#DailyDevotion True Love Is Made Real By Sacrifice Of Self


#DailyDevotion True Love Is Made Real By Sacrifice Of Self

1 John 3:16–18 16This is how we learned what love is: He gave His life for us. We, too, should give our lives for our fellow Christians. 17If anyone has this world’s goods and sees his fellow Christian is in need but shuts his heart against him, how can he still be loving God? 18Children, let us not love only in words or in talk, but let us put our love into action and make it real.

We had to learn what love is. If we are in Christ we have learned this. What is love? “He gave his life for us.” First there is the love of God the Father. He loved us so that he gave his only begotten son into death so that we might though his name be given unto life. We may think, “Well the Father is God, how would that really effect him? He knew he was going to raise Jesus from the dead.” But this thinking is wrong headed. God the Father gave us an example when he commanded Abraham to sacrifice is son Isaac to the LORD. Certainly Abraham was moved by this even though he still believed God could and would raise Isaac from the dead since the LORD promised man descendents through Isaac. No, this was a sacrifice on the Father’s part to offer up his son for the sin of the world.

Jesus shows us his great love for us at Calvary. He suffered much so that we might have the gift of eternal life. If anyone thinks this was a breeze for Jesus because Jesus is God they are far mistaken. Jesus is also truly man like you and I. He did not make use of his divine majesty to not suffer. No, he must feel the full brunt of the rejection of the Father because the sins of the world were laid upon him. In every aspect of his human nature did Jesus feel the spiritual impact of having our sins laid on him and the physical impact of the same. This is so much so Jesus in the garden when great tears, sweating drops of blood, asked the Father if there was another way to make it so, but not his will but the Father’s will be done. The Father’s will was Jesus should suffer and die for our sins. Jesus assented to the Father’s will out of his love for us by giving up his life for us.

If this is how God loves us, then we should share this love with every Christian brother and sister. We too should share our lives with our Christian family. So John says, 17“If anyone has this world’s goods and sees his fellow Christian is in need but shuts his heart against him, how can he still be loving God?” Time is money. Time is life. Life is money/wealth. When we give of our wealth to help our fellow Christians in need we are giving up part of our life for them. We should worship the LORD, Father, Son and Holy Spirit and not Mammon (worldly wealth). To worship them, to believe they love us, is to give of our loves to those who are joined to us in the spirit of Christ, who participate in the life of Jesus. If we will not give of our lives/wealth with those fellow Christians in need then the life of God is not in us and we worship Mammon and not the LORD.

We often hear, “Our thoughts and prayers are with you.” This should not be dismissed but appreciated. However, if we have the ability to help, to give of our time and wealth to assist a fellow Christian in need, we need to put our love in action and make it real, i.e. manifest to them and to our God. If we don’t then those are just empty words. When we sacrifice our time and wealth for others then God’s love for us is complete and perfected.

Oh all loving God and Father, you gave your only begotten son into death for our life in your great love. May we do the same with our lives towards our fellows. In Jesus’ name we pray.  Amen.

#DailyDevotion There Is No Other Name Than Jesus (Yah Saves) By Which We Are Saved


#DailyDevotion There Is No Other Name Than Jesus (Yah Saves) By Which We Are Saved

Acts 4:5-12 5The next day their rulers, elders, and Bible scholars met in Jerusalem 6with Annas the high priest, Caiaphas, John, Alexander, and all the others of the high priest’s family. 7And they had the two men stand before them. “By what power or name did you do this?” they asked. 8Then Peter was filled with the Holy Spirit. “Rulers of the people and elders,” he said to them. 9”if we’re questioned today about helping a crippled man, how he was made well, 10all of you and all the people of Israel should know this man stands healthy before you by the name of Jesus Christ from Nazareth, Whom you crucified but God raised from the dead. 11He is the Stone rejected by you builders and has become the Cornerstone. 12No one else can save us, because in all the world there is only one name given us by which we must be saved.”

