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31Foreseeing this, David spoke of the resurrection of the Messiah, saying,

‘He was not abandoned to Hades,

nor did his flesh experience corruption.’

32 This Jesus God raised up, and of that all of us are witnesses. 33Being therefore exalted at the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, he has poured out this that you both see and hear.


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30. Therefore, seeing he was a prophet He showeth, by two reasons, that it is no marvel if David do speak of things that should come to pass long after his time; the former is, because he was a prophet. And we know that things to come, and such as are removed far from the knowledge of men, are revealed unto the prophets. Therefore, it were wickedness to measure their speeches according to the common manner and order which we use in measuring the speeches of other men, forasmuch as they go beyond the long courses of years, having the Spirit for their director. Whereupon they are also called seers; because being placed, as it were, upon an high tower, 121121     “Specula,” watch tower. they see those things which, by reason of great distance, are hidden from other men. Another reason is, because Christ was promised to him peculiarly. This maxim was so common amongst the Jews, that they had ever now and then the son of David in their mouth, so often as there was any mention made of Christ. They be no such arguments, I confess, as do necessarily prove that this prophecy is to be expounded of Christ; neither was that Peter’s intent and purpose; but first he meant to prevent the contrary objection, whence David had such skill to foretell a thing which was unknown. Therefore he saith, That he knew Christ, both by prophetical revelation, and also by singular promise. Furthermore, this principle was of great (Romans 10:4) force amongst the better-minded sort which Paul setteth down, that Christ is the end of the law. 122122     “Hoc principium quod Paulus tradit Christum esse finem legis,” etc., this principle which Paul delivers, viz., that Christ was the end of the law, was of great force, etc. No man, therefore, did doubt of this, but that this was the mark whereat all the prophets did aim, to lead the godly unto Christ as it were by the hand. Therefore, what notable or extraordinary thing soever they did utter, the Jews were commonly persuaded that it did agree with Christ. Furthermore, we must note, that Peter doth reason soundly, when he gathered that David was not ignorant of that which was the chiefest point of all revelations.

He had sworn with an oath God swore not only to the end he might make David believe his promise, but also that the thing promised might be had in greater estimation. And to this end, in my judgment, it is here repeated, that the Jews may think with themselves of what great weight the promise was, which God did make so notable (and so famous.) The same admonition is profitable for us also. For we need not to doubt of this, but that the Lord meant to set forth the excellency of the covenant by putting in a solemn oath. In the mean season, this is also a fit remedy for the infirmity of our faith, that the sacred name of God is set forth unto us, 123123     “Pignoris instar,” like a pledge, omitted. that his words may carry the greater credit. These words, “according to the flesh,” do declare that there was some more noble thing in Christ than the flesh. Therefore Christ did so come of the seed of David as he was man, that he doth nevertheless, retain his divinity; and so the distinction between the two natures is plainly expressed; when as Christ is called the Son of God, according to his eternal essence, in like sort as he is called the seed of David according to the flesh.

32. This Jesus After that he had proved by the testimony of David, that it was most requisite that Christ should rise again, he saith, that he and the rest of his fellows were such witnesses as saw him with their eyes after his resurrection. For this text 124124     “Contextus,” context. will not suffer this word raised up to be drawn into any other sense. Whereupon it followeth that that was fulfilled in Jesus of Nazareth which David did foreshow concerning Christ. After that he intreateth of the fruit or effect. For it was requisite for him to declare that first, that Christ is alive. Otherwise it had been an absurd and incredible thing that he should be the author of so great a miracle. Notwithstanding he doth therewithal teach us, that he did not rise for his own sake alone, but that he might make the whole Church partaker of his life, having poured out the Spirit.

33. He being therefore exalted by the right hand of God The right hand is taken in this place for the hand or power, in like sort as it is taken everywhere in the Scripture. For this is his drift, to declare that it was a wonderful work of God, in that he had exalted his Christ (whom men thought to be quite destroyed by death) unto so great glory.

The promise of the Spirit for the Spirit which was promised. For he had oftentimes before promised the Spirit to his apostles. Therefore Peter doth signify, that Christ had obtained power of God the Father to fulfill the same. And he maketh mention of the promise in plain words, to the end the Jews may know that this came not to pass suddenly, but that the words of the prophet were now verified, which went long time before the thing itself.

Furthermore, whereas it is said that he obtained it of the Father, it is to be applied to the person of the Mediator. For both these are truly said, that Christ sent the Spirit from himself and from the Father. He sent him from himself, because he is eternal God; from the Father, because in as much as he is man, he receiveth that of the Father which he giveth us. And Peter speaketh wisely according to the capacity of the ignorant, lest any man should move a question out of season concerning the power of Christ. And surely forasmuch as it is the office of Christ to direct us unto his Father, this is a most apt form of speaking for the use of godliness, that Christ being placed, as it were, in the midst between God and us, doth deliver unto us with his own hand those gifts which he hath received at the hands of his Father. Furthermore, we must note this order that he saith, that the Spirit was sent by Christ after that he was exalted. This agreeth with those sentences:

“The Spirit was not yet given,
because Christ was not yet glorified,”
(John 7:39.)

And again,

“Unless I go hence, the Spirit will not come,”
(John 16:7.)

Not because the Spirit began then first to be given, wherewith the holy fathers were endued since the beginning of the world; but because God did defer this more plentiful abundance of grace, until such time as he had placed Christ in his princely seat; which is signified by this word poured out, as we saw a little before. For by this means the force and fruit of Christ his death and resurrection is sealed; and we do also thereby know, that we have lost nothing by Christ his departing out of the world; because, though he be absent in body, yet is he present with us after a better sort, to wit, by the grace of his Holy Spirit.




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