Acts Chapter Three

 

Read Acts 3:1-11

 

v1.  “NOW PETER AND JOHN WENT UP TOGETHER INTO THE TEMPLE AT THE HOUR OF PRAYER, being THE NINTH hour.”

 

            The ninth hour was another traditional hour of prayer at the Jerusalem temple.  We studied the Jewish manner of counting time back in chapter two because the sermon that Peter preached on the Pentecost Sunday was at the third hour.  On this occasion Peter and John went up to the temple at the ninth hour, another hour of prayer, as Luke records because:

 

“AND THEY, CONTINUING DAILY WITH ONE ACCORD IN THE TEMPLE, AND BREAKING BREAD FROM HOUSE TO HOUSE, DID EAT THEIR MEAT WITH GLADNESS AND SINGLENESS OF HEART.” Acts 2:46 

 

And in spite of the fact that these people are now Christians, no longer under God’s covenant or law given through Moses, they still worshiped and prayed at the temple because it was their normal place of worship.

 

v2.  “AND A CERTAIN MAN LAME FROM HIS MOTHER’S WOMB WAS CARRIED, WHOM THEY LAID DAILY AT THE GATE OF THE TEMPLE WHICH IS CALLED BEAUTIFUL, TO ASK ALMS OF THEM THAT ENTERED INTO THE TEMPLE.”

 

A certain man, a specific man, a man that was well known to many, was carried and laid at the temple gate called Beautiful.  Because he was crippled, could not walk and his only means of gaining income was to beg; his friends who looked after him put him at one of the most advantageous places to do so.  A place where there were many people coming and going and most would be receptive to helping him.  Is this the only record in Acts of this type miracle?

 

Acts 14:8  “AND THERE SAT A CERTAIN MAN AT LYSTRA, IMPOTENT IN HIS FEET, BEING A CRIPPLE FROM HIS MOTHER’S WOMB, WHO NEVER HAD WALKED.”

 

What about all these people who saw this man regularly and knew he was crippled from birth and could not walk who saw him later?  It would be like the man born blind that Jesus healed wouldn’t it?

 

John 9:8  THE NEIGHBOURS THEREFORE, AND THEY WHICH BEFORE HAD SEEN HIM THAT HE WAS BLIND, SAID, IS NOT THIS HE THAT SAT AND BEGGED?”

 

v3.  “WHO SEEING PETER AND JOHN ABOUT TO GO INTO THE TEMPLE ASKED AN ALMS.”

 

Everything is perfectly normal so far.  The man is placed there to beg, the apostles pass by and he asked them for help.  He did not know who they were or what they might give him, just that they were Jews on the way to the temple to pray.  Seeing someone begging on the street can be rather strange to you if you’re not used to it.  But in this time and place it was not an uncommon experience, just as it would not be uncommon to see people begging on the streets in Tijuana, Mexico as I did several years ago.

 

v4.  “AND PETER, FASTENING HIS EYES UPON HIM WITH JOHN, SAID, LOOK ON US.”

 

Perhaps this man kept his eyes downcast, perhaps he was looking over the crowd but Peter has him focus on him and John.  Look at us.

 

v5.  “AND HE GAVE HEED UNTO THEM, EXPECTING TO RECEIVE SOMETHING OF THEM.”

 

He looked at them as instructed.  He obviously expected to receive something from them; a gift of money would be what he usually received from people.  But Peter had something else in mind didn’t he?

 

v6.  “THEN PETER SAID, SILVER AND GOLD HAVE I NONE; BUT SUCH AS I HAVE GIVE I THEE:  IN THE NAME OF JESUS CHRIST OF NAZARETH RISE UP AND WALK.”

 

Peter said, I don’t have any money to give you but what I do have I’ll share.  This is the Christian attitude in action isn’t it.  This is the kind of open heart that we all should exercise in our benevolence isn’t it?  This is what I was taught as a child.  Usually we didn’t have any money to share either but when the beans came in, or the corn was ready to can, the tomatoes started to bear or when we butchered hogs there was always some to share and share we did openly, freely and without thought of reward.  Peter is going to share something far more valuable than money or physical food with this man, he is going to share both physical and spiritual healing.

