Public Proclamation Of Faith
by Crystal Diaz
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"Biblical Public Faith" By: Crystal Diaz
So it seems that today the newest approach when questioned on biblical beliefs, is to take the compromising road of silence and not make a public statement. Sounds a lot like what PR reps tell their celebrity clients to do when asked controversial or personal questions. However, as a follower of Jesus Christ we don't have a PR, we are here to represent to existence of God in the world, and one major way we do that is by standing, believing, and sharing his word of truth.
⦁ John 8:32
And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.
This truth is to be shared with the world, not just behind closed doors. If we are given a public platform to speak on what the Bible teaches then that is what we teach. This concept of pleading the fifth because you don't want the persecution that follows or the decrease in congregation members and their tithes and offerings goes against the Biblical and PUBLIC MINISTRY of Christ and the first church. Jesus always spoken in a PUBLIC forum: Read the gospels!
After Jesus was baptized he was lead into the desert by the Holy Spirit to be tempted by Satan after his 40 days of fasting and prayer. Then after he heard that John the Baptist was cast into prison and he departed into Galilee to a people who sat in darkness in a region of shadow and death.
⦁ Matthew 4:17
From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.
These people sat in darkness; metaphorically speaking of moral or spiritual darkness coming from the Greek word Skot'-os which is from the base of Skee-ah' which means shade or a shadow. So they were in this dark place, some probably sick, poor, wicked, immoral, and hurting. Yet he preached repentance from the beginning of his ministry, and he kept this theme until he ascended into Heaven and he instructed us to preach the same in " The Great Commission" .
⦁ Matthew 28:18-20
And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”
ALL his disciples followed in his ministry teaching repentance which is the main focus of the gospel. What is the Gospel message?
There is one God who created Heaven and earth (Genesis 1). He created both man and woman and they are Adam and Eve(Genesis 2).God placed them in a Garden, the garden of Eden. Where they had everything they needed. It was a perfect place because God created it that way, Adam and Eve never knew pain, and sickness, hurt or sadness. Let alone evil, lies and deceit. They had such freedom; however, they were only given two commands.
⦁ Genesis 2:16-17 KJV
And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat:But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.
Note: Lets think about all the rules we had growing up. Imagine if we had just one rule we had to live by and everything else was ok. As exciting as they may sound as yourself would you have ever broken that one rule? Come back to that question as you continue to read.
Now there came a time; in which, Eve was tempted by the serpent to disobey that one command. After she made her choice Adam made the same choice.
⦁ Genesis 3:1-6 KJV
Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden? And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden: But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die. And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die: For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil. And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.
As you see they disobeyed the one command given, and the result of that was sin entering into the perfect creation of God. It is no longer a perfect world nor a perfect man and woman; now making humankind the same. Because they are the first humans created that sin in us all. Now God is a Holy and sin cannot exist where he is. Remember he said "surely you will die if you eat of this tree" this was a spiritual death he spoke of. God is a judge and must punish sin so he passed judgment on the serpent, Adam, and Eve. They were cast out of the garden and his presence. Remember sin and God cannot coexist together. Their punishment was separation from God, and having to work hard to eat and live.
Note: Remember the question I asked you about you breaking the only rule given to. Of course our answer is yes because especially as children we defy every rule our parents gave us, or at least 95% of them. I presented this question to illustrate that sinful nature in us all. But scripture gives us a very early examples of this sin being instilled in us from the sin in the garden.
⦁ Genesis 3:8-10
They heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden. Then the Lord God called to the man, and said to him, “Where are you?” He said, “I heard the sound of You in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid myself.”
Note: Look at young children when they do something they are not suppose to do and they hear their parents coming what do they do? They hide, or they hide what they did. Either by physically hiding or lying to cover up what they've done. There is another example of sinful nature in humans.
