Acts2 – The Spirit comes and Peter preaches

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Acts 2

The power comes v1-4

Told to wait 1:8 – Spirit promised becomes the Spirit provided

They were all together praying when a rushing wind comes and tongues of fire land on their heads and suddenly they are able to speak in languages never learned.

Whne God appeared to Moses there was the burning bush and when the Law came there was wind and fire and glory. But Pentecost brought altogether different results – When the Law came 3000 died who made the idol. But when the Spirit came 3000 are saved!

The 120 were filled with the power of the Holy Spirit – that would make them better witnesses and give them internal power to be holy.

A lady went to a jeweller to have her watch fixed. He disappeared to the back and soon returned with it running perfectly.

Surprised, she asked how he could fix it so soon. He told her it only needed a new battery.

“Battery? Battery? No body said anything about a battery. I’ve been winding it every morning!"

Multitude affected v5-13

Private affair of 120 in a room becomes a bustling public event attracting the attention of representatives from every nation under heaven.

It’s Festival time! In Jerusalem. Pentecost was a major gathering time – Passover had been just a few monthe before when Jesus was crucified and rose again and now it the harvest festival. 1000’s are gathered in Jerusalem to worship God and they are going to get the shock of their lives. 120 Galileans are speaking of the wonders of God and loudly and they seem to have fire on their heads!

The irony of the Galileans is that they were “boorish dolts in the eyes of sophisticated Jerusalemites” – county bumpkins, rednecks.

Nations mentioned frame Jerusalem as the four corners of the “known” earth – the Gospel begins to go to the ends of the earth.

What does this mean? Are they drunk?

Peter preaches

Last week Andy told me I was very green with my sermon jokes – I like to recycle them!

Peter is pretty green too! He preaches 5 times in Acts. Here as the Spirit has just fallen at Pentecost, secondly after the lame man is healed, thirdly when Peter and John are arrested, fourthly on their next arrest in ch5 and then to Cornelius. Each time the sermon has the same simple structure

1 He explains what has happened

2 You crucified Jesus

3 But God raised him up

4 And exalted him, which is why what has just happened happened!

5 Sort your lives out!

Explains what has happened v14-21

This is that.. – anchored in OT promise and expectation.

Promised Holy Spirit from Joel 2

Spirit will be available for all not just special people for special tasks – Huge new deal

Young visions, old dreams. Men and women, All classes of society

Wonders in heaven, Signs on earth.

Everyone who calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.

No other name other than Jesus that can save you Acts 4:12

You crucified Jesus v22-23

Peter preaches 5 sermons in Acts, all with the same structure and all explaining something that has just happened. All pretty confrontational.

The crowd who are in Jerusalem in for Pentecost is pretty large – 3000 get saved in few minutes. Some of them would have be there at the Passover – shouting Crucify Him, Crucify Him! But many wouldn’t have. So how can he charge them all with Crucifying Jesus without checking all of them individually as to whether they were there?

In once sense they and you and I all would have shouted it. You crucified Him. – The scary thing is that if we were there unsaved, we would have been shouting too.

In another sense Peter can accuse all of them and us of crucifying Christ, because everybody in that crowd was involved in the crime against Jesus that brought him to his death. The essence of the crime against Jesus was not the ending of his physical life. The essence of the crime against Jesus was the rejection of God in Jesus’ life.

They had
seen his miracles, yet crucified him. They had rejected that He was the son of God. They accused him of blasphemy and sent him to be crucified which was to be utterly cursed by God Deut 21:22-23.

God raised him up v24-32

V24 is a hinge point for Peter, because God raised Him from the dead.

You crucified him and counted him cursed by God. BUT God raised Him up – vindicated him. The challenge is that they were horribly wrong in their judgement and in doing so have set themselves up in opposition to God.

Not only did God the Father raise Jesus from the dead, but he is now at the Right hand of the Father in Heaven – which Peter explains in a quote from Ps 16.

God exalted him, which explains what has happened v33-36

In verses 34-35 Peter quotes Psalm 110 to show the significance of Jesus’ exaltation.

He says, "For David did not ascend into the heavens; but he himself says, ‘The LORD [that is, God the Father] said to my Lord [that is the coming Messiah, Jesus], Sit at my right hand, till I make thy enemies a stool for thy feet.’" In other words, David already foresaw that God would exalt the risen Messiah to his right hand and give him a place of rule and supremacy over every other person and power in the universe.

This endorsement of Jesus exposes the ultimate horror of rejecting him. In rejecting Jesus not only have they rejected the one God declared to be Messiah by raising him from the dead (cf. vv. 30-31); they have also rejected the one whom God declared to be the Lord of the universe by exalting him to his right hand.

This is the decisive thrust of Peter’s sermon as he sums it up in verse 36, "Let all the house of Israel therefore know assuredly that GOD [!] has made him both Lord and Christ, this Jesus whom you crucified."

God endorsed him as Christ-the Messiah-by raising him from the dead. God endorsed him as the Lord by exalting him all the way to the highest place in the universe and making him supreme over all his enemies.

Therefore… Repent v37-40

The crowd were cut to the heart – They had rejected Jesus and in doing so had rejected God.

“What shall we do?”

Repent and be baptised…

By being cut to the heart they had believed that Jesus was the Christ, God sent to die for them. Now they had to repent and be baptised and receive the Spirit.

Repent – change your mind. U-turn in your belief system. Stop going my way and go God’s way.

To be baptised is to go down under the water to show that you are new. Notice they are both commands and conscious decisions – that is why infant baptism is irrelevant. It wasn’t done out of the obedience of now following Christ.

We’ll happily baptise you – as its summer – in our deep paddling pool or on a sunny day in the sea at Sunny Hunny!

But you must repent and believe first!

Then as Peter promises you can receive the promise.

Peter gives the ideal order of receiving the Spirit after repenting, believing and being baptised. But you do see in the New testament people receiving before baptism!

Result v41 – 3,000 saved

Can you imagine the scene, the queues the chaos as people go down into the waters and the church grows from 120 to 3,000 in one swoop.

Application for us


Not yet done it?

Be baptised

Jesus commanded disciples, his followers to be baptised as a conscious act of obedience

Receive the power of the Spirit

Be baptised in the Spirit – God’s power filling you and empowering you to be holy and useful in His kingdom.

You can hear from God – v17-18

Everyone can receive the Spirit – young and old, men and women and all social classes and all can “prophecy” whether by visions, dreams or prophecying…

Save yourself from this crooked generation.

During the powerful morning as thousands are repenting, praying and getting baptised, Peter keeps preaching exhorting the crowds to “save themselves from this crooked generation” meaning that by becoming a follower of Christ they can live holy lives, utterly different from the sinful people around them.

These thousands will soon be scattered by persecution to take the Gospel with them – Having previously rejected God by rejecting Jesus they are finding that a return to God’s mission begins with a return to God’s standar



Andy Moyle is a church leader and web developer. His biggest project is the Church Admin WordPress plugin and app. He also runs, mainly so he can eat pizza.