June 15, 2015
From the desk of Dr. A.J. Higgins
Five things God did for His Son
“A Man approved of God … being delivered …
God hath raised … God exalted … made both Lord and Christ”
Acts 2:22, 23, 24, 33, 36.
Acts 2 is one of the seven great sermons of the books of the Acts. Peter, along with the eleven, stood forth and boldly proclaimed the gospel of Christ to the very same audience that had nailed their Lord to the cross.
With clarity, brevity, and an accuracy which penetrated conscience and heart, he pressed upon them the reality of their crime and the possibility of forgiveness and salvation. His message summarized the life of the Lord Jesus, highlighting five major issues.
He was a Man approved of God by the signs and works which He did (v 22). No voice could be raised denying the fruit of that one unique life lived “in the midst” of them. No other life had so pleased God and been marked out by God.
And yet, despite the fact of the infinite pleasure which that had brought to God, Peter reminds them that He had been delivered by God for the great work of redemption (v 23). This did not lessen their responsibility in having taken Him and crucified Him (v 23). Yet in mercy, Peter is showing them that despite their evil act, God had divine purposes from before the very foundation of the world.
To the facts thus far stated, Peter added, “Whom God hath raised up” (v 24). It was impossible for death to keep Him. Still more is added when he tells them that God has exalted Him (v 33) to His own right hand – a place of honor and acceptance. God had reversed their verdict on His Son and given the highest place to the One to whom they gave the lowest.
As if to add the capstone to all that God had done, he adds that God has made “that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ” (v 36). He eternally was Lord. But resurrection manifested that He was indeed God’s Messiah and that He is Lord of all.
But this vindication of His Son, this reversal of earth’s verdict, this display of the crime of humanity against their God was not to rain condemnation upon the nation. His message, revealing their awful mistake and blindness, ended with a gracious invitation to receive forgiveness from this very same God: “Repent … in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins … the promise is to you … as the Lord our God shall call” (vv 38, 39). What grace that God would call the very men who nailed His Son to a tree! What grace that He should call us!
- Why would Peter begin his sermon with the words, “Jesus of Nazareth?” Why stress Nazareth?
- “The determinate counsel” of God. This would mean the counsel of the Godhead. Father, Son, and Spirit were involved in this counsel. The Son not only accepted the responsibility of coming to fulfill the work of salvation, He was in agreement with every detail and actually arranged it all in eternal counsels.
- Take note of the places where Psalm 16 is cited in the N. T.