Him has God exalted with his right hand to be a Prince and a Savior, for to give repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins.
It is interesting to notice how the Jewish conception of Messiah, as a conquering King of the house of David, gave form and tone to the earlier ideas which the apostles had of their risen and ascended Savior. He proved, indeed, to be a King in quite another sense than that in which they had regarded him, and at first they felt much disappointment in the crushing of their national hopes; but still they knew that he was a King, they gradually gained clearer notions of the spirituality of his kingdom, and they freely asserted his present royal rights, demanding the immediate submission of men to his authority. The claim of sovereignty is closely joined to the promise of salvation. "If Christ seeks to rule over men it is that he may save them." It is usual to note the meanings of the Resurrection viewed in its relation to the redemptive scheme; but it is not so usual for Christian teachers to dwell on our Lord's office, dignity, commission, authority, and active operations as exalted to the right hand of the Father. The circle of the Christian doctrine is by no means complete on this side, and the mystery of the Ascension is but very imperfectly unfolded. A sentiment has been allowed to prevail that Christ is practically absent now from us; the affairs of Christ's Church are delegated to the ministry of the Holy Spirit, and Christ is coming some day to assume place and power, and establish an everlasting kingdom here on earth. The apostles declare that the Lord is exalted now to his royal princely place. They affirm not only that he now has, but also that he now claims, his royal rights. It is not their way of putting it to say that "He will take to himself his great power and reign;" they say, "Him hath God exalted," or, as Revised Version, "Him did God exalt." This is a truth which the modern Church needs to have more fully and frequently presented to it. Due attention to it would relieve the tendency to exaggerated representations of salvation by faith in our Lord's work. The salvation is revealed to faith in the Lord Christ himself, the Prince and Savior. Christ is actually now -
I. THE PRINCE, OR THE RULING ONE. Explain the ancient theocracy as the direct rule of Jehovah, and show that the idea is realized spiritually in our Lord's present relation to his Church. It should be no disability to regenerate and spiritual men that he is unseen. The quickened soul can have spiritual communications, and the secret soul-life of the Christian man is his real life. Whoever controls it controls the whole bodily life and relations too. In the line of the text it may be shown that, as Prince, Christ's law and claim, brought home to men's souls, bow them down to penitence; and Christ has in full commission the expression of the Divine mercy in forgiveness and restoration.
II. THE SAVIOR, OR THE SAVING ONE. Salvation is not declared to be a result of man's faith in Christ's redemptive work, but of man's faith which opens his soul and life to the present redemptive workings of the living Savior. The moral forces now actually working at the subduing, and persuading, and renewing, and sanctifying of men are the present and active forces of Christ, the exalted and glorified Savior. So apostles preached unto men "Jesus," bade them open their hearts to his love and power, carry to him the burden of their sins and needs, and expect that he would as really - though in a spiritual manner - deal with them as he dealt with the sorrows and the sins of men while he was with them in the flesh. This is the great glory of the gospel message, and the point of it to which prominence should be given in these our times - " Jesus lives." He is exalted, he holds his commission. His "Father worketh hitherto, and he works." As the Prince, he demands our submission and our obedience. As our Savior, he takes our whole case upon him, and delivers, redeems, and sanctifies. - R.T.
Parallel VersesKJV: Him hath God exalted with his right hand to be a Prince and a Saviour, for to give repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins.