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Bible: What Does Acts 2:33-47 Teach Us About the Day of Pentecost?

Updated on September 19, 2016

Pentecost: The Descent of the Spirit

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The Place Where the Church Worships Together

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Important Questions from Acts 2:33 ff


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Acts 2:33-47-- Peter's Pentecost Sermon/The Activities of the Church in Jerusalem

The Promise of the Father

Having established that Jesus is the resurrected Messiah, Peter returns to the discussion of the current phenomena: the manifestations resulting from the Spirit’s descent.

Christ, now seated in heaven at the place of honor (“the right hand of God”), has “poured out” the promised Holy Spirit after receiving Him from the Father (v. 33; cf. 2:17-18).

Peter reminds his audience that just as David has not yet resurrected from the dead, so the patriarch did not ascend to heaven.

Instead, David made known a conversation the Father (“the LORD,”YHWH) carried on with Christ (“my Lord,”adonay) in which God told David's son and Lord to sit at the place of honor until the day that He subjugates His enemies (vv. 34-35; cf. Ps. 110:1).

Quickly, the apostle gives the “house of Israel” the bottom line: you killed Jesus, the Person Whom God made both Lord and Christ (v. 36).

The Need for Personal Repentance

Convicted in their heart of their misdeed, the men cry out to Peter and the Eleven, asking them for guidance (v. 37).

The apostle calls for them to “repent”: that is, turn from their sin of unbelief (and misbelief) regarding Who they thought Jesus to be (a false prophet), and trust Him as Who they now believe Him to be—(both God and Messiah).

Trusting the Lord Jesus as their Savior will bring about their salvation from sins.

Their subsequent immersion in water will not forgive them, but only show what God has accomplished through their act of saving faith.

Forgiveness of sins comes by professing genuine faith in Christ as Lord and Savior, not by following through on a ritual merely intended to picture a cleansing from sins.

[The word “for” here is better translated “on account of, because of.”]

When these people believed in Christ, they immediately received the Holy Spirit as a gift from God; the Spirit did not take up residence within them at the time they submitted to baptism (v. 38).

The promise of the Spirit applies universally—to Jews and their children then present in Jerusalem, as well as to Gentiles (“to all who are afar off”); God saves all people whom He will call to Himself (v. 39; cf. Eph. 2:13).

Three Thousand Saved!

Luke sums up the subject of the rest of Peter’s long sermon with the apostle’s command: “Be saved from this perverse generation” (v. 40).

[What did Peter mean by “saved” here?

In his mind, the Jewish nation stood condemned for their treatment of Jesus.

Was he merely expecting God to wreak physical vengeance upon the nation, or does his warning have eternal, spiritual consequences?]

Having “received his word,” i.e., they repent and believe, three thousand souls then submit to immersion in water (baptism) [v. 41].

After being received into the “church” (cf. v. 47), these new believers participate in a large Bible conference or a retreat of sorts which involves the following activities:

The Upper Room: Site of the First "Lord's Supper"

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Teaching, Fellowship, Communion, Prayer

Four Fundamental Church Activities

(1) They stay a long while (“continued steadfastly”) to listen to the apostles’ teaching about Jesus;

(2) They spend time in the fellowship—the fellowship (koinonia) signifies having things in common, so they met together to develop spiritually-oriented friendships—;

(3) They celebrate the Lord’s Supper (“the breaking of bread”); and

(4) They devote themselves to prayer (v. 42).

Besides teaching about Jesus, the apostles also perform “many wonders and signs,” further authenticating their calling and ministry to everyone present.

A healthy reverence for God and His chosen leaders descends upon all (v. 43).

Voluntary Contributions to the Needy

The post-Pentecost gathering also meets the physical and material needs of the poor among them.

For a limited space of time, well-to-do believers sell some of their possessions and give the proceeds to those running out of supplies among them (vv. 44-45).

[Although the need for those with means to help the now displaced population of new believers did not become a permanent condition, it probably persisted for decades (cf. 2 Cor. 8:16ff)].

The new converts attend “church services” every day in the temple, and Jerusalem believers open their homes to the pilgrims, inviting them to dinner (v. 46).

The joy and love of the infant church impress “all the people”; this godly testimony undoubtedly contributed to the Lord’s daily increasing the number of the saved (v. 47).

