Boldness, 2

“They spoke the word of God with boldness” – Acts 4:31b

Boldness comes from the Lord.

This is how the word of God is to be spoken.

I have many people in this city

“Do not be afraid; keep on speaking, do not be silent. For I am with you, and no one is going to attack and harm you, because I have many people in this city.” – Jesus (Acts 18:9-10)

This should be a great encouragement to evangelize.

Gathered Together With Jesus and Reported All They Had Done

“The apostles gathered together with Jesus; and they reported to Him all that they had done and taught.” – Mark 6:30

This is us at the end of every day.

The City Was Given Over To Idols

“Now while Paul waited for them at Athens, his spirit was provoked within him when he saw that the city was given over to idols.”Acts 17:16

You could insert the name of any modern city for Athens.

Castor and Pollux

And after three months we departed in a ship of Alexandria, which had wintered in the isle, whose sign was Castor and Pollux.” – Acts 28:11

What is the point of giving us the ship’s figurehead? It doesn’t further the narrative at all.

The point is: it’s an eyewitness detail. Luke gives it, because he was there (this is one of the “we passages”) and Castor and Pollux were the sign on their ship.

It’d be like me saying, “We drove to Morgantown in a car that had a “Baby on Board” sign on it. Why mention the sign? Because it was there and I included it in my eyewitness report. Maybe other passengers didn’t even see the sign, but it stuck out to me, so I included it in mine.

It is given to cement the Bible’s historicity and veracity.

The whole city came together to hear the word of God

“On the next Sabbath almost the whole city came together to hear the word of God. But when the Jews saw the multitudes, they were filled with envy; and contradicting and blaspheming, they opposed the things spoken by Paul.” – Acts 13:44-45

Note the 2 reactions:

What an amazing reaction by the WHOLE CITY!

What a sad reaction by the ruling class.

I’m a Whosoever

im-a-whosoever

I’m a Whosoever

• Jew or Gentile • Male or Female • Young or Old • Rich or Poor • Conservative or Liberal • Republican or Democrat • Gay or Straight • Married or Single • Introvert or Extrovert • Ex-Con or Eagle Scout • Crook or Cop • Traditionalist or Progressive • Successful or Start-Up • Wall Street or Skid Row • Country folk or City slicker • Early Bird or Night Owl • Blue Collar or White Collar • Silver Spoon or Street Smart • Marvel or DC • Yanny or Laurel • Them or Us • Me or You

“For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” – Rom. 10:13, Acts 2:21, & John 3:16

“Whosoever” in Greek means: each & every. Is there anybody that does not fall under the category of each & every?

  • I am an each & every.
  • You are an each & every.
  • We all are an each & every.

“The emphasis of the total picture is on ‘one piece at a time’ and then focuses on the ‘parts making up the whole.'” In other words, we are all interlocking pieces to a grand puzzle creating a masterpiece picture of God’s love for His children shown through His Son, Jesus.

The invitation is open to each & every, but it is a limited-time offer. He is coming back soon. Then it will be too late. Don’t delay.


Ref: http://biblehub.com/greek/3956.htm

The Gospel Is For Everyone

God-is-not-partial

Over and over the Bible says God shows no partiality. Yes, He elected Israel and gave them His Word first, but thankfully the door is now wide open to every nation.

Here is why: all sin and fall short.

All. Everyone. Every country. Every nation. Sin rules the Jew and the Gentile. Sin enslaves the young or old. Sin destroys the rich or poor. Sin is the great equalizer of nations. Sin is the common denominator in all our DNA. It is because of the debilitating pervasiveness of sin that God shows no partiality.

You say: “Not me! I try my best to be good. I don’t do anything bad!”

Actually, what you are (if you are without Christ Jesus) is not good or bad; but DEAD. Jesus didn’t come to condemn, but save. Jesus didn’t come to make bad people good or good people better. Jesus came to bring dead people back to life.

God shows no partiality because a dead body is the same as any other dead body and He doesn’t like dead bodies; He likes living ones.

God shows no partiality because of His goodness.

God shows no partiality because the Gospel is for everyone.

Who wrote Acts?

Who wrote Acts?

A Defense for Lukan Authorship of Acts

Who wrote Acts? Did you ever wonder? Because it doesn’t say. What’s the difference—Does it even matter? Well, yeah – I’d say it kind of matters. So, here’s a 1,950 year old spoiler alert: Luke most likely wrote Acts. Not only that, but he wrote Acts as a follow-up to the longest of the canonical Gospels; The Gospel of Luke. But, how did scholars arrive at this conclusion? How do we know? Here are some factors that we can use to determine the authorship of Acts. Will the real author please stand up?

Evidence to support Lukan authorship comes in two forms, external evidence and internal evidence.[1] The external evidence is what scholars have said about the document’s author and the internal evidence are what clues we can get from the document itself.