 

v7.  “AND HE TOOK HIM BY THE RIGHT HAND, AND LIFTED him UP: AND IMMEDIATELY HIS FEET AND ANKLE BONES RECEIVED STRENGTH.”

 

Peter just kind of reached down took the man by the hand and pulled him up didn’t he?  He was healed immediately, did Peter have to pray a long prayer, put his hands on the man’s head and shout “be healed” like the faith healers we see on television?  No.  Immediately this man whose ankle bones and feet would not hold him, who had never walked a step in his life, never knew what it was to stand up is doing what?

 

v8.  “AND HE LEAPING UP STOOD, AND WALKED, AND ENTERED WITH THEM INTO THE TEMPLE, WALKING, AND LEAPING, AND PRAISING GOD.”

 

This is a fulfillment of prophecy isn’t it?  We find it in Isaiah:

 

Isaiah 35:4-6  SAY TO THEM that are OF A FEARFUL HEART, BE STRONG, FEAR NOT: BEHOLD YOUR GOD WILL COME with VENGEANCE, even GOD with A RECOMPENSE; HE WILL COME AND SAVE YOU.  THEN THE EYES OF THE BLIND SHALL BE OPENED, AND THE EARS OF THE DEAF SHALL BE UNSTOPPED.  THEN SHALL THE LAME man LEAP AS A HART, AND THE TONGUE OF THE DUMB SING: FOR IN THE WILDERNESS SHALL WATERS BREAK OUT, AND STEAMS IN THE DESERT.”

 

This man that is healed not only stands up and walks but enters the temple with Peter and John walking, leaping and praising God.  You can almost see the scene can’t you and at that moment you wouldn’t be able to find a happier man on earth.

 

v9.  “AND ALL THE PEOPLE SAW HIM WALKING AND PRAISING GOD.”

 

Here’s this man, this cripple that most of these people probably walked past when they came in.  Now they see him walking, leaping, jumping, maybe even kicking his heels together.  We would look at him and say “He’s lost it” if we didn’t know who he was and why he’s joyful.  The fact that they performed a miracle got Peter and John in trouble didn’t it?  We’ll study that in the fourth chapter.  But it also helped them get out of that trouble because when they were brought before the council:

 

Acts 4:16  SAYING, WHAT SHALL WE DO TO THESE MEN?  FOR THAT INDEED A NOTABLE MIRACLE HATH BEEN DONE BY THEM is MANIFESTED TO ALL THEM THAT DWELL IN JERUSALEM, AND WE CANNOT DENY it.”

 

v10.  “AND THEY KNEW THAT IT WAS HE WHICH SAT FOR ALMS AT THE BEAUTIFUL GATE OF THE TEMPLE: AND THEY WERE FILLED WITH WONDER AND AMAZEMENT AT THAT WHICH HAD HAPPENED TO HIM.”

 

Remember that this was an hour of prayer.  A lot of the people in Jerusalem gathered at the temple to pray at the ninth hour of the day.  They knew this man, knew him as the beggar who sat by the gate called Beautiful, they knew that he was crippled and could not walk and they were amazed at what had happened to him.  They were not accustomed to seeing such sights where they?

 

v11.  “AND AS THE LAME MAN WHICH WAS HEALED HELD PETER AND JOHN, ALL THE PEOPLE RAN TOGETHER UNTO THEM IN THE PORCH THAT IS CALLED SOLOMON’S, GREATLY WONDERING.”

 

Solomon’s porch, called that to honor Solomon who built the first temple when he was king of Israel.  That temple was destroyed, restored by Nehemiah and Ezra and then rebuilt again by Herod as a political gesture to ingratiate himself with the Jewish people.  We’re told that this porch is on the east side of the structure and overlooks the Kidron valley.  The man hangs onto Peter and John, words probably unable to express his thoughts and feelings at this time and a crowd gathers giving Peter another opportunity to preach Jesus.  Which is exactly what he does.

 

Read Acts 3:12-18

 

v12.  “AND WHEN PETER SAW it, HE ANSWERED UNTO THE PEOPLE, YE MEN OF ISRAEL, WHY MARVEL YE AT THIS?  OR WHY LOOK YE SO EARNESTLY ON US, AS THOUGH BY OUR OWN POWER OR HOLINESS WE HAD MADE THIS MAN TO WALK?”

