Year 2 Day 92
Read - Acts 23v12-22
Message - Scott Woodburn
The Lord does not condemn us for making oaths and vows but He will certainly judge us for making them and failing to keep them. Equally He is not pleased when our oaths or vows cause us to sin. An oath makes a promise to someone and calls upon God to witness it. In today’s passage forty Jews promised the chief priests and elders that they would kill Paul (v14) and they wouldn’t eat or drink until their wicked plan was carried out. The conspirators urged the council to bring Paul before them and they would kill him along the way (v15).
Thankfully Paul’s nephew got wind of the conspiracy and immediately went and informed his uncle (v16). From there Paul sent his nephew to tell the tribune the details of the plot against him (v18).
I’m encouraged by this passage for even in the face of bloodthirsty evil, the Lord does not cease to be sovereign. What do I mean by that? When we speak of God’s sovereignty, we speak of His Kingship. He is the ruler. He is the boss. He is Supreme. Amazingly there isn’t a single thought or deed that the Lord doesn’t know. When evil men rise up against the Lord’s people, God is the one who overrules.
These bloodthirsty plotters wouldn’t be successful in their attempt to murder Paul. The Apostles’ times were in the hand of God. It is important to note that this is no guarantee of peace and ease. Christianity does not equal a stress free painless life. Indeed Church history teaches us that Paul’s life would end in the city of Rome where he would be beheaded at the command of the Emperor Nero.
Yet what we can know for sure is that in good days and bad the Lord does not leave us nor forsake us and His plan for us is always good. We may struggle to understand the good in an angry plotting mob or a beheading in Rome or constant worry but with that said, we continue to rest in Christ. I know Paul believed this for inspired by the Holy Spirit he would write…
“What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things? Who shall bring any charge against God's elect? It is God who justifies. Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died—more than that, who was raised—who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? As it is written, “For your sake we are being killed all the day long; we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.” No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8v31-39)
Q95 To whom is Baptism to be administered? Baptism is not to be administered to any that are out of the visible Church, till they profess their faith in Christ, and obedience to him; but the infants of such as are members of the visible Church are to be baptized.