Word of Jesus Part 71

There are only a few actual words of Jesus in the remainder of the book of Act. This study is on the one in Act 18 and the one on giving in Act 20. I included extra verses for background. The actual words of Jesus are in bold lettering.

Act 18:1 After these things Paul departed from Athens and came to Corinth;
Act 18:2 And found a certain Jew named Aquila, born in Pontus, lately come from Italy, with his wife Priscilla; because that (Claudius had commanded all Jews to depart from Rome:) and came unto them.
Act 18:3 And because he was of the same craft, he abode with them, and wrought: for by their occupation they were tentmakers.

We see that Paul earned his living by working as a tentmaker instead of accepting offerings from the congregations that he preached to. He wanted nothing to hinder the gospel in any way and preferred to live this way. He was not teaching it as doctrine that everyone had to live by who preached the gospel. He just wanted to make sure no one thought he was preaching for gain materially. That is how sincere he was to get people to listen to the message he had on his heart.

Act 18:4 And he reasoned in the synagogue every sabbath, and persuaded the Jews and the Greeks.
Act 18:5 And when Silas and Timothy were come from Macedonia, Paul was pressed in the spirit, and testified to the Jews that Jesus was Christ.

The main message at this time was still given to the Jews. This message was that Jesus was the Christ. The Jewish people knew that a Messiah or Christ was supposed to come. Those that preached to the Jews had the task of convincing them of that fact.

Act 18:6 And when they opposed themselves, and blasphemed, he shook his raiment, and said unto them, Your blood be upon your own heads; I am clean: from henceforth I will go unto the Gentiles.

Paul was fed up and from then on turned to the Gentiles to spread the gospel. The Gentiles were not really looking for a promised Messiah so it had to be preached to them a little different yet the same message.

Act 18:7 And he departed thence, and entered into a certain man's house, named Justus, one that worshipped God, whose house joined hard to the synagogue.
Act 18:8 And Crispus, the chief ruler of the synagogue, believed on the Lord with all his house; and many of the Corinthians hearing believed, and were baptized.
Act 18:9 Then spake the Lord to Paul in the night by a vision, Be not afraid, but speak, and hold not thy peace:
Act 18:10 For I am with thee, and no man shall set on thee to hurt thee: for I have much people in this city.
Act 18:11 And he continued there a year and six months, teaching the word of God among them.

We see hear that the words of Jesus in chapter 18 was words of comfort. Jesus chose to comfort Paul because of the opposition that was coming to him from those who opposed the gospel.

We don't see as much of this recorded in the lives of the other apostles but I believe that Jesus spoke to them also. Paul didn't actually see Jesus after the resurrection like the other apostles although he did see Him in visions.

Act 20:18 And when they were come to him, he said unto them, Ye know, from the first day that I came into Asia, after what manner I have been with you at all seasons,
Act 20:19 Serving the Lord with all humility of mind, and with many tears, and temptations, which befell me by the lying in wait of the Jews:
Act 20:20 And how I kept back nothing that was profitable unto you, but have showed you, and have taught you publicly, and from house to house,
Act 20:21 Testifying both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks, repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ.

The same message is for both Jews and Gentiles or Greeks. Repentance toward God and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ.

Act 20:22 And now, behold, I go bound in the spirit unto Jerusalem, not knowing the things that shall befall me there:
Act 20:23 Save that the Holy Ghost witnesseth in every city, saying that bonds and afflictions abide me.

This is why Jesus spoke to Paul many times in words of assurance and comfort. Paul had to face much persecution for what He taught.

Act 20:24 But none of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry, which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God.
Act 20:25 And now, behold, I know that ye all, among whom I have gone preaching the kingdom of God, shall see my face no more.
Act 20:26 Wherefore I take you to record this day, that I am pure from the blood of all men.
Act 20:27 For I have not shunned to declare unto you all the counsel of God.
Act 20:28 Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.
Act 20:29 For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock.

This indeed did happen a few years after all the apostles died off. Many heresies crept into the church and in these latter days also it is happening.

This is why:
So many are quick to leave the simplicity of the gospel of Christ which is by faith and being faithful to Christ. Also we tend to be quick to lose our first love and begin to become bitter against any opposition instead of showing love. When we leave the simple message of the gospel and add ordinances, works, rituals, rites. ceremonies and try to go back under the law of outward acts to try to cleanse ourselves and make ourselves more holy, we actually are forgetting the gospel of faith in Jesus alone for cleansing from sin and try to establish our own righteousness by works and rituals. We are actually undoing the sacrifice and works of Jesus done on our behalf.