 

In the beginning of his sermon Peter makes three basic points; 1) this miracle is the work of God through His son Jesus and through them; 2) though the Jews denied and crucified Jesus he fulfilled the prophecy; 3) they should repent and be saved by his gospel.  He takes no credit for himself or John for what has happened to this man.

 

v13.  “THE GOD OF ABRAHAM, AND OF ISAAC, AND OF JACOB, THE GOD OF OUR FATHERS, HATH GLORIFIED HIS SON JESUS; WHOM YE DELIVERED UP, AND DENIED HIM IN THE PRESENCE OF PILATE, WHEN HE WAS DETERMINED TO LET him GO.”

 

Peter first declares the source of his authority.  The Jews understood Peter’s terminology didn’t they?  It was used by God himself to help Moses understand who he was talking to at the burning bush.

 

Exodus 3:6  MOREOVER HE SAID, I am THE GOD OF THY FATHER, THE GOD OF ABRAHAM, THE GOD OF ISAAC, AND THE GOD OF JACOB.  AND MOSES HID HIS FACE; FOR HE WAS AFRAID TO LOOK UPON GOD.”

 

Then Peter establishes that this Jesus of Nazareth was God’s Son or as some translators call him his Servant and that he has been glorified, what does he mean by that?

 

John 7:39  (BUT THIS SPAKE HE OF THE SPIRIT, WHICH THEY HAD THAT BELIEVE ON HIM SHOULD RECEIVE: FOR THE HOLY GHOST WAS NOT YET given; BECAUSE THAT JESUS WAS NOT YET GLORIFIED.”)

 

This verse tells us that when Jesus would be glorified, the Holy Ghost would be sent or given.  Jesus himself tells us further in John’s record that he must go away first.

 

John 16:7  NEVERTHELESS I TELL YOU THE TRUTH; IT IS EXPEDIENT FOR YOU THAT I GO AWAY: FOR IF I GO NOT AWAY, THE COMFORTER WILL NOT COME UNTO YOU; BUT IF I DEPART, I WILL SEND HIM UNTO YOU.”

 

So Jesus was glorified when he went away and when he had sent the Comforter, the Holy Spirit upon his apostles.  That has already happened at this time and is the reason that Peter and John can do what they have just done; heal the crippled man.  Jesus ascended back to heaven to sit at the right hand of God and the Holy Spirit was given to the apostles on Pentecost.

 

They did deliver Jesus up to Pilate as we are told:

 

Matthew 27:2  AND WHEN THEY HAD BOUND HIM, THEY LED him AWAY, AND DELIVERED HIM TO PONTIUS PILATE THE GOVERNOR.”

 

And when given the opportunity did they ask for Jesus to be spared?  No, they took a known murderer back into their midst in order to crucify the Son of God as we studied in.

 

Luke 23:18-21  “AND THEY CRIED OUT ALL AT ONCE, SAYING, AWAY WITH THIS man, AND RELEASE UNTO US BARABBAS: (WHO FOR A CERTAIN SEDITION MADE IN THE CITY, AND FOR MURDER, WAS CAST INTO PRISON.)  PILATE THEREFORE, WILLING TO RELEASE JESUS, SPAKE AGAIN TO THEM.  BUT THEY CRIED, SAYING, CRUCIFY him, CRUCIFY HIM.”

 

v14.  “BUT YE DENIED THE HOLY ONE AND THE JUST, AND DESIRED A MURDERER TO BE GRANTED UNTO YOU;”

 

Peter calls Jesus the Holy One and the Just here just as David did in:

 

Psalms 16:10  FOR THOU WILT NOT LEAVE MY SOUL IN HELL; NEITHER WILT THOU SUFFER THINE HOLY ONE TO SEE CORRUPTION.”

 

Even the demons knew Jesus as the Holy One of God didn’t they?

 

Mark 1:24  SAYING, LET us ALONE; WHAT HAVE WE TO DO WITH THEE, THOU JESUS OF NAZARETH?  ART THOU COME TO DESTROY US?  I KNOW THEE WHO THOU ART, THE HOLY ONE OF GOD.”

 

v15.  “AND KILLED THE PRINCE OF LIFE, WHOM GOD HATH RAISED FROM THE DEAD; WHEREOF WE ARE WITNESSES.”

