Study Notes on Acts 3:17 – 26
Promised Days of Restoration

1) All Had Happened According to God’s Plan (v17,18)

  • The mistake due to their ignorance, but God had full knowledge of their actions and worked out His purpose through them
  • God was giving them a second chance to respond to Jesus after initially rejecting Him

2) God’s Plan is to Bless Us When We Repent (v 19 – 21)

A) On repentance:

“Let none think that they can be happy by continuing in sin, when God declares that the blessing is in being turned from all iniquity.

Let none think that they understand or believe the gospel, who only seek deliverance from the punishment of sin, but do not expect happiness in being delivered from sin itself.

And let none expect to be turned from their sin, except by believing in, and receiving Christ the Son of God, as their wisdom, righteousness, sanctification, and redemption.” Matthew Henry

B) Peter promised three results following repentance:

1) The forgiveness of sins (v 19)

2) Times of refreshing (v 20)

  • as people are “refreshed” in their spirits when the Holy Spirit comes to dwell within them.
  • This “refreshing” comes also to the world in general as it is affected by believers who are changed by the power of the Spirit.

3) That he may send the Christ (v20b, 21)

  • is a clear reference to the second coming of Christ, since the next verse looks forward to that time
  • How does the Jewish nation repentance lead to Christ’s return?

“Lest you be wise in your own sight, I do not want you to be unaware of this mystery, brothers: a partial hardening has come upon Israel, until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in. And in this way all Israel will be saved, as it is written,
‘The Deliverer will come from Zion,
he will banish ungodliness from Jacob’;
‘and this will be my covenant with them
when I take away their sins.’” Rom 11:25 – 27

C) Israel’s repentance hastening Christ’s return seems to be in view as:

1) “restoring all the things about which God spoke by the mouth of his holy prophets long ago.” (v21) the restoration was promised

2) BUT the established of the church (restoration of the gentiles?) was not clearly stated in the OT

“the mystery of Christ, which was not made known to the sons of men in other generations as it has now been revealed to his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit. This mystery is that the Gentiles are fellow heirs, members of the same body, and partakers of the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel.” Ephesians 3:4-6

“While Moses and the prophets had written of Christ and his salvation to the ends of the earth (John 5:46; 1 Pet. 1:10–12), and while God had even promised to Abraham that all the nations of the earth would be blessed through him (Gen. 12:3), the full realization of who Christ was and the extent of the salvation that would come to the Gentiles was not clear until after the giving of the Spirit (1 Cor. 2:8–10). apostles and prophets” ESV Study Bible

ESV Study Bible

“Acts 3:17-21 shows that Israel’s repentance was to have had two purposes: (1) for individual Israelites there was forgiveness of sins, and (2) for Israel as a nation her Messiah would return to reign.” Bible Knowledge Commentary

3) God’s Plan is That We Accept Christ Now!

A) Jesus is portrayed as the “New Testament Moses”

  • in fulfilment of Deuteronomy 18:15-19 (cf. John 6:14)
  • Christ will come with deliverance as Moses did but He will also judge as Moses did (Deut. 18:19; also cf. Num. 14:26-35)

B) Not just Moses spoke about Jesus coming, all the prophets did!

  • We agree with the prophets, and are recipients of the God’s covenant with Abraham when we believe in Christ (whether Jew or Gentile)

“there is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s offspring, heirs according to promise.” Galatians 3:28,29

C) Jesus, God’s Servant, was sent to the Jews first (v26)

  • This pattern was followed throughout the Gospels and Acts (cf., e.g., Matt. 10:5; Acts 13:46; Rom. 1:16)
  • Establishing of the kingdom depended on, and still depends on, Israel’s response (cf. Matt. 23:39; Rom. 11:26).