Bible Class
Discussion Guide
by Edward Thomason

The Heart of Peter's Sermon
Acts 2:25-36

warm up

1. If we expect others to believe something that we believe, shouldn't we be willing to present our "proof?"  
2. What kind of proof might you present to others if you were trying to convince them to believe in something that seems incredible? What kind of proof would you expect Peter to present in order to convince others that Jesus has been resurrected?  

wise up

This lesson is a study of the "proof" presented by Peter of the resurrection of Jesus. Having stated things that his audience already knew about, (namely, that Jesus was approved of God and crucified by wicked hands - Vs22-23), Peter next proceeded to verify what they might be reluctant to believe (namely, "the resurrection" - Vs 24.) 

Witness one, Prophecy of David Vs 25-31

   1. Why would the testimony of David be respected and considered an authority to Peter's audience? Was he considered an inspired writer? Was he a prophet? (Cf., Vs 30a.)
   2. Peter quotes from Psalm 16 and later Psalm 110. What had David "foreseen" according to Vs 25 of our text? 
   3. In verse 27, the word "hell" is a reference to "hadies" (the abode of departed spirits or souls) and the word "corruption" refers to bodily decay. What is implied if one's spirit does not remain in hadies and one's body does not see corruption? 
   4. While David is writing in the 1st person as if speaking of himself, in verses 27-28, he is actually speaking on behalf of his descendant (which he refers to as "the fruit of his loins" in verse 30.) What does Peter say in verse 29, that proved that David was speaking of someone else other than himself even though he is using the 1st person pronouns? Whose body was laying in decay within a sepulcher (grave) possibly not very far from where Peter was speaking? Since it was obvious that David could not have been speaking of himself, just who did Peter submit that David was referring to as being resurrected? (Cf., Vs 31.)

Witness two, the Apostles Vs 32

Having convinced his audience that David had foreseen and spoken of the resurrection of "the Christ" (or Messiah), how would they know for sure that "Jesus," the man approved of God by miracles among them, and the one whom they had crucified was indeed the resurrected Messiah that David had foreseen? 
How important is an eye witness account when it comes to presenting evidence? What made the testimony of the apostles credible or believable to their audience that day?

Witness three, Miracles at Pentecost Vs 33

By the time we read verse 33, Peter had come full circle in explaining the purpose for the phenomenon that was being witnessed at Pentecost. 
The miraculous ability to speak in other languages was for the purpose of confirming that the testimony given by the apostles was credible. (Mark 16:20.)  

Conclusions to be drawn Vs 34-36
Look back at verses 30-31. In verse 30, David had foreseen that the Christ (the fruit of David's loins) would (1) be "raised up" in order to (2) "sit on his throne." Some expected and some still expect Jesus to sit on David's "earthly" or physical throne, but that popular notion is clearly refuted in this scripture. Peter explained that the promise to David was already fulfilled. In verses 31-33, he stated that Jesus had been (1) "raised up" (Vs 32) and (2) "exalted" as he sits on the right hand of God. (Vs 33-35.) 
   2. Consider the following scriptures in describing the throne of Jesus: 

Hebrews 4:15-16 says that he is presently sitting on his "throne of grace."

Hebrews 8:1 says our High Priest is sitting on the throne of "the majesty in the heavens."

Matthew 25:31-32 indicates that on Judgment Day his throne will "then be a throne of glory."

Revelation 3:21 indicates that those who "overcome" will sit with him on the same throne that he now sits on, the throne of the father which is in heaven - not on earth. 

   3. In verse 36, what terms of authority and "rule" are a applied to Jesus by Peter? Discuss the meaning of the word "Lord."  Did Jesus himself claim to have "all power in heaven and in earth" after his resurrection? (Cf., Matthew 28:18.)  His kingdom and therefore his throne are "spiritual" not physical (Cf., John 18:36.)

wrap up

   1. The resurrection of Jesus was not just the heart of Peter's sermon, it is at the heart and center of every gospel sermon. It is the proof that Jesus is the Messiah or Christ.
   2. Perhaps we can appreciate its importance by the fact that it is mentioned in every recorded sermon in Acts except that of Stephen who was martyred before he completed his sermon.


  Please read Acts 2:37-47 for next week   copyright 2001