Sunday, May 5, 2013

Making sense of the Book of Acts - 7

According to Acts 2:29-33, Peter declared that David prophesied that Christ would be raised from the dead to take David's throne.  All the prophets, beginning with Moses and Samuel, foretold Israel's kingdom days (Acts 3:21-24).  In Acts 3:19-21, Peter declared that God would send Christ from heaven to establish these kingdom days if Israel would repent.  What a contrast between these messages and the fact concerning Christ and the members of His Body seated in the heavenlies (Eph 1:19-22; 2:5).  Christ, on David's throne, as Israel's King, foretold by the prophets, is quite a different relationship and ministry than Christ far above in the heavenlies, Head of the Church, which is His Body.  It is one thing for a believer to be raised up where Christ is in the heavenlies (Eph 2:6).  It is quite a different thing for God to send Christ back from heaven to the believers on earth.

During the Book of Acts, Israel was committing the unpardonable sin; sinning against the Holy Spirit, or blaspheming the Holy Spirit (Matt 12:31-32).  Christ said to Israel, "...every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven people, but the blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven. And whoever speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven, either in this age or in the age to come." Israel sinned against the Son of man.  They put Him to death.  But on the cross He cried, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do" (Lk 23:34). God was willing (Acts 3:14-18).  He sent the Holy Spirit to witness that He had raised Christ from the dead, exalted Him to be a Prince and a Savior, to give repentance and remission of sins to Israel (Acts 5:29-32).  Stephen was filled with the Holy Spirit and saw the Son of man standing in heaven.  He accused them of killing the Son of man and of resisting the Holy Spirit.  They committed the unpardonable sin.  Paul went to Israel's synagogues to testify that Jesus was the Messiah.  He was a watchman for the house of Israel (Ezk 3:16-20).  Israel blasphemed (Acts 13:45; 18:6).  They committed the unpardonable sin.  Paul turned to the Gentiles (Acts 13:45; 18:6; 28:28).

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