Acts Chapter 3 Continued
Acts 3:13 “The God of Abraham, and of Isaac, and of Jacob, the God of our fathers, hath glorified his Son Jesus; whom ye delivered up, and denied him in the presence of Pilate, when he was determined to let [him] go.”
“The God of Abraham, and of Isaac, and of Jacob”: A description of God familiar to Peter’s Jewish audience (Exodus 3:6, 15; 1 Kings 18:36; 1 Chron. 29:18; 2 Chron. 30:6; Matt. 22:32). He used this formula, which stressed God’s covenant faithfulness, to demonstrate that he declared the same God and Messiah whom the prophets had proclaimed.
“His Son Jesus”: Peter depicted Jesus as God’s personal representative. This is an unusual New Testament title for Jesus, used only 4 other places (verse 26; 4:27, 30; Matt. 12:18), but a more familiar Old Testament name for Messiah (Isaiah 42:1-4, 19; 49:5-7; see notes on 52:13-53:12; Matt. 20:28; John 6:38; 8:28; 13:1-7).
“Pilate … determined to let him go”: Pontius Pilate, the Roman governor at Jesus’ trail, came from a national tradition that strongly supported justice (16:37-38; 22:25-29; 25:16).
He knew Jesus’ crucifixion would be unjust and therefore declared Him innocent 6 times (Luke 23:4, 14-15, 22; John 18:38; 19:4, 6), and repeatedly sought to release Him (Luke 23:13-22; see notes on John 19:12-13).
In the lesson just before this one, Peter and John had prayed and healed the lame man in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth. The mob ran to them, as if they had done this miraculous healing. Peter quickly told them that it was not his power, but God’s power.
Now in this verse above, Peter is specifically saying what God this is. He says, you say you worship the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and yet you rejected His Son (the Messiah), and you even insisted on Pilate crucifying Him, when Pilate wanted to release Him. This healing of the man lame from birth glorifies the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth.
Acts 3:14 “But ye denied the Holy One and the Just, and desired a murderer to be granted unto you;”
“The Holy One and the Just” (Psalm 16:10; Luke 4:34; John 6:39).
“Murderer”: Barabbas (Matt. 27:16-21; Mark 15:11; Luke 23:18; John 18:40).
Peter is giving them the terrible details of their total rejection of the Savior of the world, and insisting that Pilate let the murderer Barabbas go instead.
Acts 3:15 “And killed the Prince of life, whom God hath raised from the dead; whereof we are witnesses.”
“Killed … God hath raised … we are witnesses”: Peter’s confident and forceful declaration (1 Cor. 15:3-7), was a clear defense of and provided further evidence for Christ’s resurrection. Peter’s claim was undeniable; the Jews never showed any evidence, such as Jesus’ corpse to disprove it.
“Prince of life”: The Greek word for “prince” means originator, pioneer, or beginner of something. It describes Jesus as the Divine Originator of life (Psalm 36:9; Heb. 2:10; 12:2; 1 John 5:11, 20).
Peter is telling them here, that without Jesus there is no life. Jesus said in John:
John 14:6: “Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.”
Jesus is the Life. In Him we live, and breathe, and have our being. Peter, John, and about 500 other people were eyewitnesses that Jesus rose again.
Acts 3:16 “And his name through faith in his name hath made this man strong, whom ye see and know: yea, the faith which is by him hath given him this perfect soundness in the presence of you all.”
Again (in John 14:13), Jesus says: “And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.”
Peter explains that this great miracle done to the man who was lame from birth is because Peter and John activated the faith they had in the name of Jesus Christ, and that power healed this man. These onlookers here could not deny the miracle of the man walking who had been lame from birth. This is Christianity in action.
Acts 3:17 “And now, brethren, I wot that through ignorance ye did [it], as [did] also your rulers.”
Wot means I know. Here, we see some compassion on Peter’s part, because he had denied Jesus himself. He says; I know you did not realize who Jesus Christ was the same as the rulers in the church did not realize, or you would not have killed the King of all glory.
Acts 3:18 “But those things, which God before had shewed by the mouth of all his prophets, that Christ should suffer, he hath so fulfilled.”
“Shewed by the mouth of all his prophets” (Gen. 3:15; Psalm 22; Isa. 53; Zech. 12:10).
We see here, a little remorse even from Peter. He says, the prophets had told us in the Scriptures, we just didn’t see it. Even Christ had told them He would suffer, but they did not grasp what He was saying. Jesus fulfilled all the prophecies.
Verses 19-21: “Times of refreshing … times of restitution of all things”: “Times” or “period” means epoch, era, or season. Two descriptions are given to the coming era of the millennial kingdom. This is clear because they bracket the reference to Jesus Christ being sent from God to bring those times.
Peter points to Christ’s earthly reign (see notes on 1:7; Rom. 11:26). The period will be marked by all kinds of blessings and renewal (Isa. 11:6-10; 35:1-10; Ezek. 34:26; 44:3; Joel 2:26; Matt. 19:28; Rev. 19:1-10).
Acts 3:19 “Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord;”
“Repent … and be converted” (see notes on 2:38; Matt. 3:2). “Return” is a frequent New Testament word that relates to sinners turning to God (9:35; 14:15; 26:18, 20; Luke 1:16-17; 2 Cor. 3:16; 1 Pet. 2:25).
“Your sins … be blotted out” (Psalm 51:9; Isa. 43:25; 44:22). “Wiped away” compares forgiveness to the complete wiping away of ink from the surface of a document (Col. 2:14).
This is the first good news that they have heard. There is hope for them. They must repent of rejecting Jesus as their Savior. The most wonderful thing of all is that not only will their sins be covered over, but that they will be completely done away with (blotted out). All they have to do is repent and change from not believing in the name of Jesus to believing.
