Showing posts from May, 2015

All in the Family

In the ‘70s, there was a sitcom named “All in the Family.”  Archie Bunker, his son-in-law “Meathead,” daughter Gloria and wife Edith made up a strange family.  Archie’s bigoted attitude toward everybody and everything along with the accompanying family dysfunction made for great comedy. Racism, bigoted attitudes and snobbery are not limited to white, middle class, middle-aged men.  It comes in all colors, shapes and sizes, and it goes in all directions.  In addition, racism and bigoted attitudes are not new.  These things are not modern inventions. At the time of Jesus, there already existed ancient prejudices and animosities between different groups of people.  The Jews hated Samaritans and had nothing to do with Gentiles.  Samaritans and Gentiles returned the favor. When the Church was born, there existed a unique situation that removed many political and language barriers.  The Roman Empire did away with political boundaries and gave a vast area of the world a common

God Saves Anyone

Acts 10 Cornelius was an Italian name.  He was a centurion of the Italian cohort.  Technically, a cohort was a tenth part of a legion.  However, when used to describe provincial and/or auxiliary troops, it described a regiment of about a thousand men.  This is most likely what is referred to in Acts 10.  In favor of this conclusion, is also the fact that the regiment or cohort had a name, “The Italian Cohort.”  It is not likely that a division of a legion would have a name, but it was common for legions to have names. This is significant because it places Cornelius as a part of enforcing Roman rule in the region.  Herod the Great built Caesarea, and it was the administrative Center of the Judean Province of the Roman Empire. Although Cornelius was a part of enforcing Roman rule, his was a relatively subordinate role, as a centurion, Cornelius commanded 100 men. Cornelius was a Gentile, most likely an Italian.  However, he was devout.  Acts  10:3 tells us he was praying on

God Leads

Romans 1:16 says, “For I am not ashamed of this Good News about Christ.  It is the power of God at work, saving everyone who believes—the Jew first and also the Gentile.” [i] The Gospel is advancing around the world, as the power of God works to free captives and break the power of sin.  What started in the book of Acts, continues as the gospel is preached. In Acts 1:8, Jesus promised the Holy Spirit would give us power to be His witnesses throughout the entire earth. In chapter 8 of the book of Acts, we find that a great persecution broke out against the Church.  Due to this persecution, believers were scattered throughout the regions of Judea and Samaria.  Verse 4 tells us these scattered believers preached the Gospel wherever they went. Great joy followed the spread of the Gospel as people experienced its power to save.  The book of Acts begins an account of the unfolding of God’s plan for spreading the Gospel.  Chapter 1 verse 8 gives the outline of how the gospel

God's Power in Us

1 Corinthians 12 There is power in the name of Jesus.  This power saves us.  The world lies in the power of the evil one.  Wars, death, slavery, disease, violence, hatred, sexual immorality and a long list of other evils attest to this.  The power of the name of Jesus has defeated evil.  When Jesus returns, the power of the evil one over this world will end and sin and death will be done away. However, until He returns, the power of Jesus works in us individually and as a Church to free us from the power of the evil one.  He also breaks the power of sin in our lives.  The ministry Jesus began in Galilee some 2015 years ago, continues in and through us to this very day. This is an exciting truth.  Jesus told His disciples, “As the Father has sent me, so I am sending you.”  (John 20:21) [i]   And, “you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you.  And you will be my witnesses, telling people about me everywhere—in Jerusalem, throughout Judea, in Samaria, and to th