Remember they were imprisoned at the Temple, i.e. Peter and John. Hence we see the high priest and his family coming out to judge them. They question them, “By what power or name did you do this?” Now we should remember Jesus’ promise to his disciples, Luke 12, 11“When they bring you before synagogues, rulers, and authorities, don’t worry how you will defend yourselves or what you will say. 12When that time comes, the Holy Spirit will teach you what to say.” In accordance with this promise Peter is filled with the Holy Spirit and begins to speak.

Peter points them and us to Jesus Christ from Nazareth. The man and the name that was hung upon the cross on Calvary. It is by his power and his name this man, whom they all knew who begged regularly at the temple gates because of his infirmities was made well (Greek σεσωται, σώζω to save). I give you the Greek here because is being translated as “made well” which is a good translation. The word though in verse twelve (be saved) is the same Greek word. Salvation is not just sins forgiven. It is not just being raised from the dead. It is being made whole as well, i.e. if our sins are forgiven us that has effects not only spiritually but physically. You may remember Adam died the day he rebelled against the LORD and ate the fruit. First his soul died, later his body died as an effect of sin. Now we are healed, sozo, spiritually first then at the resurrection, bodily. Peter though interjects the sozo, salvation and heals the guys on the steps of the temple.

Peter witnesses to the murderers of Jesus Christ of Nazareth that God had raised this Jesus from the dead in fulfillment of Psalm 118:22. Jesus confessed this would happen in the three synoptic Gospel (Matthew, Mark and Luke). Paul confesses this truth in Ephesians and Peter mentions it again in his epistle. Peter tells them this to give them the chance to repent as he did the other Jews earlier. Now Peter boldly proclaims, “12No one else can save us, because in all the world there is only one name given us by which we must be saved.”

Peter is equating Jesus Christ of Nazareth to God here. The name of the LORD (YHWH) is Jesus Christ. His name alone gives physical salvation. His name alone gives eternal salvation, the forgiveness of sins. It is the Father’s will that every knee bow and every tongue confess that Jesus is LORD (YHWH) and him alone does he give salvation. This name of Jesus of God gives, the Church gives freely to all who would receive it and escape eternal perdition and enter into the kingdom of God.

Heavenly Father, we thank you for the name of Jesus in which we have total and complete salvation. Grant us faith always in this name and put it on our lips that we may share this salvation. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

#DailyDevotion The Resurrection Of The Body Is Our Teaching, Not Becoming Angels


#DailyDevotion The Resurrection Of The Body Is Our Teaching, Not Becoming Angels

Acts 4:1-4 While they were talking to the people, the priests, the captain of the temple, and the Sadducees stepped up to them, 2much annoyed because they were teaching the people and preaching that in Jesus the dead rise. 3They arrested them, and since it was already evening, they put them in prison until the next day. 4But many of those who had heard the Word believed, and the number of the men grew to about 5,000.

So remember from last Sunday the Apostles Peter and John healed a beggar at the Temple gate. The crowd was amazed and the Apostles let the crowd know it was by the authority Jesus’ name whom they and the rulers had crucified but God had raised him from the dead.

The priests instead of repenting of their sin and believing the Apostles’ message have the two arrest now because “they were teaching the people and preaching that in Jesus the dead rise.” Now the Sadducees were going to be doubly annoyed at this because a. they had Jesus killed and b. they don’t believe in the resurrection of the body on the Last Day.

Now hopefully this Easter season we all can get this into our hearts and our minds. Jesus didn’t rise on the third day so we can be bodiless spirits floating around on the clouds. He didn’t rise from the dead so we could become angels or our loved ones guardian angels. Jesus rose on the third day so that we too, at the end of this age, rise bodily from the dead like he rose bodily from the dead. What did he tell his disciples? “Touch me and see that I am not a ghost but have flesh and bone.” So while we may not know exactly what sort of body well will have at the eschaton (Last Day), we know it will be like Jesus’ body, flesh and bone, and glorified as his body has been glorified.