⦁ Genesis 4:1-11 NASB
Now the man had relations with his wife Eve, and she conceived and gave birth to Cain, and she said, “I have gotten a manchild with the help of the Lord. Again, she gave birth to his brother Abel. And Abel was a keeper of flocks, but Cain was a tiller of the ground. So it came about in the course of time that Cain brought an offering to the Lord of the fruit of the ground. Abel, on his part also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of their fat portions. And the Lord had regard for Abel and for his offering; but for Cain and for his offering He had no regard. So Cain became very angry and his countenance fell. Then the Lord said to Cain, “Why are you angry? And why has your countenance fallen? If you do well, will not your countenance be lifted up? And if you do not do well, sin is crouching at the door; and its desire is for you, but you must master it.” Cain told Abel his brother. And it came about when they were in the field, that Cain rose up against Abel his brother and killed him. Then the Lord said to Cain, “Where is Abel your brother?” And he said, “I do not know. Am I my brother’s keeper?” He said, “What have you done? The voice of your brother’s blood is crying to Me from the ground. Now you are cursed from the ground, which has opened its mouth to receive your brother’s blood from your hand.
So here we see specific sins illustrated, jealousy, anger, selfishness, murder, and lying. And the end result is punishment. Through out world history we see mankind is driven and ruled by sin whether you want to believe it or not you can never deny that you've done something wrong in your life. And one day we all will be judged for everything we've done wrong because they are acts of sin committed against God.
But God knew this and he had a plan before he even created the world and us. This is his plan of salvation. It is a plan not only to save us, but to satisfy his wrath towards sin and his judgment on sin. This is the heart of the gospel and that is the person and works of Jesus Christ. God has long foretold the Jewish nation of the coming of the savior through the virgin birth.
⦁ Isaiah 7:13-15 NASB
Then he said, “Listen now, O house of David! Is it too slight a thing for you to try the patience of men, that you will try the patience of my God as well? Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, a virgin will be with child and bear a son, and she will call His name Immanuel. He will eat curds and honey at the time He knows enough to refuse evil and choose good.
This was one of many prophecies that were told, and this was fulfilled over 2,000 years ago.
⦁ Matthew 1:1-24 NASB
Now the birth of Jesus Christ was as follows: when His mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child by the Holy Spirit. And Joseph her husband, being a righteous man and not wanting to disgrace her, planned to send her away secretly. But when he had considered this, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife; for the Child who has been conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit. She will bear a Son; and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.” Now all this took place to fulfill what was spoken by the Lord through the prophet: “Behold, the virgin shall be with child and shall bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,” which translated means, “God with us.” And Joseph awoke from his sleep and did as the angel of the Lord commanded him, and took Mary as his wife, but kept her a virgin until she gave birth to a Son; and he called His name Jesus.
Note:Through out the life of Jesus as witnessed and written in the gospels we seee that signs and wonders that he performed. All to show his authority and power to do so. The reason he was able to do this is because he was God in the flesh. Hence why his birth was not a normal conception through the acts of a man and woman. Remember Mary was a virgin. The Holy Spirit is how she was with child. This was a divine act of God not of man. God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit are one so this act was simple because it came from the same source and that was God.
Along with the prophecy of the savior coming to the world God gave the Jewish people the prophecy of the savior being the sacrifice for the sins of his people, and exactly how this would come to pass.
⦁ Isaiah 53 NASB The Suffering Servant
Who has believed our message?
And to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?
For He grew up before Him like a tender shoot,
And like a root out of parched ground;
He has no stately form or majesty
That we should look upon Him,
Nor appearance that we should be attracted to Him.
He was despised and forsaken of men,
A man of sorrows and acquainted with grief;
And like one from whom men hide their face
He was despised, and we did not esteem Him.
Surely our griefs He Himself bore,
And our sorrows He carried;
Yet we ourselves esteemed Him stricken,
Smitten of God, and afflicted.
But He was pierced through for our transgressions,
He was crushed for our iniquities;
The chastening for our well-being fell upon Him,
And by His scourging we are healed.
All of us like sheep have gone astray,
Each of us has turned to his own way;But the Lord has caused the iniquity of us all.
To fall on Him. He was oppressed and He was afflicted,
Yet He did not open His mouth;
Like a lamb that is led to slaughter,
And like a sheep that is silent before its shearers,
So He did not open His mouth.
By oppression and judgment He was taken away;
And as for His generation, who considered
That He was cut off out of the land of the living
For the transgression of my people, to whom the stroke was due?
