#05 (Acts 2:14-36) Peter's Sermon at Pentecost
I recommend that members read Peter's entire sermon before going
further with this study. We left off our last study with the temple mount
in astonishment. One hundred twenty Galileans declaring the mighty
works of God in the varied languages of the people. Even when the
mockers said they were full of sweet wine, it wasn't because the
disciples were stumbling about like intoxicated people. It had to do with
their boldness of speech. It had to do with the phenomena of
Now we want to take a look at the first gospel message of the new
covenant. The message Peter preaches that day will set the tone for
the gospel age. Let's begin our study. (This study may be a little
lengthy, but it is quite valuable to what is going to happen next. When
Peter completes his sermon, three thousand new believers will be
added to the Church.)
Vss14,15: Peter takes his stand with the eleven.
Everyone's attention has been drawn by the prophesying. Now it is
time for the 12 apostles. God has something clear and distinct to say
to all Jewish people who have gathered from the nations.
"Men of Judea and all you who live in Jerusalem, let this be known
you and give heed to my words."
Probably at this moment the entire temple mount begins to quieten
down. Peter's voice is probably heard through the temple confines. It is
possible that the priests themselves are giving attention. (Many of
them will become believers.)
"These men are not drunk as you suppose."
Peter is not comparing states of drunkenness. He is simply stating that
these men are not drunk. Then he adds that it is but the third hour of
the day. (9 a.m.) People get drunk at night.
Vs16: "...but this is what was spoken of through the prophet
Preaching the Gospel from the Old Testament
Here is where we need understanding. Peter's entire sermon is going
to center on quotations from the prophets. There was no New
Testament. They preached the new covenant from Moses and the
prophets. (Can you do that? You need to learn how.)
Did you know that we have been instructed to never exceed the
prophets in our preaching and teaching? We are to preach the Jesus
of the prophets. And even when we preach from the apostolic writings,
we are not to preach in a way that would violate the prophetic writings.
Listen to one of the last conversations Jesus had with the disciples:
"Now He said to them, 'These are My words which I spoke to you
I was still with you, that all things which are written about Me in the
Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled.'
Then He opened their minds to understand the Scriptures, and He
said to them, 'Thus it is written, that the Christ would suffer and rise
again from the dead the third day, and that repentance for forgiveness
of sins would be proclaimed in His name to all the nations, beginning
from Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things.'" (Luke 24:44-48)
(By the way, you may often here me say this, but it really needs to
in; 'Salvation begins and ends in Jerusalem. Keep your eyes on
All the prophetic utterances Peter quotes from that day are well known
to the Jewish people. These quotes were commonly accepted by the
Jewish peoples as belonging to Messiah. Therefore, it wasn't a matter
of Peter trying to explain something what wasn't understood. Peter
was speaking to their own faith in the promises given ages ago.
Vs17: "'And it shall be in the last days,' God says, 'That I will
OF MY SPIRIT on all mankind; and your sons and your daughters
shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old
men shall dream dreams.'"
Men and Women in Proclaiming the Gospel
Notice that sons and daughters will prophesy. This is exactly what was
happening at Pentecost. All 120 were declaring the mighty works of
But there is another issue I would like to bring out. Although there
certain principles that govern the local church with regard to men and
women in leadership roles, this aspect of declaring the works of God
belongs to all God's people, men and women.
There is a Psalm of David that sets this forth. Psalm 68 speaks of
Christ. The background for this Psalm is Israel's escape from Egypt,
but its prophetic intent is to Christ. Listen to selected Scriptures that
directly relate to the new covenant, and in some cases are actually
quoted in the New Testament:
Psm68:1; "Let God arise, let His enemies be scattered." (Did
arise? Were His enemies scattered? Cf. Col2:15; "...He made a public
display of them, having triumphed over them through Him.")
Psm68:11; "The Lord gives the command; the women who proclaim
the good tidings (Gospel is an old English word that means good or
glad tidings) are a great host."
Note it says 'women.' The reference is two-fold. After crossing the Red
Sea, it was Miriam who begin the worship with a great number of
women joining in. They sang the song of Pharaoh's defeat. But this
also points to the new covenant. Women are equal participants in
declaring the glad tidings of Jesus Christ in ways and means that the
Lord gives them.
Psm68:18; "You have ascended on high, You have led captive Your
captives." (Quoted in Ephesians 4:8)
Psm69:19; "Blessed be the Lord, who daily bears our
had this in mind when he said we are to cast our cares on Jesus.)
Acts2:18; "Even on My bondslaves, both men and women, I will in
those days pour forth of My Spirit and they shall prophesy."
The testimony continues.
Vss19,20; "And I will grant wonders in the sky above and signs on
earth below, blood, and fire, and vapor of smoke. The sun will be
turned to darkness and the moon into blood, before the great and
glorious day of the Lord shall come."
