Acts 2

* The descent of the Holy Spirit at the day of Pentecost. (1-4)

The apostles speak in divers languages. (5-13) Peter's address

to the Jews. (14-36) Three thousand souls converted. (37-41) The

piety and affection of the disciples. (42-47)

1-4 We cannot forget how often, while their Master was with

them there were strifes among the disciples which should be the

greatest; but now all these strifes were at an end. They had

prayed more together of late. Would we have the Spirit poured

out upon us from on high, let us be all of one accord. And

notwithstanding differences of sentiments and interests, as

there were among those disciples, let us agree to love one

another; for where brethren dwell together in unity, there the

Lord commands his blessing. A rushing mighty wind came with

great force. This was to signify the powerful influences and

working of the Spirit of God upon the minds of men, and thereby

upon the world. Thus the convictions of the Spirit make way for

his comforts; and the rough blasts of that blessed wind, prepare

the soul for its soft and gentle gales. There was an appearance

of something like flaming fire, lighting on every one of them,

according to John Baptist's saying concerning Christ; He shall

baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire. The Spirit, like

fire, melts the heart, burns up the dross, and kindles pious and

devout affections in the soul; in which, as in the fire on the

altar, the spiritual sacrifices are offered up. They were all

filled with the Holy Ghost, more than before. They were filled

with the graces of the Spirit, and more than ever under his

sanctifying influences; more weaned from this world, and better

acquainted with the other. They were more filled with the

comforts of the Spirit, rejoiced more than ever in the love of

Christ and the hope of heaven: in it all their griefs and fears

were swallowed up. They were filled with the gifts of the Holy

Ghost; they had miraculous powers for the furtherance of the

gospel. They spake, not from previous though or meditation, but

as the Spirit gave them utterance.
5-13 The difference in languages which arose at Babel, has much

hindered the spread of knowledge and religion. The instruments

whom the Lord first employed in spreading the Christian

religion, could have made no progress without this gift, which

proved that their authority was from God.
14-21 Peter's sermon shows that he was thoroughly recovered

from his fall, and thoroughly restored to the Divine favour; for

he who had denied Christ, now boldly confessed him. His account

of the miraculous pouring forth of the Spirit, was designed to

awaken the hearers to embrace the faith of Christ, and to join

themselves to his church. It was the fulfilling the Scripture,

and the fruit of Christ's resurrection and ascension, and proof

of both. Though Peter was filled with the Holy Ghost, and spake

with tongues as the Spirit gave him utterance, yet he did not

think to set aside the Scriptures. Christ's scholars never learn

above their Bible; and the Spirit is given, not to do away the

Scriptures, but to enable us to understand, approve, and obey

them. Assuredly none will escape the condemnation of the great

day, except those who call upon the name of the Lord, in and

through his Son Jesus Christ, as the Saviour of sinners, and the

Judge of all mankind.
22-36 From this gift of the Holy Ghost, Peter preaches unto

them Jesus: and here is the history of Christ. Here is an

account of his death and sufferings, which they witnessed but a

few weeks before. His death is considered as God's act; and of

wonderful grace and wisdom. Thus Divine justice must be

satisfied, God and man brought together again, and Christ

himself glorified, according to an eternal counsel, which could

not be altered. And as the people's act; in them it was an act

of awful sin and folly. Christ's resurrection did away the

reproach of his death; Peter speaks largely upon this. Christ

was God's Holy One, sanctified and set apart to his service in

the work of redemption. His death and sufferings should be, not

to him only, but to all his, the entrance to a blessed life for

evermore. This event had taken place as foretold, and the

apostles were witnesses. Nor did the resurrection rest upon this

alone; Christ had poured upon his disciples the miraculous gifts

and Divine influences, of which they witnessed the effects.

Through the Saviour, the ways of life are made known; and we are

encouraged to expect God's presence, and his favour for

evermore. All this springs from assured belief that Jesus is the

Lord, and the anointed Saviour.
37-41 From the first delivery of that Divine message, it

appeared that there was Divine power going with it; and

thousands were brought to the obedience of faith. But neither

Peter's words, nor the miracle they witnessed, could have

produced such effects, had not the Holy Spirit been given.

Sinners, when their eyes are opened, cannot but be pricked to

the heart for sin, cannot but feel an inward uneasiness. The

apostle exhorted them to repent of their sins, and openly to

avow their belief in Jesus as the Messiah, by being baptized in

his name. Thus professing their faith in Him, they would receive

remission of their sins, and partake of the gifts and graces of

the Holy Spirit. To separate from wicked people, is the only way

to save ourselves from them. Those who repent of their sins, and

give up themselves to Jesus Christ, must prove their sincerity

by breaking off from the wicked. We must save ourselves from

them; which denotes avoiding them with dread and holy fear. By

God's grace three thousand persons accepted the gospel

invitation. There can be no doubt that the gift of the Holy

Ghost, which they all received, and from which no true believer

has ever been shut out, was that Spirit of adoption, that

converting, guiding, sanctifying grace, which is bestowed upon

all the members of the family of our heavenly Father. Repentance

and remission of sins are still preached to the chief of

sinners, in the Redeemer's name; still the Holy Spirit seals the

blessing on the believer's heart; still the encouraging promises

are to us and our children; and still the blessings are offered

to all that are afar off.
42-47 In these verses we have the history of the truly

primitive church, of the first days of it; its state of infancy

indeed, but, like that, the state of its greatest innocence.

They kept close to holy ordinances, and abounded in piety and

devotion; for Christianity, when admitted in the power of it,

will dispose the soul to communion with God in all those ways

wherein he has appointed us to meet him, and has promised to

meet us. The greatness of the event raised them above the world,

and the Holy Ghost filled them with such love, as made every one

to be to another as to himself, and so made all things common,

not by destroying property, but doing away selfishness, and

causing charity. And God who moved them to it, knew that they

were quickly to be driven from their possessions in Judea. The

Lord, from day to day, inclined the hearts of more to embrace

the gospel; not merely professors, but such as were actually

brought into a state of acceptance with God, being made

partakers of regenerating grace. Those whom God has designed for

eternal salvation, shall be effectually brought to Christ, till

the earth is filled with the knowledge of his glory.
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