There’s a New King in Town
We are continuing our study of Acts, and today we are in Acts 2:17-36.
Before we start I would like to tell you a story I heard about a preacher who was walking down a street one evening when he saw little Johnny jumping up and down trying to reach a doorbell.
The preacher wanted to help so he walked over and pressed the button for the youngster. After he pressed the doorbell, he asked the young man, "And now what?”, and the little boy said, "Now run!" and he took off.
I guess the point of the story is, although we would like to think good of people, not everyone thinks the same.
The last time we were together we left the Jews in Acts 2 in a state of confusion because the apostles were speaking in the listener’s languages.
Peter immediately set out to end the wild speculations about the cause of the apostles doing this.
First of all he said in Acts 2:15 – “listen, these men are not drunk because it’s only 9:00 in the morning.” [para] We live in a society in which people go on drinking binges and get drunk at all hours of the day. To understand what Peter means we need to think like a Jew of his time. On a festival day like Pentecost, no Jew ever ate or drank anything till after 9:00 am. The Jews should have realized this, and they should have known the apostles were not drunk. They also should have realized that being drunk does not improve a persons communication skills, except perhaps in the thinking of the drunk person.
Then, secondly, in Acts 2:16, Peter told the assembled crowd that the things they had seen and heard were the fulfillment of the prophecy of Joel. Peter wanted the Jews to begin to think the same as the apostles. That’s where we will continue today in our study of Acts.
Let’s start by reading Acts 2:17-21 – “17. 'And it shall come to pass in the last days, says God, That I will pour out of My Spirit on all flesh; your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your young men shall see visions, your old men shall dream dreams. 18. and on My menservants and on My maidservants I will pour out My Spirit in those days; and they shall prophesy.19. I will show wonders in heaven above and signs in the earth beneath: blood and fire and vapor of smoke. 20. The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the coming of the great and notable day of the Lord. 21. And it shall come to pass that whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.'”
Peter plainly says the pouring out of the Spirit upon the apostles was the fulfillment of the prophecy of Joel. If the Jews we’re wondering when Joel’s prophecy was going to be fulfilled, this was it. If the Jews were looking for proof that they were now living in the Last Days, this was it.
We do need to remember that not all of Joel’s prophecy was fulfilled on the Day of Pentecost. Some of his words would be fulfilled a little later. For example; when Joel says that, “God will pour out His Spirit on all people” or “all flesh” as some translations have it, he’s including all nations, even the Gentiles.
It is true that only the apostles received the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on Pentecost, but the infusion of the Holy Spirit that became available to mankind on that day was a much more extensive thing than the miraculous demonstration upon the Twelve.
In Acts 2:38 Peter promised that all who would repent and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, "shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit"; and this also is included in the prophecy. It is in this extended sense that it is "upon all flesh."
We will see this being fulfilled in Acts 10. Acts 10:44-47 – “44. While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit fell upon all those who heard the word. 45. And those of the circumcision who believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out on the Gentiles also. 46. For they heard them speak with tongues and magnify God. Then Peter answered, 47. "Can anyone forbid water, that these should not be baptized who have received the Holy Spirit just as we have?''”
Furthermore, Joel also prophesied that, “some daughters would prophesy,” this again was fulfilled a little later in Acts 21. Acts 21:8-9 – “On the next day we who were Paul's companions departed and came to Caesarea, and entered the house of Philip the evangelist, who was one of the seven, and stayed with him. Now this man had four virgin daughters who prophesied.”
It was Moses who first expressed the hope that God's Spirit would be upon all the people, saying, "Would that all the Lord's people were prophets, that the Lord would put his Spirit upon them" (Numbers 11:29). The fulfillment of this desire is seen in the truth that every Christian is endowed with an "earnest" of the Holy Spirit. (2 Corinthians 1:22)
I. Before we move on I think I need to say something about Acts 2:21, where Joel is quoted, "whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved." Many people claim if you just call on the Name of Jesus, you automatically become a Christian.
A. Oft times they turn to Romans 10:8-10 – “But what does it say? "The word is near you, even in your mouth and in your heart'' (that is, the word of faith which we preach): that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes to righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made to salvation.”
1. From verse 8 we see that this contains "doctrine of the gospel". In verse 9 is a pairing of CONFESSION and FAITH as coordinates among the conditions of salvation, that is primary salvation, or pardon from "past sins" (2 Peter 1:9), such as in the conversion to Christ.
2. If this passage stood alone in the New Testament, it might be fairly inferred that these are THE TWO conditions of salvation; but it does not stand alone, for there are other similar pairings of the elementary conditions of primary salvation, as in the case of REPENTANCE and BAPTISM (Acts 2:38), and that of FAITH and BAPTISM (Mark 16:16).