We often spend a lot of time speculating on what happens to us when we die. If you are in Christ, who cares. It is a drop in the bucket of eternity compared to the life we will spend with God in our resurrected spiritual bodies. We need to spend more time contemplating what we will be like when we are resurrected. We need to spend more time thinking about what the New Heavens and New Earth are going to be like. We need to spend more time thinking about what it will be like to see our Redeemer in our own flesh with our own eyes and not another’s. We need to speak more about the resurrection and less about about some temporal time as bodiless spirits in heaven. That is not our hope. That is not the central teaching of Jesus Christ.

The central teaching of Jesus Christ is that he has died for our sins and is risen from the dead. Because he is risen all will rise from the dead on the Last Day. Some will rise to eternal life and shine like the brightness of the stars. These are they who have put their faith in Jesus Christ and his name. The others will rise to eternal perdition and be cast into the lake of fire made by God to punish the fallen angels. What a glorious day that will be when we are raised whole and undefiled with bodies no longer hampered by sin but living only by the power of the Holy Spirit. Our lives today compare not to what we will live like with one another no longer driven by selfishness and self-centeredness but by love of God and love of neighbor. Come Lord Jesus!

Heavenly Father, grant that we may live by faith in our risen Lord Jesus Christ and by that faith begin to live the resurrected life in this age as we await the resurrection of our bodies in the next. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

#DailyDevotion Only Jesus Opens Our Minds to Understanding, Repentance & Forgiveness


#DailyDevotion Only Jesus Opens Our Minds to Understanding, Repentance & Forgiveness

Luke 24:44-49  44“While I was still with you,” He said to them, “I told you that everything written about Me in the Law of Moses, the Prophets, and the Psalms must come true.” 45Then He opened their minds to understand the Bible. 46“This,” He told them, “is what is written: The Christ will suffer and will rise from the dead on the third day; 47and that repentance and the forgiveness of sins will be preached in His name to all people, beginning at Jerusalem. 48You will testify of these things.” 49 “I am sending you Him Whom My Father promised. Wait here in the city until you are armed with power from above.”

For three years Jesus taught his disciples. I’m guessing that’s why I had to go to seminary for three years (not including the year of vicarage). During this time he told them everything written about him in the Law, the Prophets and the Psalms. We don’t have everything Jesus taught them written down. We get the highlights of that teaching, which is why our Gospels and Epistle lessons aren’t much bigger with quotations from the Old Testament. If you think you see Jesus in an Old Testament Lesson, no doubt, you are correct, even if the New Testament doesn’t quote that particular piece of Scripture.

Now for those who don’t know, the Law of Moses is the first five books of your English bible. The prophets usually referred to as Isaiah through Malachi. Jesus says the Psalm here but sometimes the Writings which is everything else. In order to understand the Scriptures, just as Jesus opened the minds of the disciples, he needs to open our minds as well. An unbeliever can get some understanding of the Bible through grammar, logic and vocabulary as much as any book but they will never truly understand it until God converts them through the Law and the Gospel. They will never see how it all points to Jesus and his fulfillment of it. This is why you will often have a hard time of convincing someone of the biblical truth. Their minds are just closed to its meaning. But God got through your thick skull. Through your efforts He can penetrate and convert their minds as well.

So what does the Bible say about Jesus? Just this, “The Christ will suffer and will rise from the dead on the third day; 47and that repentance and the forgiveness of sins will be preached in His name to all people, beginning at Jerusalem.” The lectionary throughout Lent and now in Easter covers many of these passages from the Old Testament that show us Jesus had to suffer, die and rise again. Here we may want to focus on that repentance and forgiveness of sins would be preached in his name to all people beginning at Jerusalem. In your Old Testament readings you will often see references to the LORD revealing himself to the nations, gathering the nations, a flag to the nations and the like. Paul will reference going to the Jews first and then the Gentiles. It is a great mystery, Paul says, the Gentiles are joined to Israel through baptism and faith in Jesus Christ. They all become one holy people for Jesus.

So we continue to proclaim repentance (contrition, sorry, terror over our sins) and forgiveness (the atonement, propitiation, expiation and eternal life) in Jesus’ name. There is no other name in heaven or earth whereby men can be saved. Yet freely in Jesus’ name is eternal salvation given to all people, in all times, and in all places.

