You [Gentiles] also, who are in Christ, after having heard the message of truth, the good news about your salvation, and [after] believing in Him, were sealed [i.e., as evidence of ownership] with the promised Holy Spirit. [or, "the Holy Spirit who brings promises"].
And do not grieve God's Holy Spirit by whom you were sealed [i.e., given evidence of God's ownership] until the day of redemption [i.e., until you receive your new body in heaven. See 1:14].
[One day, as He was] gathered with these apostles, He urged them not to leave Jerusalem, but to wait there until they received what the Father had promised them. (Jesus had previously discussed this with them). [See Luke 24:49].
Jesus is [now] exalted at the right side of God, and having received the promised Holy Spirit from His Father, He has poured out what you have seen and heard [here this day].
"You brothers, descendants of Abraham's family and those of you who respect God very much, this message of salvation was intended for us.
He has placed His seal of ownership upon us by giving us the down payment of the Holy Spirit [to live] in our hearts.
by preaching the truth; through the power of God [i.e., possibly including miracles]; and by [using] weapons of righteousness in [our] right and left hands. [Note: This could allude to offensive and defensive weapons and means that Paul was fully equipped to do whatever was right].
[I am] assuming that you have heard Him [i.e., through the Gospel message] and were taught the truth that is in [harmony with] Jesus.
Then He said to them, "You [men] go into the entire world and preach the good news to every person.
If then you know how to give good gifts to your children, even though you are sinful [human beings], how much more [likely] is it that your Father in heaven will give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him?"
And look, I [am going to] send upon you apostles what my Father promised [i.e., the Holy Spirit. See John 14:26]; but you should wait in the city [of Jerusalem] until you are clothed with power from above." [Note: This promise was fulfilled when the apostles were immersed in the Holy Spirit. See Acts 1:4 - 2:4].
For the law was given through Moses; [but] God's favor and truth came through Jesus Christ.
Do not work for the [kind of] food that spoils, but for the kind that lasts until never ending life. The Son of man will give you this [kind of food], for God the Father has placed His seal [of approval] on Him."
"And I will ask the Father and He will give you another Helper [i.e., besides me], who will be with you forever.
But the Helper, that is, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name [i.e., by my authority] will teach you everything. And He will remind you of everything that I [have] said to you.
"But the Helper will come, that is, the Holy Spirit of truth [i.e., who reveals truth]. He comes from the Father and I will send Him to you from the Father. [When He comes] He will give testimony about me.
Yet I am telling you the truth: It will be helpful to you for me to go away. For unless I go, the Helper [i.e., the Holy Spirit] will not come to you. But if I go, I will send Him to you.
But what you see happening is simply [the fulfillment of] what was predicted by the prophet Joel [2:28ff],
I am not ashamed of the good news [i.e., the Gospel], because it is God's power for [bringing] salvation to every person who believes [in Jesus]; first to Jews and then to Greeks [i.e., unconverted Gentiles].
He received the sign of circumcision as a seal [confirming] that he had been [considered] righteous because of the faith he had before being circumcised. Thus, he became the [spiritual] father of all people who believe [in God], even though they have not been circumcised, so that they could be considered righteous [by their faith].
Thank God that you people, who were once slaves to [the practice of] sin, became obedient from [your] heart to the pattern of teaching [i.e., the Gospel message] you committed yourself to.
[But] how can they appeal to Him if they have not [first] believed in Him? And how can they believe in Him if they have not [first] heard [about Him]? And how can they hear [about Him] if there is no preacher?
[This happened] so that the blessing [promised] to Abraham might be received by the Gentiles through [the person and work of] Christ, so that we might receive the promised [gift of the] Holy Spirit through [our] faith [in Jesus].
So, you Gentiles by birth should remember what you once were. You are called "Uncircumcision" by those who are called "Circumcision" [i.e., the Jews], (which refers to a physical procedure performed by people).
for we have heard about [the evidence of] your faith in [the service of] Christ Jesus, and about the love you have [shown] for all the saints.
And though you were once estranged [from God] and were enemies [of His] in your mind because of your evil deeds,
And because of this we also thank God continually that, when you people received the message of God, which you heard from us, you did not accept it as a message from [mere] human beings, but as it truly is, the message from God, which is at work in you believers.
However, the solid foundation of God stands firm. [Note: This probably refers to the church. See I Tim. 3:15]. It is sealed with these words [i.e., certifying God's ownership and a commitment to Him]: "The Lord knows those who are His people," [See Num. 16:5], and "Everyone who confesses the name of the Lord should stop practicing wickedness." [See Isa. 36:13].
And [remember] that, from childhood, you have known the sacred Scriptures which are able to make you wise [enough] to be saved through faith in Christ Jesus.
For God's unearned favor has appeared, bringing salvation to all people [i.e., in the coming of Christ].
how will we escape [punishment] if we neglect such a great salvation? [For it was] first announced [to people] by the Lord and then confirmed to us [i.e., the writer and other Christians] by those who heard Him [i.e., the original apostles].
It was God's purpose to bring us into being [spiritually] by the message of truth, so that we could become a kind of "firstfruits" of those He created. [Note: "Firstfruits" here suggests either that Christians are the best of all of God's creatures (Num. 18:12), or that they were the first to be converted, with many more to come].
At one time you [Gentiles] were not a [chosen] people, but now you are God's [special] people. Once you had not received [His] mercy, but now you have received it.
And I saw another angel coming up from the east; he held the seal of the living God. [Note: This "seal" was a mark of identification or ownership]. And he called out with a loud voice to the four angels who had been given [the power] to harm the land and the ocean,