Acts – Revealing Our Spiritual Love

Written by Larry M. Jaynes:

In the Book of Acts, we have the story from the beginning of the Christian movement with its rise and expansion culminating with the power of holy spirit and spiritual love given for the believers to be genuine witnesses:

Acts 1:8 – But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost {holy spirit, the gift of God} is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.

Acts opens up with the final gathering of Christ Jesus with his Apostles whom he had chosen. In Acts the believers would receive the spiritual power of holy spirit, and this inspired as well as empowered the new Church of God to begin walking with God in Christ in them.

The believers began experiencing God’s divine love in a much more dynamic way than was ever experienced by the individual believer before that time, for man would now have the love of God laden within their hearts through their receiving of the gift of holy spirit.

The Book of Acts shows a transition between the Gospel age and the new age of God’s grace, and with His grace upon their lives (as well as ours) the believers began enjoying God’s love in them and to one another, and they shared this with the world.

Romans 5:5 – And hope {of the return of Jesus Christ} maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost {holy spirit, the gift of God} which is given to us. {“Ghost” is an inaccurate translation of the Greek word, hagion. Our God is not a ghost, nor does He give His children ghosts, rather He gives holy spirit, and with this gift of holy spirit we have the love of God.}

The love of God that the believers were experiencing and enjoying literally propelled the first century Church into greatness, they were enjoying spiritual freedoms that had never before been given to men and women before the age of God’s grace.

Colossians 1:27 – To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory:

Colossians reveals that we have Christ within; he is the epitome of love and he is our inspiration for living in love.

Even today the love of Jesus Christ within inspires Christians to walk in love, just as he had done in the first century Church as they loved not in word only, but in-deed and in truth (I John 3:18).

In the Book of Acts, the believers did exploits as they walked in love towards one another and presented to the people in the world the love of God.

Even though we cannot literally read the word love in the book of Acts, the powerful love of God in Christ was the motivating factor in their lives. Their love changed the course of human history and is underscored throughout Acts and is demonstrated in the lives of believers as they reached out passionately with love.

We cannot literally read for instance that Stephen in Acts chapter 7 stood up and with “forgiving love” opened up his heart and mouth to speak. Nor can we read about Philip’s “love of deliverance” in Acts chapter 8 when he went to Samaria and changed that city. Nor can we read in Acts 16 about Paul’s and Silas’ “saving love” when they were in jail at Philippi. Nor can we read about Peter on the roof with his “loving entreat” of the Gentiles to bring spiritual wholeness into the household of Cornelius and his friends with the Gospel. Nor can we read about the Apostles display of “magnifying love” on the day of Pentecost in Acts 2. Nor can we read in Acts 16 about Timotheus’ “obedient love” that was well reported by the brethren of Lystra and Iconium. Nor can we read in Acts 21 about Agabus’ “binding love” to rescue Paul. Why? The words “love of God” are not recorded in the Book of Acts, yet love is there, more real than if LOVE was written across the pages in big bold letters because love is the master key they utilized in order to live love as Jesus had instructed them in John 13:34-35.

Acts 19:20 – So mightily grew the word of God and prevailed.

The Word of God became living and real in the hearts of believers for they were motivated by love, becoming genuine witnesses of the resurrected Christ. Thus the Word of God grew mightily in their lives and prevailed in their culture.

Love was the motivating power and source behind almost every action that the believers undertook in the Book of Acts.

Today as we walk with God believing in the knowledge contained in the Church Epistles, then the same powerful love will still bless and motivate our actions. As God’s love grows within our hearts, love will inspire believers to reach out and offer to others the same spiritual love that has been so graciously given to us in Christ.

Luke who was inspired by God to write the Book of Acts omitted the word love, and instead he was inspired by love to write clearly on the effects that love produces, as is seen throughout Acts.

The inspiration of Jesus Christ and his love that is placed within our very hearts continues revealing Our Spiritual Love because his love still inspires us today to continue walking with him in God’s grace as the believers in Acts had done.

The Knowledge of Christ (The Longer Version)

Written by Larry M. Jaynes:

Once there was a man who hated Christians. He persecuted them at every opportunity; he put them into prison, and gave his vote to have them executed by stoning them to death. He carried written permission from the leaders of his day to go anywhere, into any home, and forcefully drag out men and women and take them to jail. From the depths of his heart he loved God, and walked faithfully and blameless before others who believed in his religion and he somehow did this with a clear conscience. Yet he was a very religious man who prayed and worshiped the same God we pray and worship. He believed in his heart that the Christian movement came from the pits of hell.

I have no doubt that I would not allow him into my home or around my friends because his very presence could mean death. He thought in his heart that he was a great believer and that he was doing the right things before his God as he personally anticipated the coming of the Redeemer.

This man lived in the first century as a Pharisee, he had the best schooling that money could buy. He also had the right credentials as he sat under the greatest, first century teacher of the Old Testament Scriptures, named Gamaliel (Acts 5:34, Acts 22:3), and he was one of Gamaliel’s favorite pupils. This man was Saul, also known in the Scriptures as Paul (the difference in the two names is that Saul comes from the Hebrew spelling, while Paul is from the Greek).

Acts 22:4 – And I {Paul} persecuted this way {this way represented the followers of Jesus Christ who was, is, and shall always be “the way, the truth, and the life” John 14:6} unto the death, binding and delivering into prisons both men and women.

I Timothy 1:12-13:
-12: And I {Paul} thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who hath enabled me, for that he counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry;
-13: Who was before a blasphemer, and a persecutor, and injurious {an insulter}: but I obtained mercy, because I did it ignorantly in unbelief.

Ignorantly in unbelief means that Paul did not have the right information to believe correctly, even with all his religious training in the Scriptures which foretell and announce the coming of Christ, the promised Messiah. Paul completely missed the truths in the Scriptures that reveal Jesus Christ to be the promised Redeemer and the Savior of humanity.

One day when Paul was on the road to Damascus he, for the first time in his life met Jesus Christ, and as we know from the Scriptures, Paul had an immediate change of mind and heart, because he for the first time in his life saw the true spiritual realities of Jesus Christ.

Jesus said to Paul in Acts 9:5 “I am Jesus whom thou persecutest!” Can you imagine?

Personally — if I were Paul — this meeting would have given me a heart attack! Yet, Paul recognized the error of his ways, changed his mind, and he became one of the greatest believers this world has ever known, he received perhaps more revelation and inspiration than any man or woman has received in all of history.

The great Apostle Paul from that day forward dedicated his life to teaching and showing others the depths of God’s grace, love, and forgiveness. Paul helped believers receive an understanding of the healing Word by preaching Jesus Christ, who in turn reveals the righteousness of God to our inner hearts, as His Word continues blessing our lives with spiritual truth.

Philippians 3:8-9:
-8: Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered {or allowed} the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ {there is nothing as precious as learning about Christ},
-9: And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith:

Discovering our Lord and Savior in the Word of God is a rewarding adventure in this life as Jesus said, the Scriptures testify of me (John 5:39). It is Jesus who opens up our understanding to the Word of God, so with him the words in the Word begin making perfect sense. Luke wrote: ”Then opened he {Jesus} their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures” (Luke 24:45).

II Peter 1:2:
Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord.

Grace and peace is something we may expect to receive simply by going to our Bibles and looking for the knowledge of Christ, who is according to I Corinthians 1:24, ”the power, and wisdom of God.”

Grace and peace being multiplied in the Apostle Paul’s heart is what changed his life around and presented to him great deliverance, and this will also bless us with the inner comfort of having grace and peace in our hearts through discovering the wondrous knowledge of Christ.