Skip to comments.Pivotal Chapter
Posted on 05/17/2005 8:51:51 AM PDT by TheTruthess
Without intending to demean any of God's Word, still, there appear to be several especially outstanding chapters in the Bible. A whole series of lectures or articles could easily be presented from such biblical narratives; doubtless Isaiah 2, Isaiah 53, Daniel 2, Joel 2, Proverbs 31, Acts 2 and Hebrews 11 deserve inclusion in a list of great chapters of the Bible. Chapters like the ones cited virtually jump off the pages, are filled to overflowing with activity or grasp the reader by the heart with piercing power.
Additionally, Acts Chapter Two is a pivotal chapter, center and critical to God's redemptive plan for humanity. Sometimes called the "hub of the Bible," around Acts Chapter Two revolves the truths on which Christianity depends for its existence. Without Acts Two, the Old Testament is reduced in a moment to mere vanity and the New Testament is only an empty mirage.
An overview of Acts Two unfolds the following themes: vss. 1-4, baptism in the Holy Spirit; vss. 5-11, biblical definition of 'speaking in tongues'; vs. 12, purpose of miracles; vs. 13, there will always be scoffers in spite of indisputable evidence; vss. 14-15, rebuttals to false accusations--defense of the truth; vss. 16-21, quotation of Old Testament Messianic prophecy and announcement of its fulfillment; vss. 22-36, explanation of Old Testament Messianic prophecy and its fulfillment in Jesus of Nazareth; vs. 37, the apparent faith and repentance of many souls among the multitude present then; vss. 38-39, terms of pardon declared and scope of the Gospel reiterated; vs. 40, further exhortation; vs. 41, about 3,000 Jews and proselytes obey the Gospel; vss. 42-46, dramatic change of life and alteration of conduct owing to conversion; and vs. 47, in consequence of the foregoing, Jesus Christ adds the saved to his church.
Striking observations from these verses include: (1) The 'birthday of the church' is chronicled in Acts Two; (2) Here appears the first recorded Gospel sermon; (3) A strong emphasis is found herein on Old Testament Scripture, especially relating to prophecy and fulfillment; (4) There is an equally strong emphasis in Acts Two upon Verbal communication of God's revelation to mankind (vss. 4, 6, 8, 11, 14, 22, 29, 37-38, 40), indicative of man's agency and definitive words employed by God in the proclamation of the Gospel; (5) Speaking in tongues was merely miracle-assisted preaching in the language of the people who comprised the audience; speaking in tongues occurs today through study of foreign languages instead of through the use of miracles (vss. 4-11); (6) Christianity is a knowledgeable religion (vs. 36); (7) Miracles served to authenticate new revelation, Jesus as Christ, and the miracle workers; (8) Christianity has a resurrected, living and powerful Savior; (9) The Gospel is for all men (cf. Acts 1:8; 2:39); (10) Only the apostles received the baptism of the Holy Spirit since the manifestation of this baptism was limited to Galilaeans (vs. 7; see also Acts 1:26-2:4); (11) True unity results from bonafide Christianity, which unity pervades all earthly activity (vss. 42-46); (12) The death of Christ, his subsequent resurrection and the establishment of the church was according to the eternal purpose of God (vs. 23); (13) Jesus was resurrected to sit on a throne; therefore, he is now reigning as King (vss. 30, 33-34); (14) Jesus is presently reigning, however temporarily--until the last enemy is conquered (vs. 35); (15) Mankind has a role in his own salvation (vss. 37-38, 40-41); and (16) The Acts Two converts practiced day-long-daily Christianity (vs. 46).
The chief jewel of Acts Two must derive from "this is that" regarding the fulfillment of Messianic prophecy pertaining to the establishment of the kingdom, through which salvation is afforded to mankind (vss. 16-21). Complementary to this is: (1) vs. 38a in which God's conditional redemptive plan is declared and (2) vss. 38b and 39 where others additional to the apostles in the first century were to share in miraculous power (vss. 17-18) and beneficiaries beyond the 3,000 can personally enjoy the redemptive quality of the Gospel.
Acts Chapter Two is replete with essential information which, though corroborated throughout the testaments, were other biblical references unavailable one could still learn numerous cardinal doctrines of Christianity. The treatment of Acts Two here has been a shallow demonstration compared to the bumper crop of discernible truths embedded in this passage. Acts Two promises an even greater yield of spiritual wealth for the careful and industrious Bible student.
I was teaching a High School class and trying to get them to realize how important the book of Acts is the Bible as a whole. I told them that Acts was the bridge of the new testament. The bridge between the gospels and the epistles. Without the book of Acts, one would leave the gospels and come to Romans and ask, "Who is this guy Paul and how is there a church in Rome?"