference in who comes to the L-rd.

The church: Ecclesia comes from two Greek words: meaning ‘to call’ and ‘out’. This phrase is tied back to two experiences:

1. Abraham’s call – leaving his land, his family, and his culture to go to an unknown place that God would show him. God put him on a journey because he acted in faith.

2. The congregation who came out of Egypt – both Jew and Gentile responded to a redemptive experience. We are called to ‘come out’ of our stubbornness, our wrong mindsets, etc and embrace, by faith, the truth of God. The truth of God changes lives.


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