The Hub Of The Bible

W. Terry Varner
March 16, 2014

Years ago the late James D. Bales wrote a book titled, The Hub of the Bible. It was a book entirely on Acts 2. The subject discusses the biblical doctrine of conversion. If men understand Acts 2 they will understand much of the remaining message of the Bible.

The setting. “When the day of Pentecost had fully come” (Acts 2:1). Pentecost was a Jewish feast occurring 50 days following the Feast of the Passover. All Jewish males were required by the Law of Moses to be in attendance (Lev. 23:15-24. The purpose of the Feast of Pentecost was a time of thanksgiving for the bountiful crops at the beginning of the wheat harvested. It was celebrated by offering the first-fruits of the wheat harvest.

The names for Pentecost vary: (1) Feast of Weeks (Ex. 34:22) because it followed the cycle of seven full weeks. (2) Feast of Harvest (Ex. 23:16) because it was time for wheat harvest. (3) Feast of First Fruits (Ex. 23:16; Num. 28:26) because it celebrated the “first fruits” of the wheat harvest. (4) Pentecost (Lev. 23:15ff.; Acts 2:1) because it was the fiftieth day from the beginning of the Passover.

The subject. The subject of Pentecost is the Lord Jesus Christ. Peter begins in Acts 2:22-36 to set forth the work of Jesus.

His life. Jesus was approved of God by the many miracles He did among them. The miracles demonstrated the mighty power of God. Jesus was approved of God, He “was attested by God ... [their] midst” by miracles (Acts 2:22). Peter charges them with knowing this fact, “as you yourselves also know.”

His death. He was “delivered by the determined counsel and foreknowledge of God . . . [and] crucified” (Acts 2:23); i.e. the Old Testament predicted His death (Gen. 3:15; Isa. 53; Ps. 22). The Jews are charged witn slaying Jesus.

His resurrection. The life of Christ occupies one verse (2:22). The death of Christ occupies one verse (2:23), but the resurrection occupies nine verses (24-32). His resurrection was the work of God, “whom God raised up . . . because it was not possible that He should be held by it [death]” (Acts 2:23). Surely there were rumors of His death, burial, and resurrection, but now Peter states His resurrection as a fact. In proving His resurrection Peter appeals to Psalm 16:8-11 and shows that the Psalmist is not referring to David (2:29), but Christ (2:30-32). Acts 2:31 establishes the prophecy to be fulfilled in Christ, whoever that may be; whereas Acts 2:32 asserts that this Jesus fulfills the prophetic condition of the Messiah.

His ascension and coronation. Acts 2:33-36 argues the ascension and coronation of Jesus. God exalted Jesus by His ascension which could not apply to David, as he remains “with us to this day” (2:29). A contrast exists between God’s action in exalting Jesus and the action of the Jews and Romans who put Him to death. Peter, as with a trumpet, summons “all the house of Israel [to] know assuredly that God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified both Lord and Christ” (2:36).

The scheme. Acts 2:37-42 shows the scheme or purpose is the redemption of man. The message pierced their hearts of prejudice, “they were cut to the heart” (2:37). When they asked, “Men and brethren, what shall we do?” (2:37) They were conscious of their guilt—what they had done was sin. They were conscious of their responsibility—it was their personal sin. They were conscious that they were powerless—“what shall we do?” (2:37). They had a conviction that produced an alarm. Peter’s answer is given in Acts 2:38-40. They were to repent and be baptized for remission of sins ana receive the indwelling of the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:38). About 3,000 responded by obeying and be added to the church (2:41, 47). They continued in the apostles teaching (2:42). Have you responded to the Gospel call?