Heavenly Father, continually open our minds by your Holy Spirit so we may believe Jesus is the Christ and may he accompany our witness of Jesus so those we witness to may understand the Scriptures and be saved. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

#DailyDevotion You Will Recognize Jesus By His Scars


#DailyDevotion You Will Recognize Jesus By His Scars

Luke 24:36–43 36While they were talking about what had happened, Jesus stood among them. “Peace to you!” He said to them. 37They were startled and terrified and thought they were seeing a ghost. 38“Why are you troubled?” He asked them. “And why do doubts come into your minds? 39Look at My hands and My feet: it is I Myself. Touch Me and see. A ghost doesn’t have flesh and bones as you see I have.” 40As He said this, He showed them His hands and His feet. 41They were overcome with joy and amazement because they thought it was too good to be true. “Do you have anything here to eat?” He asked them. 42They gave Him a piece of broiled fish. 43He took it and ate it while they watched Him.

This appearance of Jesus in his resurrection occurs after he appears to Cleopus and another disciple. They had talked with Jesus and he had revealed himself in the breaking of the bread. They had run to the eleven to tell them what had happened. In the midst of their witnessing of what had happened or at least the disciples were talking about what Cleopus had just relayed to them, Jesus stands before them and says, “Peace to you!” “Shalom!”

At first they were terrified and thought they were seeing a ghost. After all, Jesus had died and the doors were locked. How could he be standing there? Oh, these doubting disciples! Jesus asks them why are they troubled and have doubts come into their minds. Jesus had been telling them this was going to happen since at least he was transfigured before the three. They didn’t want to hear it back them. The message of the cross was too much for them to bear at that time. They never really understood the resurrection, until now.

Jesus is truly risen. Jesus points to his hands and feet. Why? Because they have the nail holes from his crucifixion. It is him and not some spirit pretending to be him. He bids them to touch him to see he has flesh and bone and is not a ghost, a vision or demon. Jesus is truly raised from the dead bodily. He never sheds his body after his resurrection. He has ascended with it into heaven. He will return with it. It is important we fix this in our minds and in our children’s minds. There are a lot of false prophets out there claiming to have the spirit of Christ or be Jesus reincarnated. All Christians share in the Holy Spirit and the person of Jesus indwells us all. But that is not what these false prophets put forth. They claim to be Jesus himself. But where are the nail holes in their hands and feet? Where is the hole in their side? The scriptures say we will looked upon the one whom we have pierced. That is how we recognize it is Jesus. He was crucified with us and bears the scars. Jesus to overcome their doubts even eats a piece of fish to show he isn’t a phantom.

They were overcome with joy and amazement. We too should be filled with joy and amazement. If Jesus is risen, and he is, then he has overcome death and the grave./Our sin is atoned for. God’s wrath has been propitiated. What Jesus has experienced in rising from the dead we too will experience when he returns. His resurrection is the guarantee of our bodily resurrection. We are not reincarnated. With our own eyes and in our own flesh will we see our LORD Jesus Christ when he returns. All who believe this will be raised to everlasting life. Everyone who lives in unbelief will be raised to everlasting perdition.

Heavenly Father, you raised Jesus from the dead, having him overcome death and the grave for our benefit. Grant us faith in his resurrection so we too may experience the resurrection to eternal life at his revelation. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

#DailyDevotion For Whose Sake Do We Live? Sin Or Jesus?


#DailyDevotion For Whose Sake Do We Live? Sin Or Jesus?

1 John 3:4-7 4Everyone who sins breaks the Law. Sin is breaking the Law. 5And you know He appeared in order to take away our sins. There is no sin in Him. 6Anyone who stays in Him doesn’t sin. Anyone who sins hasn’t seen or known Him. 7Children, don’t let anyone deceive you. Whoever does right is righteous as He is righteous.

