BOTH TO DO AND TEACH
Acts 1:1 The former treatise have I made, O Theophilus, of all that Jesus began both to do and teach, 2 Until the day in which he was taken up, after that he through the Holy Ghost had given commandments unto the apostles whom he had chosen: 3 To whom also he shewed himself alive after his passion by many infallible proofs, being seen of them forty days, and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God: 4 And, being assembled together with them, commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father, which, saith he, ye have heard of me.
What Is the Gospel?
The beloved and faithful physician, Luke, is here writing to his friend, Theophilus, concerning his former treatise, in order to extend it’s record and update him concerning the Spirit’s work. And in doing so he gives a most precise definition of the work of the Lord in providing us with the gospel. He states that his former treatise, which we know as the Gospel of Luke, was defined as all that Jesus began both to do and teach. And that is the inspired definition of the gospel! It is all Jesus did, and all that Jesus taught!
And of those things that the Lord did in his life, the Holy Spirit chose these precise acts and teachings to be made effectual in the bringing in the elect of God into believing faith! John 20:30 And many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book: 31 But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name.
Religion however says that “the gospel is the death, burial and resurrection of Christ.” But those are facts contained in the gospel! The gospel is the revelation of the Person of God! John 17:3 And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent. And how was it that the apostles informed those after the very first Christian sermon on Pentecost that they might be saved, but by believing in that Person? Acts 16:31 And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.
The Apostle Paul did not state, “I know WHAT I have believed!” He proclaimed, for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day. (2 Tim. 1:12). For salvation is not in a memorized accumulation of religious rhetoric!
This alone insures us of receiving the pure and certain effect of the gospel in our day! Just look at what religion has done in twisting and polluting the blessed scriptures to justify their man-made beliefs! So how do you think you have received the purity of the same gospel as Christ set forth? And if it is not pure, how do you think it to have the desired effect of the salvation of your immortal soul?
It has to be that the Holy Spirit keeps it entirely and exclusively in his control! John 16:13 Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come. 14 He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you. 15 All things that the Father hath are mine: therefore said I, that he shall take of mine, and shall shew it unto you.
And the Spirit sends it forth by one believer, to whom he has granted faith, preaching it to another one of the elect, to whom the Spirit grants faith as he hears with the newly awakened inner ear! Romans 1:16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. 17 For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith. Therefore the gospel’s purity and effect is maintained entirely in, and by the Holy Spirit!
1 Corinthians 1:21 For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe. Hebrews 13:7 Remember them which have the rule over you, who have spoken unto you the word of God: whose faith follow, considering the end of their conversation (manner of life).
This Only Is True Faith!
True faith, wherein we understand spiritual matters, and wherein we only can please God, (Heb. 11:3a,6), is a gift granted to the true church. Jude 3 Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints. And that faith is always, and only, an active faith! There is no other kind of true faith! It must follow the guideline of Christ Jesus, the author of faith! (Heb. 12:2). Therefore it will also do and teach! It will also obey and witness! It cannot be dormant!
James 2:17 Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone. 20 But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead? 22 Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect? 24 Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only.
Hence, we see that Christ, faith’s author, set forth faith in his absolute obedience to the Father! And we see that as we only live by his faith, (the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God,… Gal. 2:20), then we will also be living the christianity to which we witness!
And the true believer does not “try” to witness. He IS a witness! Acts 1:8 But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth. They are salt! They are light! One cannot hide the indwelling Spirit and character of Christ! Neither can one fully imitate Christ who does not possess the Spirit! 1 John 2:6 He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked. Galatians 5:24 And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.
THIS ‘doing while teaching’ is the commission of our commander-in-chief to us all! Matt. 28:18 And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. 19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: 20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen. The underlined portion of this commission does not just mean that we must only teach the content of his revelation to us! It does mean that! But it also means that we are to be obeying the things he has commanded us, as we teach others to obey! In that way only are we obedient to his commission. And in that way only can we expect our witness to go forth with power!
One of the great soul damning procedures of Satan in his use of the Whore church is to put Pharisees in Moses seat. He puts men of sin in the temple of god, who show themselves to be as god! Our Lord gave explicit instructions concerning this situation. Matthew 23:1 Then spake Jesus to the multitude, and to his disciples, 2 Saying, The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat: 3 All therefore whatsoever they bid you observe, that observe and do; but do not ye after their works: for they say, and do not. Matthew 15:8 This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me.