 

Peter confirms to them again that God did indeed raise Jesus from the dead, just as he did earlier:

 

Acts 2:24  WHOM GOD HATH RAISED UP, HAVING LOOSED THE PAINS OF DEATH: BECAUSE IT WAS NOT POSSIBLE THAT HE SHOULD BE HOLDEN OF IT.”

 

Peter, in his sermon on Pentecost kept repeating that fact and underscoring it with these words:

 

Acts 2:32  THIS JESUS HATH GOD RAISED UP, WHEREOF WE ALL ARE WITNESSES.”

 

How many eye witnesses do you need to establish some fact beyond all doubt or dispute?  The scripture says two or three, here we have many more than that and Peter emphasizes that fact.

 

v16.  “AND HIS NAME THROUGH FAITH IN HIS NAME HATH MADE THIS MAN STRONG, WHOM YE SEE AND KNOW: YEA, THE FAITH WHICH IS BY HIM HATH GIVEN HIM THIS PERFECT SOUNDNESS IN THE PRESENCE OF YOU ALL.”

 

Peter tells his audience in the temple the same thing that he’s going to tell the Sanhedrin the next day, it is by the power of Jesus Christ that this man stands before them whole and in whose faith he was made whole, the man’s faith, just as the man at Lystra who was healed by Paul:

 

Acts 14:9  THE SAME HEARD PAUL SPEAK: WHO STEDFASTLY BEHOLDING HIM, AND PERCEIVING THAT HE HAD FAITH TO BE HEALED,”

 

And we have an example by Jesus himself as well; the woman that reasoned to herself that if she could just touch the hem of his garment, she could be healed of her issue of blood that she had suffered for twelve years:

 

Matthew 9:22  BUT JESUS TURNED HIM ABOUT, AND WHEN HE SAW HER, HE SAID, DAUGHTER, BE OF GOOD COMFORT; THY FAITH HATH MADE THEE WHOLE.  AND THE WOMAN WAS MADE WHOLE FROM THAT HOUR.”

 

v17.  “AND NOW, BRETHREN, I WOT THAT THROUGH IGNORANCE YE DID it, AS did ALSO YOUR RULERS.”

 

What does the word “wot” used here mean?  Know, think, convinced, down home we might say “now I’m pretty sure” that you did what you did through ignorance.  How does Peter know that?

 

Luke 23:34  THEN SAID JESUS, FATHER, FORGIVE THEM; FOR THEY KNOW NOT WHAT THEY DO.  AND THEY PARTED HIS RAIMENT, AND CAST LOTS.”

 

Jesus has also told his disciples that they would be treated badly because of ignorance:

 

John 16:3  AND THESE THINGS WILL THEY DO UNTO YOU, BECAUSE THEY HAVE NOT KNOWN THE FATHER, NOR ME.”

 

Paul refers to their ignorance as well:

 

I Corinthians 2:8  WHICH NONE OF THE PRINCES OF THIS WORLD KNEW: FOR HAD THEY KNOWN it, THEY WOULD NOT HAVE CRUCIFIED THE LORD OF GLORY.”

 

In fact he describes himself in the same situation doesn’t he?

 

I Timothy 1:13  WHO WAS BEFORE A BLASPHEMER, AND A PERSECUTOR, AND INJURIOUS: BUT I OBTAINED MERCY, BECAUSE I DID it IGNORANTLY IN UNBELIEF.”

 

v18.  “BUT THOSE THINGS, WHICH GOD BEFORE HAD SHOWED BY THE MOUTH OF ALL HIS PROPHETS, THAT CHRIST SHOULD SUFFER, HE HATH SO FULFILLED.”

 

Then Peter tells them as further proof of what he’s saying that God had told them these things were going to happen by the “mouths of the prophets”. Which prophets?  Most of them, but for time we will look only at Isaiah:

 

Isaiah 50:6  I GAVE MY BACK TO THE SMITERS, AND MY CHEEKS TO THEM THAT PLUCKED OFF THE HAIR: I HID NOT MY FACE FROM SHAME AND SPITTING.”

