Acts 2 holds one of the clearest and most detailed explanations of water baptism in the New Testament. It’s the first time in history we see Christian baptism occur. As we know from our previous podcasts, theologians go to great lengths to explain why this passage of scripture is not about water baptism by parsing prepositions and verifying verbs. But, I think the passage is pretty easy to understand and completely uncomplicated. There is no need to dive into Greek linguistics and confusing explanations. Just read the passage with the heart of a child and it will all make sense.
So, what’s the context of our Acts passage? Peter is preaching the very first Gospel message. He is filled with the Holy Spirit and is quite bold! His audience is thousands of Jewish pilgrims gathered in Jerusalem for the feast of Pentecost, which is just 50 days after the crucifixion of Jesus Christ.
Peter presents a great deal of information about Jesus and explains all about the Messiah by offering proofs from the Old Testament scriptures. At the end of his sermon, in verse 36 he places the guilt and the blame of killing the promised Messiah, squarely on the shoulders of the onlookers. Let’s tune in and listen as he concludes his sermon.
The First Baptisms Ever
Therefore let all Israel be assured of this: God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ.”
When the people heard this, they were cut to the heart and said to Peter and the other apostles, “Brothers, what shall we do?”
Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off–for all whom the Lord our God will call.”
With many other words he warned them; and he pleaded with them, “Save yourselves from this corrupt generation.”
Those who accepted his message were baptized, and about three thousand were added to their number that day.“
Peter tells these people, “You killed the Christ!” Now, let’s stop right here. Isn’t that a little presumptuous of Peter? After all, many of these folks were not even in Jerusalem 50 days earlier and even if they were, probably none of them had anything to do with the execution of Jesus. In fact, the argument could be made that it was the Romans who actually killed the Christ. What’s going on here?
Some clues are found in what happens next.Continue reading “043 – Acts 2:38”