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 addressto the Jews. (14-36) Three thousand souls converted. (37-41) Thepiety and affection of the disciples. (42-47)1-4 We cannot forget how often, while their Master was withthem there were strifes among the disciples which should be thegreatest; but now all these strifes were at an end. They hadprayed more together of late. Would we have the Spirit pouredout upon us from on high, let us be all of one accord. Andnotwithstanding differences of sentiments and interests, asthere were among those disciples, let us agree to love oneanother; for where brethren dwell together in unity, there theLord commands his blessing. A rushing mighty wind came withgreat force. This was to signify the powerful influences andworking of the Spirit of God upon the minds of men, and therebyupon the world. Thus the convictions of the Spirit make way forhis comforts; and the rough blasts of that blessed wind, preparethe soul for its soft and gentle gales. There was an appearanceof something like flaming fire, lighting on every one of them,according to John Baptist's saying concerning Christ; He shallbaptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire. The Spirit, likefire, melts the heart, burns up the dross, and kindles pious anddevout affections in the soul; in which, as in the fire on thealtar, the spiritual sacrifices are offered up. They were allfilled with the Holy Ghost, more than before. They were filledwith the graces of the Spirit, and more than ever under hissanctifying influences; more weaned from this world, and betteracquainted with the other. They were more filled with thecomforts of the Spirit, rejoiced more than ever in the love ofChrist and the hope of heaven: in it all their griefs and fearswere swallowed up. They were filled with the gifts of the HolyGhost; they had miraculous powers for the furtherance of thegospel. They spake, not from previous though or meditation, butas the Spirit gave them utterance. 5-13 The difference in languages which arose at Babel, has muchhindered the spread of knowledge and religion. The instrumentswhom the Lord first employed in spreading the Christianreligion, could have made no progress without this gift, whichproved that their authority was from God. 14-21 Peter's sermon shows that he was thoroughly recoveredfrom his fall, and thoroughly restored to the Divine favour; forhe who had denied Christ, now boldly confessed him. His accountof the miraculous pouring forth of the Spirit, was designed toawaken the hearers to embrace the faith of Christ, and to jointhemselves to his church. It was the fulfilling the Scripture,and the fruit of Christ's resurrection and ascension, and proofof both. Though Peter was filled with the Holy Ghost, and spakewith tongues as the Spirit gave him utterance, yet he did notthink to set aside the Scriptures. Christ's scholars never learnabove their Bible; and the Spirit is given, not to do away theScriptures, but to enable us to understand, approve, and obeythem. Assuredly none will escape the condemnation of the greatday, except those who call upon the name of the Lord, in andthrough his Son Jesus Christ, as the Saviour of sinners, and theJudge of all mankind. 22-36 From this gift of the Holy Ghost, Peter preaches untothem Jesus: and here is the history of Christ. Here is anaccount of his death and sufferings, which they witnessed but afew weeks before. His death is considered as God's act; and ofwonderful grace and wisdom. Thus Divine justice must besatisfied, God and man brought together again, and Christhimself glorified, according to an eternal counsel, which couldnot be altered. And as the people's act; in them it was an actof awful sin and folly. Christ's resurrection did away thereproach of his death; Peter speaks largely upon this. Christwas God's Holy One, sanctified and set apart to his service inthe work of redemption. His death and sufferings should be, notto him only, but to all his, the entrance to a blessed life forevermore. This event had taken place as foretold, and theapostles were witnesses. Nor did the resurrection rest upon thisalone; Christ had poured upon his disciples the miraculous giftsand Divine influences, of which they witnessed the effects.Through the Saviour, the ways of life are made known; and we areencouraged to expect God's presence, and his favour forevermore. All this springs from assured belief that Jesus is theLord, and the anointed Saviour. 37-41 From the first delivery of that Divine message, itappeared that there was Divine power going with it; andthousands were brought to the obedience of faith. But neitherPeter's words, nor the miracle they witnessed, could haveproduced such effects, had not the Holy Spirit been given.Sinners, when their eyes are opened, cannot but be pricked tothe heart for sin, cannot but feel an inward uneasiness. Theapostle exhorted them to repent of their sins, and openly toavow their belief in Jesus as the Messiah, by being baptized inhis name. Thus professing their faith in Him, they would receiveremission of their sins, and partake of the gifts and graces ofthe Holy Spirit. To separate from wicked people, is the only wayto save ourselves from them. Those who repent of their sins, andgive up themselves to Jesus Christ, must prove their sincerityby breaking off from the wicked. We must save ourselves fromthem; which denotes avoiding them with dread and holy fear. ByGod's grace three thousand persons accepted the gospelinvitation. There can be no doubt that the gift of the HolyGhost, which they all received, and from which no true believerhas ever been shut out, was that Spirit of adoption, thatconverting, guiding, sanctifying grace, which is bestowed uponall the members of the family of our heavenly Father. Repentanceand remission of sins are still preached to the chief ofsinners, in the Redeemer's name; still the Holy Spirit seals theblessing on the believer's heart; still the encouraging promisesare to us and our children; and still the blessings are offeredto all that are afar off. 42-47 In these verses we have the history of the trulyprimitive church, of the first days of it; its state of infancyindeed, but, like that, the state of its greatest innocence.They kept close to holy ordinances, and abounded in piety anddevotion; for Christianity, when admitted in the power of it,will dispose the soul to communion with God in all those wayswherein he has appointed us to meet him, and has promised tomeet us. The greatness of the event raised them above the world,and the Holy Ghost filled them with such love, as made every oneto be to another as to himself, and so made all things common,not by destroying property, but doing away selfishness, andcausing charity. And God who moved them to it, knew that theywere quickly to be driven from their possessions in Judea. TheLord, from day to day, inclined the hearts of more to embracethe gospel; not merely professors, but such as were actuallybrought into a state of acceptance with God, being madepartakers of regenerating grace. Those whom God has designed foreternal salvation, shall be effectually brought to Christ, tillthe earth is filled with the knowledge of his glory.
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