Jesus paid the price for sin. Jesus cleanses us from sin. Jesus made the way for us to receive salvation and eternal life. Jesus is the way now and we don't need to have ceremonial cleansing, rituals, idols, and all that crept into the church after the death of the apostles. Our salvation is through Jesus Christ. We don't need mediators, clergy and someone else doing our praying for us. We need to point people to Jesus and teach them to pray themselves. God wants to hear from them. No longer do we have to go through a prophet, priest, pope, dead saints, Mary, idols, or any other pathway. We now have access to the throne of God with simple faith in Jesus Christ.

The book of Galatians covers this thoroughly. Paul was dealing with those who tried to make Gentiles come under the law of circumcision to add to the salvation of Jesus Christ. This may be okay for health reasons but it is not necessary for salvation.

This is a good example of what happens in some of our churches. We may not try to force circumcision but we have other things added down through our church traditions that we try to force on people to make them more saved than simple faith in Christ.

I'm not talking of sin. Naturally if we are saved from sin by accepting Christ as savior, we are not to return to sin. Teaching against sin is not adding to the gospel because the gospel saves us from sin. However, teaching that we have to confess to a priest, dress in certain clothes, forbidding to marry, go through some rite, pray people out of purgatory, being baptized for the dead, ceremonial cleansing, animal sacrifice and any other things we try to do to make us more holy is actually going contrary to the gospel. The blood of Jesus is sufficient to cleanse us from sin and we don't need other things to make us holy. Jesus makes us holy.

Leaving the simplicity of the gospel is what leads to other things that cover up the truth. Commandments of men are substituted for the simple gospel.  This danger was present throughout the middle ages.  Another danger in latter years is the danger of teaching we can be saved by grace but still commit sin and not have to account for it.  That too is just as deadly and dangerous as depending of a clergy or an intercessor for our salvation.  Keep is simple.  Repent of sin, accept Christ and trust Him for the power not to return to the sin He saved us from.  Jesus keeps it simple so why do we try to complicate it?

Act 20:30 Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them.

Be careful of following a man or woman who claims they are the only way to true salvation and we can't get to God except through their ministry, church or intercession. That privilege belongs only to Jesus Christ. They may use the name of Jesus but they subtly begin to take his place when people trust too much in the man instead of in Jesus Himself.

God is not exclusive to one group of believers. He came to save all of us. The only thing that is exclusive is that there is no other way of salvation other than Jesus Christ. If there was, Jesus would not have had to die for our sins. Its okay to try to find a church closest to the bible that you can, but we must never think that our group is "IT" and God can't speak to anyone else or that our pastor is a "prophet" and we can't get to God without him or her. Jesus is the way the truth and the life. No person comes to the Father (God) but by Jesus Christ.

Act 20:31 Therefore watch, and remember, that by the space of three years I ceased not to warn every one night and day with tears.

Paul probably saw what came years later when the persecuted became the persecutors and burned at the stake many who tried to return the church to the truth.

Act 20:32 And now, brethren, I commend you to God, and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up, and to give you an inheritance among all them which are sanctified.
Act 20:33 I have coveted no man's silver, or gold, or apparel.
Act 20:34 Yea, ye yourselves know, that these hands have ministered unto my necessities, and to them that were with me.
Act 20:35 I have showed you all things, how that so laboring ye ought to support the weak, and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, It is more blessed to give than to receive.

Giving surely is a blessing. When one gives willingly and not of necessity, hoping for nothing in return, they are made happy. Blessing actually means be to happy. When we are content with thing things we have and do not strive to desire material things, we are blessed or happy. When we leave this thinking and begin to covet material things instead of the spiritual, we may still give but for the wrong reasons. We should not encourage people to give so that they will receive. We should give to receive spiritual things, not material. Our treasure should be in heaven, not in the earth.

It seems as if Paul was working and laboring not just to supply his own necessary needs but to be able to give to the weak and needy.

Act 20:36 And when he had thus spoken, he kneeled down, and prayed with them all.
Act 20:37 And they all wept sore, and fell on Paul's neck, and kissed him,
Act 20:38 Sorrowing most of all for the words which he spake, that they should see his face no more. And they accompanied him unto the ship.

We must not try to hold onto our people who feel the need to go out to preach the gospel.

I know of one dear person of my acquaintance who years ago while she was young felt called into the missions. Her pastor, her family and many others discouraged her from this saying the way is too hard. I personally never felt called to the missions and I don't see in myself what it would take to be a missionary but in this dear person, I see the qualities that would have been useful in that field. When we try to hold onto someone who may be called of God, we do err. If we have doubts about their calling, we need to pray alone, pray with them and seek God for confirmation. I realize that some are stirred by temporary emotions and may not really be called into what they may envision for themselves, but we need to be careful not to discourage obedience to the call of God on individual lives.  Yet when I read about their sorrow upon hearing that Paul was leaving permanently, it shows the love they had for him and how we should also love one another.  Not the the point of adoration and thinking them higher that we should think of them for they are just men or women, but to the point of the love which Jesus mentions when he says, "By this shall all men know that you are my disciples when you love one another."





 

 
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