No More Questions.

I am scheduled to teach the adult Bible class at The Sanctuary UPC in Hazelwood, MO for next Sunday’s Easter lesson. The study guide I plan to distribute is posted below. I will also post the PowerPoint presentation, which is keyed by number to the study guide. In addition, I plan to post the video of the lesson next week.

As Peter explained the phenomenon of baptism with the Holy Spirit to the curious onlookers on the Day of Pentecost, he connected the risen Christ to this experience by means of Psalm 110:1, the Old Testament’s most frequently quoted verse in the New Testament: “This Jesus God has raised up, of which we are all witnesses. Therefore being exalted to the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, He poured out this which you now see and hear. For David did not ascend into the heavens, but he says himself: ‘The Lord said to my Lord, “Sit at My right hand, till I make Your enemies Your footstool.” ‘ Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly that God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ” (Acts 2:32-36).

Since Peter declared the pouring out of the Holy Spirit by Jesus to be a fulfillment of Psalm 110:1, we should examine the psalm carefully. The Christology of Psalm 110 is so significant that there are direct quotes and allusions to it in at least twenty-two chapters of the New Testament.  The influence of Psalm 110 is felt in at least eleven of the twenty-seven books in the New Testament.

[2] It was widely understood in the Jewish community that the Messiah would be the Son of David. But Jesus’ use of Psalm 110:1 confounded the unbelieving Pharisees. The question is profound: How could the Messiah be both David’s Son and David’s Lord?

[3] [4] In Psalm 110:1-4, the Lord (Yahweh) speaks to David’s Lord (Adoni). This is not an account of a conversation between persons in the Godhead during the time before the coming of the Messiah. David was a prophet. (See Acts 2:30.) As a prophet, he foretold the future. (See Acts 2:31.) David foretold the conversation recorded in Psalm 110, but it occurred in conjunction with the ascension of Christ, not before the Incarnation. (See Acts 2:33-36.)

[5] The statement “sit at My right hand” does not refer to a specific geographical location. The right hand of the Lord is a figure of speech referring to His power and authority. In conjunction with His ascension, the Messiah has been exalted to the position of ultimate power and authority. (See Philippians 2:9-11.) As F. F. Bruce points out in a discussion of the phrase “the right hand of the Majesty on high” in Hebrews 1:3, “That no literal location is intended was as well understood by Christians in the apostolic age as it is by us: they knew that God has no physical right hand or material throne where the ascended Christ sits beside Him; to them the language denoted the exaltation and supremacy of Christ as it does to us.”

[6] The Messiah will sit in exaltation and supremacy until all His enemies have been subdued. The idea of His enemies being made His footstool “is an ancient Near Eastern metaphor for absolute control” (VanGemeren). 

[7] [8] [9] [10] Peter’s recorded Pentecost sermon consists of twenty-three verses, leading up to the question, “Men and brethren, what shall we do?” (Acts 2:37). Of these verses, nine are made up exclusively of quotations from the Old Testament; two include introductory statements followed by quotations from the Old Testament; and one is given completely to identifying the Hebrew prophet who will be quoted in the following verse. Six verses explain these quotations.

Without these quotations, Peter’s sermon would have been very short. Would that have resulted in the cry, “What shall we do?” We will leave that question to God. But there is no question Peter’s powerful preaching from the Hebrew Scriptures was useful in bringing conviction on his hearers and giving him the opportunity to proclaim his message of repentance, baptism in the name of Jesus Christ, and the promise of the gift of the Holy Spirit.

[11] [12] [13] Peter saved one quotation from the Old Testament, Psalm 110:1, for the last: “The Lord said to my Lord, sit at My right hand, till I make Your enemies Your footstool.” Then, Peter said, “Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly that God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ.”

[14] [15] [16] (Colossians 2:11-14.) [17] (Colossians 3:1-4.)

[18] (The Resurrection … Your Hope)

[19] (Here’s the Answer to Jesus’ Question)

[20] (David’s Son is fully human. The virgin Mary was a descendant of David.)

[21] (David’s Son is fully God. The virgin Mary conceived by the Holy Spirit.)

[22] (And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh [I Timothy 3:16].)

[23] (It’s a mystery, because it’s a miracle. Receive it by faith.)