3. There are no legitimate grounds for thinking that any one of these pairings excludes the conditions mentioned in the others. Faith, repentance, confession, and baptism are all divinely imposed conditions of salvation, none of them outranking any of the others.
4. Faith is omitted in one of the pairings and mentioned second in another. Repentance is mentioned in only one, confession in only one, and baptism in two; but all alike are commanded, all alike are necessary; and all alike are prerequisite to justification.
B. Back to verse 21 then. What does ‘Calling on His Name’ mean? Calling on the name of the Lord means a person asking the Lord by the Lord’s authority to set them free from their sins.
1. We know that can only be done by yielding to His will as it was expressed in His commandments. Matthew 7:21 – “Not everyone who says to Me, 'Lord, Lord,' shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven.”
2. Scripture also says in Mark 16:16 – “He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned.”
C. Calling on His Name needs to be accompanied with obedience to His commandments.
1. In Acts 22 when Paul addresses the crowd, he was giving his testimony and he tells them in Acts 22:12-16 – “12. "Then one, Ananias, a devout man according to the law, having a good testimony with all the Jews who dwelt there, 13. "came to me; and he stood and said to me, 'Brother Saul, receive your sight.' And at that same hour I looked up at him. 14. "Then he said, 'The God of our fathers has chosen you that you should know His will, and see the Just One, and hear the voice of His mouth. 15. 'For you will be His witness to all men of what you have seen and heard. 16. 'And now why are you waiting? Arise and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on the name of the Lord.'” Salvation comes through calling on His Name and being obedient to Him in baptism.
2. 1 Peter 3:21 – “There is also an antitype which now saves us, namely baptism (not the removal of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God), through the resurrection of Jesus Christ,” There’s none of this, ‘just say a little prayer and ask God into your life’. There’s none of this ‘do I have to be baptized’? It’s simple obedience to the will of God. We have to do what the Bible says. No ifs, buts or maybes.
II. I like to watch ‘CSI’ shows and sometimes I like to watch ‘Agatha Christie’s Poirot’. I just love how they keep you in suspense right up to the very end. You will notice there are all sorts of accusations going around until finally they have enough evidence to bring a case and convict the guilty person.
A. If Poirot was investigating the claims of Jesus Christ, he would have to conclude that Jesus was who He claimed to be. Now back to Peter in Acts 2:22 – “Men of Israel, hear these words: Jesus of Nazareth, a Man attested by God to you by miracles, wonders, and signs which God did through Him in your midst, as you yourselves also know ” Not one single Jew could deny that Jesus had worked miracles because they had been done in plain view.
1. It is not like today where someone might say, ‘a man was raised from the dead in some village in the middle of the Amazon.” Most of Jesus’ miracles were performed in public view for a reason.
2. Jesus Himself said in John 5:36 – and I paraphrase; “I have testimony weightier than that of John. For the works that the Father has given me to finish—the very works that I am doing—testify that the Father has sent me.”
3. When Jesus was talking to the Jews, and they asked Him if He was the Christ, He said to them in John 10:25 – “... I told you, and you do not believe. The works that I do in My Father's name, they bear witness of Me.”
B. John wrote his gospel to tell us exactly that in John 20:30-31 – “And truly Jesus did many other signs in the presence of His disciples, which are not written in this book; but these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name.”
1. The Hebrew writer tells us the same thing in Hebrews 2:4 – “God also bearing witness both with signs and wonders, with various miracles, and gifts of the Holy Spirit, according to His own will.”
2. Those miracles should have inspired awe and wonder in the hearts of those who saw them. The miracles of Jesus should have been a clear sign to the Jews that Jesus was more than God's spokesman. He was God’s Son.
C. Some people recognized these displays of God's power for what they were and believed in the Son.
1. The nobleman in John 4:46-54 whose son was at the point of death came to Jesus asking for help and Jesus sent him on his way and told him his son would live. The Bible says in John 4:51-52 – “And as he was now going down, his servants met him and told him, saying, "Your son lives!'' Then he inquired of them the hour when he got better. And they said to him, "Yesterday at the seventh hour the fever left him.''”
2. Some of the Jews who had gone to comfort Mary after Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead believed in Him. John 11:45 – “Then many of the Jews who had come to Mary, and had seen the things Jesus did, believed in Him.”
D. Not everybody was convinced. Matthew records an incident where Jesus had just healed a demon-possessed man who was blind and mute. According to Matthew 12:24, the Pharisees said, “This fellow does not cast out demons except by Beelzebub, the ruler of the demons.”
1. The Pharisees weren’t convinced that Jesus was God’s Son and so looking for an excuse to kill Him, they said it was the devil working these miracles through Jesus.