 

Yes, Isaiah says that Jesus’ back would be smitten, he would be spit upon and then in Isaiah 53 we have one of the most beautiful verses of scripture in the Bible: 

 

Isaiah 53:5  BUT HE was WOUNDED FOR OUR TRANSGRESSIONS, he was BRUISED FOR OUR INIQUITIES: THE CHASTISEMENT OF OUR PEACE was UPON HIM; AND WITH HIS STRIPES WE ARE HEALED.”’

 

Jesus told them that these things must be fulfilled; this is part of the verification that He is God’s Son:

 

Luke 24:44  “AND HE SAID UNTO THEM, THESE are THE WORDS WHICH I SPAKE UNTO YOU, WHILE I WAS YET WITH YOU, THAT ALL THINGS MUST BE FULFILLED, WHICH WERE WRITTEN IN THE LAW OF MOSES, AND in THE PROPHETS, AND in THE PSALMS, CONCERNING ME.”

 

All those things which were written must be fulfilled, completed and the apostles continue to testify that these things that happened to Jesus, these things of which they are actual witnesses were the same things that the prophets searched for so diligently down through the centuries.  First we have Paul:

 

Acts 26:22  “HAVING THEREFORE OBTAINED HELP OF GOD, I CONTINUE UNTO THIS DAY, WITNESSING BOTH TO SMALL AND GREAT, SAYING NONE OTHER THINGS THAN THOSE WHICH THE PROPHETS AND MOSES DID SAY SHOULD COME:”

 

And then Peter:

 

I Peter 1:10-11  “OF WHICH SALVATION THE PROPHETS HAVE INQUIRED AND SEARCHED DILIGENTLY, WHO PROPHESIED OF THE GRACE that should come UNTO YOU:  SEARCHING WHAT, OR WHAT MANNER OF TIME THE SPIRIT OF CHRIST WHICH WAS IN THEM DID SIGNIFY, WHEN IT TESTIFIED BEFOREHAND THE SUFFERINGS OF CHRIST, AND THE GLORY THAT SHOULD FOLLOW.”

 

Read Acts 3:19-26

 

v19.  “REPENT YE THEREFORE, AND BE CONVERTED, THAT YOUR SINS MAY BE BLOTTED OUT, WHEN THE TIMES OF REFRESHING SHALL COME FROM THE PRESENCE OF THE LORD;”

 

            Now that Peter has provided the proof that this Jesus of Nazareth; that they had crucified in ignorance is the promised Messiah, the Son of God, he encourages them to repent of their actions.  This is virtually the same words used back on the day of Pentecost itself.

            Some translations use the words “turn again” rather than converted.  Is this the same?  Of course, the word turn describes the action taken when we repent and are converted, we turn from the ways of before to new ways, a new life, become a new creature as Paul tells us.

            This action allows our sins to be “blotted out” and this means simply that they are erased, wiped out, smeared out or rubbed off.

            The result of this blotting out generates a time or season of refreshing.  This phrase comes from a word in the Greek that means “to cool again or refresh”; sort of like walking into an air conditioned building from the summer heat.  When our sins are forgiven our souls are refreshed or made fresh again and we’re like new.

 

v20.  “AND HE SHALL SEND JESUS CHRIST, WHICH BEFORE WAS PREACHED UNTO YOU.”

 

            This coming of Jesus Christ appears to refer to the second coming, especially when taken in the context in which we find it.  Let’s read on.

 

v21.  “WHOM THE HEAVEN MUST RECEIVE UNTIL THE TIMES OF RESTITUTION OF ALL THINGS, WHICH GOD HATH SPOKEN BY THE MOUTH OF ALL HIS HOLY PROPHETS SINCE THE WORLD BEGAN.”

 

            Heaven must receive this Jesus Christ until the time that all things will be restored.  We understand this as speaking of the second coming of Christ.  And God has spoken of him by the prophets:

 

Psalms 111:9  HE SENT REDEMPTION UNTO HIS PEOPLE: HE HATH COMMANDED HIS COVENANT FOR EVER: HOLD AND REVEREND is HIS NAME.”

