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On Trial for Christ (Part 3)
a commentary on Acts 5 (Application)
Thank you, Lord, for this day. May it be used for your glory!
Good morning everyone and welcome back to Biblit!
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Once again…let’s keep the application short and sweet and to the point.
Let’s jump in!
The Fear of the Lord
The key takeaway I have from this section is to seek a healthy fear of the Lord. It is the beginning of wisdom, something I think would be a good desire.
But where do we start?
What even does it mean to fear the Lord? Some people argue it is simply a healthy respect or reverence for God.
I wouldn’t say they are wrong, but I would say there is more to it than that. Otherwise, the Bible translation would have been “respect.”
CS Lewis painted a great picture in the Chronicles of Narnia when he described Jesus as a lion. Here is a direct quote from those books:
“Aslan is a lion- the Lion, the great Lion." "Ooh" said Susan. "I'd thought he was a man. Is he-quite safe? I shall feel rather nervous about meeting a lion"..."Safe?" said Mr Beaver ..."Who said anything about safe? 'Course he isn't safe. But he's good. He's the King, I tell you.”
I think that is the picture we need to have of God. He is not “safe” to approach on our own. And that is the great news of the gospel. We may not be able to approach God on our own, but Jesus’s sacrifice allows us to approach God as our loving and good Father and King.
The gospel message frees us from the world and slavery to sin. It frees us from deception, greed, and addictions to our own self. It frees us from pretending to be something we aren’t.
So whenever I get confused about the fear of the Lord, I think the first step is simply to remind myself of the gospel, approach God with boldness, and know that I’m not safe with God on my own. But I don’t approach Him alone.
I approach Him with Jesus and when God looks to me He sees the righteousness of Jesus Christ.
Sharing the Gospel Receives Praise
This one is a simple takeaway:
Are we inviting people around us to know Jesus as their savior? Are we feeding and taking care of the needy around us? Are we preaching the gospel to the many wandering sheep all around us?
Sharing the Gospel Receives Persecution
Persecution is a word that gets sticky. Especially in America. We aren’t persecuted like the disciples were. We won’t be flogged physically for sharing the gospel.
At least not yet. I actually recently learned that more people have been martyred for following Jesus in the last 100 years than in the remaining 1900 years of the church’s history combined!
That’s wild! And as the Bible prophesies, things will only get worse.
But for now, in America, we don’t receive that kind of persecution.
But we do receive opposition.
Even merciful ministries like orphan-care or crisis pregnancy centers receive opposition from unbelievers. Typically because of pride or agendas. They don’t agree with the ministry’s message or motives. Or they have clashing political agendas. So they oppress these ministries.
Either way, we should expect to receive opposition in our ministries.
And the harsh reality is that if we don’t receive opposition then we may actually be doing something wrong. If our ministry is doing the true work of God then Satan will want to send opposition our way to stop us.
The final takeaway is a direct quote from my commentary because I believe they did a great job of almost summing up this entire chapter:
“Do you want real Christian joy? Then follow the Acts model. Be compassionate toward the needy, be bold in your witness, and be filled with integrity, respect, and humility before people.”