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Friday, November 23, 2007

For Many Men And Women You Might Be The Only Part Of The Bible They Will Every See!

Over these past 2,000 years it has been so interesting to observe and learn that no matter how certain persons have tried, nothing can stop the gospel of Jesus Christ.

In a number of articles, the truths and lessons which I have been writing about, have been based on the authority of the book of Acts. Bible Studies? Dry, dull and boring? Nonsense!

One of the strong messages arising throughout the Book of Acts is, nothing can stop the Gospel, and, no-one can prevent this Word from spreading.

Paul the prisoner of the Lord Jesus Christ is now in Rome as Jesus had indicated a few years previously, and he continues to speak and preach and teach. He writes letters to various churches, and to individual disciples. Much of our New Testament is being written during this two year period when Paul is a prisoner in Rome, and written by this powerful man of God who would just not stop working for Jesus Christ. Philippians - Ephesians - Colossians - Philemon - Timothy were all written around this period.

In one sense Acts is an unfinished book. It is a record of the Acts of the Holy Spirit, and as we know the Holy Spirit continues to move and act and speak, and this will continue until Jesus Christ returns.

We are writing part of Acts Chapter 29. That is no exaggeration. For many men and women in the world, that may be the only Chapter they will ever see. Note carefully there is no "Amen" at the end of Acts 28.

Let me summarise this wonderful Book. We would hardly know what the Church of Jesus Christ was about if it were not for the Book of Acts. This is what the Church was like - should be like - and can be like. These men and women were indeed WITNESSES. They were witnesses to Jesus. They KNEW Jesus was risen and alive. They experienced Jesus Christ baptising them in the Holy Spirit and it was an experience which was very real, and which lasted. They were witnesses to the truth.

These apostles travelled and preached. There were signs and wonders following. They were imprisoned. They experienced suffering. The last eight chapters are taken up with this struggle Paul had with these rebellious Jews.

In the Book of Acts, there is a great absence of organisation. They were simply filled with the Holy Spirit. We see in this book something of the authority of God available to us as we serve in the Kingdom of God - in the Name of Jesus - in the Power of the Holy Spirit. And, we see how the Holy Spirit works and flows and speaks and appoints and chooses people.

This is OUR GOD at work. We have no improved pattern for today. There is no better pattern anywhere.

Paul proclaims the Kingdom of God - Jesus Christ is King. He demonstrates the Kingdom - the rule of Jesus - the government of God - with words and works. People see signs of the Kingdom of God - healing - deliverance - and lives being totally transformed. Look at 1 Corinthians 6 verses 9 to 11. Such were some of you. These Corinthians were rescued and saved out of all that mess.

One thing I see in the life and ministry of Paul - when he met Jesus - he was shaken - his plans were disrupted - he had to move out of what he had been in - and into all that God had for him.

His life was so changed - and for the cause of Jesus Christ - and in obedience to Jesus Christ - and having a concerned for the confused and lost and perishing. Paul flowed in the power of the Holy Spirit - and there were occasions when that even involved floating in the sea.

Wherever you are and whoever you are, know this - you need never feel embarrassed or ashamed or intellectually inferior for believing the whole of the Bible! Nothing can stop the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and no-one can prevent His Word from spreading.

Sandy Shaw

Sandy Shaw is Pastor of Nairn Christian Fellowship, Chaplain at Inverness Prison, and Nairn Academy, and serves on The Children's Panel in Scotland, and has travelled extensively over these past years teaching, speaking, in America, Canada, South Africa, Australia, making 12 visits to Israel conducting Tours and Pilgrimages, and most recently in Uganda and Kenya, ministering at Pastors and Leaders Seminars, in the poor areas surrounding Kampala, Nairobi, Mombasa and Kisumu.

He broadcasts regularly on WSHO radio out of New Orleans, and writes a weekly commentary at entitled "Word from Scotland" on various biblical themes, as well as a weekly newspaper column.

His M.A. and B.D. degrees are from The University of Edinburgh, and he continues to run and exercise regularly to maintain a level of physical fitness.

Sandy Shaw


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