Monday in the Third Week of Ordinary Time

Acts 3:17-26

His Ways Are So Far Above Ours

Peter continues his sermon with good news for his Jewish hearers: Even though they were guilty of killing the “Author of life,” God counts them as having acted in ignorance as did their rulers.  This is reminiscent of our Lord’s words from the cross: “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do” (Luke 23:34).  The fact that our Lord, shall we say, makes excuses for us or excuses our most blatant sins, is proof again of our Lord’s amazing grace (also see Acts 17:30).  However, always bear this in mind: God’s grace is no reason to test Him (Deuteronomy 6:16; Matthew 4:7; Galatians 6:7).  The purpose of God’s grace is to lead us to repentance (Romans 2:4; 2 Peter 3:9).  And this is exactly what Peter was telling the people: “Repent, therefore, and turn again, that your sins may be blotted out …”

But then Peter adds, “… that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord, and that he may send the Christ appointed for you, Jesus, whom heaven must receive until the time for restoring all the things about which God spoke by the mouth of his holy prophets long ago.”  And then Peter goes on to rehearse the fulfillment of the Old Testament Scriptures through Christ beginning with Moses (Deuteronomy 18:15-19) through Samuel and all the prophets (Luke 24:27), and then going all the way back to Abraham and the promise that through his offspring (Christ Jesus) all the families of the earth would be blessed (Genesis 12:3).

And what does all of this tell us but that the coming of the Lord – his life, death, and resurrection – was all for the purpose of bringing us back from the dead through repentance unto life in a wonderfully and newly restored world.  The world was perfect until we defiled it by our sin, so that now even the creation itself groans to be “set free from its bondage to corruption” (Romans 8:21-22).  And one day it will be, when the Father sends the Christ again.  Then shall the world experience a glorious renewal, not a complete remake, but a restoration unto even greater glory than was in the Garden.  And the reason for its restoration is because that’s what shall happen to us.  We shall not be recreated brand new but restored, these present bodies of ours being the seed for the glorious bodies under the realm of the spirit that is to come (1 Corinthians 15:35-49).  This was the plan of redemption from the very beginning: that God would redeem a people fallen away, that He would even tell them of it beforehand by his holy prophets, and that He would finally accomplish that plan through His own Son.  God’s ways are so far above ours, and isn’t that wonderful (Isaiah 55:8-9)!

Author: The Reformed Baptist

My name is Stephen Taylor, ordained Baptist minister of eighteen years pastoral experience with a Ph.D. in Historical Theology from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas. Better than that, I am married to a godly woman, Karla, who has been very patient with me since 1989. I have two daughters, both of whom I homeschooled for extended periods of time, who became godly young women, and who ran off and married godly young men, all of which is very proper. The oldest daughter has even seen fit to bless me with a grandson and a granddaughter, and my youngest daughter with a grandson, all three of whom are bundles of exceeding joy. As you can see, I am quite blessed. This website is dedicated to helping people grow in the wisdom and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ through the gift of writing that the Lord has given to me. It is specifically about helping His people grow in godliness, the theme you see repeated above. I write devotions with this aim and hope that they might be of some help to God’s people. Full disclosure: I am of a Reformed bent, meaning that my understanding of Scripture is primarily informed by the Reformers and their successors of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. However, as a student of church history and theology, I strive to remain true to that teaching handed down once for all unto the saints through every age of the Church. I like to think of myself as a “catholic” Christian, as the Reformers thought of themselves. At any rate, feel free to read, pray, and contact me if you wish, or correct me if need be. As you can see, I tend to follow the church year. Of course, I make no special claims about these devotions. I know very well that others have written better and plumbed the depths of God’s word with greater insight. But if my musings help someone draw closer to the Lord, well then, I have my reward. Blessings to you and may the God and Father of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ speak to you that word which He knows you especially need to hear. Grace & peace, Stephen Taylor

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