"The Edge" features
creative perspectives and reflections associated with the subject
matter presented on the Current Lesson page.
Study Series: NTC
The New Testament
Edge #7: November 30, 2001
Warned of the Hard Road Before Them
"Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves; so be shrewd as serpents
and innocent as doves.
But beware of men, for they will hand you over to the courts and scourge you in their synagogues;
and you will even be brought before governors and kings for My sake, as a testimony to them and to the Gentiles.
But when they hand you over, do not worry about how or what you are to say; for it will be given you in that hour what you are to say.
For it is not you who speak, but it is the Spirit of your Father who speaks in you."
(Matthew 10:16-20 NASB)
Peter and John Arrested
"As they were speaking to the people, the priests and the captain of the temple guard and the Sadducees came up to them,
being greatly disturbed because they were teaching the people and proclaiming in Jesus the resurrection from the dead.
And they laid hands on them and put them in jail until the next day, for it was already evening.
But many of those who had heard the message believed; and the number of the men came to be about five thousand.
On the next day, their rulers and elders and scribes were gathered together in Jerusalem;
and Annas the high priest was there, and Caiaphas and John and Alexander, and all who were of high-priestly descent.
When they had placed them in the center, They began to inquire, "By what power, or in what name, have you done this?"
Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them, "Rulers and elders of the people,
if we are on trial today for a benefit done to a sick man, as to how this man has been made well,
let it be known to all of you and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead -- by this name this man stands here before you in good health.
"He is the STONE WHICH WAS REJECTED by you, THE BUILDERS, but WHICH BECAME THE CHIEF CORNER stone.
"And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must be
saved. Now as they observed the confidence of Peter and John and understood that they were uneducated and untrained men, they were amazed, and began to recognize them as having been with
Jesus... But Peter and John answered and said to them, "Whether it is right in the sight of God to give heed to you rather than to God, you be the judge;
for we cannot stop speaking about what we have seen and heard." (Acts
4:1-13, 19-20 NASB)
Walking by the Spirit
"But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh.
For the flesh sets its desire against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; for these are in opposition to one another, so that you may not do the things that you please.
But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the Law... Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.
If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit."
(Galatians 5:16-18, 24-25 NASB)
Confronted with so many choices. Choices that are never free from
the spiritual forces at war within us. Choosing to walk in the flesh or
walk in the spirit. Surely I speak of an ongoing fork in the road we
travel. How then do we ever choose what is right and
good and pleasing to God? The psalmist expresses, "Happy are those who fear
the Lord. Yes, happy are those who delight in doing what he
commands." (Psalm 112:1 NLT). Taking delight in following
commands?!? Psalm Psalm 119:165 promises, "Those who love Your law have great peace, And nothing causes them to stumble
(NASB). Loving His law?!? The psalmist surely did. In verse 97 of
this same Psalm, he writes, "O how I love Your law! It is my
meditation all the day." His love for God's word obviously came
before he came to comprehend that this same love resulted in great peace. Psalm 119
displays ample evidence of the author's love for God's word in his
written thoughts. May we too come to cherish His laws with this same
intensity, that we would be overwhelmed with a love and a longing for His
truth! Might we then freely and joyously walk in the Spirit, step
by step, one step at a time. Encountering the choices on
life's pathway, we may then take them one step at a time, one choice at a time,
without stumbling, and without carrying out the desire of the flesh.
Walking in the Spirit reflects to an outside world the life we have in the
Spirit. And that is just what is reflected by Peter and John. They spoke
with wisdom and understanding, in counsel and in strength, revealing knowledge
and exhibiting a fear of the Lord. Surely they delighted in the fear of
the Lord as they exuded confidence and the overwhelming desire to share what
they had seen and heard, namely Jesus. They couldn't not talk
about it! Jesus Himself had already promised them that it is not they who speak, but the Spirit of their Father who speaks in
them (Matthew 10:20). Likewise we need not worry about what or how we
should speak, for He also will give us what we should speak and the boldness to
speak it when that hour
comes. "Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you."
(Matthew 7:7 NASB) Ask for it.
the first few verses of chapter 7, 2 Chronicles, we visibly see the glory of the
Lord Himself, the Shekinah glory, filling the temple immediately after Solomon
prayed. Stop and consider the power of prayer... resulting in a visible
manifestation of the Almighty God. "Do you not know that you are a temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?"
(1 Corinthians 3:16 NASB) An incredible thought! The God
of the Universe taking up royal residence within a human soul, filling that
temple with His Spirit, and just waiting on
the edge of His throne to manifest His glory in a visible way for others to
see! At that very moment back in Solomon's day, those that saw the glory
of the Lord fill the temple "bowed down on the pavement with their faces to the ground, and they worshiped and gave praise to the LORD, saying,"Truly He is good, truly His lovingkindness is everlasting.""
(2 Chronicles 7:3 NASB) Same goes for today. As His glory
overflows from the life of one of His children, those that see it are changed by
its fruit and are drawn to humble themselves and worship the good and
everlasting Lord. Taking delight in commands and loving His law? It is
possible and the effects are eternal.
Then a shoot will spring from the stem of Jesse,
And a branch from his roots will bear fruit.
The Spirit of the LORD will rest on Him,
The spirit of wisdom and understanding,
The spirit of counsel and strength,
The spirit of knowledge and the fear of the LORD.
And He will delight in the fear of the LORD.
(Isaiah 11:1-3a NASB)
on behalf of bookworms...
must read! An intelligent book with great depth of insight, leaving the
reader with much to contemplate.
Mere Christianity, C.S. Lewis
(Recommendation will change with each update of website!)
quotations marked (NASB) are taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, ©
Copyright The Lockman Foundation 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975,
1977, 1995. Used by permission.
quotations marked (NIV) are taken from the Holy Bible: New International
© Copyright 1973, 1978, 1984 by the International Bible Society. Used by
permission of Zondervan Bible Publishers.