Modeling the Church; Then, Now, & Beyond – Chapter 2 part 3

Welcome Home everyone

Hope you’ve all been doing well. Lately we’ve all been going through the Book of Acts, which is one of my favorite books because it shows what life is like for believers post resurrection. It gives inspiring messages of perseverance through hardship and expectations for Biblical living which are still applicable today. More specifically, we’ll be covering Acts 2:22-23 which says

“Fellow Israelites, listen to this: Jesus of Nazareth was a man accredited by God to you by miracles, wonders and signs, which God did among you through him, as you yourselves know. This man was handed over to you by God’s deliberate plan and foreknowledge; and you, with the help of wicked men, put him to death by nailing him to the cross.”

Acts 2:22-23

To give some context, in this passage it’s the day of Pentecost, 50 days after the resurrection, and 10 days after Jesus ascended into heaven. God poured out His Spirit, filling the believers who were gathered in Jerusalem. They began speaking in other languages which confused the onlookers. Ultimately Peter stood up and addressed the crowd to explain what was going on. Citing Joel, saying how God will pour out His Spirit upon the young and the old. Which He had just done.

Now getting to our verses, we see Peter attempting to move the attention of the people towards his primary message. Which is about Jesus of Nazareth. A man that many if not all of them already knew by this point. He was reminding them of the fact that Jesus while here on earth performed many miracles, signs, and wonders. These which God did through Him in order to attest to the fact of who He is. Peter points out that the death of Jesus was a result of God’s deliberate plan and foreknowledge. What happened didn’t catch God off guard and wasn’t a plan that went sideways so to speak, but rather everything went according to how it should. What came about was the result of the combination of divine providence and human responsibility. Although everything went according to plan, those who carried it out were still responsible for what happened. From this there are two important points I’d like to present to you.

The first point is

God’s got a plan.

In Revelation 13:8 it speaks of the Lamb that was slain from the creation of the world. In Genesis chapter 3 it speaks of how the seed of the woman, being Jesus, would crush the head of the serpent. We see in the Gospels this very plan being carried out. Jesus came and died, restoring what was lost when Adam initially failed.

To me, this is reassuring. It’s evidence that God isn’t just making it up as He goes along. There has always been a clear end in mind, one that we have yet to experience but have been taking steps towards as God’s people since it’s been set into motion. Something to look forward to.

Now my 2nd point is that

We have a role to play.

In a sense we are working together with God to bring about what should come to pass. Just as those during Jesus’ day were responsible for His death, we are not just idle spectators, or at least we shouldn’t be. Rather we have been given tasks ourselves as believers. To spread the message of the Gospel, building up disciples, teaching, and baptizing. It’s called The Great Commission, not the Great Suggestion. We are involved in something that has been set into motion long ago. And to me that’s exciting. Sometime earlier I read about how the sun emits enough energy in a single second to power the United States for 9 million years. I can’t help but think about how we serve a God that not only put the sun, but every star in every galaxy in the universe in the sky. A glimpse at His awesome might and power and this God chose to seek us, fellowship with us, even die for us. Something that even looking forward to the eternity that awaits I don’t know if I’ll have the time to ever fully wrap my head around it.

Anyways, let’s go. Go out into the world with the realization that we get to be a part of something much bigger than ourselves. That we have joined together with God to accomplish what He has foreordained. To teach, preach, and grow in fellowship with one another. Awaiting the Great and Terrible Day of the Lord. Except for those of us who believe, it’ll be a great and glorious day. Let’s pray.

Lord, I pray for peace, and I pray for strength. I’m sure we’ve all had battles where we’ve needed to rely on your strength, and even now there may be some in here or some watching online who are currently in the midst of their battle, but I just want to say that we put our trust in you today. That whatever we may have been brought to I can say with confidence that you will bring us through. If there are any watching who have yet to come to know you or even just want to strengthen their already existing relationship with you, they can feel free to follow along.

Father, I thank you for your goodness and grace. And for the sacrifice of your Son on the cross for my transgressions. I recognize Christ as my redeemer who died and rose back to life and submit to Him as Lord of my life. Thank you for this day and for being with me always. Amen.

“‘“The Lord bless you
and keep you;
25 the Lord make his face shine on you
and be gracious to you;
26 the Lord turn his face toward you
and give you peace.”’

Numbers 6:24-26