His grave was assigned with wicked men,
Yet He was with a rich man in His death,
Because He had done no violence,
Nor was there any deceit in His mouth.But the Lord was pleased
To crush Him, putting Him to grief;
If He would render Himself as a guilt offering,
He will see His offspring,
He will prolong His days,
And the good pleasure of the Lord will prosper in His hand.
As a result of the anguish of His soul,
He will see it and be satisfied;
By His knowledge the Righteous One,
My Servant, will justify the many,
As He will bear their iniquities.
Therefore, I will allot Him a portion with the great,
And He will divide the booty with the strong;
Because He poured out Himself to death,
And was numbered with the transgressors;
Yet He Himself bore the sin of many,
And interceded for the transgressors.
Note: When you read the gospels every single line in this prophecy explains the very life, character, obedience, and the outcome of the sacrifice of Jesus Christ death. He was born sinless, and remained sinless; eventhough, he was tempted as we are tempted.
He himself had on many occasions predict his coming suffering, as the very will of God and fulfillment of his purpose on earth.
⦁ Matthew 16:21 NASB
From that time Jesus began to show His disciples that He must go to Jerusalem, and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised up on the third day.
⦁ Matthew 17:12
NASB but I say to you that Elijah already came, and they did not recognize him, but did to him whatever they wished. So also the Son of Man is going to suffer at their hands.”
⦁ Mark 10:12 NASB
They were on the road going up to Jerusalem, and Jesus was walking on ahead of them; and they were amazed, and those who followed were fearful. And again He took the twelve aside and began to tell them what was going to happen to Him,
⦁ Luke 24:25-27 NASB
And He said to them, “O foolish men and slow of heart to believe in all that the prophets have spoken! Was it not necessary for the Christ to suffer these things and to enter into His glory?” Then beginning with Moses and with all the prophets, He explained to them the things concerning Himself in all the Scriptures.
Now for the fulfillment of these prophecies:
⦁ John 18:1-11 NASB
When Jesus had spoken these words, He went forth with His disciples over the ravine of the Kidron, where there was a garden, in which He entered with His disciples. Now Judas also, who was betraying Him, knew the place, for Jesus had often met there with His disciples. Judas then, having received the Romancohort and officers from the chief priests and the Pharisees, *came there with lanterns and torches and weapons. So Jesus, knowing all the things that were coming upon Him, went forth and *said to them, “Whom do you seek?” They answered Him, “Jesus the Nazarene.” He *said to them, “I am He.” And Judas also, who was betraying Him, was standing with them. So when He said to them, “I am He,” they drew back and fell to the ground. Therefore He again asked them, “Whom do you seek?” And they said, “Jesus the Nazarene.” Jesus answered, “I told you that I am He; so if you seek Me, let these go their way,” to fulfill the word which He spoke, “Of those whom You have given Me I lost not one.” Simon Peter then, having a sword, drew it and struck the high priest’s slave, and cut off his right ear; and the slave’s name was Malchus. So Jesus said to Peter, “Put the sword into the sheath; the cup which the Father has given Me, shall I not drink it?”
Note: After his arrest he appeared before the Jewish leaders and was proven as guilty of blasphemy for his claims of being God; eventhough, he was. His next trial was before Pontious Pilate who was the roman governer at the time. The reason the Jewish people wanted Jesus to be seen and trialed by Pontious Pilate was for his sentence to be death by cruxifixion. This was a brutal exucution that the Romans often used for seroius criminals. However, before Jesus was sentenced he was flogged with a whip that had three smaller whips on the end of each strap, which contained sharp pieces of steel that tore trough as it ripped off the flesh. He endured thirty nine lashes. The amount of lashes has much significance in Jewish history (Deuteronomy 25:3).He was also given a crown of thorns, as he was mocked and ridiculed.Thus further illustrating the suffering he would endure. Yet it was not the end of his suffering.
