Sunday, December 9, 2018

Immaturity of Disciples (UE43)

The book of Acts of the Apostles, just like the historical books in the Old Testament, gave an accurate account of events, happenings, miracles, empowering and also the mistakes of His immature, anointed servants as they were being transformed into His image. From our repentance, obedience and humility we can receive His guidance and mercies and also the empowering for our transformation into His image.

Empowerment for Ministry
Acts 1:8 But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth."
    Our Lord commissioned His disciples to preach the gospel of grace to all nations. In Jerusalem, after they had been empowered with the Holy Spirit on Pentecost, Peter an uneducated fisherman was able to convert 3,000 Jews to Our Lord Jesus.
Acts 4:13 Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were uneducated and untrained men, they marveled. And they realized that they had been with Jesus.

Comfort zone in Jerusalem
Acts 2:1, 5, 41 When the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place... And there were dwelling in Jerusalem Jews, devout men, from every nation under heaven... Then those who gladly received his word were baptized; and that day about three thousand souls were added to them.
    All those devout Jews who became Christians on Pentecost, would have gone back home and preached the gospel in synagogues though they lacked knowledge and understanding of His word. Jesus' Apostles and disciples, who were discipled by our Lord Himself for the last three  years, were to teach and disciple the new converts. Unfortunately, they preferred the comfort and fellowship in Jerusalem thus ignoring the commission. God had to sacrifice Stephen in order to force His anointed out of Jerusalem, but the Apostles refused to leave.
Acts 8:1 Now Saul was consenting to his (Stephen) death. At that time a great persecution arose against the church which was at Jerusalem; and they were all scattered throughout the regions of Judea and Samaria, except the apostles.

Reluctant to leave Jerusalem
Acts 8:4-5 Therefore those who were scattered went everywhere preaching the word. Then Philip went down to the city of Samaria and preached Christ to them.
    Even though the Apostles refused to preach outside Jerusalem, God can use anyone who is available. So God anointed Philip. It was after Philip had converted Jews, then the Apostles left Jerusalem for Samaria.
Acts 8:14 Now when the apostles who were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent Peter and John to them.

Afraid to break Tradition
Acts 10:13-16 And a voice came to him, "Rise, Peter; kill and eat." But Peter said, "Not so, Lord! For I have never eaten anything common or unclean." And a voice spoke to him again the second time, "What God has cleansed you must not call common." This was done three times. And the object was taken up into heaven again.
     Our Lord Jesus commissioned every Christian to preach the gospel to all nations and yet these Apostles refused to eat or mix with Gentiles. Peter was only an unlearned and untrained fisherman. Had this vision been given to the Pharisees, they may condemned that it came from the devil.

Rom 7:11 For sin, taking occasion by the commandment, deceived me, and by it killed me.
    Brethren, the anointed Apostles did make mistakes and needed the crucifixion of the flesh.