As far as the external evidence goes, at the top of the list is the testimony of the early Church Fathers. They fully supported Lukan authorship. This testimony is both early and unchallenged. Moving on, The Muratorian Canon (AD 180) affirms Lukan authorship, as does Irenaeus in his work, “Against Heresies” (ca. AD 180). Also the Anti-Marcionite Prologues, Clement of Alexandria, and Tertullian in “Against Marcion” all in the late 2nd Century unanimously support Lukan authorship.

When we come to the internal evidence the case is a little harder to establish, but still pretty clear. First of all, if you look at the formal literary introduction of the prologues of Luke and Acts, both mention that the recipient as “Theophilus” (which means, “Friend of God” [whether this was an actual person or a generic term for any Christian reader is debatable]). The author also mentions his “first book” in Acts, which would indicate that Acts was a second book (or what we might call today, a sequel). The sophisticated writing styles of Luke and Acts are extraordinarily similar: Hellenistic Greek used, vocabulary, common themes, and literary devices (such as the travel narrative). Both authors have knowledge of Roman law, nautical terms, and Greek society… which points to Luke.

 The “We” Passages of Acts

If Luke wasn’t there then how did he write about it? Here is where it gets interesting. First and foremost let’s not belittle the Holy Spirit’s work in all of this. “All Scripture is God-breathed (2 Tim. 3:16).” However that process looks, the Holy Spirit was absolutely vital to the writing of Acts. Amen! Secondly, this privileged information that Luke mentions in Acts can be explained by the “We” Passages.

In Acts 23:25-30, 25:14-22, and 26:30-32, the author switches from the regular third person narrative (he, she, they) to a first person plural (we). This denotes someone who was actually there as an eyewitness. Some believe this portion to be copied from “an itinerary or diary that he himself wrote.”[2] This is intriguing for several reasons. The author obviously recognizes himself as a traveling “companion of Paul.”[3] We learn in Col 4:14 that Luke was one such traveling companion. Secondly, since the author uses “we,” he would not use his name in these instances and anyone mentioned in these passages cannot be the author. Thirdly, since this person is mentioned with Paul in chapter 27-28 as going with Paul to Rome, it is reasonable to assume that the author was with Paul as he was imprisoned.[4] While Paul was in prison he wrote many letters and mentions people by name that were there too. Luke is on that list. So if we take the names of the people mentioned in the “we” passages and subtract them from the people listed in the prison epistles, the only person is—Luke.


[1] Robert Wayne Stacy, TheDocinabox, “Lukan Authorship of Acts,” accessed January 14, 2015, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=35FfvIyIZcw.

[2] D. A. Carson and Douglas J. Moo, An Introduction to the New Testament. 2nd ed. (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2005), 292.

[3] Ibid., 296.

[4] Thomas D. Lea and David Alan Black, The New Testament: Its Background and Message, 2nd ed. (Nashville, TN: B&H Academic, 2003), 283.


Bibliography

Carson, D A., and Douglas J. Moo. An Introduction to the New Testament. 2nd ed. Grand Rapids, Mich.: Zondervan, 2005.

Lea, Thomas D., and David Alan Black. The New Testament: Its Background and             Message, 2nd ed. Nashville, TN: B&H Academic, 2003.

Stacy, Robert Wayne. 2012. “Lukan Authorship of Acts,” TheDocinabox, January 3, 2013. Accessed January 14, 2015, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=35FfvIyIZcw.


Submitted to Liberty University Baptist Theological Seminary in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the completion of the course NBST 520 New Testament Orientation II

Dungeon Songs

Acts 16:24
Acts 16:25

Ever get a song stuck in your head? Of course you have! The Belle Stars’, “Iko Iko” from the movie, “Rain Man” used to get it’s catchy claws on my brain and not let go.

Well, how about after you’ve been arrested… in a dungeon… at midnight? Still got a song rattling around up there? Kind of different, huh? Well, that’s exactly what Paul and Silas were doing when they were in prison in Philippi:

“But about midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns of praise to God, and the prisoners were listening to them;” (Acts 16:25)

Nowadays, songs that get stuck in my head are Christian worship songs. That may sound weird to you, but to me it isn’t. A couple of years ago I took the K-Love “30-Day Challenge” of listening to only Christian music for a month… and I never looked back. That’s not my point, my point is this: we lay up things in our heart. They can either be things of God or things not of God. When you wake up with a Christian song or a Scripture verse in your head, then this is the “song in the night” that God has given you!

“The LORD will command His lovingkindness in the daytime; And His song will be with me in the night, A prayer to the God of my life.” (Psalms 42:8)

Prison at midnight might not seem like a great place for singing. But in fact, it was ideal. Note that “the prisoners were listening to them.” What a witness! How many of Paul and Silas’s fellow inmates were converted that night? It’s hard to tell.

It’s also hard to tell who’s listening to you. And make no mistake, nonbelievers are listening. What are you singing? What songs are stuck in your head? God can give you songs in the night and it will be a prayer to the God of your life!

May God’s Love be with you

Re: Daily Devotion with Greg Laurie, “Songs in the Night”