Conquering Messiah (Acts 2:35)

Until I make thy foes thy footstool.” (Acts 2:35-37, AV)

When in grade school, I had some enemies. There were a couple kids in the school that used to wait for me to walk home. Then they would jump me and start a fight. I never discovered why they picked me out from all the other potential victims. The brawls were never too injurious. I was never seriously hurt. We kind of exchanged blows, rolled in the mud, and then went home. Well, it was typical kids’ stuff, no harm no foul. Yet, I still tried to avoid these fellows. When we moved out of Trenton, I left never having resolved the feud, whatever it was.

In the closing of Peter’s sermon, he speaks of the ascension of Jesus to the right hand of God. He stated that Jesus will be in this place until, his enemies are made a footstool. This is an interesting metaphor that gives the picture of Jesus’ enemies placed under his feet. It represents a time when Jesus’ enemies will be in absolute and abject subjection to Him.

So, we must ask the question, “Who are the enemies of Jesus?” The ones who are the enemies of Jesus are the same ones who are the enemies of God. James gave a clarifying word on this. “Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God” (James 4:4, AV). Basically, there are only two camps. There are the friends of God and there are the enemies of God. There are none that are neutral.

Apart from saving faith in Jesus, all are alienated from God. All are enemies. The reason is that all have sinned against God. Only those who have trusted in Christ alone have been reconciled to God. Paul wrote, “For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life” (Romans 5:10, AV).

Moreover, there is a time coming when all those who have not trusted in Christ alone for their salvation will undergo a judgment of eternal death. “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord” (Romans 6:23, AV).

In Peter’s conclusion to the sermon, he stated, “Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ” (Acts 2:36, AV). Peter told the crowd, in no uncertain terms, that they were on the wrong side. Regardless of how involved they were in the trial and crucifixion of Jesus, they were enemies of Jesus, the resurrected, ascended, and exalted one of God. You can imagine their reaction to this. Acts stated that this word cut them to the heart (v37).

Today, many believe that they are friends of God, when they are not. They think that because they do good works, even for the church, that they will be favored by God. Some think that because they try to be nice people that that should grant them access to heaven. Some think that as long as they believe in a god, that this will suffice. Yet the Scriptures are clear. Jesus is the only way to cross over from enemy to friend. This reconciliation comes only to those who trust in Jesus Christ alone and His work on the cross by which, He paid the sin debt for all because all have sinned.

Published by Steve Hankins, Th.D.

Steve has had extensive military, business and ministry experience. He has served for over 16 years in full time vocational ministry and many years of part time ministry in churches. He has led churches through start-up and recasting of vision. Now He resides on the Outer Banks of North Carolina where he is working to help smaller churches and believers to renew their hearts and regain the joy of the Lord.

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