2. We find the same thing happening in Mark 3:1-6 when Jesus heals the man with a shriveled hand, the Jewish leaders refused to believe who He was. Can you imagine the shock on their faces when Peter says in Acts 2:22 – “Men of Israel, hear these words: Jesus of Nazareth, a Man attested by God to you by miracles, wonders, and signs which God did through Him in your midst, as you yourselves also know ”
III. We as parents are always warning our kids about things. For example we tell them to be careful when they go outside and not play near the road. They always say “yah, yah we know.” It’s not until they almost get run over that they remember the words we told them.
A. Can you imagine the look on all those Jewish faces when they finally realize that God knew beforehand that they would kill the Christ? Acts 2:23-24 – “This man was handed over to you by God's set purpose and foreknowledge; and you, with the help of wicked men, put him to death by nailing him to the cross. But God raised him from the dead, freeing him from the agony of death, because it was impossible for death to keep its hold on him”. [para]
1. They should have remembered what God said in Genesis. Genesis 3:15 – “And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her Seed; He shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise His heel.” If these Jews, who were God’s people, who were so spiritual in their thinking, and who knew and understood God’s word so well; I wonder if they would remember that the Messiah was to be killed and then raised back to life?
2. I wonder if they remembered Isaiah’s words concerning what would happen when the Messiah came? Isaiah 53:6-12 – “6. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned, every one, to his own way; and the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all. 7. He was oppressed and He was afflicted, yet He opened not His mouth; He was led as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before its shearers is silent, so He opened not his mouth. 8. He was taken from prison and from judgment, and who will declare His generation? For He was cut off from the land of the living; for the transgressions of My people He was stricken. 9. And they made His grave with the wicked but with the rich at His death, because He had done no violence, nor was any deceit in His mouth. 10. Yet it pleased the Lord to bruise Him; He has put Him to grief. When You make His soul an offering for sin, He shall see His seed, He shall prolong His days, and the pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in His hand. 11. He shall see the travail of His soul, and be satisfied. by His knowledge My righteous Servant shall justify many, for He shall bear their iniquities. 12. Therefore I will divide Him a portion with the great, and He shall divide the spoil with the strong, because He poured out His soul unto death, and He was numbered with the transgressors, and He bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.”
3. I wonder also if they would have remembered David’s words from Psalm 16:8-11 when Peter quoted them in Acts 2:25-28 – “For David says concerning Him: 'I foresaw the Lord always before my face, for He is at my right hand, that I may not be shaken; therefore my heart rejoiced, and my tongue was glad; moreover my flesh will also rest in hope, because You will not leave my soul in Hades, nor will You allow Your Holy One to see corruption. You have made known to me the ways of life; you will make me full of joy in Your presence.” I wonder if they realized that David was speaking about the Messiah.
B. There is no doubt that this passage from the Old Testament, prophesies a resurrection of someone. We know that because it is only by a resurrection that one could descend into the grave and not see decay. Who is David speaking about? We know that Jesus died. We know that His body was laid in a tomb that was given by Joseph of Arimathea.
1. We also know is that His spirit went to paradise. When Jesus was on the cross and the two thieves were at either side of Him, Jesus said to one of them in Luke 23:43-46 – “... "Assuredly, I say to you, today you will be with Me in Paradise.'' And it was about the sixth hour, and there was darkness over all the earth until the ninth hour. Then the sun was darkened, and the veil of the temple was torn in two. And when Jesus had cried out with a loud voice, He said, "Father, 'into Your hands I commend My spirit.' '' And having said this, He breathed His last.” It’s plain to see that Jesus trusted the Father to reunite His soul with His resurrected body in a powerful display intended to leave no doubt as to the true identity of Jesus of Nazareth.
2. Peter’s point is that David wasn’t speaking about himself. That’s why he mentions that David’s body saw decay and was still in its grave in the very city of Jerusalem where Peter spoke. Acts 2:29-32 – “Men and brethren, let me speak freely to you of the patriarch David, that he is both dead and buried, and his tomb is with us to this day. "Therefore, being a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him that of the fruit of his body, according to the flesh, He would raise up the Christ to sit on his throne, he, foreseeing this, spoke concerning the resurrection of the Christ, that His soul was not left in Hades, nor did His flesh see corruption. "This Jesus God has raised up, of which we are all witnesses.”
3. Peter is saying, that David knew when he wrote of God's Holy One he was not speaking of himself but, through the voice of prophecy, was speaking of the promised King who would arise from among his offspring. Peter and the eleven who stood with him were witnesses of the very resurrection David had foretold. They had seen Jesus in His resurrected body.
C. If anyone could testify that Jesus Christ was now seated on His throne in heaven it was Peter. How could he testify to this? How could he prove that Jesus is seated at God’s right side? The proof was the Holy Spirit’s arrival. Remember what Jesus said to His disciples in John 16?
