Russell and Duenes

Turning Every One of You

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As I’ve been reading through Acts, God’s sovereignty has come clear in a more global sense. In other words, we see that God is directing all the growth and outreach of the new church.

For example, in Acts 1, God directs who is to replace Judas among the twelve apostles. In Acts 2, God shows his power over human tongues, giving the young believers the ability to speak new languages so that the gospel can go forth. God also “adds” souls to the church. In Acts 3, Peter, on the way to the Temple, says to a beggar: “I do not possess silver and gold, but what I do have I give to you: In the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene—walk!” Healing in Jesus’ name means Jesus is the sovereign power behind the healing. Indeed, Peter tells the amazed crowd: “Why do you gaze at us, as if by our own power or piety we had made him walk?” Peter concludes that “God raised up His Servant [Jesus] and sent Him to bless you by turning every one of you from your wicked ways.” God does the turning. 

In Acts 4, Peter and John are hauled before the Jewish leaders and told to stop preaching about Jesus. Having been duly threatened, they pray that they will ignore the threats and keep preaching. “And when they had prayed, the place where they had gathered together was shaken, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak the word of God with boldness.” God gives power for them to preach so boldly. Of course, in Acts 5, God takes Annias and Sapphira’s lives by His sovereign act, and also frees the apostles from prison so that they can return to preaching Jesus. In Acts 6, God gives Stephen power to work signs and miracles, and also gives him such strength in his witness that the Jewish people “were unable to cope with the wisdom and the Spirit with which he was speaking.”

All of this serves as a brief illustration of the way that God sovereignly orchestrated all the growth of His young Church. His strategy prevails and He moves things forward. He is the one who allows persecution, and delivers from it. The Church is His project and plan. We do well to remember it today.

-D

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Written by Michael Duenes

May 17, 2015 at 5:47 am

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