on Acts 2 :40
Save yourselves from this untoward generation - Separate yourselves from them: be ye saved, σωθητε: the power is present with you; make a proper use of it, and ye shall be delivered from their obstinate unbelief, and the punishment that awaits it in the destruction of them and their city by the Romans.
on Acts 2 :40
Many other words - This discourse, though one of the longest in the New Testament, is but an outline. It contains, however, the substance of the plan of salvation, and is admirably arranged to attain its object.
Testify - Bear witness to. He bore witness to the promises of Christianity; to the truths pertaining to the danger of sinners; and to the truth respecting the character of that generation.
Exhort - He entreated them by arguments and promises.
Save yourselves - This expression here denotes, preserve yourselves from the influence, opinions, and fate of this generation. It implies that they were to use diligence and effort to deliver themselves. God deals with people as free agents. He calls upon them to put forth their own power and effort to be saved. Unless they put forth their own strength, they will never be saved. When they are saved, they will ascribe to God the praise for having inclined them to seek him, and for the grace whereby they are saved.
This generation - This age or race of people; the Jews then living. They were not to apprehend danger from them from which they were to deliver themselves; but they were to apprehend danger from being with them, united in their plans; designs, and feelings. From the influence of their opinions, etc., they were to escape. That generation was signally corrupt and wicked. See Matthew 23; Matthew 12:39; Matthew 16:4; Mark 8:38. They had crucified the Messiah; and they were, for their sins, soon to be destroyed.
Order? this untoward generation? - Untoward: "Perverse, refractory, not easily guided or taught" (Webster). The same character our Saviour had given of that generation in Matthew 11:16-19. This character they had shown uniformly. They were smooth, cunning, plausible; but they were corrupt in principle, and wicked in conduct. The Pharisees had a vast hold on the people. To break away from them was to set at defiance all their power and doctrines; to alienate themselves from their teachers and friends; to brave the authority of those in office, and those who had long claimed the right of teaching and guiding the nation. The chief danger of those who were now awakened was from that generation; that they would deride, or denounce, or persecute them, and induce them to abandon their seriousness, and turn back to their sins. And hence, Peter exhorted them at once to break off from them, and give themselves to Christ. We may hence learn:
(1) That if sinners will be saved they must make an effort. There is no promise to any unless they will exert themselves.
(2) the principal danger which besets those who are awakened arises from their former companions. They are often wicked, cunning, rich, mighty. They may be their kindred, and will seek to drive off their serious impressions by derision, or argument, or persecution. They have a powerful hold on the affections, and they will seek to use it to prevent those who are awakened from becoming Christians.
(3) those who are awakened should resolve at once to break off from their evil companions, and unite themselves to Christ and his people. There may be no other way in which this can be done than by resolving to forsake altogether the society of those who are infidels, and scoffers, and profane. They should forsake the world, and give themselves up to God, and resolve to have only so much contact with the world, in any respect, as may be required by duty, and as may be consistent with a supreme purpose to live to the honor of God.
on Acts 2 :40
2:40 And with many other words did he testify and exhort - In such an accepted time we should add line upon line, and not leave off, till the thing is done. Save yourselves from this perverse generation - Many of whom were probably mocking still.