In this evening lesson, we continue examining the five core doctrines of Calvinism, focusing on the third part of the TULIP acronym, Limited Atonement. Through this lesson, we hope to demonstrate that Christ died to give all people the opportunity to be saved, and to teach anything different robs the gospel of it’s power to save (Rom. 1:16)
Usually we balk at the idea of a preacher not using any Scripture in his sermon, as well we should. But there is at least one example of the apostle Paul preaching a sermon without referencing any Scripture. It’s his sermon to the Areopagus in Acts 17, and though he teaches Scriptural truth, he doesn’t quote any Biblical texts as he presents the truth to idolatrous philosophers.
The book of Ephesians, while it should be taken as a unit, has two main parts. The first, in Chapters 1-3, teaches about the church, the beautiful bride of Christ. The second part, chapters 4-6 teaches us about our walk, our lives, as Christians, in a very practical way. While there is a lot of detail worth noting in these chapters, we will save that for later lessons and take a more general overviewing look of these chapters in this lesson.
And now, Lord, look upon their threats and grant to your servants to continue to speak your word with all boldness, (Acts 4:29, ESV)
I really love what the apostles do here. They’ve recently been commanded by the Jewish leadership in Jerusalem to no longer preach in the name of Jesus. Of course their answer to that was a resounding, “No way.” They had said in verse 20 that they couldn’t help but speak of what they had seen and heard. They couldn’t help but preach about Jesus. And later on in Chapter 5, they will tell the Jewish leaders that they had to obey God rather than men, and thus they must continue preaching about Jesus.
I love this little verse though. How did they respond to the persecution that they were being faced with? They didn’t ask that it be taken away. Certainly they could have. They could have asked God to protect them from the Jewish leaders, but what do they ask for? They ask for boldness to speak the Word of God.
Maybe we should take an example from the apostles today. Too many of us, I’m afraid, are hesitant when it comes to speaking the Truth because we know that we are going to face persecution because of it. In our increasingly sinful society, many people don’t want to hear God’s Word. So it is my prayer that, come what may, we be given boldness to speak the Truth in the face of the persecution.
Father God in Heaven, hallowed be your name. I ask you Father that you give all who wear the name of your son, all who are Christians, be granted boldness to speak the Truth of your holy Word, despite what persecutions may arise. I pray that we have the same attitude that your apostles had when the church was still so young. Lord, grant us boldness. In Jesus name I pray, Amen.
I hope you will pray that prayer today as well. Have a great day, and God bless.