Wednesday, 4th July 2012
Biblical perspectives for living
The Priority Of Witness
The Acts of the Apostles records the earliest history of the church, and from the outset there were
certain activities which characterised these Christians. Of first importance was their public proclamation of what they had
witnessed concerning Christ. The Lord Jesus had promised that when the Holy Spirit came upon them, they would be His
witnesses, beginning in Jerusalem but also to the ends of the earth (Acts 1:8). These first disciples had observed not only the life and ministry of the Lord Jesus but, more importantly, they were eyewitnesses of His resurrection
From the outset, they preached the message of the resurrection. Less than two months after Jesus' death, Peter testified: "God has raised this Jesus to life, and we are all witnesses of the fact” (Acts 2:32). Not long after, he testified: "You disowned the Holy and Righteous One and asked that a murderer be released to you. You killed the author of life, but God raised him from the dead. We are witnesses of this” (Acts 3:14-15).
When arrested and confronted by the Jewish religious authorities, Peter again testified, "It is by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified but whom God raised from the dead, that this man stands before you healed. He is 'the stone you builders rejected, which has become the capstone.'
Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:10-12). Though forbidden by the Jewish authorities to preach in the name of Jesus, they replied, "we cannot help speaking about what we have seen and heard” (Acts 4:20).
As persecution of the church became more intense, it resulted in believers being scattered. But instead of destroying the church, it caused its growth as these believers carried with them the message of life and hope they discovered in the death and resurrection of the Lord Jesus (Acts 8:4).
The resurrection was clear
confirmation to the first disciples that Jesus was truly the Son of God (Romans 1:4), and faithful
Christians should follow their example in sharing this message, too
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