Sunday, July 19, 2009

"Jesus Christ Establishes His Church"

"...Moreover, we see here the power of Jesus Christ in
establishing his church, even in spite of the world’s resistance,
because those who were powerful and in control at that time, or
seemed to be, resisted the church and raised every possible barrier
to keep it from being established and thus impede the gospel’s
progress. Yet he overcame enormous obstacles with towering

"The way he did it shows clearly that all the glory must be
attributed to him alone. For if he had chosen great, knowledgeable, or
powerful personages, it could be said they had much to do with it
and shared his glory. But what do we see here? Poor people of no
account, undesirables. For all Christians at that time were thought
of as dogs. Everyone held them in contempt. Everyone also thought
the apostles were the refuse of the world, as Paul notes (1 Cor. 1:28).

"But knowing that is the kind of people God has chosen to preach
the gospel in his name, what could we say but ‘What an odd lot
of unsuitable overseers for that job’? That would be our immediate
reaction from our perspective. Nonetheless, God used them to
preach the gospel everywhere despite the fact that princes and their
officers resisted it with all their might.

"In addition, they did not have weapons to establish the gospel
violently; they had only the word of God, and the common folk
sided with them…."

-- excerpt from John Calvin sermon on Acts 1 from “Sermons on the Acts of the Apostles, chapters 1-7” (Banner of Truth, 2007)

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