To repent is to change one’s mind completely. To be converted is to be saved. Without repentance and believing in the name of Jesus Christ, one cannot be saved. This change that takes place that makes a person a new creature in Christ is not a physical change, but a spiritual change.
A person who was born of the flesh after conversion is born of the spirit. This refreshing will come at the presence of the Lord.
Acts 3:20-21 “And he shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you:” “Whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began.”
Peter here, is telling them of the second coming of Christ. Jesus Christ will come in great power and glory.
Hebrews 7:25 “Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them.”
You see, Jesus did not stop working to help His followers when He went to sit at the right hand of the Father. He speaks on our behalf to the Father continuously.
Jesus promised His followers (in Hebrews 13:5; the last part): “I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.”
You may read of His coming with power and great glory (in Luke 21:27): “And then shall they see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory.”
Acts 3:22 “For Moses truly said unto the fathers, A prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you of your brethren, like unto me; him shall ye hear in all things whatsoever he shall say unto you.”
Quoted from (Deut. 18:15). Moses was revered by the Jews as their first and greatest prophet, and the Jews viewed the prophet “like him” to refer to the Messiah.
We see here, Peter explaining exactly which of the prophets (Moses), has spoken in their Bible that their Messiah would be of their brethren.
You see, even John the Baptist sent word to Jesus and asked if He were that Prophet that Moses had prophesied would come. That Prophet was Jesus Christ their Messiah. This prophecy included the fact that they must hear and believe Messiah.
Acts 3:23 “And it shall come to pass, [that] every soul, which will not hear that prophet, shall be destroyed from among the people.”
Quoted from (Deut. 18:19; Lev. 23:29). Peter’s audience was in the precarious position of losing covenant blessings by rejecting the Messiah.
Peter is giving them the bottom line of salvation here. There is only one way to heaven and it is Jesus Christ. Those who reject Jesus as their Savior are lost. As far as God is concerned, there are only two kinds of people in the world: those who believe in Jesus as their Savior and those who don’t. Those who do not believe in Jesus will spend an eternity in hell.
Acts 3:24 “Yea, and all the prophets from Samuel and those that follow after, as many as have spoken, have likewise foretold of these days.”
Prophets … from Samuel”: Samuel was called a prophet in the Old Testament (1 Sam. 3:20). Although he did not directly prophesy about Christ, he did anoint David as king and speak of his kingdom (1 Sam. 13:14; 15:28; 16:13; 28:17), and the promises David received were and will be fulfilled in Christ (2 Sam. 7:10-16).
Just about every Old Testament Book tells of the coming of the Lord to die on the cross and save His people. The Old Testament is full of not only the coming of Jesus as Savior, but also of His return to earth as King of kings and Lord of lords.
Acts 3:25 “Ye are the children of the prophets, and of the covenant which God made with our fathers, saying unto Abraham, And in thy seed shall all the kindreds of the earth be blessed.”
“In thy seed” (quoted from Gen. 22:18; 26:4). Jesus Christ was the ultimate fulfillment of the Abrahamic Covenant and its blessings (Gal. 3:16), which are still available to the Jews.
All believers in the Lord Jesus Christ are the spiritual seed of Abraham who was found worthy of God, because he believed.
Galatians 3:29 says: “And if ye [be] Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.”
These people Peter was speaking to here, were the physical descendants of Abraham. If they accept Jesus as their Savior, they will be the spiritual descendants.
Acts 3:26 “Unto you first God, having raised up his Son Jesus, sent him to bless you, in turning away every one of you from his iniquities.”
“God, having raised up” (see note on 2:32).
“His Son” (see note on verse 13).
Peter reminds them here, that Jesus offered salvation to the Jew first and then to the Gentiles. The Lord only turned to the Gentiles, after the Jews refused to believe in Him.
Romans 11:11: “I say then, Have they stumbled that they should fall God forbid: but rather through their fall salvation is come unto the Gentiles, for to provoke them to jealousy.”
This is speaking of the Jews stumbling, so that the Gentiles might receive the Lord also.
Acts Chapter 3 Continued Questions
1. In verse 13, whose God did Peter tell them was Jesus’ Father?
2. Who believed Jesus and did not want to crucify Him?
3. By what two names is Jesus called in verse 14?
4. Who had these Jews preferred over Jesus?
5. In verse 15, Jesus is called whom?
6. What had Peter and John been witness of?
7. In chapter 14 verse 6, what does Jesus call Himself?
8. Approximately, how many people had seen Jesus alive after the resurrection?
9. What does Peter say was the power in the healing of the lame man?
10. What is Christianity in action?
11. What does wot mean?
12. Through their ______________, they had doubted.
13. By whom had God told of Jesus’ suffering?
14. What is the wonderful promise made that will happen when you repent and are converted?
15. What must these Jews repent of?
16. Without ______________and _______________in the name of Jesus Christ, one cannot be saved.
17, Becoming a new creature in Christ is what kind of change?
18. When will Jesus return to the earth?
19. When Jesus returns, it will be in great ________________and _____________.
20. What promise did Jesus make to all of His followers in Hebrews 13:5?
21. In Luke 21:27, how will Jesus come?
22. Which Old Testament prophet said there would be a Prophet raised up from the people?
23. Who asked if Jesus was that Prophet?
24. What will happen to those who do not believe this Prophet?
25. Which Old Testament prophet was mentioned in verse 24?
26. Through whose seed would all the kindreds of the earth be blessed?
27. What does Galatians 3:29 tell us of the spiritual descendants of this man?
28. Who was Jesus sent to first?
29. In Romans 11:11, what is said about the Jew and Gentile?