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 One Great Subject in the Scriptures (The Longer Version)

Written by Larry M. Jaynes:

Jesus Christ is the one great subject of the Scriptures, no matter where we read in the Bible ― from the Old Testament, the Gospels, or the New Testament. The Scriptures both foretell and foretold about the Savior of the world (in past, present, or future realities). As we find Jesus Christ in the Scriptures, he alone reveals the Father and discloses unspoken truth that resonates in the hearts of searching men and women, young and old. Jesus literally breaths life, spiritual life, into the Scriptures as the realities of eternal life begins surging into our understanding.

I cannot, nor can anyone else, prove God to be real because God is Spirit, and Spirit is beyond or outside the realm of the five senses, yet Christ indeed reveals God to the heart of our understanding as (and only when) we discover Jesus within the written Word of God. Whether the written Word is spoken, preached, or read, the absolute mission of Christ in the Word is to make known His Father, for the Written Word of God takes the place of the visible Christ. This is why the believers in the Book of Acts always went about preaching in the name of Jesus Christ, and of his resurrection (for a few examples, see Acts 2:32, 4:33, 13:23, 33, 17:18), for preaching without preaching Christ, is not preaching at all, but is lecturing in one form or another.

When Jesus Christ becomes known to us, he then can begin revealing God to the heart of those who crave for righteous judgment, eternal life, and spiritual understanding. “For he {the Apostle Paul} mightily convinced the Jews, and that publicly, showing by the scriptures that Jesus was Christ” (Acts 18:28), and what Paul used to convince them was the Old Testament Scriptures.

John 6:63b:
. . . the words that I {Jesus} speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.

The actual voice of Jesus Christ still speaks to our hearts ― truths that may not be uttered; only thought, only spiritually realized and ascertained, and can only be received by believing faith.

I Corinthians 2:9, 13:
-9: But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.
-13: Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual {things}.

Jesus said, “Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me” (John 5:39). Jesus was referring here to the Old Testament Scriptures since when he spoke these words, the Gospels and the New Testament were not yet written. The words ye think ye have eternal life were not written to suggest any kind of doubt; on the contrary, think means that the Scriptures reveal Christ to our minds, deep down in our thinking processes. When we think about and contemplate on the Scriptures, we begin receiving true understanding, and believing in God’s Word functions and is accomplished as we bring our biblical thoughts up to the level of recognizing that Christ is revealed to us in the Scriptures.

II Corinthians 10:5:
Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every {biblical} thought to the obedience of Christ;

Bringing every thought to the obedience of Christ literally means that we can bring every biblical concept and detail back to Christ because he is the subject of the Word. Verse 5 is a request, exhorting us to keep Christ at the forefront of our lives. The more we discover Christ in the Scriptures the closer our walks with God will become and the further our understanding of God Himself will continue growing in our inner hearts.

The Old Testament Scriptures reveal Jesus Christ; in truth, every writer of the Old Testament wrote divine revelations concerning Jesus Christ.

In the following verses of Scripture, Jesus is speaking to a group of people who refused to believe the words he spoke:

John 5:46-47:
-46: For had ye believed Moses, ye would have believed me: for he wrote of me.
-47: But if ye believe not his writings, how shall ye believe my words?

As Jesus Christ was and still is the underlying subject of the Old Testament, he is also the subject of the Gospels and the New Testament, revealing to the spiritual heart of believers the true essence of God. The Apostle Peter summed it up quite well by saying to Jesus “Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life. And we believe and are sure that thou art that Christ, the Son of the living God” (John 6:68-69). Who would not want to know if God is really alive? It is through Christ, the Son of the living God that we find the words of eternal life.

Acts 3:21-22:
-21: Whom the heaven must receive {Jesus Christ ascended up to heaven} until the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets {How many? All!} since the world began.
-22: For Moses truly said unto the fathers, A prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you of your brethren, like unto me {Moses}; him {Jesus Christ} shall ye hear {in your heart} in all things whatsoever he shall say unto you.

