“AND GREAT GRACE WAS UPON THEM ALL”
Can we appreciate the tremendous mood of spiritual peace and resultant co-operation that developed among the believers after the day of Pentecost!? It seemed to us as we read today’s chapters in Acts that this could be a foretaste, to some extent, of life among the redeemed when God’s kingdom is established! Oh the wonder of the mingling among the redeemed from all generations from the time of the Apostles to today! And of course there will be those of earlier generations mentioned (and many many more) in Hebrews 11 v.40 who will also “be made perfect.”
We read today how Peter and John came into “the temple at the hour of prayer” (3 p.m.) and encountered “a man lame from birth” [Acts 3 v.2] Everyone who went into the Temple would have been aware of him, and, after the healing, he “leaping up … stood and began to walk, and entered the temple with them, walking and leaping and praising God. And all the people saw him …. and they were filled with wonder and amazement …” [v.8-10]
This gave Peter a great opportunity to preach and “he addressed the people, ‘Men of Israel, why do you wonder at this … as though by our own power or piety we have made him walk?” [v.12] He reminds them how they “denied the Holy and Righteous One … you killed the Author of life, whom God raised from the dead.” [v.14,15] He implores them to “repent… turn back, that your sins may be blotted out” [v.19]
He then invites them (and us) to look forward to the “times of refreshing” when “the Lord … may send the Christ appointed for you, Jesus, whom heaven must receive until the time for restoring all the things about which God spoke by the mouth of his holy prophets long ago.” [v.20,21] How close now – that time must be!
The people responded positively and ch. 4 tells us of this. In v.33 we read, “And with great power the apostles were giving their testimony to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and great grace was upon them all. “For us, surely “times of refreshing” are almost upon our spiritual sick and sorry world, but “great grace” is still “upon them” who respond – although soon it will be too late; Jesus, the bridegroom will be here. Those upon whom is “great grace’will be there with him; but, as he also taught there will be those who “stand outside and knock at the door, saying, ‘Lord, open to us,’ then he will answer … ‘I do not know where you come from.’ [Luke 13 v.25]
May we so live – having acted as they did at Pentecost – and so are among those “upon” whom is “great grace.”
By Bro D.Caudery
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