|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
3:22-26 Here is a powerful address to warn the Jews of the dreadful consequences of their unbelief, in the very words of Moses, their favourite prophet, out of pretended zeal for whom they were ready to reject Christianity, and to try to destroy it. Christ came into the world to bring a blessing with him. And he sent his Spirit to be the great blessing. Christ came to bless us, by turning us from our iniquities, and saving us from our sins. We, by nature cleave to sin; the design of Divine grace is to turn us from it, that we may not only forsake, but hate it. 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.
Verse 26. - Servant for Son Jesus, A.V. and T.R.; your for his, A.V. Unto you first. In virtue of the covenant, the first offer of salvation was made to the Jews (see Acts 1:8; Acts 13:26, 46; Luke 24:47; Romans 2:10, etc.; comp. Matthew 15:24). His Servant (as in ver. 13). As regards the phrase, "having raised up," however natural it is at first sight to understand it of the raising from the dead, the tenses make it impossible to do so. Nor could it be said that God sent Jesus to bless them after his resurrection. We must, therefore, understand ἀναστήσας as to be equivalent to ἐξαγείρας, and to mean "having appointed," set up, raised up (as the English word is used, Luke 1:69; Romans 9:17). In this sense God raised up his Servant by the incarnation, birth, anointing, and mission to be the Savior. To bless you; to fulfill to you the blessing promised to Abraham's seed. In turning away, etc., deliverance from sin being the chief blessing which Christ bestows upon his people (so Acts 5:31, repentance is spoken of as Christ's great gift to Israel). So closed the second great apostolic sermon.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Unto you first, God having raised his Son Jesus,.... Which may be understood, either of the incarnation of Christ, and his exhibition in the flesh; which is sometimes expressed by raising him up, and is no other than the mission, or manifestation of him in human nature, as in Luke 1:69. Or of the resurrection of him from the dead, and the exaltation of him at the right hand of God:
sent him to bless you; in person, according to the former sense; for he was indeed sent only to the people of Israel, and to them he preached; many of whom were blessed with converting grace under his ministry; but according to the latter sense, and which seems most agreeable, he was sent in the ministry of the word, and came by his Spirit, first to the Jews, among whom the Gospel was first preached for a while, and was blessed to the conversion of many thousands among them, both in Judea, and in the nations of the world, where they were dispersed:
in turning away everyone of you from his iniquities; in this the blessing lay, and is rightly in our version ascribed to Christ, and to the power of his grace, in the ministration of the Gospel and not to themselves, as in many other versions; as the Syriac version, "if ye convert yourselves, and turn from your evils"; making it both their own act, and the condition of their being blessed; and the Arabic version likewise, "so that everyone of you departs from his wickedness"; but that work is Christ's, and this is the blessing of grace he himself bestows, and is a fruit of redemption by his blood, Titus 2:14.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
26. God, having raised up—not from the dead, but having provided, prepared, and given.
his Son Jesus—"His Servant Jesus" (see on Ac 3:13).
sent him to bless you—literally, "sent Him blessing you," as if laden with blessing.
in turning away every one of you from his iniquities—that is, "Hitherto we have all been looking too much for a Messiah who should shed outward blessings upon the nation generally, and through it upon the world. But we have learned other things, and now announce to you that the great blessing with which Messiah has come laden is the turning away of every one of you from his iniquities." With what divine skill does the apostle, founding on resistless facts, here drive home to the conscience of his auditors their guilt in crucifying the Lord of Glory; then soothe their awakened minds by assurances of forgiveness on turning to the Lord, and a glorious future as soon as this shall come to pass, to terminate with the Personal Return of Christ from the heavens whither He has ascended; ending all with warnings, from their own Scriptures, to submit to Him if they would not perish, and calls to receive from Him the blessings of salvation.
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