Today, Jesus Christ is still living, still fulfilling his mission of revealing the living God to believers who look to Jesus as their Lord and Savior. He can and will continue revealing his Father to us as we continue looking to him in the Scriptures, for Christ Jesus stands at the threshold of eternity asking for us to allow him into our life and us into his, as he is still the power and wisdom of God (I Corinthians 1:24).

One may read the Bible a lifetime without ever knowing or discovering the one great subject in the Scriptures because without spiritual understanding and knowledge — the Bible may as well be all Greek or only spoken in Latin. The greatest experience in this life is as the Apostle wrote: To come to a personal “knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord” (Philippians 3:8).

Some have only a vague idea of Jesus Christ and suppose that he was between a man and a spirit and walked on this Earth about two thousand years ago as a genteel miracle worker. Nowadays it is suspected that he has gone missing, for many lack tangible understanding of his actual whereabouts. The angel said “Ye seek Jesus of Nazareth, which was crucified: he is risen; he is not here: behold the place where they laid him” (Mark 16:6). Jesus gave his life for all the people on this Earth and he is personally excited and blessed when people actually look for him and find him to be resurrected, alive, and honestly, according to the Scriptures, he is doing quite well.

Hebrews 7:25:
Wherefore he {Jesus Christ} is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by {through} him, seeing {perceiving} he ever liveth to make intercession for them.

Jesus Christ came into this world so that men and women could live a life he titled: “life ― more abundantly” (John 10:10); this is why he came in the first place. Now today he is our resurrected Lord and Savior, and one of his missions in his own life is to make intercession between God and man. In truth he ever liveth for this purpose! “Who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God” (Hebrews 12:2). What gives Jesus Christ joy and purpose is to make intercession (rather than condemnation) as he continuously presents us in a favorable light before our heavenly Father! So if you ever wondered what Jesus Christ does every moment of every day the world round, perhaps now you might understand just how busy he really is, being our personal advocate (I John 2:1), and our continuous mediator (I Timothy 2:5-6).

In the Book of Revelation, we have one of my favorite verses of Scripture in the whole of the Word of God that Jesus spoke after his resurrection.

Revelation 3:20:
Behold, I stand at the door {of our hearts}, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.

One thing that makes this verse so exciting to me is that in the biblelands, in the culture that Jesus was raised in, whenever they would have a close, personal friend over for dinner, the host always served and waited on his welcome guest. The host would never sit down at the table. This demonstrated to his friend (or friends), the utmost honor and respect he held for the welcomed guest. When Martha served Jesus and some of his followers in Bethany, she was displaying her humble love and respect (John 12:1ff). In the Book of Revelation 3:20, we have a dinner invitation that is even more personal than a close friend because Jesus says that he actually eats with you and you with him ― breaking the traditional protocols to sup with you!

Jesus has always been standing at the door of our hearts ―― knocking. The knocking is another biblical custom meaning that one would actually stand outside the gate of the house and yell out the name of the person they wanted to call on, as the messengers of Cornelius had done when calling out for Peter in Acts 10:17-18. This is why the verse says if any man hear my voice.

In the Gospel of John, Jesus further discusses his calling by saying that there were to be other people besides those of the first century who would hear his voice.

John 10:16:
And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd.

We today, who are in God’s family, are those to whom Jesus was referring. Reading the words of Christ is easy but it is an entirely different experience to actually hear his sweet voice that speaks directly to our heart and soul with inspiration that always strengthens our believing with a heavenly calmness. Our Savior’s voice encourages, exhorts, and edifies men and women who answer his call to walk with him who walks with the Creator.

When you answer the call of Jesus today, you will be allowing him into your life and heart. When you hear his wonderful voice, you may recall hearing his heartfelt calling as well as recalling some in-depth echoes of past memories that in truth have been beseeching you all along, perhaps even since your first memories of childhood. It certainly will bless his life to bless your life for allowing him into your heart as you answer him, “I am here Lord,” and begin dining together on the bread of life (God’s Word), and enjoy your close personal relationship with him who gave his utmost for you.