⦁ John 19:16-30 NASB The Crucifixion
So he then handed Him over to them to be crucified. They took Jesus, therefore, and He went out, bearing His own cross, to the place called the Place of a Skull, which is called in Hebrew, Golgotha. There they crucified Him, and with Him two other men, one on either side, and Jesus in between. Pilate also wrote an inscription and put it on the cross. It was written, “JESUS THE NAZARENE, THE KING OF THE JEWS.” Therefore many of the Jews read this inscription, for the place where Jesus was crucified was near the city; and it was written in Hebrew, Latin and in Greek. So the chief priests of the Jews were saying to Pilate, “Do not write, ‘The King of the Jews’; but that He said, ‘I am King of the Jews.’” Pilate answered, “What I have written I have written.” Then the soldiers, when they had crucified Jesus, took His outer garments and made four parts, a part to every soldier and also the tunic; now the tunic was seamless, woven in one piece. So they said to one another, “Let us not tear it, but cast lots for it, to decide whose it shall be”; this was to fulfill the Scripture: “They divided My outer garments among them, and for My clothing they cast lots.” Therefore the soldiers did these things. But standing by the cross of Jesus were His mother, and His mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. When Jesus then saw His mother, and the disciple whom He loved standing nearby, He *said to His mother, “Woman, behold, your son!” Then He *said to the disciple, “Behold, your mother!” From that hour the disciple took her into his own household. After this, Jesus, knowing that all things had already been accomplished, to fulfill the Scripture, *said, “I am thirsty.” A jar full of sour wine was standing there; so they put a sponge full of the sour wine upon a branch of hyssop and brought it up to His mouth. Therefore when Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, “It is finished!” And He bowed His head and gave up His spirit.
There is another part of the prophecy which Christ spoke off in the examples given above; along with many others that you'll find in scrupture. That is the part of Jesus three days later being risen. He fulfilled that also:
⦁ John 20:21- 26 NASB The Empty Tomb
Now on the first day of the week Mary Magdalene *came early to the tomb, while it *was still dark, and *saw the stone already taken away from the tomb. So she *ran and *came to Simon Peter and to the other disciple whom Jesus loved, and *said to them, "They have taken away the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid Him." So Peter and the other disciple went forth, and they were going to the tomb. The two were running together; and the other disciple ran ahead faster than Peter and came to the tomb first; and stooping and looking in, he *saw the linen wrappings lying there; but he did not go in. And so Simon Peter also *came, following him, and entered the tomb; and he *saw the linen wrappings lying there, and the face-cloth which had been on His head, not lying with the linen wrappings, but rolled up in a place by itself. So the other disciple who had first come to the tomb then also entered, and he saw and believed. For as yet they did not understand the Scripture, that He must rise again from the dead. So the disciples went away again to their own homes.
But Mary was standing outside the tomb weeping; and so, as she wept, she stooped and looked into the tomb; and she *saw two angels in white sitting, one at the head and one at the feet, where the body of Jesus had been lying. And they *said to her, "Woman, why are you weeping?" She *said to them, "Because they have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid Him." When she had said this, she turned around and *saw Jesus standing there, and did not know that it was Jesus. Jesus *said to her, "Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you seeking?" Supposing Him to be the gardener, she *said to Him, "Sir, if you have carried Him away, tell me where you have laid Him, and I will take Him away." Jesus *said to her, "Mary!" She turned and *said to Him in Hebrew, "Rabboni!" (which means, Teacher). Jesus *said to her, "Stop clinging to Me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father; but go to My brethren and say to them, ‘I ascend to My Father and your Father, and My God and your God.’" Mary Magdalene *came, announcing to the disciples, "I have seen the Lord," and that He had said these things to her.
Jesus among His Disciples
So when it was evening on that day, the first day of the week, and when the doors were shut where the disciples were, for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood in their midst and *said to them, "Peace be with you." And when He had said this, He showed them both His hands and His side. The disciples then rejoiced when they saw the Lord. So Jesus said to them again, "Peace be with you; as the Father has sent Me, I also send you." And when He had said this, He breathed on them and *said to them, "Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, their sins have been forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they have been retained."
But Thomas, one of the twelve, called Didymus, was not with them when Jesus came. So the other disciples were saying to him, "We have seen the Lord!" But he said to them, "Unless I see in His hands the imprint of the nails, and put my finger into the place of the nails, and put my hand into His side, I will not believe."