This one may seem difficult, but we need to see it in relation to the
and second coming of Jesus Christ. Sometimes the prophets spoke of
both events in one setting, and they seemed to merge. However, Paul
said that the Church itself was a mystery hidden from past ages.
Two Mountain Ranges
One way to understand how the prophets wrote about the two
appearances of the Lord, is to think about two mountain ranges, one
behind the other, with a valley separating them. From a distance all the
mountains seem right together, but as you get closer to the mountains
you realize that they are separate ranges. That's often the way
prophecy works. The prophets often blended the two comings of
Vs21: "And it shall be that everyone who calls on the name of the
will be saved."
This is the first glimpse we have of the gospel of grace. This theme
carry over into all the apostolic preaching. Paul later explains the
message they were given to preach. Follow closely:
"But what does it say? 'The word is the near you, in your mouth
your heart' -- that is, the word of faith WHICH WE ARE PREACHING,
that 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; for with
the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the
mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation. For the Scripture says,
'Whoever believes in Him will not be disappointed.' For there is no
distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all,
abounding in riches for all who call on Him; for 'WHOEVER WILL
CALL ON THE NAME OF THE LORD WILL BE SAVED.'" (Rom10:8-13)
If this is not the message being preached, then the message being
preached is not true to the the gospel. God did not make it hard for
men and women to be saved. The one thing they must do is identify
with Jesus Christ by recognizing Him as Lord, that is, His death, burial,
resurrection, ascension, and Lordship. That is what calling on His
name actually means.
Vs22: "Men of Israel, listen to these words; Jesus the Nazarene, a
man attested to you by God with miracles and wonders and signs
which God performed through Him ... JUST AS YOU YOURSELVES
The ministry of Jesus Christ was well known by all the peoples, not
only in the land of Israel, but word had spread about Him to Jews
outside the land, and even to Gentiles in various places. Remember
the Greeks who wanted to see Jesus? (Cf. John 12:21)
Vs23: "...this man, delivered over by the predetermined plan and
foreknowledge of God, you nailed to a cross by the hands of godless
men, and put Him to death."
The Cross Was God's Plan
Listen carefully --- The cross was God's plan. Also note that Peter
the Jews nailed Him to the cross by the hands of Gentiles. Remember
what I said earlier? The Jews provided the sacrifice, but both Jew and
Gentile participated in the offering. Perhaps it is better to say that God
Himself provided the sacrifice. The story of God's sacrifice Lamb is
written across the pages of His holy book.
Vs24: "But God raised Him up again ... it was impossible for Him
held in its [deaths] power."
Vs25-28: "For David says of Him, 'I saw the Lord always in My
presence; for He is at My right hand, so that I will not be shaken.' ...
You will not abandon My soul to hades ... You will make Me full of
gladness with Your presence.'"
This is an interesting prophecy. David speaks both of His experience
and knowledge of God's Christ, and yet it is the Spirit of Christ in him
speaking prophetically concerning the cross.
David often speaks of Christ. Actually during the time of Christ, the
three most popular books among the Jewish people were,
Deuteronomy, Psalms, and Isaiah. These books spoke of God's
Vss29-31: Peter explains that David spoke as a prophet and had
Christ in mind. "Because he [David] was a prophet and knew that God
had sworn to him with an oath to seat one of his descendants on his
throne. ... He looked ahead and spoke of the resurrection of
Vs32: "This Jesus God raised up again, to which we are all
(This testimony of being the witnesses becomes the force behind the
New Testament writings.)
Vs33: "Therefore having been exalted to the right hand of God ...
has poured forth this which you both see and hear."
The events of the day of Pentecost took place because Jesus had
taken His place at the right hand of God, and had received His
kingdom. This is why Pentecost can be spoken of as the coronation
day of Christ.
Vs34: "For it was not David who ascended into heaven, but he
says: 'The Lord said to my Lord, "Sit at My right hand, until I make
Your enemies a footstool for Your feet."'
This prophecy is from Psalm 110. And it was accepted by the Jews of
that time as applying to Messiah. The importance of this particular
prophecy cannot be overstated. Jesus quotes it and the apostles quote
it. (Actually Psalm 110 is a panoramic view of the ascension and
second coming of Jesus Christ.)
Vs36: "This Jesus God raised up again ... Therefore let all the
of Israel know for certain that God has made Him both Lord and
Christ--this Jesus whom you crucified."
What was the house of Israel to know? That God has made Jesus
both Lord and Christ. It is this message that will prick the hearts of all
who are listening. Many will turn to Jesus. Some will hesitate. Others
will turn away.
Let's leave off the study for now. Feel free to ask questions or offer
Previous: #04c: Comments on Acts: God became a Jew
Next: #05a - Curiosities in Acts
This study on
Acts was originally part of a
series on the book of Acts given to members of
Hebraic Foundations from July 10, 2002 through January 19, 2003.
They were written by Pastor Buddy Martin, Founder and Senior Pastor of
Christian Challenge International.