the Second Week of Advent
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Charles Spurgeon's "Morning & Evening"
“We cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard.”
Acts 4:1-21 , Acts 4:23-30
After Peter and John had healed the lame man, they preached the gospel in the courts of the temple.
Acts 4:3 , Acts 4:4
Quesnel says, “Truth may be oppressed, but it cannot be suppressed; the preacher may be bound, but not the word.”
How Peter glories in the name of Jesus; how he brandishes it in the face of the foe! Almighty power lies in it, and blessed is he who has made it his trust.
The sun might as easily leave off shining as good men desist from speaking of Jesus.
Acts 4:29 , Acts 4:30
Thus psalms and prayers were presented to the Lord by the united church, and the work went on triumphantly. We, too, have equal cause for adoration, for the Lord of Hosts is with us, working for the glory of his Son.
“Judgment must begin at the house of God.”
There was need of such liberality, for the Christians were mostly poor, and liable to be deprived of everything by persecution. Covetous men would have been very uncomfortable in the early church, indeed they are not fit to be in any church at any time.
Acts 4:34 , Acts 4:35
Thus when Jerusalem was destroyed and Judea devastated, the Christians had the less to lose, and the less sorrow in being scattered abroad.
Acts 4:36 , Acts 4:37
Yet while some were acting so nobly there were tares among the wheat, professed disciples who could act the liar’s part.
Intending to make others believe that he had given all, as Barnabas had done. He was not required to give all unless he chose to do so, his sin lay in pretending to be more generous than he really was.
This was the first act of divine church discipline, a discipline which is still carried out by him who walks among the golden candlesticks. On account of church sins even now some are sickly among us, and many sleep. The nearer we come to God the more truly shall we find that he is a jealous God who will not wink at sin. It was not Peter’s word, but the judgment of God, which slew Ananias.
She had time for reflection, yet she stuck to the falsehood. It is a sad thing when husband and wife go hand in hand to hell, and most of all so when they make a profession of religion.
Well may such fear fall on us also, lest we should be found false to God, and perish in our sin.
The chaff was driven out, and kept out, but the true saints were all the more ready to join the church. Holy discipline does not diminish the church, it is the sure means of increasing it with the right people.