One a Day Through the New Testament

One a Day Through the New Testament

Acts 22: What does it mean to call on the name of the Lord?

In his Pentecost sermon in Acts 2, Peter concluded his quotation of Joel with this statement, “And it shall come to pass, that whoever calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved” (Acts 2:21, cf Joel 2:32). Paul said the same in Romans 10:13, “For whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.” Among those professing Christianity, there is near unanimity that to be saved one must “call on the name of the Lord.” But…

Acts 21: Did Paul sin in Jerusalem?

One of the beautiful things about inspired literature is the forthrightness to faithfully represent the characters therein, warts and all. Noah was a great man and upright in his generation, but after the flood we find him drunk in his tent. Abraham is called “the father of faith,” yet we find him so faithless that he conspired to have Sarah lie about their relationship… twice! Solomon was the wisest man who ever lived (Jesus aside – Matt 12:42), yet he…

Acts 20: He sent to Ephesus and called for the elders

Desiring to exhort the brethren, but unwilling to deviate from his travel plans, Paul called for the elders of the church at Ephesus to meet him at Miletus (v 17). Near the end of his exhortation, Paul commanded these men to “Take heed to yourselves and to all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God, which He purchased with His own blood” (v 28 NKJV). The word here rendered as…

Acts 19: You can’t be taught wrong and baptized right.

There is an increase in the number of those who believe that one’s baptism is acceptable to God so long as it is an immersion in order to please God. One’s understanding of what the Bible teaches concerning baptism and its necessity to receive remission of sins and salvation is no longer considered a hindrance to fellowship and life in Christ. This is a serious mistake, and today’s reading helps us to know this. In Acts 18:24-28, we learn that…

Acts 18: Don’t kick a man when he’s down

Today’s blog title is a well-known adage that doesn’t get much “play” in modern society. Kicking a person when he’s down is standard operating procedure today. The Jews in today’s reading would have done well to observe this practice (or non-practice), as it may have led one of their own to be more willing to leave their fold. In Acts 18 we read of the conversion of Crispus, who served as the ruler of the synagogue in Corinth (v 8).…

Acts 17: To the Unknown God, a.k.a., Covering Your Bases

A local preacher friend told a story some years back, and I believe it was told as a personal account, of encountering a man one day who requested to be baptized. This sort of request doesn’t happen often, so the preacher made inquiry as to the reason for the blunt request. The man responded that he had been reading his Bible and believed he needed to be baptized in order to be saved. However, not knowing which baptism was the…

Acts 16: How did God open Lydia’s heart?

One of the most well-known statements in Acts 16 and the conversion of Lydia and her household. In verse 14, the text says, “The Lord opened her heart to heed the things spoken by Paul.” Lydia is the only hearer mentioned in the text as having her heart opened, yet all the women present are spoken of as being baptized following the teaching of Paul. Question: did the Lord operate directly on Lydia’s heart, or did He use means, that…

Acts 15: We shall be saved in the same manner as they

In Acts 15 we find the first real doctrinal threat to the young and thriving church. Many of the leading Jews, including some converts among the Pharisees, were not content with God’s simple plan to save. Instead, they sought to bring in some of the Old Law as a means of exercising some control over the new Gentile converts. Such men are commonly called “Judaizers.” Unconvinced by the arguments of Paul and Barnabas, the brethren sent them to Jerusalem to have…

Acts 14: He had faith to be healed

Perhaps the most heartless and unbiblical fraud perpetrated by so-called faith healers is the claim that, after they fail, the subject of their intent had insufficient faith to be healed. Never mind that the individual made a special trip, made a specific request, and exhibited a genuine belief in the so-called man of God to provide healing. Nope. It was all the fault of the sick or disabled person. Without question or fail, these failed healers will point to an…

Acts 13: With great power comes great responsibility

This is perhaps the most famous line from Stan Lee’s Spiderman, spoken by Uncle Ben. It is attributed originally to Voltaire in the 18th century. (One might say Jesus said it first in Luke 12:47-48). Acts 13 records the inaugural missionary journey of Barnabas and Saul. At their first stop, we see what might be described as an abuse of power on the part of Saul. As he and Barnabas made their way across Cyprus, they encountered an honest soul…