Monday, April 4, 2016

Acts 9:1-6 Persecuting Jesus Christ

KEY TEXT: Acts 9:3-6 Now as he went on his way, he approached Damascus, and suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him. And falling to the ground he heard a voice saying to him, "Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?" And he said, "Who are you, Lord?" And he said, "I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting. But rise and enter the city, and you will be told what you are to do."

KEY THOT: When Saul (Paul) was persecuting Jesus’ disciples, he was not persecuting his followers—he was persecuting Jesus: “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?” Christians are members of Christ’s body and therefore when Paul persecuted Christians, he found himself persecuting the Body of Christ, whose Head is Christ. As Jesus has said in Matthew 25:40, “Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.' This principle applies not only to non-Christian persecutors but also to Christian persecutors of other believers. In church history, Christians have been persecuting one another and putting one another to death over doctrinal differences: we are like the persons committing spiritual suicide when we do that—we are fighting against the Lord, not one another and hurting the Body of Christ.

How we treat Christ is measured by how we treat other believers. When we love other Christians, especially in the same congregation, we are loving Jesus. Jesus is now enfleshed and incarnated in the church through the Holy Spirit. So, we measure our love for Christ by how we much we are willing to lay down our lives for our brothers/sisters in Christ: “By this we know love, that he laid down his life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers” (1 John 3:16). 

Are we lovers of Jesus or persecutors of Jesus? Check our attitude towards believers from other denominations.

Father, we thank You that as disciples of Jesus, we are all members of His Body. Help us to love You by loving our fellow believers. Amen.

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