THE THREE THOUSAND OF ACTS 2: WHEN WERE THEY BORN OF WATER AND SPIRIT?

 

 When were the 3,000 of Acts 2 (a) born of water (b) born of the Spirit (c) washed in the blood?

(1) ACTS 2:5. These were Jews, included in the class of men “dwelling in Jerusalem,” and coming from “every nation under heaven” (ACTS 2:9-11); they were devout men (ἄνδρες εὐλαβεῖς, ANDRES EULABEIS, men who are pious, religiously circumspect [Strong’s].  ἄνδρες εὐλαβεῖς “could refer to Jewish pilgrims who had come to the Feast… or to the Jews from the Diaspora who had moved to Jerusalem and were now permanent residents” [Rogers & Rogers, 231]). Robertson says “the lists in ACTS 2:9-11 are not linguistic, but geographical and merely illustrate how widespread the Dispersion (Diaspora) of the Jews was as represented on this occasion” (Robertson’s Word Pictures). Quoting one author, he notes four main divisions here: (I) The Eastern or Babylonian, like the Parthians, Medes, Elamites,  and Mesopotamians. (2) The Syrian like Judea, Cappadocia, Pontus, Asia, Phrygia, and Pamphylia. (3) The Egyptian like Egypt, Libya, and Cyrene. (4) The Roman (Ibid.).

(1.a) ACTS 2:6. Their reaction to the good news “which was noised abroad” (literally, “when this sound happened” [Alfred Marshall]) in various tongues was one of confoundedness  (συνεχύθη, SUNECHUTHE, aorist indicative passive, they were perplexed, confounded, confused, astonished, bewildered). Their confoundedness had a reason: Every man among them heard these baptized believers speak in his own language, in the tongue he was born and grew up with (cf. 2:8)!

(1.b) ACTS 2:7. Their other reaction was one of amazement (EXISTANTO, they were amazed, imperfect middle of EXISTĒMI, to stand out of themselves, meaning a wide-open astonishment [Robertson’s Word Pictures]).

(1.c) Their further reaction was one of marvel (ETHAUMAZON, they marveled, imperfect active. The imperfect speaks of an action continuing in the past. The wonder grew and grew! [Robertson’s Word Pictures]).

(1.d) That amazement and marvel showed itself in their statement, “Behold, are not all these Galileans?”

(1.e) “The Galileans spoke a rude Aramaic [MARK 14:70] and probably crude Greek vernacular also. They were not strong on language and yet these are the very people who now show such remarkable linguistic powers” (Robertson’s Word Pictures).

(1.f) ACTS 2:12. While many were indeed amazed and perplexed (DIĒPOROUNTO, they were perplexed, imperfect middle of DIAPOREŌ, to be wholly at a loss, an old verb used only in Luke and Acts. They continued  to be amazed, EXISTANTO,  and puzzled [Robertson’s]), yet there were also mockers among them (2:13).

(1.g) Those who were serious in the business of listening heard the gospel preached in its fullness: Jesus’ authority as attested by God through the miracles which He performed of which many among the Jews too had knowledge (2:22; cf. v. 36), His death at the hands of wicked and lawless men (2:23), His resurrection (2:24), His kingship in the kingdom they had been waiting for (2:25, 30, 34), and His exaltation (2:33-36).

(1.h) They who listened did so intently and realized their sins (2:36-37) and asked for relief for their troubled conscience and for the refreshing of their sinful souls (2:37).

(2) Peter led the opening of the kingdom, using the keys the Lord provided, and prescribed the cure for their sins. See below:

ACTS 2:38  And Peter said unto them, Repent ye (METANOĒSATE. First aorist ingressive active imperative.  Active, since it is the subject, “ye, you” (plural) who would do it. While the aorist pictures the action as a summary occurrence, in the ingressive sense it expresses the beginning of the action (“start doing it”) or the entrance into the state (“get into it”).  Imperative, since it is a command: “Change your mind and your life. Turn right about and do it now. You crucified this Jesus. Now crown him in your hearts as Lord and Christ. This is first” [Robertson’s])

(More can be learned about the aorist by clicking this link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aorist_(Ancient_Greek).

and be baptized every one of you (KAI BAPTISTHĒTŌ HEKASTOS HŪMŌN. “And let each one of you be baptized,” “be immersed,” “be dipped”)

in the name of Jesus Christ (EN TŌI ONOMATI IĒSOU CHRISTOU, in accordance with the authority or command of Jesus in Matthew 28:19)

unto (εἰς, EIS, “with a view to” [Alfred Marshall])

the remission (ἄφεσιν, APHESIN, remission). ISBE defines remission as “exemption from the consequences of an offense, forgiveness”;  and adds, “sins are remitted when the offender is treated as though the offense had never been committed.”

of your sins (ἁμαρτιῶν, HAMARTION, from the Greek  noun HAMARTIA, “missing the mark”);

and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit (TĒN DŌREAN TOU HAGIOU PNEUMATOS. Scholars believe that this is a case of genitive of identification, so they understand this phrase to mean “the gift which is the Holy Spirit” and ACTS 8:17 is used as proof [see Robertson’s Word Pictures]).

(3) I am inclined to believe that the law of salvation and admission into the kingdom began to be enforced in the time of ACTS 2. MATTHEW 28:18-20, MARK 16:15-16 and LUKE 24:46-47 demand that the world be made disciples of Jesus by the preaching of the gospel of His death, burial and resurrection, and such gospel was preached to many Jews who came from many places, to Jerusalem on Pentecost.

(3.a) The Mark passage demands faith; Acts 2 passage demands repentance; and all three demand that the subjects be baptized. These who obeyed Him underwent a rebirth, both of water and Spirit when they rose from the watery grave of baptism. That happened in ACTS 2.

(3.b) Were their sins washed away? Yes.

(3.c) ACTS 2:47 says those that were being saved were added to the church (KJV passage is used here). The church is the kingdom of God’s dear son (COLOSSIANS 1:13).

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