Bible Reading and Commentary November 9-14, 2015

Bible Reading and Commentary
November 9-14, 2015

Monday, November 9, Acts 7
Vv. 51-52 — Stephen’s sermon gives us an excellent review of God’s dealing with Old testament Israel. What was Israel’s reaction to God’s abundant mercy, love and forgiveness? They were stiff-necked. Many stubbornly refused Jesus, the Righteous One. This won’t happen to us when we everyday humbly and faithfully use the Gospel in Word and Sacrament.
v. 60 — Stephen put into action Jesus’ words, “Pray for those who perse- cute you.” (Matt. 5:44) Not an easy thing to do! The words, “Stephen fell asleep” indicate that death for the Christian, as Jesus also told His disciples at the death of Lazarus (John 11:11), is just a sleep. (Also Mark 5:39)

Tuesday, November 10, Acts 8
v. 1 — Saul later became the great Apostle Paul. Before his conversion, Saul was a bloodthirsty persecutor of the church (Acts 22:4).
Vv. 18-19 — The buying and selling of church offices and favored positions later in the church was called “simony.” It got its name from Simon, who tried to buy a share in the apostles’ ministry. Did Simon repent? (v. 22) Only Judgment Day will tell us.
Vv. 26-40 — We meet the first African convert from Ethiopia. Where did the water come from for his baptism if they were in the desert? Probably a spring. Would we be able to be a Philip and feel comfortable enough to speak the good news of Jesus Christ as he did? He was able to explain verses from Isaiah 53 for this man. How important that we are like the Bereans and search the Scriptures daily (Acts 17:11) so we are ready to give the reason for the hope we have! (I Peter 3:15)

Wednesday, November 11, Acts 9
Vv. 17-18 — Saul’s conversion is an example of God’s amazing grace. Saul was a hardened Pharisee who built his eternal life on good works. In his previous life, he was a persecutor of Christians. He loathed and hated them. He wanted them dead (Acts 26:10). That he was brought to faith in Jesus Christ and became a bold confessor of his Savior is an awesome miracle of God’s grace! That’s why Paul later wrote in Eph. 2:8,9: “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith, and this not from yourselves; it is the gift of God–not by works, so that no one can boast.” Also Rom. 3:23, 24, “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by His grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.”
v. 36 — Tabitha, or Dorcas, sets an example for all Christian women to follow.

Thursday, November 12, Acts 10
Vv. 1-2 — Cornelius was a centurion in the Roman army. A centurion commanded 100 men. He and his family were proselytes (converts) to the Jewish religion.
Vv. 9-16 — Peter’s vision was more than information about unclean ani-
mals. It taught him that the Gospel was also intended for the Gentiles (anyone who wasn’t a Jew). Compare vv. 34-35. You can find the laws that specifically deal with this vision in Lev. 11. Let’s also remember the ceremonial laws (laws of worship in the Old testament) pointed to Christ. Once Christ came, they were no longer in force. Read Col. 2:14, 16-17 and Gal. 3:23-25.
vv. 44-48 — The special gift of the Holy Spirit showed that these Gentile believers were as much a part of the Kingdom as Jewish believers. That should bring us Gentile Christians personal joy and encourage us on our mission to share the good news with all people.

Friday, November 13, Acts 11
Vv. 2-3 — For an explanation of circumcision, read Gen. 17:9-14. Gentiles in ancient times apparently were not circumcised.
vv.15-18 — What does the phrase, “baptized with the Holy Spirit” mean? It’s a reference to Pentecost Day and the special outpouring of the Spirit. Before Peter baptized Cornelius and his family with water (10:44-48; Matt. 28:19; Titus 3:5-7), God gave to that family the same gift Peter and the disciples received on Pentecost. The purpose was to prove to the congregation in Jerusalem that the Gospel was also for the Gentiles.

Saturday, November 14, Acts 12
Vv. 5-11 — Peter’s miraculous escape from prison attests to the power of prayer. How important it is that we pray together on Sundays for the
earthly and spiritual welfare of our members and for our pastors and teachers. Ps. 50:15.
Vv. 6-10 — God’s holy angels have incredible, fantastic power. They are there to serve us Christians, to watch over us and protect us. (Heb. 1:14)

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