“…you have filled Jerusalem with your teaching and intend to bring this man’s blood upon us,” (5:28).
Something new, something extraordinary was happening and it was ruffling the feathers of the old guard. God was establishing His Church, His Beloved Bride, in the midst of a prideful, corrupt and wicked religious system.
The people had come to accept that God’s religion was a “pay to play” system. Those who seemingly had more were at the top of the pecking order, as though they could buy their way into God’s good graces and gain His approval.
But that was never What He Intended, from His call to Abraham, to the fulfillment of His Promise in Christ, His provision for Eternal Life has always been an offer to be received by faith.
Then he [Abraham] believed in the Lord; and He reckoned it to him as righteousness, (Genesis 15:6).
“It is written in the prophets, ‘And they shall all be taught of God.’ Everyone who has heard and learned from the Father, comes to Me. 46 Not that anyone has seen the Father, except the One who is from God; He has seen the Father. 47 Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes has eternal life,” (John 4:45-47).
And this message of the Life He offered was available for all who would have ears to hear and eyes to see… by faith; and this faith would result in What He Intended, that His children be conformed to the image of His Life.
Consider What He Intended
- He Intended that His people grow in holy fear, to live in truth, integrity and wisdom.
- “Why is it that you have conceived this deed in your heart? You have not lied to men but to God,” (5:4).
- He Intended that His unifying call to believe be known through His signs and wonders.
- At the hands of the apostles many signs and wonders were taking place among the people; and they were all with one accord in Solomon’s portico, (5:12).
- He Intended, despite the relentless opposition, that the whole message of this Life in Him be shared.
- They laid hands on the apostles and put them in a public jail. 19 But during the night an angel of the Lord opened the gates of the prison, and taking them out he said, 20 “Go, stand and speak to the people in the temple the whole message of this Life,” (5:18-20).
- He Intended that the message of this Life be accepted by faith and that the sacrificial shedding of His Sinless Son’s blood be brought upon us, that we would be cleansed from our sin.
- “We gave you strict orders not to continue teaching in this name, and yet, you have filled Jerusalem with your teaching and intend to bring this man’s blood upon us,” (5:28).
- He intended that His followers depend on the gift of His Holy Spirit to be His witnesses.
- The God of our fathers raised up Jesus, whom you had put to death by hanging Him on a cross. 31 He is the one whom God exalted to His right hand as a Prince and a Savior, to grant repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins. 32 And we are witnesses of these things; and so is the Holy Spirit, whom God has given to those who obey Him,” (5:30-32).
How do we respond to What He Intended?
God Intended that we know the truth and be set free. “If you continue in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine; 32 and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free,” (John 8:31-32).
The truth is we are all guilty, we all have brought “this man’s blood upon us.”
It was for the payment of our sin that He went to the cross and shed His blood. And the truth is when we acknowledge our guilt and accept His sacrifice on our behalf, we will be set free from the penalty and power of sin.
for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, (Romans 3:23).
and He Himself bore our sins in His body on the cross, so that we might die to sin and live to righteousness; for by His wounds you were healed, (1 Peter 2:24).
The truth is, as we grow in holy fear of Him, we will grow in our integrity before Him; and that is the beginning of growing in His wisdom.
The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge;
Fools despise wisdom and instruction, (Proverbs 1:7).
- Let us grow to walk as He Intended: in holy fear, truth, integrity and wisdom.
- How blessed are those whose way is blameless,
Who walk in the law of the Lord.
2 How blessed are those who observe His testimonies,
Who seek Him with all their heart.
3 They also do no unrighteousness;
They walk in His ways. (Psalm 119:1-3).
- How blessed are those whose way is blameless,
- Let us grow to love as He Intended: demonstrating His signs and wonders of grace at work in our lives through obedience to His unifying call.
- Therefore when he had gone out, Jesus said, “Now is the Son of Man glorified, and God is glorified in Him… 34 A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another.35 By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another,” (John 13:31, 34-35).
- Let us grow to share as He Intended: despite the relentless opposition, let us trust His Holy Spirit as we commit to speak the whole message of this Life in Him.
- “But be on your guard; for they will deliver you to the courts, and you will be flogged in the synagogues, and you will stand before governors and kings for My sake, as a testimony to them. 10 The gospel must first be preached to all the nations. 11 When they arrest you and hand you over, do not worry beforehand about what you are to say, but say whatever is given you in that hour; for it is not you who speak, but it is the Holy Spirit,” (Mark 13:9-11).
- Let us grow to believe as He Intended: understanding the central message of this Life be accepted by faith in His blood brought upon us.
- being justified as a gift by His grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus; 25 whom God displayed publicly as a propitiation in His blood through faith, (Romans 3:24-25).
- Let us grow to be who He Intended: His witnesses, in word and deed, as we daily depend upon the gift of His Holy Spirit.
- “but you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth.”
- Let us grow to walk, love, share, believe and be all He Intended, that others would recognize Him in us, and be drawn to Life in Him.
- 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, (Acts 4:13).