July 10, 2014 | by: 0 Comments|
During the Tuesday men’s small group, we studied Acts 4:12-13. We meant to study more, but we so thoroughly enjoyed thinking about those two verses and their implications for our lives that we did not move beyond them. Here’s what they say,
“And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.” Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were uneducated, common men, they were astonished. And they recognized that they had been with Jesus.
Verse 12 is the conclusion of Peter’s statement/sermon before the Council, and verse 13 is the beginning of the Council’s reaction to Peter and John. There were many good reflections on these verses by the brothers present, but let me just name three.
First, salvation is found in the person, Jesus Christ. We are tempted to find salvation in our works or in institutions, but salvation is found in Jesus alone. When we come to faith, we come to faith in him – believing that he personally saves us by bearing God’s punishment for our sins.
Secondly, Peter and John’s boldness reminded us that we too need to be bold in our evangelism. We need to speak when God gives us opportunities to speak, and we need to be bold in what we say – that means we need to avoid accommodating the truth in order to make it more palatable to our hearers. When we’re accommodating, we’re serving ourselves more than we’re serving our hearers and Christ.
Thirdly, we reflected on how we want others to recognize us as having intimately related to Jesus by faith. While we are not physically with Jesus, the Holy Spirit certainly mediates the presence of the ascended Christ to us by faith. That is surely part of the reason the Apostles will occasionally refer to the Holy Spirit as the “Spirit of Christ” (see Romans 8:9, Galatians 4:6, Philippians 1:19, 1 Peter 1:11). We want others to see in our gentleness and boldness that Christ is at work within us because of our faith in him.
It is my prayer that this day each of us would place our faith in Christ, speak boldly for him, and more fully embrace him in faith.
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