Acts 5:20

Monday, 28 February 2022

“Go, stand in the temple and speak to the people all the words of this life.” Acts 5:20

Note: You can listen to today’s commentary courtesy of our friends at “Bible in Ten” podcast. (Click Here to listen)

You can also read this commentary, with music, courtesy of our friends at “Discern the Bible” on YouTube. (Click Here to listen), or at Rumble (Click Here to listen).

The apostles, having been brought out of their place of custody by an angel, are now instructed by him, saying, “Go, stand in the temple.”

This is the public place where the people would hear their message. It is also the place where things would be most carefully monitored by those on duty at any given time. This then speaks of both a public charge and one that is to be without fear of reprisal. They are to go back out and get about the business set before them by the Lord, which is to “speak to the people.”

Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. The apostles are to speak forth this word that they had heard. They are to speak forth about the One they had seen. And they are to convey the message that He has commissioned them with. If the Lord can send an angel to deliver them all from the prison, then He will not abandon them as they stand in the temple that bears His name as they proclaim the word He has put into their mouths! There is to be no fear, but rather boldness on their part as they speak “all the words of this life.”

The words, “this life,” refer to the coming of the Messiah and of those who receive Him as being positionally “in Him,” saved from this fallen world and granted the guarantee of eternal life. Jesus spoke about the contrasting lives in John 6 –

“It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing. The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life. 64 But there are some of you who do not believe.” John 6:63, 64

Peter then followed up with his understanding of the matter –

“But Simon Peter answered Him, ‘Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.’” John 6:68

The words “this life” then do not refer to a new philosophy about how to live out our lives as better people. They do not refer to how we can obtain status, wealth, power, or any other such thing. They do not refer to how to be free from sickness or troubles, nor do they speak about how to be content and satisfied in all situations. These are earthly approaches to an earthly existence. Although any of these things may come upon a follower of Christ, none of them may come as well. And yet, the life that is now lived is one that has a hope that extends beyond what we now experience.

What “this life” means is atonement of sin, freedom from condemnation (resulting from sin), eternal life in a new and incorruptible body, and the hope of an existence that has been prepared by God for those upon whom His favor shall eternally rest. It is an existence that comes solely by faith in the completed work of Jesus Christ. And it is also a life that comes with a guarantee that it is so, the sealing of the Holy Spirit.

What the apostles are being charged to proclaim at the temple is the same as what has now been carefully recorded in the epistles for us to read and understand with perfect clarity. It is the hope of God in Christ.

Life application: Proclaiming the message of the gospel is the duty and responsibility of those who know it. We are not just to get saved and then spend the rest of our lives keeping it secret. It is a message that must be shared in order for others to receive what we have received.

And it is a message we are not to be fearful in speaking out. This is because “this life” is now an eternal one. If you believe that, then the persecutions we face are simply a step on the path to what lies ahead. What is there to fear? If we are guaranteed what God has granted, then to die is gain, not loss. Paul gives us words to consider in this matter –

“So when this corruptible has put on incorruption, and this mortal has put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written:
‘Death is swallowed up in victory.’
55 ‘O Death, where is your sting?
O Hades, where is your victory?’
56 The sting of death is sin, and the strength of sin is the law. 57 But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
58 Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.” 1 Corinthians 15:54-58

God has our future taken care of. Let’s consider this as we live out our lives right now.

Heavenly Father, help us to look at the world as a temporary step on the way to a glorious new life. Christ has done the work, we have been granted reconciliation, and what happens now is only a temporary and transitory moment on the way to eternal glory. Help us to remember this always. We are Yours. Use us for Your glory and according to Your wisdom. Amen.