"WHAT MEANETH THIS?"
I. THE QUESTION IN THE MINDS OF THE JEWS WHO HAD GATHERED TO OBSERVE THE HOLY SPIRIT COMING ON THE CHURCH WAS "WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?"
A. Peter finally answered their question with the statement, "God has made this same Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ."
1. Jesus is Lord.
2. Jesus is the Messiah.
3. Paul wrote to the Philippians that God has given Him a name that is above every other name, that at the name of Jesus every knee shall bow, in the whole universe and every tongue will confess that Jesus the Messiah is Lord.
B. This was the first message preached by the church anointed by the Holy Spirit.
1. It was an exposition of the scriptures.
2. It was centered on the person of Jesus Christ.
II. THE EFFECT OF THE MESSAGE.
A. It brought great conviction. "Their hearts were pierced."
1. The great need in the church today is preaching that pierces the heart.
2. There is a notion that we should water down the gospel to make it more palatable to everyone.
3. The whole new movement in the church today is to develop a seeker-friendly church.
4. No feeling of conviction for sin.
5. Messages that entertain, laced with humor and pop psychology.
6. Paul exhorted Timothy:
Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.
For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;
And they shall turn away [their] ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.
B. It brought them to an awareness of their need. "What shall we do?"
III. THE STEPS TO SALVATION AND FORGIVENESS OF SIN.
1. This is more than just saying, "I'm sorry." Godly sorrow often leads to repentance, but sorrow alone is not repentance.
a. Someone has suggested that true repentance is being so sorry that you never do it again.
2. This was the message of John the Baptist. Repent.
3. This was the message of Jesus. Repent.
4. Paul told the Greek philosophers on Mars Hill that the God who was unknown to them had created them, and in Him they lived and moved and had their existence. And that He had commanded all men every where to repent.
5. This must mean that the world is in a need of change, and I would concur with that.
6. The God who has created us is holy, righteous, just, pure. He demands that of his creation, if they are to fellowship with Him.
Follow peace with all [men], and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord:
Blessed [are] the pure in heart: for they shall see God.
B. Be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ, for the remission of sins.
1. Peter is not here giving a new baptismal formula as some maintain.
2. Jesus gave the baptismal formula in Matthew 28:19
; Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:
3. In the Greek, Peter is literally saying that they were to be baptized (epi) upon the name of Jesus Christ.
4. Baptism signified a change of lifestyle. The death of the old ways and the birth of a new lifestyle.
a. One of the rituals in proselytizing into Judaism was baptism. No longer a Gentile, now a Jew.
b. John's baptism was the repentance from sin by the Jews, and to live a life of dedication to God.
c. The baptism unto Jesus was the acknowledgement of the change in the mind concerning Jesus Christ. In that you now acknowledge Him as the Messiah, and that you will seek not to live controlled by your flesh, but by the Spirit.
d. For us it is the death to the old life after the flesh and a new life governed by the Spirit.
IV. THE RESULT, "YOU WILL RECEIVE THE GIFT OF THE HOLY SPIRIT."
A. This is the general progression into the Christian life.
1. It begins with repentance and baptism.
2. There is then the receiving of the Holy Spirit.
B. In the house of Cornelius the order was changed, there was first of all a repentance, they received the gift of the Holy Spirit, then they were baptized.
C."For this promise."
1. What promise?
2. The promise of the gift of the Holy Spirit.
a. Peter is no doubt thinking back to the promise of Jesus to the disciples to wait in Jerusalem until they had received the promise of the Father which I have told you about. For John baptized with water unto repentance, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit in a few days.
D. To whom is the promise made? "For this promise is unto you and to your children, and to those who are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call."
1. This should silence all of those who say that the gifts of the Holy Spirit ceased with the death of the last of the Apostles.
2. Again the promise of the Holy Spirit being poured out on all flesh was a promise of the last days, days that would continue to the days of the Great Tribulation.
3. Days until that which is perfect has come. [But when that which is perfect is come] Does come; or shall come. This proposition is couched in a general form. It means that when anything which is perfect is seen or enjoyed, then that which is imperfect is forgotten, laid aside, or vanishes. Thus, in the full and perfect light of day, the imperfect and feeble light of the stars vanishes. The sense here is, that "in heaven" - a state of absolute perfection - that which is "in part," or which is imperfect, shall be lost in superior brightness. All imperfection will vanish. And all that we here possess that is obscure shall be lost in the superior and perfect glory of that eternal world. All our present unsatisfactory modes of obtaining knowledge shall be unknown. All shall be clear, bright, and eternal (from Barnes' Notes).
4. Adam Clark Commentary: [But when that which is perfect] The state of eternal blessedness; then that which is in part - that which is imperfect, shall be done away; the imperfect as well as the probationary state shall cease for ever.
5. Zodhiates: To Teleion, perfect, in the neuter means the complete one in contrast with that which is in part. To Teleion therefore indicates the ultimate goal of heavenly perfection as contrasted with the immediate and merely partial experience of saints on earth.
6. Thayer The perfect state of all things, to be ushered in by the return of Christ from heaven.
7. Alford Unquestionably the time alluded to is the time of the coming of the Lord.
8. There are many today who try to twist the text to mean that "That which is perfect is a reference to the full canon of scripture." They take this position for they desire to deny the validity of the gifts of the Spirit for today. They talk about the Greek language and to teleion being neuter. Thus, they say that it cannot refer to Jesus. It refers to the perfected state we will experience when Jesus will come again. With this, every truly great Greek scholar I have read agrees.
E. This means that the promised gift of the Holy Spirit is for us today who have been called by God.