Hold on to Jesus, not to Sin

We Cannot Stop Speaking

I am reading in the Acts of the Apostles chapter four (Acts 4) about the persecution of the apostles, primarily (or only) Peter and John. Basically, they were healing people and they were sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ with the people. And many of the Jewish rulers in the Jewish temple were greatly annoyed with them over this. And so they falsely arrested them, and then eventually they decided to warn them to no longer speak in the name of Jesus. So their issue was really with Jesus Christ (read Acts 4:1-18).

“But Peter and John answered them, ‘Whether it is right in the sight of God to listen to you rather than to God, you must judge, for we cannot but speak of what we have seen and heard’” (Acts 4:19-20 ESV). Amen!

So, the Jewish authorities released them, and then the apostles went to their friends and reported what the chief priests and the elders had said to them.

“And when they heard it, they lifted their voices together to God and said, ‘Sovereign Lord, who made the heaven and the earth and the sea and everything in them, who through the mouth of our father David, your servant, said by the Holy Spirit,

“Why did the Gentiles rage,
and the peoples plot in vain?
The kings of the earth set themselves,
and the rulers were gathered together,
against the Lord and against his Anointed”—

for truly in this city there were gathered together against your holy servant Jesus, whom you anointed, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, along with the Gentiles and the peoples of Israel, to do whatever your hand and your plan had predestined to take place. And now, Lord, look upon their threats and grant to your servants to continue to speak your word with all boldness, while you stretch out your hand to heal, and signs and wonders are performed through the name of your holy servant Jesus.’” (Acts 4:24-30)

Our Testimony for Jesus

As followers of Jesus Christ we are to be the light of the world and the salt of the earth in living the gospel and then in sharing the gospel message with other people. We are to proclaim the excellencies of God who called us out of darkness (slavery to sin) into his wonderful light (truth, righteousness, holiness, godliness, Jesus Christ, the gospel). And we are to be his witnesses far and wide, and we are to make disciples of Christ of people all over the world, teaching them to obey the Lord’s commandments (New Covenant).

And we are to use the spiritual gifts that the Spirit has given us, in the God assigned roles for us within the universal body of Christ, his church, to exhort, urge, encourage, motivate, counsel, and instruct other believers in their walks of faith, so that no one will be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness, and so that no one will be led astray by the manipulative who are cunning and crafty in their deceitful schemes. And we are to speak the truth in love one to another so that we may all grow to spiritual maturity in Christ.

[1 Pet. 2:9; 1 Pet. 2:21; Matt. 5:13-16; Matt. 28:18-20; Acts 1:8; Acts 26:18; Rom. 10:14-15; Jn. 4:31-38; Jn. 13:13-17; Jn. 14:12; 1 Jn. 2:6; Rom 12:1-8; 1 Co 12:1-31; Eph 4:1-16; Eph 5:17-27; Col 3:16; Heb 3:13]

But when we do so, we must be prepared that not everyone is going to receive it or us well, not even many who call themselves Christians. And we have absolutely no control over how other people are going to receive us when we are following Jesus with our lives and when we are doing and saying the things he would have us to do and to say. All we can do is obey the Lord, and then we just have to leave the results in the hands of God. Sometimes we will be received well, and other times we won’t.

The thing of it is, when we know the truth of God’s word, and we know and we believe what it says, and when we walk in the fear of the Lord, and we take him and his word seriously, it will break our hearts to see so many people rejecting the Scriptures to go their own way. And it isn’t just many people who make no profession of Christ who are rejecting the truth of the gospel, but it is many who do profess faith in Jesus who are rejecting the gospel message that Jesus and his New Testament apostles taught.

For so many of them have bought into an altered (lie) gospel which is a half-truth (lie) gospel concocted in the minds of human beings who wanted to soften the gospel to make it more acceptable and appealing to human flesh and to the people of the world. For it makes no requirements of the “believers” in Jesus to repent of (to turn away from) their sinful practices in order to follow Jesus Christ in obedience and in righteousness and in holy living. Rather it grants them permission to keep on in deliberate sin.

