Partial outline: FULL PDF HERE
Acts 2:36-47 (text v. 40)
Peter is preaching to the house of Israel on the Day of Pentecost.
v. 36— What Israel did—Crucified the Lord and their Messiah (cf. v. 23)
v. 37—Holy Ghost conviction—“What shall we do???”
vs. 38-39—Offer of a gift!
v. 40— Further exhortation (encouragement).
v. 40—Peter exhorts, “save yourselves…” Save yourselves from what???
Not from hell—only Jesus can save you from going to hell (Acts 4:12; John 3:16-17). This was why He came (Luke 19:10).
Not save from your sins—only Jesus can forgive your sins. His name means to be saved from sin (Mt. 1:21).
While it is impossible to “save yourself” from your sins and going to hell, we are exhorted to “save ourselves” from “this untoward generation.”
Peter’s exhortation to “save yourselves” made his hearers personally responsible! Paul admonished Timothy, “Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both SAVE THYSELF, and them that hear thee” (1 Tim. 4:16).
God will do for you what you can’t do—but He will not do what you can d•o for yourself. God expects you and I to do certain things on our own—
•Examine yourselves (1 Cor. 13:5).
•Comfort yourselves (1 Thess. 5:11).
•Humble yourselves (1 Pet. 5:6; James 4:10).
•Cleanse yourselves (2 Cor. 7:1).
•Judge yourselves (1 Cor. 11:31).
•Keep yourselves (1 John 5:21; Jude 1:21; Josh 6:18).
•Lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven (Mt. 5:20).
“Save yourselves from this untoward generation.”
- The root word of “untoward” is “toward,” (to move in the direction of something). The prefix “un” means “no” / “not.” Hence, “untoward” means “not toward, backward, twisted, crooked, winding.” The “un- toward generation” is a “messed up” generation.
- Untoward is anything (or anyone) which will not go toward—that is straight onwards—but moves from side-to-side (like a snake, drunkard).
- God’s way is STRAIGHT (Mt. 7:13). “Untoward” is the opposite of “straight” i.e. it is crooked or bent; perverted (cf. Phil. 2:15). Anyway that is contrary to God’s way is “untoward.” Sin is untoward because sin goes contrary to God’s Word which is straight (homosexuality; abortion; etc.).
- The O.T. word for “untoward” is “froward” [variation of the Old English “from-ward”—the opposite of toward]. It means (Webster): “turning from; not willing to yield or comply with what is required; unyielding; ungovernable; disobedient.” (see Dt. 32:5, 20; 2 Sam. 22:27; Ps. 101:4; Prov. 2:15; 11:20; 17:20; 22:5; Isa. 57:17).
I. Save yourself from the PHILOSOPHY of this generation (Col. 2:8).
“Beware” is a warning—A warning about being “spoiled” by philosophy! When food is “spoiled” it is corrupted and unfit to eat.
The word “philosophy” is used TWO times in the Bible—Both in a negative context (Col. 2:8 cf. Acts 17:18).
A. What is “philosophy?” PHILOSOPHY means “love of wisdom / knowledge.”
- There are two sources of wisdom (James 3:15-17; Luke 16:8 cf. 1 Cor. 3:19). Christ is made unto us wisdom (1 Cor. 1:30). In Him “are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge” (2:3).
- The basic issue of philosophy is “What can I know? ”Philosophy seeks an answer to a question by thinking and rationalizing about it. Philosophers pride themselves in their logic.
- In philosophy, the human mind is its own guide, measure, and rule. Philosophers believe that there are no absolutes.
- Philosophy will “spoil” a person’s devotion to God. The love of knowledge SPOILED man in the garden (Gen. 3:1-6).
B. There are seven basic fields / branches of philosophy:
C. No philosophy of this world would defend any Bible fundamental (Hell, Heaven, 2nd coming, total depravity, etc.).
II. Save yourself from the PRACTICES of this generation (Eph. 2:1-3).
A. Disobedience (v.2).