After eight days His disciples were again inside, and Thomas with them. Jesus *came, the doors having been shut, and stood in their midst and said, "Peace be with you." Then He *said to Thomas, "Reach here with your finger, and see My hands; and reach here your hand and put it into My side; and do not be unbelieving, but believing." Thomas answered and said to Him, "My Lord and my God!" Jesus *said to him, "Because you have seen Me, have you believed? Blessed are they who did not see, and yet believed."
⦁ Matthew 28:16-20 The Great Commission
But the eleven disciples proceeded to Galilee, to the mountain which Jesus had designated. When they saw Him, they worshiped Him; but some were doubtful. And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, "All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age."
⦁ John 20:30-31 NASB Why This Gospel Was Written
Therefore many other signs Jesus also performed in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book; but these have been written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing you may have life in His name.
Note: All the prophecies will be fulfilled when Jesus Christ returns to judge the world.
⦁ Revelation 22:12-21 NASB
"Behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to render to every man according to what he has done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end." Blessed are those who wash their robes, so that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter by the gates into the city. Outside are the dogs and the sorcerers and the immoral persons and the murderers and the idolaters, and everyone who loves and practices lying. "I, Jesus, have sent My angel to testify to you these things for the churches. I am the root and the descendant of David, the bright morning star." The Spirit and the bride say, "Come." And let the one who hears say, "Come." And let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who wishes take the water of life without cost. I testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: if anyone adds to them, God will add to him the plagues which are written in this book; and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God will take away his part from the tree of life and from the holy city, which are written in this book. He who testifies to these things says, "Yes, I am coming quickly." Amen. Come, Lord Jesus. The grace of the Lord Jesus be with all. Amen!
This is the prophetic revelation of God's redemptive plan through the works of Jesus Christ. Now you might ask what does one do with this revelation? Or how does one receive this gift of salvation?
It starts with belief that Jesus Christ is the son of God who died on the cross and took on the punishment for our sins. And in doing that he reconciled us back to God and washed us of our sins because of our faith in who he is and what he did.
⦁ John 3:16-17
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.
Saved from what? An eternity in Hell, and a life on earth with no hope, peace, and purpose. because...
⦁ Romans 6:23
For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
He is the only savior that the world has and will ever know. That is why he is the savior of the world. Your faith and trust in him is the first step. If you believe then you are acknowledging that you are a sinner, in need of forgiveness for your sins. When you understand this then God has opened your heart to his salvation and love. Understand that since birth we are all born into a sinful nature that's why as children we naturally know how to lie, manipulate, take what's not ours and want what we want no matter the consequence, as I mentioned before.
⦁ Romans 3:10-11
As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one:There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God.
Yet God knowing this he still desires a relationship with us that's why he sent Christ to make this possible.
Now let's talk about repentance which is the core responsive behavior to the gospel. Repentance means a change of mind, heart and behavior as you turn away from your sin, old habits, and your ways of thinking and acting. It's not always easy to change, the way you live, and think, but Christ is faithful to help you because he changes us from the inside which spreads to the outside. Repentance does not mean perfection, it means acceptance that you need his help to change you. He does this through the work of the Holy Spirit which he promises to give to those who believe him. Now excepting him as both Lord and Savior is not an action based off of emotions. It is a prayer that comes from the heart, and out of a genuine love for him and what he has done for sinners like you. Following that is a life of genuine repentance, the studying of the Bible, and fellowship with other believers. God became flesh for sinners, he took on so much torture and ridicule for sinners; all the way to his painful death on the cross. Then he rose three days later to show the world his power so they can have hope. Hope in him, and to know he will come back for them and bring us into his kingdom of Heaven that he is preparing for us. The more you read his word which is the Bible the further you will be able to learn and grow in him. The further his spirit will guide you and open your eyes, mind and heart to see things through his eyes. And the more you will change out of his love for you and your love for him. Beloved if you believe this then understand that this is the gospel message we are to share to the world!
Let's take a Biblical look at the pattern of Public Proclamation Of Faith: Before he ascended into Heaven Christ told his disciples to wait for the helper which is the Holy Spirit.
⦁ John 16:7
Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you.
⦁ John 14:26
But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you .