When John writes about sin in this epistle, sometimes it may seem that we are not saved at all. Bruce Schuchard in his commentary on John’s epistles translates this section in this way: Everyone who lives for the sake of sin lives also for the sake of lawlessness. Indeed, sin is lawlessness. And you know that that one was made manifest so that he might take away sins. And in him there is no sin. No one who abides in him lives for the sake of sin; no one who lives for the sake of sin has either seen him or come to know him. Children, let no one deceive you. The one who lives for the sake of righteousness is righteous, just as that one is righteous.

Now I have to say he knows Greek better than I do. What he is doing here is translating the participle of “to do” as “for the sake of.” Other translators translate it as “practice” or “make a practice of.” The translator of the AAT, our translation, makes the participles as active verbs which does make it seem a bit sharper. I think “for the sake of” though does carries John’s thinking in his epistle. How does it help us understand what John is saying?

“For the sake of” requires a certain mindset that should not be in Christians. We have been born from above.  Our minds have been renewed and made captive to the Holy Spirit. Paul would say we are no longer walking according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. Both Paul and John recognize we are still going to sin. That sin still is breaking the law but as Paul says in Romans 7, we don’t want to do it. People who live for the sake of sin want to commit the sin, live for the sin and are not repentant of it.

As in Chapter one of this epistle where John saves us from our despair by reminding us we have and advocate, here he reminds us, “He appeared in order to take away our sins.” The Baptist point to Jesus and says, “Look at the Lamb of God Who takes away the sin of the world.” Hebrews writes, Heb 9: 26“He appeared only once at the end of the ages to get rid of sin by His sacrifice.” Peter writes, 24“He carried our sins in His body to the cross so that we’ll die to sin and live for righteousness.”

Having been delivered from our sins we live for the sake of Jesus Christ and his righteousness. Jesus tells us, Joh 15, 4“Stay in Me, and I will stay in you. A branch can’t bear any fruit by itself unless it remains on the vine. Neither can you if you don’t stay in Me. 5I am the Vine; you are the branches. If you stay in Me and I in you, you will bear much fruit, for without Me you can do nothing.” John writes, 1Jn 3, 3“He orders us to believe in the name of His Son Jesus Christ and to love one another as He has ordered us to do. 24Anyone who keeps His commandments lives in God and God in him. And this is how we know He lives in us: by the Spirit Whom He has given us.” Living for the sake of righteousness is trusting in name of Jesus and loving our fellow Christians in word and deed.

Heavenly Father, grant that by your grace we may live for the sake of righteousness and not for the sake of sin, so we may bear much fruit according to your will in Jesus Christ. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

#DailyDevotion The Father Purifies Us Through The Promises


#DailyDevotion The Father Purifies Us Through The Promises

1 John 3:1–4 See how the Father has loved us — we are called God’s children, and that’s what we are. The world doesn’t know uş, because it didn’t know Him. 2Dear friends, we are now God’s children, but it hasn’t yet been shown what we’re going to be. We know that when it will be shown, we’ll be like Him because we’ll see Him. as He is. 3And everyone who trusts Him for this purifies himself as He is pure.

John’s epistle reminds us a lot of the things that are written in his Gospel. Here he speaks of the Father has loved us. This brings me to the 3rd chapter of John, 16 “God so loved the world that He gave His only-begotten Son so that whoever believes in Him would not perish but have everlasting life.” Yes, the Father does love us. He loves the world. He loves the whole world and everyone in it. That does not contradict that He hates sin and everyone who commits evil. Yet, it is not the Father’s desire to hate us. Hence He sends the Son into the world to die for our sins, propitiating his wrath and giving us the promise that everyone who looks to the Son, Jesus Christ, will have everlasting life.

We are called God’s children. John tells us in chapter one of his gospel, 12”But to all who welcomed Him, who believe in His name, He gave the right to become God’s children. 13They have been born, not of the blood of parents, nor of a sexual desire, nor of a man’s desire, but of God.” We see here that we are not naturally God’s children. We are not conceived in our mother’s wombs as God’s children. We are not born God’s children. The Father must intervene in our lives to adopt us and make us his children. We see it is according to his will that we become his children. He must give us faith in Jesus’ to become his children. In chapter 3, Jesus tells us, 7”Don’t be surprised when I tell you you must all be born from above. The wind blows where it pleases and you hear the sound of it, but you don’t know where it’s coming from or where it’s going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.” We must be born from above by the Father, through the water, the Word and the Spirit (cf. Eph. 5:26).

