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THE ACTS OF THE APOSTLES - Chapter 4 - Verse 8

Verse 8. Filled with the Holy Ghost. See Barnes "Ac 2:4".


Ye rulers, etc. Peter addressed the sanhedrim with perfect respect. He did not call in question their authority to propose this question. He seemed to regard this as a favourable opportunity to declare the truth, and state the evidence of the Christian religion. In this he acted on the principle of the injunction which he himself afterwards gave, 1 Pe 3:15, "Be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear." Innocence is willing to be questioned; and a believer in the truth will rejoice in any opportunity to state the evidence of what is believed. It is remarkable, also, that this was before the great council of the nation; the body that was clothed with the highest authority. And Peter could not have forgotten that before this very council, and these very men, his Master had been arraigned and condemned. Nor could he have forgotten that in the very room where this same council was convened to try his Lord, he had himself shrunk from an honest avowal of attachment to him, and shamefully and profanely denied him. That he was now able to stand boldly before this same tribunal evinced a remarkable change in his feelings, and was a most clear and impressive proof of the genuineness of his repentance when he went out and wept bitterly. Comp. Lu 22:54-62. And we may remark here, that one of the most clear evidences of the sincerity of repentance is when it leads to a result like this. So deeply was the heart of Peter affected by his sin, Lu 22:62, and so genuine was his sorrow, that he doubtless remembered his crime on this occasion; and the memory of it inspired him with boldness. It may be further remarked, that one evidence of the genuineness of repentance is a desire to repair the evil which is done by crime. Peter had done dishonour to his Master and his cause, in the presence of the great council of the nation. Nothing, on such an occasion, would be more likely to do injury to the cause than for one of the disciples of the Saviour to deny him—one of his followers to be guilty of profaneness and falsehood. But here was an opportunity, in some degree at least, to repair the evil. Before the same council and the same men, in the same city, and in the presence of the same people, it is not an unnatural supposition that Peter rejoiced that he might have opportunity to bear his testimony to the Divine mission of the Saviour whom he had before denied. By using the customary language of respect applied to the great council, Peter also has shown us that it is proper to evince respect for office, and for those in power. Religion requires us to render this homage, and to treat men in office with deference, Mt 22:21; Ro 13:7; 1 Pe 2:13-17.


{d} "filled with the Holy Ghost" Ac 7:55 {+} "Holy Ghost" "Spirit"

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