⦁ Acts 2:1-4
And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance The people outside were amazed at what they heard, and some even began to mock them saying that they were drunk. Then out comes Peter and PUBLICLY proclaims the gospel message to the very ones who took part in the crucifixion of Christ. You can imagine the type of crowd this was, the murmurs the looks on their faces and so on. Yet Peter did not become silent and because of this public preaching as it is written...
⦁ Acts 2:37-41 Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do?Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call. And with many other words did he testify and exhort, saying, Save yourselves from this untoward generation.Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls.
Imagine if Peter would have tried to address the three thousand in a one on one conversation. Or if he would have cared about everyone's opinion, or if some would be offended. No one wants to hear that they are wrong, and the things that they find pleasure in is sinful. But he knew that " Faith comes by hearing and hearing the word of God" And he knew the power of the gospel message which was spoken by the Holy Spirit through him. Let's also take a look at the Apostle Paul. He was the church planter and preached the gospel to more nations and countries than any of the disciples. His ministry was always public. Whether it was in a synagogue, temple or most often in the streets. In the Book of Acts we learn that he begins his preaching after he and Barnabas were commissioned in Acts 13 when Paul filled with the Holy Ghost rebukes a sorcerer in.
⦁ Acts 13:10-11
And said, O full of all subtilty and all mischief, thou child of the devil, thou enemy of all righteousness, wilt thou not cease to pervert the right ways of the Lord?And now, behold, the hand of the Lord is upon thee, and thou shalt be blind, not seeing the sun for a season. And immediately there fell on him a mist and a darkness; and he went about seeking some to lead him by the hand.
This was a public rebuke to demonstrate to power and holiness of the Lord Jesus Christ to a unbelieving bewitched crowd. Later after they departed and went into a synagogue to sit and hear the reading of the prophets.
⦁ Acts 13:15-16
And after the reading of the law and the prophets the rulers of the synagogue sent unto them, saying, Ye men and brethren, if ye have any word of exhortation for the people, say on. Then Paul stood up, and beckoning with his hand said, Men of Israel, and ye that fear God, give audience.
He proceeds to speak of Israel's history leading into the root of Jesse which is Christ, John the baptist speaking of him too.
⦁ Acts 13:26
Men and brethren, children of the stock of Abraham, and whosoever among you feareth God, to you is the word of this salvation sent.
Right here is when he begins to publicly preach the gospel and as always the crucifixion and resurrection of Christ. Because the issue of Christ resurrecting was one of the hardest things for the people to believe.
⦁ Acts 13:42-52
And when the Jews were gone out of the synagogue, the Gentiles besought that these words might be preached to them the next sabbath. Now when the congregation was broken up, many of the Jews and religious proselytes followed Paul and Barnabas: who, speaking to them, persuaded them to continue in the grace of God. And the next sabbath day came almost the whole city together to hear the word of God. But when the Jews saw the multitudes, they were filled with envy, and spake against those things which were spoken by Paul, contradicting and blaspheming. Then Paul and Barnabas waxed bold, and said, It was necessary that the word of God should first have been spoken to you: but seeing ye put it from you, and judge yourselves unworthy of everlasting life, lo, we turn to the Gentiles. For so hath the Lord commanded us, saying, I have set thee to be a light of the Gentiles, that thou shouldest be for salvation unto the ends of the earth. And when the Gentiles heard this, they were glad, and glorified the word of the Lord: and as many as were ordained to eternal life believed. And the word of the Lord was published throughout all the region. But the Jews stirred up the devout and honourable women, and the chief men of the city, and raised persecution against Paul and Barnabas, and expelled them out of their coasts. But they shook off the dust of their feet against them, and came unto Iconium. And the disciples were filled with joy, and with the Holy Ghost.
This was the way God used Paul to convert so many by his boldness to preach publicly and unashamed. Imagine how long it would have taken Paul to build the early churches if he would have pulled aside every person one on one to preach repentance and the crucifixion of Christ. Through out the entire book of Acts you read on how compelled he was to preach. And he had his biggest and most influential audience in Acts 17. After Paul was ran out from where he was publicly proclaiming the gospel.
