Pisidian Antioch: Paul's Sermon & the Reaction: Part 2, Section 1 of 4

by John Lowe
(Laurens, SC)

September 30, 2014


Acts of the Apostles


Part 1: verses 14-31
Part 2: verses 32-37
Part 3: verses 38-41
Part 4: verses 42-52


PART 2: VERSES 32-37


Scripture (Acts 13:32-37; KJV)

32 And we declare unto you glad tidings, how that the promise which was made unto the fathers,
33 God hath fulfilled the same unto us their children, in that he hath raised up Jesus again; as it is also written in the second psalm, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee.
34 And as concerning that he raised him up from the dead, now no more to return to corruption, he said on this wise, I will give you the sure mercies of David.
35 Wherefore he saith also in another psalm, Thou shalt not suffer thine Holy One to see corruption.
36 For David, after he had served his own generation by the will of God, fell on sleep, and was laid unto his fathers, and saw corruption:
37 But he, whom God raised again, saw no corruption.


Commentary

32 And we declare unto you glad tidings, how that the promise which was made unto the fathers,

And we
“And we”—probably Paul and Barnabas.

Declare unto you glad tidings
“Declare unto you glad tidings”—The whole Gospel, which has to do with the incarnation, obedience, sufferings, death, and resurrection of Christ, and the benefits arising from them, such as peace, pardon, righteousness, life, and salvation; all which are good news and “glad tidings” to perceptive sinners; and which are declared and made known by the ministers of the Gospel, according to the commission they were given by God—such as that which Paul and Barnabas had received. They preached the Gospel, the “glad tidings.” To a Jew, nothing could be more gratifying news than that the Messiah had come; to a sinner convinced of his sins, nothing can be more comforting and encouraging than to hear of a Saviour. The Jew, only had “the promise which was made unto the fathers”; but today, we have the “glad tidings,” the good news from heaven that our salvation from sin and hell is available from Christ; who has fulfilled the promise made to their fathers; because He has raised up Jesus, just as it was written in the second Psalm, “You are My Son, this day have I begotten you” (Psalms 2:7).

How that the promise which was made unto the fathers,
“The promise” refers here to all that had been written in the Old Testament about the coming of Christ into the world, and His sufferings, death, and resurrection; but not only that, for it included His mission, the manifestation of His likeness in human beings, His personification as Jesus, the work He was to do, namely, to obtain salvation for His people; but, it primarily regards the promise of His coming into the world to do the will of God, which was made to Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Judah—“And in your seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; because you have obeyed my voice” (Genesis 22:18)—and exemplified by many deliverances, especially from Egypt and Babylon. The death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ is the fulfillment of the promise made to the fathers. Notice that the promise that the apostles mention is not the land promise in the Old Testament.


33 God hath fulfilled the same unto us their children, in that he hath raised up Jesus again; as it is also written in the second psalm, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee.

God hath fulfilled
“God hath fulfilled” ”the promise which was made unto the fathers” (v. 32) by the resurrection of Jesus. He does not say that every part of the promise had to do with His resurrection, but His being raised from the dead completed the fulfillment of the promises which had been made concerning Him. The “glad tidings” (v. 32) are about the promise, and the precise message which is the cause for gladness is contained in the announcement that the promise has been fulfilled.

The same unto us their children
God hath fulfilled “the same unto us their children.” By this sentence is meant Paul and Barnabas, and the Jews in the synagogue, whose ancestors were the first to receive the promise mentioned immediately above. Some manuscripts (the better ones) have “the same unto our children,” which may have been changed in order to obtain what seemed to be a more natural meaning; but this greatly weakens the language, for what the audience whom St Paul addressed would desire was a fulfillment for themselves. Their children would inherit what they received, but a promise to be fulfilled to their children would not excite them as much as one in which they themselves would share. The Apostle Paul’s language, however, is just an echo of St. Peter’s—“For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call,” in Acts 2:39.

In that he hath raised up Jesus again
Some say that “In that he hath raised up Jesus again,” should not be understood as relating to His resurrection from the dead, since the promise made to the Jewish fathers, and now fulfilled in Christ, does not in any respect refer to that; but it concerns His being raised up, and sent forth into the world, to be a Saviour and Redeemer, and to sit upon the throne of David, as said in Acts 2:30—“Therefore 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.” The thought here, as well as the clause before us, is not the resurrection of Christ, but of raising Him up to regal dignity, as the only begotten Son of God, and the Savior of sinners. This idea is supported by the fact that the resurrection of the dead is spoken of in the next verse, as distinct from this.

On the other hand, many (probably most) translators take this clause “raised up Jesus again” to be about the resurrection of our Savior; and this idea is supported by the context; for the resurrection of Christ is put forward by the Apostle Paul in Acts 13:30 as his theme or argument to preach upon—“But God raised him from the dead” (Acts 13:30). There can be no reasonable doubt that “raised up,” means here, as in verse 44, raised from the dead, which we presume they were anxiously expecting. This is an essential part of the Apostle’s argument—the resurrection of Jesus— since it is a proof that He was the Messiah. He was also the first-begotten from the dead, the firstfruits of them that slept.

Which is it—you decide—but I prefer the latter.

As it is also written in the second psalm
In many manuscripts "the first Psalm,” or what we call the first, was regarded by the ancient Jews as only an introduction to the Psalter, which was considered, to begin with the second psalm. Some even regarded the first and second psalms as one psalm. It is evident that this psalm belongs to the Messiah:
(1) From the mention made of Him in Psalm 2:2; the mad counsel, and vain attempts of the kings of the earth against him.
(2) From God's decree and resolution to make and declare Him King of Zion in Psalm 2:6, in spite of all their efforts against Him.
(3) From his asking and having the Gentiles, and uttermost parts of the earth for his inheritance in Psalm 2:8, which is true of no one else.
(4) From that reverence, worship, and adoration, which are to be given to Him, and that trust and confidence to be placed in Him, according to Psalm 2:10 which can by no means be meant of David or any mere creature whatsoever.
(5) And from Psalm 2:7 which is cited in the two phrases that follow. What is said there is not applicable even to angels—“For unto which of the angels said he at any time, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee? And again, I will be to him a Father, and he shall be to me a Son?” (Hebrews 1:5)—much less to David, or any mere man.

The whole psalm was interpreted by the ancient Jews to point to the Messiah, which was the opinion of some of their better professors. The resurrection is so very important, because if Christ had remained dead, He would not have been the true Son of God, neither would the covenant which was made with David have been sure.

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