James Gray - Concise Bible Commentary
Now Peter and John went up together into the temple at the hour of prayer, being the ninth hour.Acts 3:1-4:30
THE KINGDOM OFFER RENEWED
The disciples are still in Jerusalem, and the preaching is still limited to Jewish hearers. In a sense we are still on Old Testament ground. An illustration of this is found in the previous lesson, for example, in Acts 2:38 to “repent and be baptized” was essential “for the remission of sins” and to “receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.” But this is no longer so when the Gentiles are approached (Acts 10:44-48). The Jews who had openly rejected Jesus must openly accept Him in order to receive the blessing, but with the others grace deals in a different way. That is not to say that repentance and baptism are not necessary; repentance is always involved in saving faith; but baptism now follows the gift of the Spirit as a sign of it, rather than precedes it as a condition.
As a further illustration of Old Testament conditions the disciples are still worshipping in the Temple (Acts 3:1), at one of whose gates this miracle occurs in the Name of the rejected and now risen One (Acts 3:2-11). It is Peter’s discourse in this case that justifies the title of this lesson, especially verses 19-26. This work had not been wrought in the names of the apostles but in Christ’s Name, Whom they had crucified (Acts 3:12-16). This fulfilled prophecy (Acts 3:17-18). Let them now repent that the Lord may “send the Messiah who hath been appointed for you” (Acts 3:20 RV). The inference from all this to the end of the chapter is that had they as a nation repented, the Messiah would have returned at that time to set up His kingdom in Israel.
But the opposite took place as indicated in the next chapter, the facts of which are (1) the arrest of Peter and John (Acts 4:1-3); (2) their defense (Acts 4:5-12); (3) their threatening and their deliverance (Acts 4:13-22); and (4) their return “to their own company” with the spiritual quickening that followed (Acts 4:23-30).
1. What is to be remembered in the study of this part of the Acts?
2. Give an illustration of this from the preceding chapter.
3. Also from this lesson.
4. What justifies the title of this lesson?
5. What inference is deducible from this?