Acts 2; Romans 11 – The People of God
Revelation describes God’s future plan for His people. Who are God’s people? This lesson will remind us of who they are and trace their history as they await the glorious end of the story He has planned.
It began with Adam and Eve. God gave them everything, but they wanted more. They were deceived by Satan and sin entered the world. Through their sons humanity was divided – believers and not-believers. God still loves His people and wants all to repent and believe in Him. He provided a way for them to be redeemed. He sent His Son, Jesus to be the Savior of the world.
Jesus was rejected by men, died on the cross for our sins, and then He was raised to life. Before He went to be with His Father, He promised to send the Holy Spirit to be with us as our counselor. In Acts 2 this promise was fulfilled at the Day of Pentecost as Peter spoke to the crowd. Peter spoke to the people that day and explained detail the gospel in detail. The people heard the message and were “cut to the heart”, because they realized they had sinned and needed to repent. By the power of the Holy Spirit about 3,000 became new believers that day and the church was born.
I think they realized because of their sin they were responsible for the death of Jesus. The whole world is responsible. If we had not sinned, He would not have had to die. So you see, we are all responsible for His death. We all need to repent and be baptized. The Holy Spirit unites believers. As believers God has set us apart giving us with a unique identity. We are His church.
Have you confessed and repented of your sins?
Are you one of God’s people?
Are you a part of a church that worships the One True Living God?
Now we receive the Holy Spirit when we accept Jesus as our Savior. He becomes the voice in our heads that tells us when we are about to do something we shouldn’t or when we should do something we should. He’s there to guide, direct, and convict us of sin.
Jesus came to the Jews first and then to the Gentiles. In Romans 11 we see that God didn’t reject the Jews. Actually by coming to the Gentiles it made the Jews jealous so they would accept Jesus. God knew the Jews wouldn’t believe, but He had a plan. He always has a plan.
Romans 11:16 talks about the root, the broken branches and the wild shoot. The root is the believing Jewish ancestors like Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. The broken branches are the unbelieving Jews who rejected Jesus. The wild shoot is the Gentiles who are grafted in and are now included in God’s people.
Also the phrases “all Israel will be saved” when the “fullness of the Gentiles has come in” is open for interpretation. Is it all Jews or is the only the believing Jews? I believe it is the believing Jews, but we really don’t know. The fullness of the Gentiles is the number God has chosen. We don’t know what that number is. God displayed His grace here in Romans. Even though some of the Jews did not believe, He didn’t cut them off, but gave them the chance to repent. Who does He choose? He chooses Jews, Gentiles, and people from all nations.
When does He choose people? Ephesians 1 tells us that God chose people before the foundation of the world. This is another thing that is hard for us to understand. “For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will.”- Eph. 1:4-5
Ephesians 4 – The Unity of God’s People
Ephesians 4 gives us ways we are called to live as members of His church. We are to live holy lives being humble, gentle, patient, and loving. We are to help others, live in peace with others, and build up the body of Christ. We are not to spread rumors or malice against others. We are not to argue, but always offer kind words. We are to “put off your old self and put on the new self”. How do we do that? We stop those addictive behaviors and urges like anger, bitterness, fear or whatever it is. We refuse to give in to those desires. We change our attitudes. Real change happens when we change our thinking and our desires of self. Let God change you. We can continue renewing our minds by going to the Word daily. We need to keep being reminded of what we are to do and how we are to act so we don’t become stagnant and complacent letting our old self sneak back in.
How do you keep renewing your mind?
Do you take your Christianity for granted?
Do you strife to continue to grow in your faith?
Next week we will study some of Daniel before getting back to Revelation. Hope to see you here.
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