Bible Reading and Commentary November 23-28, 2015

Bible Reading and Commentary
November 23-28, 2015

Monday, November 23, Acts 19
Vv. 4-5 — The difference between John the Baptist’s baptism and baptism after Pentecost was that John baptized looking ahead to Jesus’ redemption. Baptized in Jesus’ name meant to be baptized in what Jesus completed for us on Calvary’s cross. This is the baptism Jesus instituted in Matt. 28:19.
Vv. 11-12 — Great miracles occurred at times in the early Christian Church. They were necessary to impress upon the people the authenticity of the message the apostles were preaching. Today we don’t need those miracles because we have God’s living, all-powerful Word which the early Christians didn’t have.
Vv. 17-19, 26-27 — There is a great contrast here. The Gospel in our hearts moves us to turn away from a sinful life style (vv. 18-19; Col. 3:5-10). Where it’s not accepted, those people keep and defend their godless and materialistic life style. (vv. 27-29 and Rom. 1:18-32)
v. 28 — Artemis was a fertility goddess. She was served by priestesses who were also prostitutes. Historians indicate that the original image worshiped was probably an ugly meteorite! (v. 35)

Tuesday, November 24, Acts 20
Vv. 21, 24, 27 — Do you have a faithful pastor or shepherd? Paul, as Jesus before him (Matt. 7:15), warned of false shepherds who distort the truth. Characteristics of a faithful shepherd are found in vv. 21, 24, and 27.
v. 28 — Paul calls pastors overseers or shepherds.

Wednesday, November 25, Acts 21
Vv. 8-9 — There is no indication that Philip’s daughters did their prophesying publicly, but did it within the confines of their home. They were not involved in the public ministry.
Vv. 10-13 — The true meaning of cross-bearing is facing suffering and ridicule for Jesus Christ. Paul was willing to do it because he knew some who heard the Gospel would be changed, just as he was, and saved eternally. (Acts 14:22)
Thursday, November 26, Acts 22
Vv. 27-28 — Roman citizenship was something to be prized. The Roman commander paid a big price to become one. Paul was born into it. However, no citizenship can compare to our citizenship in God’s kingdom. How does it become ours? We come into this world no better than Paul. “We’ve all sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” (Rom. 3:23) Heavenly citizenship is something God gives us at Holy Baptism. There our sins are washed away and we are made heirs of eternal life (v. 16; Titus 3:5-7; I Cor. 6:11)

Friday, November 27, Acts 23
Vv. 11-12 — Speaking out for Jesus Christ can be hazardous to our physical health. Knowing what happened to Stephen and Paul may make us fearful. But we don’t have to be. Standing at our side is the Lord telling us to take courage! If it’s God’s will, not a hair on our heads will be touched. God kept His Word and delivered Paul safely to Rome. Martin Luther, many years later, faced deadly opposition, too. His life was untouched by his enemies. Therefore, we need to preach the good
news of salvation vigorously and boldly. It alone can turn evil, sinful men and women into saints. It did with Paul. Think of chapter 22:1-21.

Saturday, November 28, Acts 24
Vv. 14 — Why the early Christians used the term of themselves, “The Way” may be answered in John 14:6. There Jesus spoke of himself as the Way to eternal life.
v. 25 — The reaction of the Roman governor to God’s Word, preached by Paul, reminds us of Jesus’ parable of the Sower (Luke 8:1-15). Felix, like the first hearer, rejected the Word of God. Only the 4th hearer was saved. What did he do with God’s Word? Find out in Luke 8:15 and also Matt. 13:23.

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