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Day 291 – Thru the Bible
Today we continue Acts.
Acts 25 – In verses 9–12 we see a picture of God’s creative sovereignty as He redirects injustice for His good purposes. Paul is embroiled in a legal squabble that has kept him imprisoned in Caesarea for two years (Acts 24:27), even while he yearns to bring the Gospel to Rome (Acts 19:21). But in God’s providence this convoluted legal squabble becomes the means for the Gospel to reach Rome. When Festus attempts to transfer Paul out of his jurisdiction, Paul seizes the opportunity: taking advantage of his right as a Roman citizen, Paul appeals directly to the emperor, guaranteeing a journey to Rome.
It is unlikely that Paul ever imagined that his journey to Rome would occur in chains. But Paul was confident that God would fulfill his promise (Acts 23:11), and he knew that God’s sovereignty works even through convoluted legal structures.
Knowing that God is in control and that His Gospel will ultimately triumph allows us, how do you, like Paul, to take creative risks for God and trust Him in the times of confusion and suffering?
Acts 26 – The central tenet of Paul’s faith, and one that continually causes trouble throughout Acts, is Jesus’ resurrection. It was scorned in Athens (Acts 17:32) and frequently called into question by the Jews. But Paul recognizes that the resurrection is the hope for which all of the Old Testament prophets waited and watched (Hebrews 11:13, 39).
God has always been about the business of bringing life from the dead, whether by creating life out of nothing (Genesis 1:1; Hebrews 11:3), by giving children to barren women (Genesis 21:1; 25:21; 1 Samuel 2:21; Hebrews 11:12), or by using His prophets to literally raise the dead (1 Kings 17:19–22; 2 Kings 4:34–35). Why, Paul asks, is it thought incredible that God raises the dead, when He has always had the power to do so? In the resurrection of Jesus, God’s power to raise the dead has been clearly manifested. And by believing in Him, we can share in His resurrection (Romans 6:5; Philippians 3:10). This reality gives us a sure hope for eternity and therefore should permeate our lives even today.
In verses 12-18 Paul relates additional details about his conversion on the Damascus road. He recalls Jesus expressing the Gospel message as a call to turn from darkness and the power of Satan to the light of God. God’s light has overcome Satan’s darkness (John 1:5), even that darkness which inhabits each one of us. God offers defeat of the powers of darkness to those still under their control. He offers not merely self-help but the washing away of sins to all who will trust in Him.
Paul bases his hope on God’s raising of Jesus, which he sees as the culminating fulfillment of God’s promises through the Law and the Prophets. For Paul, the resurrection of Jesus both confirms God’s faithfulness and power to fulfill His promises, and provides the impetus for the spread of God’s Gospel and Spirit to Jews and Gentiles over all the earth (1 Corinthians 15:1–28).
How does the resurrection of Jesus impact your thinking and life today?
What other thoughts or questions does today’s reading bring up?
Some of these notes are from the ESV Gospel Transformation Bible study notes. We highly recommend this study Bible.
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