1. I’ll paraphrase what He said to them in John 16:5-15 – "Now I am going to him who sent me, yet none of you asks me, 'Where are you going?' -- Because I have said these things, you are filled with grief. But I tell you the truth: It is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Counselor will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you. When he comes, he will convict the world of guilt in regard to sin and righteousness and judgment: in regard to sin, because men do not believe in me; in regard to righteousness, because I am going to the Father, where you can see me no longer; and in regard to judgment, because the prince of this world now stands condemned. "I have much more to say to you, more than you can now bear. But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come. He will bring glory to me by taking from what is mine and making it known to you. All that belongs to the Father is mine. That is why I said the Spirit will take from what is mine and make it known to you.”
2. Peter says to those listening; do you want help to understand what has happened here today? Do you remember the great prophet, Joel? Do you remember one of the greatest kings of our history, David?
D. There was a man who was in a championship fight and he was getting beat up pretty good, his eyes were puffy, his lip was cut and his cheeks were swollen. He staggered over to his trainer at the end of the round and said, "throw in the towel man, I'm getting killed out there". His trainer, trying to encourage him said, "Oh, no, you're doing great, that guy is not laying a glove on you." The boxer looked up past his bloody nose and said, "Well, would you keep your eye on the referee then because somebody out there is hitting me."
1. Peter was hitting these Jews from all sides with:
• The death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
• The miraculous events of Acts 2:1-11 speaking in different tongues.
• The words of the prophet Joel.
• The words of the king and prophet David.
2. Peter was spelling it out to them and Peter wasn’t finished just yet. He had more to say concerning King David.
3. He says to the Jews, quoting more words of David from Psalm 110:1 in Acts 2:33-35 – “Therefore being exalted to the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, He poured out this which you now see and hear. "For David did not ascend into the heavens, but he says himself: 'The Lord said to my Lord, "Sit at My right hand, till I make Your enemies Your footstool. '”
E. In other words the Jews had to realize that there was a new King in town and that this new King was also Lord over David. He too was to rule from a throne, not on earth, but in heaven. Peter says, Jesus is Master and King now.
1. Just in case they thought Peter was the one giving out all this authority, he says in Acts 2:36 – “Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly that God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ.”
2. Peter put them in their place and cut their legs out from under them. Peter left the Jews speechless.
IV. Folks, that’s a very powerful lesson for us. Whenever you get into a religious discussion with anybody, let the Scriptures speak for themselves. Don’t start talking about the Bible unless you know what you’re talking about. Speak where the Bible speaks and be silent where the Bible is silent.
A. If you’re adding your opinion and you’re not sure what a passage of Scripture means, be honest and tell them that. If you know and fully understand any passage of Scripture then back it up with more Scripture. When you point out Scripture, let the Bible speak for itself and you too will leave those who are arguing or debating with you—speechless.
1. Peter was being a in your face kind of guy when it came to preaching Jesus Christ, the very One they had crucified. He says, This Jesus has now been placed by God in the position of authority.
2. Next Peter is going to tell us that if anyone wishes to come to the Father then they are going to have to yield to Him.
The Jews had no response. Peter had opened up two separate prophecies of David before their very eyes. He has presented the testimony of reliable witnesses who had seen the resurrected Lord. He had called his listeners' attention to the unique events of the day which had to have originated from heaven itself through the workings of God's Spirit.
A woman was visiting her husband’s grave, but when she was walking through the graveyard she saw a tombstone that read: "Here lies John Kelly, a lawyer and an honest man." "How about that!" she exclaimed. "They've got three people buried in one grave."
Peter could look out of the temple area into Jerusalem and say to the Jews, ‘Look there lays King David, a faithful and devout follower of God.’ Dig his grave up and you will find his remains.
However the one reason the Jews couldn’t argue with Peter is because Jesus' tomb no longer contained Jesus' remains. If it had, then surely they would have argued the case. The Jews would have said, ‘you see, this Jesus’ body is still here just like David’s’. They didn’t because they couldn’t. Peter presented very powerful evidence of the Lordship of Jesus Christ.
Someone once wrote and asked Emily Post, the good manners expert of another generation; "What is the correct procedure when one is invited to the White House but has a previous engagement?" They got a reply saying, "An invitation to dine at the White House is a command, and it automatically cancels any other engagement."
Folks, Jesus is Lord, whether people want to confess that or not. When people receive an invitation to come and join Him in baptism, we need to remember that baptism is a command from the King and that invitation automatically cancels all other engagements.
We learn from the New Testament how to be saved. We need to hear the word, believe in Jesus, repent of our sins; we must confess our belief that Jesus is the Son of God, and be baptized for the remission of our sins... If we follow these steps, the Lord adds us to His church.
Perhaps there is someone in the assembly today with the need to be buried with Christ in baptism. If you have never done these things, we urge you to do so today. If anyone has this need or desires the prayers of faithful Christians on their behalf, we encourage them to come forward while we stand and sing.
Reference Sermon: Mike Glover
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