The Book of Acts Day 5

Sunday, September 17, 2006


Our lecture today covered 2 sections:

1. Mission Practice and Theology (Acts 18-20)

There are 3 phases of ministry: (a) Developmental - Itinerant ministry in starting of churches and moving on, (b) Pinnacle - Extended ministry where Paul stays for extended periods of time and (c) Constrained - Prisoner-witness ministry

Paul was given a two-fold almost conflicting ministry goal - as an apostle to the Jews and to the Gentiles. Initially his strategy was to preach to the Jews first, who will usually rejected his message. He will then shake his garments and move on to the Gentiles.

Theology and practice must go together. Theology must shape our practice, not the other way round though more often than not, we can see that at times we allow practice to shape our theology. Theology must affect life.

2. Peter and Herod (Acts 12:1-24)

We turned back to look at Peter with an amazing account of crisis (James killed, Peter arrested), humour (silly Rhoda not opening the door) and gore (Herod struck down, eaten by worms and died).

This passage falls into type that create more questions than answers. Questions like: why was Peter rescued and James killed? What more can we say other than the fact that God is sovereign and that He has his purpose and plan for everyone of us. With the four guards who died because Peter was saved, does this mean that Peter's life was more important to God? The lecturer commented that this would be a "wrong" question to ask really. And what more, it was Herod who killed the guards. And finally, according to Luke, "an angel of the Lord struck down Herod". How do we decide then God acts in human history? Some we can observed through the prophecies in the bible, where we can't, it will depend on circumstances and discernment on our part. Obviously, the answers creates more questions. But what is important I felt is that, to the very end, it is still the purpose and the sovereignty of God.

Maeghan
Picture by Pawel Roslek

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5 comment(s)

  1. Maeghan,

    I've got some thought on this, but I don't have time to write. I will get back to you.

    God Bless
    -Doug

    ReplyDelete
  2. Maeghan,

    Okay, why was Peter saved and James killed:

    The short answer is that neither were killed they were both saved and/or both were Killed, for the cause of Christ. It is only a mere matter of timing.

    I assume that you meant to type Peter's life was more important than James'? Not 'God'.

    I agree with your lecturer, but I don't think for the same reason:

    How do we decide then God acts in human history?

    It doesn't matter how we decide: God is unconcerned about that. It really matters when God choses to act in human history, that are we prepared to receive it and act upon it. God's Sovereignty is undeniable, so His will is inevitable.

    Take 2 biblical accounts:

    Herod being 'struck' by an angel.

    And

    Pharo's heart hardened.

    Was their purpose in these two actions?

    In the case of Pharo, many more jews died as a result of this hardening. wasn't that put into motion by God?

    How did Moses respond to Pharo's hardening? He turned to God for direction.

    what happened when Harod died? The church exploded.

    God is soveriegn, and whether we like it, or understand it, we are only encourage to recognize His presence and act upon it.

    God Bless
    Doug

    ReplyDelete
  3. I assume that you meant to type Peter's life was more important than James'? Not 'God'.

    oops.. yup, that was a typo-error. Thanks for highlighting. I have corrected it.

    ReplyDelete
  4. It is only a mere matter of timing.

    yeah, I agree but the question will still be asked. Especially when there is a contemporary real life situation.

    It doesn't matter how we decide

    Our group discussion concluded with that too. In the end, it is still His purpose in this little world of ours. But again, the question will still be asked in the contemporary scene. Though I still think it does not matter, God is still in control though sometimes being victims it is still hard to be convinced.

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  5. God is still in control though sometimes being victims it is still hard to be convinced.

    Double-Amen to that. It is like there are things that are true about someone's death that are completely inappropriate to say to someone mourning.

    God Bless
    Doug

    ReplyDelete