Manners and sanctification


September 19, 2023





I was greatly encouraged by what I read in Acts 5:12-42 this morning and want to share that with you.

To refresh your memory, Peter, John and the other disciples were being used mightily by the Holy Spirit to teach about Jesus and to do great works of healing and deliverance. Apparently, people were even clamoring just to be in Peter’s shadow (v. 15). “Multitudes” were professing faith in Jesus. Tremendous growth was taking place.

Parents, Here is The Truth

The Sadducees were hot with jealousy about this and called in Peter and John for a meeting of the minds. They wanted to get them to stop teaching about this dude named Jesus of Nazareth. They weren’t getting very far. So, they dismissed Peter and John and went into Executive Session. It was in that Executive Session that Gamaliel counseled them, “…if this plan or this undertaking is of man, it will fail; but if it is of God, you will not be able to overthrow them. You might even be found opposing God. So they took his advice.”

This period in church history was truly unique and dynamic. You can’t help but say, “WOW!” reading these early chapters in Acts. The point I want to make, however, is most definitely not to look at this and construct some formula that tries to guarantee this kind of success in the church or home. Perhaps more times like this are ahead of us. There really could be! But that is not the point.

Parents, we are Nothing More Than Ordinary

There is nothing in this passage that indicates Peter, John and the disciples were extraordinary people. There is nothing noteworthy said about their skills and abilities. They were ordinary men. Just. Like. Us. We are ordinary. The Holy Spirit is extraordinary.

What happened was the result of the proclamation of the gospel IN CHRIST and the work of the Holy Spirit. We have the very same gospel and the very same Holy Spirit at work in and though us as we read about in Acts 5! Therefore, we have every hope that God will use his powerful message to change hearts as we struggle to walk faithfully.

Parents, This is the REAL Encouragement we Need

Please consider what this means in terms of our perspective as we slog along fulfilling our parenting duties.

The gospel, spoken by us, and applied by the Holy Spirit in the hearts of our children is what’s powerful. Not us. Do we believe this?

What is the evidence that we really believe this?

Parents, Who Are You?

Are you struggling to lead your children because you are, well, ordinary? Maybe you are not gifted in your knowledge of the Word, or your ability to teach it. Good news! You don’t need to be. You have a pulse and you have a voice. God can do amazing things when we are content to be about what is important to him and doing it the way he wants it done depending on him.

Are we making it a priority to share this powerful message in our homes with regularity? Is it even an exciting message to us as parents? Does it melt our own hearts, bringing us to joyful gratitude for all that God has done for us—who if we’re honest, are far worse off than we want to believe?

Parents, We Have all the Reason in the World to be Faithful

IT IS an inherently exciting and inherently powerful message God has given us to proclaim to our children. We have great hope!

Are we praying and asking the Holy Spirit to dazzle our children with it, convincing them of God’s love, grace, and mercy poured out through all Jesus did—for them? If we believe this to be true of the gospel then we have all the motivation we need to be faithful in presenting it, teaching it, reminding our children of it, confessing it, making sure that they know it!

The gospel is the proclamation of God, who he is and what he has done for us in Jesus to ensure a loving relationship with him from now through eternity. The gospel is not just what makes us a Christian, it is the way we grow as Christians. It’s called grace! We and our children desperately need the daily proclamation of this good news.

Parents, Just Believe it and do it!

Can we really go without it? Why would we even want to? Which gospel are we really teaching our kids?