These hypocrites little realize themselves to be enemies of the gospel! For they have a lip service of the same jargon as other religious spokespersons. But they do not have the works of the Spirit – that is, the ‘doing,’ to make effectual their teaching! Titus 1:15 Unto the pure all things are pure: but unto them that are defiled and unbelieving is nothing pure; but even their mind and conscience is defiled. 16 They profess that they know God; but in works they deny him, being abominable, and disobedient, and unto every good work reprobate.
Luke Received It This Way!
The writer of both the Gospel of Luke and The Acts of the Apostles gives full testimony that he most certainly received the effectual call of the gospel in this manner! Listen to his written testimony: Luke 1:1 Forasmuch as many have taken in hand to set forth in order a declaration of those things which are most surely believed among us, 2 Even as they delivered them unto us, which from the beginning were eyewitnesses, and ministers of the word; 3 It seemed good to me also, having had perfect understanding of all things from the very first, to write unto thee in order, most excellent Theophilus, 4 That thou mightest know the certainty of those things, wherein thou hast been instructed.
Luke says that those who delivered the gospel unto him were both eyewitnesses, and ministers of the word! They actually saw what they said, and they said what they saw! So did the Lord Jesus! He said he was the Bread of life! So everyone who was hungry, both physically and spiritually, were fed by him! Matthew 5:6 Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.
And what was the result for Luke? He continues in verse three to state that he was given a perfect understanding from the very first. Not that he possessed immediately upon his spiritual birth the full knowledge of all mysteries. But his knowledge was pure and without error as given him by the Holy Ghost! (A baby is every bit as much human as his grandfather. He just lacks maturity.) We find this same matter in John’s first epistle. 1 John 2:20 But ye have an unction from the Holy One, and ye know all things.
And Luke then declares that it was only in this state that he determined to write in order these things to his friend Theophilus! For this was in the form in which he personally obtained faith, therefore he wishes his fried to receive it in that same order, so that he too might be assured of the certainty of them!
Therefore Luke, being not an apostle, but a Gentile physician, (see Col. 4:14. And see that he was not listed in with those of the circumcision in Col. 4:11), received the gospel by the very eyewitnesses of these things. That was the changing point of his life. In that preaching, the Holy Spirit quickened him to Christ! Then he turns around and relates the exact same things to his friend! And that is how the gospel has come to us! Believers moved by the power of Christ’s witness to their hearts have brought the gospel to us. And now we do the same for others also.
And that same Jesus is still mighty in word and deed to us today, just as he was while on earth! Luke 24:18 And the one of them, whose name was Cleopas, answering said unto him, Art thou only a stranger in Jerusalem, and hast not known the things which are come to pass there in these days? 19 And he said unto them, What things? And they said unto him, Concerning Jesus of Nazareth, which was a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people:
Dear Reader, it is clearly stated that the kingdom of God is not sustained and extended by words alone! But it must be by the power of the Holy Spirit through words. 1 Corinthians 4:20 For the kingdom of God is not in word, but in power. For without the Spirit we are just talking people into joining in with our flavor of religion! Their “faith” then only stands in the wisdom of men, and not in the kind of power with God to which Luke gives personal witness!
1 Corinthians 2:1 And I, brethren, when I came to you, came not with excellency of speech or of wisdom, declaring unto you the testimony of God. 2 For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified. 3 And I was with you in weakness, and in fear, and in much trembling. 4 And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man’s wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power: 5 That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.
You will be hard pressed to find a preacher with this testimony today! Most try to be more like Solomon, wanting you to understand that they know everything from the hyssop that grows in the cracks of the wall of Jerusalem, to the great cedars that grow in Lebanon! They want to use the pulpit to display their intellectual superiority over you!
But this great man, the Apostle Paul, who wrote almost 2/3’s of the New Testament, and sat under one of the greatest religious minds of his day – are you ready for this? – determined not to know! Wow! He was sent, not to Jerusalem to become a ‘parrot,’ but into the Arabian wilderness to unlearn religion and obtain an effectual cross in order to be a ‘voice!’ We have so many parrots in the pulpits. They just say what Spurgeon, Calvin, and Luther said! ‘Polly’ may get a cracker every time she mimics the sounds, “Polly wants a cracker.” But she doesn’t understand her own ‘language.’ She just knows that if she makes these sounds, she gets some food!
No wonder we have so many lost church members among us! But at least these preachers have work and are getting a cracker. We are helping the unemployment situation whether we are being used effectually in bring any Luke’s into a more perfect understanding!
Pastor Gene Breed. April 6, 2012