May 28, 2023
The Fruit of Fearing God
1. Conversion, v. 14-16
“Too often our confessional theology says one thing, while our practical theology says something else. We say that regeneration makes us new creatures in Christ, but then we teach our kids a moralism that atheists could duplicate. We say that Christianity is about a trusting relationship with Jesus, but then we treat it like checking a box on a decision card. We say that only the Holy Spirit transfers a person from the kingdom of darkness to the kingdom of light, but then we employ the marketing tools used for getting someone to switch brands of toothpaste. Again and again what we claim in our doctrinal statements about conversion doesn’t match what our churches practice or their ministry models. So it shouldn’t surprise us that our kids end up being something less than Christian.”
-Michael Lawrence, Conversion
The appeal of nice is based on three ideas...
an optimistic view of human beings
a domesticated view of God
a view of religion as a means of moral self-reform
2. “this Life” gets taught, v. 17-26
Zoe life refers to the absolute fulness of life, both essential and ethical, which belongs to God; life real and genuine, a life active and vigorous, devoted to God, blessed.
This life also involved things we see in this section like...
jealousy, v 17
imprisonment, v. 18
deliverance, v. 19
instruction, v. 20
the unexplainable, v. 24
respect, v. 26
3. Consistency, v. 27-39
“We must obey God rather than man.”
4. Godward joy, v. 40-42
So what do these two guys do…
a) they rejoice, v. 41
b) they continue, v. 42
“And every day, in the temple and from house to house, they did not cease teaching and preaching that the Christ is Jesus.”
1. What would have to change in your life if you submitted to the simple truth, “We must obey God rather than man?”
2. Can God count you worthy to suffer for His name or would you misrepresent him in suffering?
3. How often do you Gospel people and circumstances that oppose you?
4. What do you rejoice over?
5. Does your reputation exceed your reality?