Changing the Hearts of Two Apostles – Acts 9-10

A lot happens in Acts chapter 9, but clearly the most important thing is that the man (Saul of Tarsus) who had ravaged the church and approved of the deaths of Christians (including that of Stephen) is converted. In fact, he is found  preaching in the synagogue and declaring that Jesus is the Son of God. This naturally amazed and bewildered a great many people. Such a turnaround in such a short time made a lot of people skeptical. It is the most significant conversion of the New Testament because Paul, as he came to be called, ended up writing the epistles that became most of what we call the New Testament.

English: Peter's vision of a sheet with animal...

English: Peter’s vision of a sheet with animals, from Acts 10; illustration from Henry Davenport Northrop, “Treasures of the Bible,” published 1894 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In chapter 10, Peter has a vision that changes his life once again. The vision shows him that no animal is unclean, and Mosaic Law had demanded and that Gentiles, by extension, required a revision of his views. After he arrived at his house, Peter had told Cornelius of how the Spirit had pointed him toward their meeting. So then Cornelius told him of his vision, and that all present were commanded to hear what Peter has to say.  So then, Peter preached to them about the gospel of Jesus Christ.

There will be much more discussion about Gentiles in the kingdom of the Lord before the “Jerusalem Conference” of chapter 15, but Peter’s mind on the subject is made up already, it appears. In verses 34-35, he says “Truly I understand that God shows no partiality, but in every nation anyone who fears him and does what is right is acceptable to him.” And he finishes preaching with these words “all the prophets bear witness that everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name.”

 /Bob’s boy

Bible Reading Schedule for this month
Click links below to read or listen to audio of one of this week’s chapters in Colossians and Luke

Acts 8, Acts 9, Acts 10, Acts 11, Acts 12

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some images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers

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All of my comments in this blog are solely my responsibility. When reading any commentary, you should always refer first to the scripture, which is God’s unchanging and unfailing word.

 

 

 

 

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1 Corinthians 13 – The Way of Love

The words of this chapter about love are famous, and are often used, appropriately enough, in wedding ceremonies (including that of this blogger).  While they certainly do apply to love in the context of a husband and wife, Paul is speaking more about the love that Christians should have for each other, and for the Lord.   In chapter 12, Paul wrote to the Corinthians in part concerning the envy among them that arose from jealousy of some for the spiritual gifts that others had been given.  These feeling were contributing to the divisions that had developed among them.

46 is the earliest (nearly) complete manuscrip...

46 is the earliest (nearly) complete manuscript of the Epistles written by Paul in the new testament. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

He is making the point to them that brotherly love will endure, but spiritual gifts will pass away (verse 8).  Some of the churches throughout the land had letters written to them or circulated from churches in other location.  But nobody in the Apostolic age had the completed New Testament.  So these spiritual gifts not only served the purpose of building faith, but of giving them part of the knowledge of God’s truth they needed.

When Paul says in verse 9 “For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when the perfect comes, the partial will pass away,”  he refers to the fact that these gifts will no longer be needed when the recorded word of the Lord is complete.  The partial knowledge of the word, that these gifts provide, will no longer be required (note the words “all the truth” in John 16:13).  This makes their envy meaningless; and that is why Paul is cultivating their love for one another.  When he says in verse 11 “When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways,” he means that the maturity of knowledge due to its availability will be the driving force that will allow these gifts to cease.

Paul puts faith and hope together with love in verse 13, for they go together with it – and love is eternal.

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

/Bob’s boy
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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.