© 2013 glynch1

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    • glynch1 profile image
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      glynch1 4 years ago

      Salvation has always been by grace through faith alone, whether in the Old Testament or the New. The thief believed Jesus was the Messiah, and Jesus saved him. Faith is a gift of grace; it is not meritorious. Again, the Colossians passage refers to Spirit baptism; water baptism merely illustrates this spiritual reality.

    • glynch1 profile image
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      glynch1 4 years ago

      If you would copy and paste my words into your response before adding your answer, it would make our conversation much easier. As it now stands, I cannot understand what you are referring to. What about the thief? Your last comment shows foolishness and unChristian language.

    • celafoe profile image

      charlie 4 years ago from From Kingdom of God living on Planet earth. between the oceans

      all referred to your statement against baptism above

      the thief on the cross was OT

      sorry the first one disappeared before i sent it and i sent the 2nd

      and you are wrong about it being symbolic

      you have drunk the churchy kool aid too long

    • glynch1 profile image
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      glynch1 4 years ago

      I think I responded sufficiently to your points in my remarks to your first post.

    • glynch1 profile image
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      glynch1 4 years ago

      I do not know what you are responding to in number one above. If you are saying that Pentecost occurred before Jesus' resurrection, then you are in error. To what doctrine do you refer?

      I do not know what you are trying to say in number two above.

      Your understanding of water baptism is in error. Regeneration, the implantation of a new nature, takes place when a person trusts Christ as his Lord and Savior; water baptism merely shows the believer's identification with Jesus in His death , burial, and resurrection. The Colossians passage you cite refers to Spirit baptism, not water baptism.

    • celafoe profile image

      charlie 4 years ago from From Kingdom of God living on Planet earth. between the oceans

      1. This took place under the Old Testament as Jesus had' not yet died and been resurrected. Baptism is New Testament.

      2. Jesus as God, had the ability to reward this man because of his faith ( which God honors). Him doing this once does not make it a doctrine.

      3. the false "church" teaching that water baptism is for show only is proved wrong in Col. Truth is --During the water baptism the " circumcision not made with hands" occurs. This is the removing the hard heart (softening of the heart) of the natural man which cannot receive the things of God, to enable the person to receive the hidden things of the Kingdom.

      Col 2:11-15 In Him you were also circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, by putting off the body of the sins of the flesh, by the circumcision of Christ, 12 buried with Him in baptism, in which you also were raised with Him through faith in the working of God, who raised Him from the dead. 13 And you, being dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He has made alive together with Him, having forgiven you all trespasses, 14 having wiped out the handwriting of requirements that was against us, which was contrary to us. And He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross.

      4. Here is the fulfillment of the doctrine. It is supposed to be that the Baptism in the holy Spirit is also received at the time of water baptism. Unfortunately as we see in acts and today also this does not always occur because of churchy false understanding, teaching , ignorance or unbelief, So sometimes has to be a separate occurrence.

      Acts 2:38-42 Then Peter said to them, "Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39 For the promise is to you and to your children, and to all who are afar off, as many as the Lord our God will call."

      40 And with many other words he testified and exhorted them, saying, "Be saved from this perverse generation." 41 Then those who gladly received his word were baptized; and that day about three thousand souls were added to them.

    • celafoe profile image

      charlie 4 years ago from From Kingdom of God living on Planet earth. between the oceans

      1. this was under the old testament as Jesus had not yet been resurrected beginning the new testament so the doctrine was not yet in force.

      2. He is God he can do that but doesn't make it a doctrine, because He did it one time.

      3, the water baptism, contrary to "churchology" it is not a show, but it is where the circumcision of the hard heart of man (the circumcision not made with hands) is done, htereby allowing the person to receive the things of God that cannot be received by the natural man.

      Col 2:11-15 In Him you were also circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, by putting off the body of the sins of the flesh, by the circumcision of Christ, 12 buried with Him in baptism, in which you also were raised with Him through faith in the working of God, who raised Him from the dead. 13 And you, being dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He has made alive together with Him, having forgiven you all trespasses, 14 having wiped out the handwriting of requirements that was against us, which was contrary to us. And He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross.

    • glynch1 profile image
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      glynch1 4 years ago

      Jesus said that the thief on the cross would be with Him in Paradise that day. Was he baptized? No, baptism is not necessary; it only serves to show one's identification with Christ in His death, burial, and resurrection.

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      newenglandsun 4 years ago

      1 vote for baptism is essential for forgiveness. Hmmmm...