Acts chapter 2

English Standard Version

New International Version

New American Standard Bible

Christian Standard Bible

New Living Translation

King James Version

14But 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: 15For these are not drunken, as ye suppose, seeing it is but the third hour of the day. 16But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel; 17And 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: 18And on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy: 19And I will shew wonders in heaven above, and signs in the earth beneath; blood, and fire, and vapour of smoke: 20The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before that great and notable day of the Lord come: 21And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved. 22Ye men of Israel, hear these words; Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you by miracles and wonders and signs, which God did by him in the midst of you, as ye yourselves also know: 23Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain: 24Whom God hath raised up, having loosed the pains of death: because it was not possible that he should be holden of it. 25For David speaketh concerning him, I foresaw the Lord always before my face, for he is on my right hand, that I should not be moved: 26Therefore did my heart rejoice, and my tongue was glad; moreover also my flesh shall rest in hope: 27Because thou wilt not leave my soul in hell, neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption. 28Thou hast made known to me the ways of life; thou shalt make me full of joy with thy countenance. 29Men and brethren, let me freely speak unto you of the patriarch David, that he is both dead and buried, and his sepulchre is with us unto this day. 30Therefore being a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him, that of the fruit of his loins, according to the flesh, he would raise up Christ to sit on his throne; 31He seeing this before spake of the resurrection of Christ, that his soul was not left in hell, neither his flesh did see corruption. 32This Jesus hath God raised up, whereof we all are witnesses. 33Therefore being by the right hand of God exalted, and having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Ghost, he hath shed forth this, which ye now see and hear. 34For David is not ascended into the heavens: but he saith himself, The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand, 35Until I make thy foes thy footstool. 36Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ.

What does Acts chapter 2 mean?

Acts 2 presents the end of the age of the Mosaic law and the beginning of the church age. Ever since the Israelites escaped slavery in Egypt, God had dealt with His creation primarily through the law He gave Moses. As the Israelites abided by the law, God blessed them. When they broke the law, God judged them. Hundreds of years of history proved the Israelites were incapable of fully keeping the law. No one can be good enough to earn God's favor. God must bridge the gap caused by sin in order to bestow His forgiveness.

This is why He sent His Son, Jesus. With His crucifixion, burial, and resurrection, Jesus was the perfect, sinless sacrifice that can stand in that gap caused by sin. His death fulfilled the requirement that sin always brings death and granted an "imputed" sinlessness on whoever believes Him (John 3:16; 2 Corinthians 5:21). The Mosaic law has proven it cannot save, only Jesus can and will. Now it's time to spread that good news.

Jesus provided the way of salvation. Yet His incarnation and immediate presence—one individual in one geographical region with a three-year ministry—is not the best way to spread the news to the world. For that, God chooses to rely on Jesus' followers, but they will not be alone (John 16:7–11). The job is too big. He sends the Holy Spirit to dwell in each believer, equipping them for the job ahead. And so, as Jesus ascended into heaven, He told His followers to wait in Jerusalem for the Holy Spirit (Acts 1:4–11).

A little over a week after Jesus' ascension, about 120 Jesus-followers wait together in Jerusalem. Apparently without warning, the Holy Spirit fills the house with a sound like a great wind and lands on each believer, giving them the ability to speak different languages. Jerusalem is filled with visitors who have come to celebrate Pentecost. They hear the different dialects and are astounded—how did Galileans get this ability? Some are curious; others are dismissive (Acts 2:1–13).

Peter, ever the spokesman but now enlightened by the Holy Spirit, addresses the crowd. The prophet Joel prophesied this moment (Joel 2:28–32). This is the "last days" when God will pour out His Spirit. This is the time of prophecies and visions and dreams. Jesus of Nazareth is revealed as the Jewish Messiah they've been waiting for. His miracles attest to the truth. He fits David's prophecies (Psalm 16:8–11; 110:1). And these men standing with Peter are witnesses that Jesus died and rose again (Acts 2:14–36).

When the crowd realizes they are complicit in the murder of God's Messiah, their reaction is immediate. They follow Peter's guidance to repent of their sins, trust Jesus to forgive them, and agree to be baptized as a public admission of their new loyalty. In response to their faith, the Holy Spirit comes on them. In all, about three thousand make this commitment (Acts 2:37–41).

Many of the 120 who receive the Holy Spirit that morning have known each other for years, presumably some for their whole lives (Acts 1:12–15). By nightfall, about three thousand will join them. Many of the new believers have no real idea of who Jesus is beyond Peter's quick sermon. So the infant church provides what's needed: teaching about Jesus from the apostles, affirmation of the message through signs and wonders, community through joint meals, and a unity that extends even to personal property. In one day, the church is created (Acts 2:42–47).
What is the Gospel?
Download the app: