What Shall We Do?

Acts 2:37-47 / 使徒の働き2:37−47

37Now when they heard this, they were cut to the heart and said to Peter and to the other apostles, “Brothers, what should we do?” 38Peter said to them, “Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ so that your sins may be forgiven; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 
39For the promise is for you, for your children, and for all who are far away, everyone whom the Lord our God calls to him.” 40And he testified with many other arguments and exhorted them, saying, “Save yourselves from this corrupt generation.” 41So those who welcomed his message were baptized, and that day about three thousand persons were added. 42They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers.
43Awe came upon everyone, because many wonders and signs were being done by the apostles. 
44All who believed were together and had all things in common; 45they would sell their possessions and goods and distribute the proceeds£ to all, as any had need. 46Day by day, as they spent much time together in the temple, they broke bread at home£ and ate their food with glad and generous hearts, 
47praising God and having the goodwill of all the people. And day by day the Lord added to their number those who were being saved.


37 人々はこれを聞いて心を刺され、ペテロとほかの使徒たちに、「兄弟たち。私たちはどうしたらよいでしょうか。」と言った。 38 そこでペテロは彼らに答えた。「悔い改めなさい。そして、それぞれ罪を赦していただくために、イエス・キリストの名によってバプテスマを受けなさい。そうすれば、賜物として聖霊を受けるでしょう。 39 なぜなら、この約束は、あなたがたと、その子どもたち、ならびにすべての遠くにいる人々、すなわち、私たちの神である主がお召しになる人々に与えられているからです。」 40 ペテロは、このほかにも多くのことばをもって、あかしをし、「この曲がった時代から救われなさい。」と言って彼らに勧めた。 41 そこで、彼のことばを受け入れた者は、バプテスマを受けた。その日、三千人ほどが弟子に加えられた。 42 そして、彼らは使徒たちの教えを堅く守り、交わりをし、パンを裂き、祈りをしていた。

43 そして、一同の心に恐れが生じ、使徒たちによって、多くの不思議なわざとあかしの奇蹟が行なわれた。 44 信者となった者たちはみないっしょにいて、いっさいの物を共有にしていた。 45 そして、資産や持ち物を売っては、それぞれの必要に応じて、みなに分配していた。 46 そして毎日、心を一つにして宮に集まり、家でパンを裂き、喜びと真心をもって食事をともにし、 47 神を賛美し、すべての民に好意を持たれた。主も毎日救われる人々を仲間に加えてくださった。

In the first part of the chapter, we are told about how the Holy Spirit came upon the disciples, giving them the ability to speak in languages they did not know.  Emboldened, they spoke about the mighty deeds of God, and Jews from everywhere were hearing the message in their own languages.  The people were amazed, although some scoffed and claimed that they were drunk.

Peter stands and explains that this is the fulfilment of what the prophet Joel wrote over 400 years in the  past — That before the Lord’s judgement comes, everyone who calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.  Peter goes on to explain that Jesus of Nazareth was the long-awaited Messiah and that as proof, He performed great deeds of power, wonders and signs, and yet the Jews handed Him over to the Romans to have Him killed.  But God raised Jesus from death and he now sits on the right hand of God.

Coming to today’s passage, upon hearing Peter’s message, people realized what they had done, and ask the disciples what they should do.  Peter’s response was to repent and be baptized and they will be forgiven and receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.

Those who welcomed this message were baptized — there were about three thousand of them.  They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching, fellowship, breaking of bread and prayers.  They took care of each others’ needs and had glad and generous hearts, and praised God.

It is clear that the Holy Spirit is that one empowered and emboldened the disciples, as well as creating an opportunity for bringing the good news to the people.  The actions of the Holy Spirit made some to wonder if the disciples were drunk, which in turn gave Peter the opportunity to address the crowd, and for the crowd to respond.

There are points that Peter makes that are also useful for us when given the opportunity to share the gospel of Jesus Christ:

  • The kingdom God was ushered in through the ministry, death and resurrection of Jesus
  • Because of the resurrection, Jesus sits at the right hand of God as the head of the new Israel
  • The Holy Spirit enables us to see and hear about Christ’s power and glory
  • The messianic age will reach its end when Jesus returns
  • Forgiveness, the Holy Spirit, and salvation come with repentance

In the last section, we see how a community of believers behaves:

  • Devotion to the Lord’s teachings 
  • Fellowship with believers 
  • Unselfishly helping with each other’s needs 
  • Worshipping and praising God 
  • Partaking of communion 
  • Living with glad and generous hearts 

The message Peter gave was not only to those who were there and witnessed the power of the Holy Spirit.  In v. 39 Peter says, “For the promise is for you, for your children, and for all who are far away, everyone whom the Lord our God calls to him.”

Although we live in a different time and place than is described in Acts 2, the same Holy Spirit is with us and the same message is still relevant, and the same way to live is still how we as believers can witness to the world about Jesus Christ.

(the above is a summary of the message shared with us by Shun Takano during our zoom worship session on February 14th.)