Don’t Keep it to Yourself

14 But Peter, standing up with the eleven, lifted up his voice, and said unto them, Ye men of Judaea, and all ye that dwell at Jerusalem, be this known unto you, and hearken to my words: 15 For these are not drunken, as ye suppose, seeing it is but the third hour of the day. 16 But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel; 17 And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams: 18 And on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy: [1]

Peter had heard enough.  There was a time in the not too distant past when Peter would have disappeared into the crowd and denied being aligned with these Jesus freaks, but not this day.  Today, he was filled to overflowing with the Holy Spirit whom God the Father had given, that his children might give testimony to the fact the Jesus, the Son of God was risen from the dead.

That is exactly what Peter did.  He not only let the crowd know that these men were not drunk, but he let them know why they were lifting up their voices in such a loud way and prophesying and proclaiming the gospel for all to hear.  It was a fulfillment of what the prophet Joel had said would happen years earlier.  Something big was happening in the world and Peter let them know that this was bigger than all of them.  Furthermore, he intimated that this was just the beginning and that there was more to come by saying “in those days.”

The worldwide intent of the Gospel was shown at Pentecost in the earlier “roll call of nations” (vv. 9–11). Of course, it was a question of only Jews and Jewish proselytes at this point, but they were Jews who had been spread abroad and represented “every nation under heaven” (v. 5).

Already the national barrier had been overcome. The racial barriers would be overcome, and the gospel would be shared with “every people group (ethnos) under heaven.” Pentecost foreshadowed the worldwide mission. Also, this outpouring of the Spirit has eschatological (things pertaining to the end) significance. It inaugurated the final period in God’s plan of salvation. He acted decisively and definitely in Jesus Christ to create a people for his own. The Spirit is the sign of these final times. This central emphasis comprised a major part of Peter’s sermon which we shall look at tomorrow.

There are people today that feel that your belief system is something private and should not be for public consumption.  “Keep your religion to yourself,” is what one sometimes hears.  I would submit that when something this magnanimous occurs, it requires words of explanation.  This doesn’t mean you indiscriminately yell out religious stuff in an obnoxious way, it just means you have the boldness to give an explanation as to why you believe in the resurrection of Jesus Christ.  Someone once said, “Preach the gospel by all means; if necessary use words.”  Let’s join Peter’s attitude by proclaiming the Gospel with our lives and words.

[1] The Holy Bible: King James Version. (2009). (Electronic Edition of the 1900 Authorized Version., Ac 2:14–18). Bellingham, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.

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