Acts Chapter Two (NIV)
Acts Chapter Two (NASB)
Verses 1-13: Jesus' promise to send the Holy Spirit is fulfilled. Luke gives us a description of the coming of the Spirit, along with a summary of the reaction of onlookers.
Verses 14-41: Empowered by the Holy Spirit, Peter delivers a sermon, after which around 3,000 people commit their lives to the Lord Jesus Christ.
Verses 42-47: Description of life in the early Christian community.
II. KEY PASSAGES
(A) Acts 2:5--"Now there were dwelling in Jerusalem Jews, devout men from every nation under heaven." God's plan for the initial spread of the Gospel was brilliant. In the Old Testament, God called the Jews to assemble in Jerusalem for the great feasts. Two of these great feasts were the Passover Feast and Pentecost. Israel was conquered repeatedly over the centuries, and Jewish communities were scattered across the globe. Devout Jews would return to Jerusalem as much as possible for the feasts.
Jesus was crucified during the Passover Feast, when Jerusalem would have been filled with Jews from many nations. I don't think it's a coincidence that the Holy Spirit came during the next great feast, when the city would have again been filled with Jews from around the world. In Matthew 28:19, Jesus commanded His followers to make disciples of all nations. Due to the situation in Israel, and the timing of events, Peter was able to make disciples of many nations at his first sermon! (Note: We're modeling our ministry after the Book of Acts. Anyone care to guess why we think it's important to go to large festivals?)
(B) Acts 2:22-23, 32--Notice Peter's constant appeal to evidence. He points to Jesus' miracles (and notes that his listeners knew about them), and to His public execution, and he adds that he and the other disciples are witness of the risen Lord. Moreover, throughout the passage, Peter draws attention to Old Testament prophecies.
(C) Acts 2:33--This is an excellent Trinitarian verse, with Father, Son, and Holy Spirit fulfilling Their roles. Notice that Jesus is the one who pours out the Holy Spirit. This is confirmation of Jesus' words in John 15:26, where Jesus said He would send the Spirit from the Father. (Note to Muslims: What mere prophet can say that he sends the Spirit of God?)
(D) Acts 2:44-45--The early Christian community had "all things in common." Since those who converted while visiting Jerusalem for the feast decided to remain in the city to learn from the Apostles, there was a tremendous need for the early Christian community to support one another. This was compounded by the fact that many converts would be ostracized by their families and communities, and would need a new family and a new community. The closest parallel today would be Muslims who give their lives to Jesus and must be loved, supported, and defended by their new families.