John says the world doesn’t know us because it didn’t know him. Again in chapter one of his gospel John writes, 10”He was in the world, and He made the world, and the world didn’t know Him. 11He came to His own, and His own people didn’t welcome Him.” We should not be surprised how the people of the world react to us. Encountering us is like encountering an alien from another planet. We are very disconcerting to them when we live out our faith before them. You’ve seen movies and TV shows where people encounter the unknown. They act in fear. We make them afraid. We should not be afraid of them though. Our LORD Jesus Christ is with us.

John promises us we will be like Jesus when he appears, that is, we will see our participation in his divine nature: his righteousness, holiness, glory, etc. He tells us the thing that makes this so is his very promise, 3”And everyone who trusts Him for this purifies himself as He is pure.” Peter also writes in his second epistle chapter one, 4”Thus He has given us His precious and very great promises, so that after you have escaped the corruption that lust brought into the world, you might by these promises share in the divine nature.” The promises of God in Christ Jesus is what makes us participants and sharer’s in all that is Christ Jesus and makes us holy, righteous, and pure. You want more of this in your life, then remember his promises regularly.

Heavenly Father, you have called us to be your children through the promises of your Son Jesus Christ. Keep these forefront in our minds that we may reflect his divine nature in our lives. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

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#DailyDevotion Jesus’ Crucifixion Should Be The Object Of Joy & Restoration


#DailyDevotion Jesus’ Crucifixion Should Be The Object Of Joy & Restoration

Acts 3:17-21 17“And now, fellow Jews, I know that like your rulers you didn’t know what you were doing, 18but in this way God did what He predicted by all the prophets — His Christ had to suffer. 19Repent then, and turn, to have your sins wiped out that a time may come when the Lord refreshes you 20and sends Jesus, Whom He appointed to be your Savior 21and Whom heaven had to receive until the time when everything will be restored, as God said long ago by His holy prophets.

How did Peter know the Jews and their leaders didn’t know what they were doing when they killed him? Well, we have the very words of Jesus from the cross, “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do.” It is kind of Peter to let them know that even though they were responsible for killing Jesus, they did it out of ignorance. More than that, Peter lets them know that God had planned to do this, to accomplish Jesus’ death from before the foundation of the earth

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God did what he had predicted through the prophets. Moses predicted it when he wrote Genesis 3:15. He foreshadowed it in many acts he wrote about in the same book. The sacrifices were all predictions of the death of the Lamb of God. David predicted it in Psalm 22 and 16 among others. Isaiah’s servant songs, in particular chapter 53 predict Jesus’ death and God was behind it to redeem his people. Isaiah 6 even tells of how the LORD hardened his people’s hearts so they would carry out his plan for their salvation.

While they had cried out, “Let his blood be on us and our children,” in seeking the death of an innocent man, as if they were innocent, the LORD planned that blood to be an atonement for their sins and the sins of the world. Now Peter calls for them to repent of their actions and their ignorance to receive that blood as the atonement for their sins and a propitiatory sacrifice. They should now turn to Jesus to have their sins wiped out  and be refreshed by Jesus Christ their Messiah and LORD.

Jesus is their Messiah and LORD who has been received to the right hand of God as foretold in Psalms 2 and 110 as an example. He remains there, i.e. at this place of power and authority, unseen to us until this age comes fully to a close and the world he went to prepare for us is completed. He remains there until all for whom the new heavens and new earth are prepared for have come to faith.

Now you and your sins that you have committed have also been done out of ignorance. You had been blinded by sin. The way you should look at Jesus Christ crucified is not in guilt, as if each sin you commit is another pounding of the hammer into the nails that pierced Jesus. Instead, look at him who willingly went to the cross in the plan of the Father to die for your sins, suffer your fate in your place, and restore you back to God your Father. The cross of Christ is cause for rejoicing for there, peace has been made between you and the Father. There all humanity has been gathered together and has been saved. Jesus is returning and he brings with him your reward for trusting in him, everlasting life.

