Weekly Verse - May 7th
These verses stood out to me as I was reading in Acts last week (join the Acts reading challenge here). There is a powerful truth here. Let’s unpack it together.
The apostles are at Jerusalem. The Day of Pentecost has already come, and they are now preaching with boldness and performing many miracles. The church is growing by leaps and bounds, and the Sadducees are not happy about it. In fact, verses seventeen and eighteen says that they were “filled with indignation, and laid their hands on the apostles, and put them in the common prison”. Then the angel of the Lord freed them during the night. Pause — read that again — the angel of the Lord let them out! How amazing is that? Then he commanded them to go preach in the temple: the thing they were arrested for in the first place. They obeyed, logically — an angel told them to! However, the religious leaders were not pleased. After having them seized again, they questioned them. The apostles replied with the gospel (vs. 29-32). The following verse says that the religious leaders were “cut to the heart, and took counsel to slay them”. Our verses for this week were spoken by a Pharisee named Gamaliel. In verses thirty-six and thirty-seven he gives examples of men who had previously had a large following, but their fame died along with them. He then suggested that if Christianity was just man-made, then it would die out, but if it was truly from God, then there was no way to stop it.
Gamaliel was right. Two thousand years later Christianity still has not been overthrown, and it never will be! That’s because it is of God. We already saw earlier in the chapter that the angel of the Lord rescued the apostles from prison. Even the officers knew that something miraculous had to have happened because they said “the prison truly we found shut with all safety”. The facts were there. Miracles were happening, people’s lives were being transformed. This was, and is, of God!
I believe that if we truly grasp this powerful truth — that our faith is of God and man cannot overthrow it — then it will transform the way we live as believers. We do not need to have doubts: God has already given us more than enough evidence of His work. We do not need to fear what the world may do to stop Christianity: it cannot be overthrown! We can, and should, live in boldness and peace — like the apostles (vs. 41-42).
This week continue reading in Acts to discover how this truth was played out in the early church. Be encouraged and empowered!
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