 

Jeremiah 23:5-6  BEHOLD, THE DAYS COME, SAITH THE LORD, THAT I WILL RAISE UNTO DAVID A RIGHTEOUS BRANCH, AND A KING SHALL REIGN AND PROSPER, AND SHALL EXECUTE JUDGMENT IN THE EARTH.  IN HIS DAYS JUDAH SHALL BE SAVED, AND ISRAEL SHALL DWELL SAFELY; AND THIS is HIS NAME WHEREBY HE SHALL BE CALLED, THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS.”

 

Daniel 9:24-26  “SEVENTY WEEKS ARE DETERMINED UPON THY PEOPLE AND UPON THY HOLY CITY, TO FINISH THE TRANSGRESSION, AND TO MAKE AN END OF SINS, AND TO MAKE RECONCILATION FOR INIQUITY, AND TO BRING IN EVERLASTING RIGHTEOUSNESS, AND TO SEAL UP THE VISION AND PROPHECY, AND TO ANOINT THE MOST HOLY.  KNOW THEREFORE AND UNDERSTAND, that FROM THE GOING FORTH OF THE COMMANDMENT TO RESTORE AND TO BUILD JERUSALEM UNTO THE MESSIAH THE PRINCE shall be SEVEN WEEKS, AND THREESCORE AND TWO WEEKS: THE STREET SHALL BE BUILT AGAIN, AND THE WALL, EVEN IN TROUBLEOUS TIMES.  AND AFTER THREESCORE AND TWO WEEKS SHALL MESSIAH BE CUT OFF, BUT NOT FOR HIMSELF: AND THE PEOPLE OF THE PRINCE THAT SHALL COME SHALL DESTROY THE CITY AND THE SANCTUARY; AND THE END THEREOF shall be WITH A FLOOD, AND UNTO THE END OF THE WAR DESOLATIONS ARE DETERMINED.”

 

            After a period of time, I’ve heard an explanation of the weeks and what they mean but sufficient to our needs time must pass.  Then the commandment would be given to restore Jerusalem, then the Messiah would come, be cut off (killed, crucified) (BUT NOT FOR HIMSELF), then the people of the Prince (Satan) will come and destroy the city (Jerusalem) and the sanctuary (temple).

 

v22.  “FOR MOSES TRULY SAID UNTO THE FATHERS, A PROPHET SHALL THE LORD YOUR GOD RAISE UP UNTO YOU OF YOUR BRETHREN, LIKE UNTO ME; HIM SHALL YE HEAR IN ALL THINGS WHATSOEVER HE SHALL SAY UNTO YOU.”

 

            This is another prophecy.  Note how Peter, being directed by the Holy Spirit, uses scripture to illustrate scripture, the Bible as it’s own commentary and scripture to verify what he’s telling them.  How should preachers present the word of God today?  Should we be any different?

 

Deuteronomy 18:15  THE LORD THY GOD WILL RAISE UP UNTO THEE A PROPHET FROM THE MIDST OF THEE, OF THY BRETHREN, LIKE UNTO ME; UNTO HIM YE SHALL HEARKEN.”

 

Deuteronomy 18:19  “AND IT SHALL COME TO PASS, that WHOSOEVER WILL NOT HEARKEN UNTO MY WORDS WHICH HE SHALL SPEAK IN MY NAME, I WILL REQUIRE it OF HIM.”

 

v23.  “AND IT SHALL COME TO PASS, that EVERY SOUL, WHICH WILL NOT HEAR THAT PROPHET, SHALL BE DESTROYED FROM AMONG THE PEOPLE.”

 

            Jesus in speaking to his enemies in John 5:46 tells them:

 

“FOR HAD YE BELIEVED MOSES, YE WOULD HAVE BELIEVED ME: FOR HE WROTE OF ME.”

 

            Had they really believed Moses as they claimed, they would have believed the prophecy of Moses as well that is found in Deuteronomy 18 above.  But they did not believe, they did not hearken or hear so they rejected the Messiah, Jesus Christ.

            As a result of that rejection they would be destroyed, God himself will provide the punishment of those who refuse to accept Jesus Christ, in that day and even down unto this day and hour.  Jesus told the centurion whose servant he healed:

 

Matthew 8:12  BUT THE CHILDREN OF THE KINGDOM SHALL BE CAST INTO OUTER DARKNESS: THERE SHALL BE WEEPING AND GNASHING OF TEETH.”

