Times of Refreshing

(Acts 3:19-26) I. Definitions. A. refreshing: The action of the vb. in various senses; also, an instance of this; refreshment given or received. B. refreshment: The act of refreshing, or fact of being refreshed, in a mental or spiritual respect.

II. This study has a two-fold purpose: A. To show that the “times of refreshing” (v. 19), the days of which the prophets foretold (v. 24) is not referring to a future dispensation. Some affirm that these verses support the idea 1. that natural Israel will finally enter into their rightful supremacy and glory at Christ's return, and 2. that repentant, converted Jews in the present dispensation (in contrast to believing Gentiles under grace) do not have their sins blotted out until that time and then all Jews which have repented and turned to Christ shall reign gloriously with Christ on earth for a “millennium,” and 3. that the church age where believing Jews and Gentiles would be fellowheirs of grace and the promises of Christ in the gospel was a mystery not revealed to the O.T. prophets. B. To show that this text does not conflict with the doctrine of elective, predestinating grace and fully accomplished eternal forgiveness for the elect through the work of Christ alone.

III. Two fundamental rules of Bible study are that “no prophecy of the Scripture is of any private interpretation” (2PE 1:20), and “comparing spiritual things with spiritual” (1CO 2:13). A. The word “refreshing” occurs only one other time in Scripture. ISA 28:11-12. 1. The prophecy looked to a future condition for Israel. 2. It looked toward a time of rest, a concept obviously consistent with refreshment. 3. However, even though dramatic signs would attend the exhortation to enter rest, those under consideration would not do so. B. Paul applies ISA 28:11-12 to the rejection of the gospel in his days by people who witnessed the miraculous gift of tongues given to the early church. 1CO 14:21-22. 1. Signs and wonders like the gift of tongues in the early church were primarily for the benefit of Israel's repentance unto faith in Christ. JOH 4:48; 1CO 1:22. 2. Thus, ISA 28:11-12 was a promise of refreshing rest tied with repentance and faith, a message first sent to Israel. ACT 3:26; ROM 1:16. C. There is rest in coming submissively to Christ. MAT 11:28-30. D. Paul emphasized to the Jews that rest/refreshing depended upon subjection to the gospel message. HEB 4:1-3. E. Those who enter into God's rest cease from their own works. HEB 4:10-11. 1. They cease doing things their way in deference to Christ's way. COL 3:9-10. 2. They cease relying on their works for justification and righteousness. GAL 2:16. F. Most of Israel was not doing this. 1. They were not resting in Christ, but in the law (ROM 2:17), which is not rest. 2. They were clinging to the impossible “do and live” system of the law for righteousness instead of trusting that Christ was their righteousness. ROM 10:3-5; GAL 3:10; 5:3. G. Thus, there were times of rest/refreshing available for Israel from the beginning of the gospel. LUK 16:16 c/w MAR 1:1-4; ACT 5:31; 3:26. 1. This rest/refreshing was repentance and conversion to the gospel which the apostles preached. 2. Repentance is a gift in a space of time that must be capitalized upon, lest God turn men over to their own ways or to arresting judgment. 2TI 2:25; PRO 1:22-32; REV 2:21-23. 3. Think not that an available time of repentance will always be available. H. However, some argue that the times of refreshing must refer to a future blessing for converted Jews which will only be realized when Jesus Christ comes back and establishes His “kingdom.” This is because of the language of vs. 20-21 which do point Peter's listeners to Christ's return. 1. But, the second coming of Christ is the basis for ALL present obedience, whether a person is a Jew or a Gentile. ACT 17:30-31; ROM 14:9-12; 1TH 1:9-10. 2. Thus, Peter's exhortation to Jews to repent in view of the return of Christ is substantially not one bit different than Paul's parallel exhortation to Gentiles. 3. The gospel message is the same for Jew and Gentile: “Repent and trust in Christ, Who shall return to judge the world.” ROM 1:16; ACT 20:21; 26:20; GAL 1:9.

IV. Peter makes clear that there is the promise of the blotting out of sins hinged on repentance and conversion (ACT 3:19), the same thing Paul was to preach to Gentiles. ACT 26:18. A. The putting away of the sins of the elect in eternity is an accomplished fact. ROM 5:10; HEB 1:3; 9:12; 10:10-14. B. The eternal putting away of sins is not hinged upon our works, repentance, conversion or otherwise. God's election of grace is not based upon the sinner's compliance. ROM 11:28-29; 2TI 1:9; 2:13. C. There is a conditional salvation which is supplemental to the eternal glory which Christ has won for His elect. 2TI 2:10. 1. There is an erasing of past error and the promise of the ongoing efficacy of the blood of Christ for God's elect when they turn from sin and obey the gospel. 1CO 6:9-10. 2. The Apostle John addresses people who are obviously children of God and urges them about a conditional provision of the blood of Christ in the ongoing blotting out of sins when they turn away from sin to obey Christ. 1JO 2:12; 1:7, 9. 3. Thus, we should promptly confess our sins, repent and obey God to experience mercy which is available through the blood of Christ as He mediates for us. PRO 28:13; HEB 4:16; 12:24. 4. Those who are hardened against Christ and His gospel do not enjoy this provision of His blood. Rather, they treasure up wrath towards certain judgment or chastening of God. ROM 2:4-5. D. An appropriate practical example of this concept is seen here in ACT 3:19-26. 1. Peter was preaching to Jews who directly or indirectly had killed the Lord Jesus. ACT 3:13-17. 2. They were part of a nation which was filling up the measure of the sins of their bloodthirsty anti-God ancestors. MAT 23:31-36. 3. Most of national Israel were destroyed in a bloodbath at the hands of the Romans within forty years. 1TH 2:14-16. 4. But for those who repented and believed the words of Christ---that remnant entered into rest. Their sins were blotted out. God forgave them in a temporal sense and provided for their deliverance before Jerusalem was destroyed. LUK 21:20-21. a. The Roman overthrow was a refreshing to the Jewish Christians for it delivered them from their most implacable enemies: the hardened unbelievers of their own people. HEB 10:32-34. b. It was also a refreshing in that it eliminated the vestiges of Mosaic service and fully transitioned the kingdom of God from an O.T. model to a spiritual N.T. model. 5. Thus, they saved themselves from that untoward generation (ACT 2:38-40) who would suffer the consequences of unbelief. ACT 3:23. F. Peter's exhortation to the Jews is how the temporal judgment of God for our sins may be averted and the assurance of eternal life gained. 1CO 11:30-31; 1TH 1:4-10.

Attachment Size
Times of Refreshing (2022).pdf 78.8 kB

© 2021 Cincinnati Church