Acts 4:33 ESV
And with great power the apostles were giving their testimony to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and great grace was upon them all.
Clinton trashes Trump, Trump slams Clinton, How the media spun the FBI’s decision, Deadly force sparks outrage, Fireworks accident blows off tip of Florida (satire). The daily headlines are all so opinionated and schismatic. Our modern decision matrix has more possibilities than we are able to process- because there is no standard other than selfish judgment. Everyone has a different way of solving challenges.
But who’s right?
ANOTHER 80/20 LAW
Almost 80% of Americans believe our country is moving in the wrong direction. If 42% of the nation prefer this candidate and 40% prefer that one, regardless of who gets elected the other 60% will be discontent. What is the national standard by which we must base our satisfaction in government?
Enter the Founding Documents.
Whether due to the five mentions of God in our Declaration of Independence (including Creator) or when our founding lawmakers signed the Constitution “in the year of our Lord” apparently our knowledge of God was the basis for U.S. law. Great idea. Because when any group of people (kids, students, citizens, etc.) can’t agree- a higher law must be appealed. If one believes gender is by birth but another believes it is by choice, a higher law must be consulted. If one believes life begins at birth but another believes it is at breath, a higher law must be sought.
Social theorists like Immanuel Kant considered a nation’s constitution as the higher law. Every subsequent national law was based on the previous. Makes sense. But his ideas were developed after our U.S. Constitution. Upon what higher law was our Constitution based? Upon what was the baseline of justice and liberty measured?
Enter the Church.
The Law of Christ (Ga 6:2) was the better law based on the former Law of Moses (He 8:6). The Law of Moses led us to Jesus Christ that we might be justified by faith (Ga 3:24). This faith was in demonstration as far back as Adam and Eve’s son, Abel (He 11:4). No higher law was ever before this law of faith, which remains today as the Law of Christ. Therefore, every current law either affirms or distorts the Law of Christ. Some call this the Law of Love, which is fine if by that statement we demand the love of God before the love of community. The latter is a huge point because it seems we often determine what love of community means first and then either agree with God or debate Him. If you love Jesus first, you will keep His commandments first, regardless of how you think the community will respond (Jn 14:15).
Tangential to the story of salvation is the elimination of evil. God saved mankind through Noah but also wiped out the remainder of humanity (Ge 6:13). God demonstrated His goodness through the Hebrews but destroyed rebellious people to do so (Josh 24:11-13). God loved the whole world but Jesus had to die to prove it (Jn 3:16). The Gentiles were welcomed into the family of God after the Jews were blinded that we might be saved (Ro 11:25).
The good news is that everyone is invited into this covenant of blessing with God. The demanding news is that you come on His terms. His Laws.
Today, these Laws are being abused in the forum of public opinion. Coincidentally, we have suddenly become ashamed of the Gospel and refuse to repeat the Words of Jesus. Why? Sometimes, it’s uncomfortable (I get that) but if we love people as much as we say we do, don’t we want what is best for them? The Gospel is always best! The world is looking to us to validate our position with the Gospel but we would rather act like we agree with them and hide the Gospel. What blessed generation has ever refused to proclaim the Gospel of God?
BACK TO THE TEXT
This is testimony to the Resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ.
For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes… – Apostle Paul of Tarsus
The Gospel is the whole counsel of God- not just the agreeable parts or philosophical parts but also the controversial parts (Acts 20:27). The Gospel (all of it) is the power of God. It was with this power the Apostles were giving their testimony to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. Now it’s our turn.
GREAT GRACE UPON THEM ALL
Grace is seen. Know that.
This Church in Acts was inimitably generous. They shared everything they had. They prayed with everyone they saw. They served Jesus daily in an evident lifestyle. No one wondered who were the Christians. No one had to dig deep into their wandering conversations to hear the Gospel. Grace was obvious. Today, we speak of grace as if it is the intangible present when good is invisible. Silliness. God’s grace came in contact with the Church so greatly that their actions were influenced by His will. In other words, they actually did what God called them to do. This doing was unmistakable to others. All others.
Here we are- the world doesn’t need us to hide the Gospel. They need us to find it. Proclaim it. Make it obviously loud.
In a generation that has been sold more junk and lies than ever before- an honest message would be refreshing. The theatrics and shrouded answers are old. It’s time to preach the truth and let God demonstrate Himself.
With power and grace.