 

And Paul adds:

 

II Thessalonians 1:7-9  AND TO YOU WHO ARE TROUBLED REST WITH US, WHEN THE LORD JESUS SHALL BE REVEALED FROM HEAVEN WITH HIS MIGHTY ANGELS, IN FLAMING FIRE TAKING VENGEANCE ON THEM THAT KNOW NOT GOD, AND THAT OBEY NOT THE GOSPEL OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST: WHO SHALL BE PUNISHED WITH EVERLASTING DESTRUCTION FROM THE PRESENCE OF THE LORD, AND FROM THE GLORY OF HIS POWER;”

 

v24.  “YEA, AND ALL THE PROPHETS FROM SAMUEL AND THOSE THAT FOLLOW AFTER, AS MANY AS HAVE SPOKEN, HAVE LIKEWISE FORETOLD OF THESE DAYS.”

 

            Now Peter tells them that Samuel and all of the prophets after Samuel told them of the coming of Jesus Christ, have spoken about what would happen in the days in which they are living.

 

v25.  “YE ARE THE CHILDREN OF THE PROPHETS, AND OF THE COVENANT WHICH GOD MADE WITH OUR FATHERS, SAYING UNTO ABRAHAM, AND IN THY SEED SHALL ALL THE KINDREDS OF THE EARTH BE BLESSED.”

            Peter here is referring, by inspiration, to the promise made to Abraham:

 

Genesis 12:3  AND I WILL BLESS THEM THAT BLESS THEE, AND CURSE THEM THAT CURSETH THEE: AND IN THEE SHALL ALL FAMILIES OF THE EARTH BE BLESSED.”

            God refers to this promise again a little later in a conversation with Abraham about Sodom and Gomorrah:

 

Genesis 18:18  SEEING THAT ABRAHAM SHALL SURELY BECOME A GREAT AND MIGHTY NATION, AND ALL THE NATIONS OF THE EARTH SHALL BE BLESSED IN HIM?”

            Paul refers to this scripture, again using the Bible as its own commentary, to describe to the Galatians:

 

“AND THE SCRIPTURE, FORESEEING THAT GOD WOULD JUSTIFY THE HEATHEN THROUGH FAITH, PREACHED BEFORE THE GOSPEL UNTO ABRAHAM, saying, IN THEE SHALL ALL NATIONS BE BLESSED.” Galatians 3:8 

 

            And then in the latter part of that chapter tells us why and how:

 

“FOR YE ARE ALL THE CHILDREN OF GOD BY FAITH IN CHRIST JESUS.  FOR AS MANY OF YOU AS HAVE BEEN BAPITZED IN TO CHRIST HAVE PUT ON CHRIST.” Galatians 3:26-27 

 

v26. “UNTO YOU FIRST GOD, HAVING RAISED UP HIS SON JESUS, SENT HIM TO BLESS YOU, IN TURNING AWAY EVERY ONE OF YOU FROM HIS INIQUITIES.”

 

            Jesus was sent to bless them by the preaching of the gospel, the good news that man now has redemption from sin available to him; first limited in nature:

 

“THESE TWELVE JESUS SENT FORTH, AND COMMANDED THEM, SAYING, GO NOT INTO THE WAY OF THE GENTILES, AND INTO any CITY OF THE SAMARITANS ENTER YE NOT:” Matthew 10:5 

 

            Then later that commission or charter was expanded to include all peoples:

 

Luke 24:47  AND THAT REPENTANCE AND REMISSION OF SINS SHOULD BE PREACHED IN HIS NAME AMONG ALL NATIONS, BEGINNING AT JERUSALEM.”

 

            A Saviour having been raised from the seed of David:

 

Acts 13:23-24  “OF THIS MAN’S SEED HATH GOD ACCORDING TO his PROMISE RAISED UNTO ISRAEL A SAVIOUR, JESUS: WHEN JOHN HAD FIRST PREACHED BEFORE HIS COMING THE BAPTISM OF REPENTANCE TO ALL THE PEOPLE OF ISRAEL.”

 

            And as a result of the baptism of repentance or because of repentance and obedience we now have indeed a turning and a cleansing of all men from their iniquities if they will only accept it in obedience to his commands to repent, confess, be baptized and live according to His precepts as true children of God.