⦁ Acts 17:16-21
Now while Paul waited for them at Athens, his spirit was stirred in him, when he saw the city wholly given to idolatry.Therefore disputed he in the synagogue with the Jews, and with the devout persons, and in the market daily with them that met with him.Then certain philosophers of the Epicureans, and of the Stoicks, encountered him. And some said, What will this babbler say? other some, He seemeth to be a setter forth of strange gods: because he preached unto them Jesus, and the resurrection.And they took him, and brought him unto Areopagus, saying, May we know what this new doctrine, whereof thou speakest, is? For thou bringest certain strange things to our ears: we would know therefore what these things mean. For all the Athenians and strangers which were there spent their time in nothing else, but either to tell, or to hear some new thing.
He had their attention, and he completely understood their philosiphies and beliefs. So he starts to address them in this manner:
Then Paul stood in the midst of Mars' hill, and said, Ye men of Athens, I perceive that in all things ye are too superstitious.For as I passed by, and beheld your devotions, I found an altar with this inscription, To The Unknown God. Whom therefore ye ignorantly worship, him declare I unto you.
And he goes on to preach Christ and ends like this...
⦁ Acts 17:30-33
And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent :Because he hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead. And when they heard of the resurrection of the dead, some mocked: and others said, We will hear thee again of this matter.
So Paul departed from among them. And in Paul's last ventures before his death while he was in the presence of King Agrippa while pleading his case and explaining the reason for his chains and the charges against him. He shares his conversion and the gospel of Christ, and after he spoke this was the response.
⦁ Acts 26:28-29
Then Agrippa said unto Paul, Almost thou persuadest me to be a Christian. And Paul said, I would to God, that not only thou, but also all that hear me this day, were both almost, and altogether such as I am, except these bonds.
That statement " but also all that hear me this day".
Because Paul always spoke out in public he was given such platforms to speak to these leaders, and audiences. How often do we see these bold and faithful attempts at sharing the gospel in today's world? There are many that do and I thank God for them. I have seen so many on the news who answer the biblical questions when presented to them without compromising the answer to not offend a person or group of persons. On the other hand, I have seen many more buckle under pressure and look very uncomfortable. This displays their unbelief in what the Bible teaches, and it shows that they have forgotten the foundation of the gospel in which the church of Jesus Christ has been built upon.
Or they never truly be it.
Moreover, let's briefly take a look at the epistles that Paul has written to the early churches: The books of: Romans, 1&2 Corinthians, Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, 1&2 Thessalonians, 1&2 Timothy, Titus, Philemon, and possibly Hebrews (it's author is unknown, but some believe it was Paul or Luke who worked with Paul until his death). In each of his letters he confronts the issues of the entire church. These letters are what we as a church define our conduct, offices, and union as a whole. Imagine if he would have only written to every individual in the churches to address their behaviors or situations instead of his epistles? Where would that leave the church today? Yet, he knew the importance of addressing a public crowd would further benefits all who can hear, and we are those all who hear over 2,000 years later. There are people who are watching these TV interviews who need to hear the truth when we are asked to speak of the things of God. There are people around us who need to hear the truth and how we respond to the questions asked about God's word. Yes there are times when individual time is needed of course,. Some of the most meaningful moments come from these engagements, but when you are asked a question in public just say what the Bible says out of love. It is what we are commanded to do. By the one who loves us with an unfailing love. How would you feel if someone you sacrificed for was in a public setting and felt uncomfortable displaying and commenting on their love and true commitment to you? Sadly today most Christians are caring more about what people think instead of what God thinks. They want to please man instead of pleasing God. They have more of a reverence toward man then they do toward God. Even though Christ says in:
⦁ Matthew 10:28
And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.
If you know your word and you're able to discern between the spirits from which the question is being asked then you are able to rightfully divide the word. This is why it is so important to read and study your bible. When you're asked a biblical question remember it's not about you or your feelings, It's about what God says, and your faith in him and his infallible word. If you truly believe the Bible is the word of God then you believe what it says. You hold the key of truth that can set so many free by hearing the word of God. If people don't hear about total depravity how can they hear about total salvation. If someone doesn't hear that they are a sinner, how can they hear about being saved?
I pray that the church today will no longer be afraid to proclaim the amazing salvation offered through Jesus Christ. May the grace and mercy of our Lord be with you all. All glory to him who is worthy of all our praise, Amen.
Yours in Christ,
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