To You First – Acts 3

Peter continues preaching in the Portico, telling his listeners that they must repent and turn back from their wickedness. He tells them that Jesus must now be received by heaven until it is time for Him to return. there He will remain, he says, “until the time for restoring all the things about which God spoke by the mouth of his holy prophets long ago.” It is the restoring of what God had proclaimed was very good in the beginning — until sin entered the world.

Moses with Radiant Face (1638 painting by José...

Moses with Radiant Face (1638 painting by José de Ribera) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Peter then cites Deuteronomy 18:15-19, where “Moses said, ‘The Lord God will raise up for you a prophet like me from your brothers. You shall listen to him in whatever he tells you. And it shall be that every soul who does not listen to that prophet shall be destroyed from the people.” All the prophets since Samuel, Peter said, have spoken about “these days.”

They are the sons of those prophets, he told them. And they are blessed because God sent Him to them first, to bless them by turning them from their wickedness. Did Peter realize fully while he was giving that sermon that he was implying something very wonderful by the inclusion of that word “first” in that message? Paul would say it plainly in Romans 1:16:

For I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one who believeth, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.

Schedule for this week
Read or listen to audio of today’s selection from Acts here
Read or listen to audio of today’s selection from 2 Chronicles here

/Bob’s boy
___________________
some images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers

All of my comments in this blog, however, are solely my responsibility.  When reading ANY commentary, you should ALWAYS refer first to the scripture, which is God’s unchanging and unfailing word. Reading schedules, as well as a link to the site where you can get the reading plan that I’m currently following for yourself can be found on the “Bible Reading Schedules” page of my website at http://graceofourlord.com.  

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He Was Here – Acts 3

Deposition of Christ, 1507, drawing from Roman...

Deposition of Christ, 1507, drawing from Roman sarcophagi. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

And now, brothers, I know that you acted in ignorance, as did also your rulers. But what God foretold by the mouth of all the prophets, that his Christ would suffer, he thus fulfilled. (Acts 3:17-18)

Peter’s olive branch that he presented to those present in the Portico concerning the death of Jesus also served as an accusation against the “ruler” – the Sanhedrin in particular. But as he said, God had foretold by the prophets that Jesus would suffer. It is true that there are many passages that foretold such a happening. Some estimate the number at about 300. Psalm 22 and Isaiah 53 are two of the most well-known and so obvious concerning what they are all about.

Peter continues to drive home to everyone who will listen that the messiah that they all had waited on for hundreds of years had indeed come already. And rather than rejoice and be glad for His arrival, they had killed Him. It was a hard-hitting blow, and purposely so. What better could there be to get the attention of those that need salvation than to deliver such a message? He had been there, right under their very noses, and they missed Him.

Schedule for this week
Read or listen to audio of today’s selection from Acts here
Read or listen to audio of today’s selection from 2 Chronicles here

/Bob’s boy
___________________
some images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers

All of my comments in this blog, however, are solely my responsibility.  When reading ANY commentary, you should ALWAYS refer first to the scripture, which is God’s unchanging and unfailing word. Reading schedules, as well as a link to the site where you can get the reading plan that I’m currently following for yourself can be found on the “Bible Reading Schedules” page of my website at http://graceofourlord.com.  

1 Corinthians 10 – Do All to the Glory of God

Though most of the Corinthians were Gentiles, Paul refers to the Israelites led by Moses as “our fathers”,  because all Christians share the same spiritual ancestry (Galatians 3:7-8, 29).  The word “for” in the first sentence connects this chapter to the points that Paul has been speaking to in chapters 8-9 that, among other things, declare that Christians must be willing to “give up” things that they may even see as their own “rights,” if that behavior is detrimental or a stumbling block to others.  Concerning verse 7, McGarvey says “The ‘playing’ which Paul refers to (quoted from Exodus 32:3-6, 19, 25) was familiar to the Corinthians, who had indulged in such licentious sportfulness in the worship of Bacchus and Venus…Eating at the feast of idols was the very privilege for which the Corinthians were contending.”

Corinth temple

The wrongness of that behavior should be obvious to them, but even eating at the idol temples, as many would, could present a temptation to fall into the old ways of idolatry and sexual immorality.  Therefore, Paul says in verse 12 “…let anyone who thinks that he stands take heed lest he fall.”  But he continues in verse 13 by saying that “God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.”   These words should be a comfort to the faithful.  No matter what temptation we are presented with, God will always provide a way out – but we have to choose to take it!

Finally, in verses 23-33, Paul deals with the issue of eating food that had been sacrificed to idols.  Much of the meat that was sold in the markets could have come from such a source.  Paul makes it clear that idols are nothing in reality, and that eating such would not be a sin by itself.  But if it was a matter of conscience, that was different; and the conscience referred to might be that of a brother in Christ.  For if someone else believed it was wrong to eat such food, the Christian should not do it in their presence or in a view that would offend or jeopardize the salvation of someone else.  Our own liberty does not include damaging the sensibilities or faith of another.

Read or listen to audio of ESV version of this selection from this link.

/Bob’s boy
___________________
some images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers

Please note: I did not design the reading plan that I am following in my blog.  All of my comments in this blog, however, are solely my responsibility.  When reading ANY commentary, you should ALWAYS refer first to the scripture, which is God’s unchanging and unfailing word. Reading schedules, as well as a link to the site where you can get the reading plan that I’m currently following for yourself can be found on the “Bible Reading Schedules” page of my website at http://graceofourlord.com.  For questions and help, please see the “FAQ” and “Summaries” pages there.

1 Corinthians 5 – Sexual Immorality Defiles the Church

In chapter 5, Paul begins addressing the reports of sexual immorality among the church members at Corinth.  Paul tells them in verse 1 that word has reached him of one among them who is engaged in incest with what is presumably his step-mother (Paul would simply have said “his mother” if that were the case).  They were in the midst of, and converted to Christianity from, a pagan society that tolerated – even celebrated sexual immorality and idolatry. Yet Paul states that immorality of this nature is “not tolerated even among pagans” (both Greek and Roman cultures condemned incest).

Corinth Tribune where Gallio defended Paul (Acts 18:12-16)

Paul finds it amazing that the church there has problems with people full of pride (verse 2), and that many are boasting (verse 6) about their gifts and their capable teachers, while they tolerate and say nothing about one of their own being involved in such scandalous immorality!  Verse 5 simply means that instead of acting as if everything is normal with such a man in their midst, they must distance themselves from him in the proper manner.  The key phrase is  “so that his spirit may be saved.”  By not correcting him and behaving as if he is doing no wrong, the church there is neglecting his very soul (not to mention the fact that the public nature of his sin is known to others outside the congregation, thus harming the church).

Finally, Paul is making the point in verses 9-13 that when he tells them that they must not associate with sexually immoral people, he does not mean those of the world.  He is talking about brothers in Christ that are “guilty of sexual immorality or greed, or is an idolater, reviler, drunkard, or swindler.”  It is not for them to judge outsiders, for if they do not associate with sinners that have not come to Christ, how can they teach the lost?

Read or listen to audio of ESV version of this selection from this link.

/Bob’s boy
___________________
some images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers

Please note: I did not design the reading plan that I am following in my blog.  All of my comments in this blog, however, are solely my responsibility.  When reading ANY commentary, you should ALWAYS refer first to the scripture, which is God’s unchanging and unfailing word. Reading schedules, as well as a link to the site where you can get the reading plan that I’m currently following for yourself can be found on the “Bible Reading Schedules” page of my website at http://graceofourlord.com.  For questions and help, please see the “FAQ” and “Summaries” pages there.