Heavenly Father, we thank you for planning on having your only begotten son sacrificed for us at the hand of your priests, the Jews, for mankind’s salvation. Grant that we repent of our sins and find restoration in Jesus. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

#DailyDevotion You Killed The Author Of Life But God Raised Him From The Dead


##DailyDevotion You Killed The Author Of Life But God Raised Him From The Dead

Acts 3:11–16 11As he clung to Peter and John, all the people came running together to them in Solomon’s Porch, as it was called. They were dumbfounded. 12When Peter saw the people, he said to them, “Men of Israel, why are you wondering about this, or why are you staring at us as if by our own power or piety we had made him walk? 13The God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, the God of our fathers, has glorified His Servant Jesus, Whom you delivered and denied before Pilate when he had decided to let Him go. 14You denied the holy and righteous One and asked to have a murderer given to you. 15You killed the Author of life. But God raised Him from the dead — we’re witnesses of that. 16Through faith in His name, His name made this man strong whom you see and know. The faith that Jesus works has given him this perfect health right in front of all of you.

Acts 3:11–16 11As he clung to Peter and John, all the people came running together to them in Solomon’s Porch, as it was called. They were dumbfounded. 12When Peter saw the people, he said to them, “Men of Israel, why are you wondering about this, or why are you staring at us as if by our own power or piety we had made him walk? 13The God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, the God of our fathers, has glorified His Servant Jesus, Whom you delivered and denied before Pilate when he had decided to let Him go. 14You denied the holy and righteous One and asked to have a murderer given to you. 15You killed the Author of life. But God raised Him from the dead — we’re witnesses of that. 16Through faith in His name, His name made this man strong whom you see and know. The faith that Jesus works has given him this perfect health right in front of all of you.

So this passage follows the Apostles healing a crippled beggar at the Temple. The people were quite amazed the Apostles could do such a thing. The Jewish reaction to them healing him was not that much different than when Paul healed a man in Ephesus. But Jesus gave this power to the Apostles so they may gather attention to witness the faith of our LORD Jesus Christ. Now the people seemed to think the Apostles own power or piety allowed them to do this.

Upon this they declared the power was not in themselves. They invoke the ancient name of God by which the Israelites would know who sent Moses to rescue them. He revealed that name to Moses in Exo 3:6  6 “Then He said, ‘I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.’” Many times the LORD identifies himself with this name in the Old Testament. Often it is in relation to the covenant He made with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the promise to give them and their descendants a Promised Land.

Peter tells them this God, raise Jesus from the dead. Of course for Jesus to risen from the dead he has to be dead first. Now Peter brings the hammer of the Law down upon his listeners. “You killed the Author of life.” Four times in Acts the Apostles lay the accusation to the Jews to their complicit and direct actions which led to Jesus being killed. Notice who Peter says Jesus is, the Author of Life. If Jesus is the Author of Life then he too must be God, because only God can give life. What dread must have come upon them when they heard these words. The LORD became man and they killed their LORD. But the God of Abrham, Isaac, and Jacob raised Jesus from the dead. The Apostles were witnesses of Jesus’ resurrection. There were at least two their and their witness agreed.

The link of the resurrection with the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob can be seen in Jesus’ teaching. He says, Mat 22:31”About the dead rising – didn’t you read what God told you: 32‘I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob’? He’s not the God of the dead but of the living.” Jesus links it to the land God had promised them here, Mat 8:11 “I also tell you, many will come from the east and the west and will eat with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven.” The kingdom of heaven is the Promised Land they were to inherit as Hebrews also tells us in chapter 11. It is in Jesus’ name the man was healed. It is in Jesus’ name we are saved. It is in Jesus’ name we become heirs of eternal life. Trust in the name of Jesus and you too will be raised to eternal life and enter the Promised Land, the Kingdom of Heaven.

Heavenly Father, may we take ownership of our sins in the death of Jesus, receive forgiveness of those sin, be raised from the dead and enter into his kingdom. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.