For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ. John 1:17; My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. 2 Corinthians 12:9; For the LORD God is a sun and shield: the LORD will give grace and glory: no good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly. Psalm 84:11.
he grace came through Jesus Christ. We have received from Him “grace after grace”. 1) It is the grace that delivered us from sin and made us righteous – by grace we are saved. Everyone among us is saved by grace of Jesus Christ only, therefore no one can boast. Law came through Moses but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. By that grace, we are not only delivered from sin but we are made righteous by His grace. 2) Secondly, it is the sufficient grace – My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. 2 Corinthians 12:9. 3) Thirdly, it is the honouring grace – For the LORD God is a sun and shield: the LORD will give grace and glory: no good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly. Psalm 84:11
Though we find the grace of God for the first time, regarding Noah (Genesis 6:8), but, the grace of God actually sought after Adam, in the garden of Eden. The Lord gave commandment to Adam and Eve not to eat the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil (Genesis 2:16-17). But they were deceived by the Devil – who was a liar (murderer) from the beginning (John 8:44). But the Lord’s grace was after Adam and Eve.
Therefore, let us worship the Lord Jesus Christ, remembering the grace that He has shown towards us also.
Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer: behold, the devil shall cast some of you into prison, that ye may be tried; and ye shall have tribulation ten days: be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life. Revelation 2:10
e are considering the Acts of Apostles for the meditation. Our lives individually, as a family and as a church should be 1) by God, 2) for God and 3) to God. When Bible says “God” with capital G, it is referring to our triune God. We should be built up by the Lord Jesus Christ and we should suffer for Him and offer our lives to Him. The Scripture portion from Acts 5: 27 to 6:10 is meditated under these three headings:
Of God or By God – But if it be of God, ye cannot overthrow it; lest haply ye be found even to fight against God. (Acts 5:39) – Nothing can overthrow us (individually, as a family or as a church) if we are of God (or by God). Our lives must be built up or guided by God in order to have our Lord fighting for us (or to have the Lord’s protection).
The apostles of the first church were brought before the council (Acts 5: 27) and the council wanted to slay the apostles (Acts 5:33). In spite of such a great danger being plotted against the apostles, God preserved them. Gamaliel, the teacher of Paul counseled them not to touch the Apostles, warning the people, “ lest haply ye be found even to fight against God” (Acts 5:39).
The Lord mysteriously works in protecting us, in the background that is not seen by us. There are so many dangers for the righteous (Psalms 34: 17 and Psalm 34:19), but the Lord delivers from all of them. God had made us righteous by the sacrifice (by the blood) of Jesus Christ. There are so many dangers, troubles that are waiting to attack us, but the Lord has taken a great responsibility in protecting us from all of them. Let us be therefore of God or by God. Our families must be Christ centered and more so the church must be Christ centered.
For God (suffering for Christ) –
And they departed from the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for his name (Acts 5: 41).
Are you suffering for Christ and for His name? Are your friends, relatives talking against you because you believe in Jesus Christ? Rejoice in the Lord. We observe Peter and other apostles, considered it as a great privilege(or counted worthy) to suffer for the name of Jesus Christ. They were beaten and threatened by the council (Acts 5: 40) but they were not discouraged rather rejoiced. Jesus said,
Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you. Matthew 5:12
We are blessed when we suffer for Christ because if we suffer for Him there is a reward for us and we can reign with Christ. Apostle Peter later in His epistle said,
But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy. If ye be reproached for the name of Christ, happy are ye; for the spirit of glory and of God resteth upon you: on their part he is evil spoken of, but on your part he is glorified 1Peter 4:14.
Let us therefore, do suffer at least a little for Christ, knowing that Christ will be glorified in us.
To God or unto God –
But we will give ourselves continually to prayer, and to the ministry of the word (Acts 6:4).
The Apostles have dedicated their services unto God. They esteemed the ministry of prayer and the word and held that ministry high above everything. Everyone has been given a work in the House of God to do and each one has to do the work that is assigned to him or her faithfully (we meditate about it as and when the Lord gives us opportunity). The first church faced a big challenge as they were growing in numbers. The Gentile believers complained that they were neglected in the daily ministration. However, the Lord has given them guidance to overcome the challenge. They have chosen 7 people to the task (serving the needs of the people), who were filled with the Holy Spirit. Among them, there was a special emphasis about Steven, that He was filled with –
- Holy Spirit (Acts 6: 5),
- Faith (Acts 6:8),
- Power (strength) Acts 6:8) and
- Wisdom (wisdom of God) (Acts 6:10)
When we live to God, we will be honoured with such graces of God. We become matured believers filled with the wisdom of God. There is an amazing principle found in Acts 6: 7 – But we will give ourselves continually to prayer, and to the ministry of the word. When we obey the Word of God, the Word of God makes fruitful individually, Similarly, when we honour the Word of God in our families, we become fruitful to bring others to Christ. Specially when we preach the Word of God through our lives, many will be saved and added to the Church.