#DailyDevotion What Is The Message That Can’t Be Suppressed?
Acts 529Peter and the other apostles answered, “We must obey God rather than men.
30You hanged Jesus on a cross and murdered Him. But the God of our fathers raised Him 31and took Him up to His right hand as Leader and Savior in order to give the people of Israel repentance and forgiveness of sins. 32We are witnesses of these things. — we and the Holy Spirit, Whom God has given those who obey Him.”
In the United States we have not had to use Peter’s principle of “We must obey God rather than men” often. Some Christians may want to use it anytime there is any suppression of the expression of the Christian faith while others may wait for a more oppressive use of government to suppress the Christian message. On the one hand your employer may not want your expression of your faith all over your desk or having bible studies and prayers during your work hours. You should listen to him. On the other hand, what you do during your lunchtime or after work hours that is your time to express your faith in Christ outwardly. Your kids may not be able to read their bible during class time when they are supposed to be doing their class work. On the other hand, when others have free reading time, recess and after-school groups they should be able to read their bibles, pray and express themselves like the rest of the kids. Should our government try to limit what we preach, whether it be the law of God or the Gospel of Christ then we should listen to God. Should the government restrict our gathering for a short period of time we should follow their directions as long as it isn’t limited to just our gatherings.
Now what was the message the Sanhedrin was trying to suppress? What did Peter answer concerning their message? “You hanged Jesus on a cross and murdered him. But the God of our fathers raised him.” First and foremost is the message of how Jesus died and how he has been raised from dead. Yes, Jesus died, was killed by the hands of wicked men. The Father had planned this before the foundation of the world. Through his death, the death brought into the world by Adam would be atoned for. As Adam’s death brought the cosmos into ruin and spread death to all his progeny so too the resurrection of Jesus, the second Adam brings around the restoration of the cosmos and life to all people. There is no one for whom Christ Jesus did not die for and obtained life for, including those persons responsible for his death.
Not only that, but Peter further tells us this Jesus was taken up to the right hand of the Father as our Leader and Savior in order to give to the people of Israel repentance and the forgiveness of sins. Yes at the right hand of the Father, the Son of Man governs all things, sitting on David’s throne. He sends forth his Holy Spirit through the men he sends with the message of the death and resurrection of Jesus. The Holy Spirit through this message brings about repentance, a change of mind, a change of sides in those who hear it. By the message of the free gift of forgiveness in Jesus’ name hearts and minds are converted from the devil and his ways to the Jesus and the Father and to their ways. Peter speaks of Israel here because he is talking to the Sanhedrin. Yet this is not only for Israel but for all people everywhere, especially to those whoe when they hear it obey it. To obey the gospel of Jesus Christ is to trust in his death and resurrection as being your very own and to make Jesus alone your boast of salvation. You add nothing to it or contribute anything to it. Jesus alone has wrought salvation for you.
Heavenly Father, as you send forth men to proclaim the good news of Jesus Christ, the gift of repentance and forgiveness of sins in his name, grant us all courage that may we always boldly proclaim it so others too may be saved. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.