And so the Lord Jesus is calling his servants and messengers to get the truth of the gospel out to as many as possible, and to tell them that Jesus died on that cross so that we would die with him to sin and live to him and to his righteousness, and so we would live for him and no longer for ourselves. For he shed his blood for us on that cross to buy us back for God (to redeem us) so that we will now honor God with our lives. For Jesus died to free us from our slavery to sin so we will now be slaves of God and of his righteousness.

[1 Pet 2:24; 2 Co 5:15,21; 1 Co 6:19-20; Rom 6:1-23; Eph 4:17-32]

But when you give out this message, and you call sinners to repentance and to obedient walks of faith in Jesus Christ and to holy living, you will likely be opposed, and most likely by pastors, elders, and people of the institutional market-driven churches of today. And you will be opposed and fought against by the self-indulgent who are addicted to sin and who do not truly want to repent and to follow Jesus in obedience, although some of them may feign that they do want that, but actions speak louder than words.

So, you let them know what the Scriptures teach, and you quote the Scriptures so they know you are not just making it up in your own mind, and yet they will still ignore the Scriptures and go their own way. Even if you show them plainly the results of disobedience and of living in sin, they choose to keep gambling with their own destiny, hoping that somehow God will still let them into his heaven even though they habitually and deliberately sin against him and do not honor him as Lord.

And so they may blast you in public, or call you names, or just ignore you, or they may turn others against you by telling lies about you, or they may try to trick you and to trip you up hoping that you will fall or so that they can make you look bad in front of others. And they may mock you and criticize you, and they may betray you and purposefully do against you what they know is going to hurt you for they want you to suffer. They want to hurt you out of spite because you are counseling them to forsake their sins and to follow Jesus in obedience.

But don’t let that discourage and dishearten you. Keep speaking the words of God to the people, and please know that not everyone has bowed the knee to the enemy and to compromise with the world and with flesh. There are still Christians out here who are spreading the truth of the gospel with boldness, and who are still walking in holiness and in righteousness and in obedience to the Lord. We aren’t perfect people, but we are living holy lives, pleasing to God, and we are living the life God has called us to live.

[Matt 7:21-23; Lu 9:23-26; Rom 2:6-8; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-14; Rom 12:1-2; 1 Co 6:9-10,19-20; 2 Co 5:10,15,21; Gal 5:16-21; Gal 6:7-8; Eph 4:17-24; Eph 5:3-6; Col 3:5-17; 1 Pet 2:24; Tit 2:11-14; 1 Jn 1:5-9; 1 Jn 2:3-6; 1 Jn 3:4-10; Heb 10:26-27; Rev 21:8,27; Rev 22:14-15]

“And when they had prayed, the place in which they were gathered together was shaken, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and continued to speak the word of God with boldness.” (Acts 4:31 ESV)

Sweet, Sweet Spirit

Music and Lyrics by Doris Akers

There’s a sweet, sweet Spirit in this place,
And I know that it’s the Spirit of the Lord;
There are sweet expressions on each face,
And I know they feel the presence of the Lord.

There are blessings you cannot receive
Till you know Him in His fullness and believe;
You’re the one to profit when you say,
“I am going to walk with Jesus all the way.”

If you say He saved you from your sin,
Now you’re weak, you’re bound and cannot enter in,
You can make it right if you will yield,
You’ll enjoy the Holy Spirit that we feel.

Sweet Holy Spirit, Sweet heavenly Dove,
Stay right here with us, filling us with Your love.
And for these blessings we lift our hearts in praise;
Without a doubt we’ll know that we have been revived,
When we shall leave this place.

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2 thoughts on “Hold on to Jesus, not to Sin

  1. Thank you so much for this wonderful and truth filled message. It’s encouraging to know that those that are unbending to the world and sin who are ever ready to be identified with Christ are still out in their numbers. This spoke volumes to me. God bless you.

    Liked by 1 person

    • You are so very welcome. All glory to God! Yes, I agree, that it is encouraging to know that there are others out there that are unbending to the world. Amen! Thank you for your encouraging words. God bless you!

      Like

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