by Larry Wilson
We're committed to the Great Commission, but there are so many obstacles, and the church is genuinely weak. Even when our sin doesn't hamper us, we lack manpower and money. How can we expect to complete our mission? We can'tnot, at least, if we rely on ourselves.
But Acts 1 points us outside ourselves: "In the first book, O Theophilus, I have dealt with all that Jesus began to do and teach, until the day when he was taken up, after he had given commands through the Holy Spirit to the apostles whom he had chosen" (vss. 1-2). The "first book" is the gospel of Luke (cf. Luke 1:1-4). It relates what "Jesus began to do and teach," in his humiliation. By "his suffering" (Acts 1:3), Christ accomplished his people's redemption. And so God highly exalted him. Acts relates what Jesus continued to do and teach, in his exaltation. The exalted Christ himself carries on his work, and in doing so he uses his church as his body (his feet, his hands, his voice). This is the real power behind missions! Each step in his exaltation gives his church a reason to expect great things from God and to attempt great things for God. Read more
by B. B. Warfield
John 3:16 says, "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth on him should not perish, but have eternal life."
To whom we owe this great declaration of the love of God, it is somewhat difficult to determine: whether to our Lord himself, or to that disciple who had lain upon his bosom and had imbibed so much of his spirit that he thenceforth spoke with his Master's voice and in his Master's words. Happily, it is a matter of no substantial importance. For what difference does it make to you and me whether the Lord speaks to us through his own lips, or through those of his servant, the apostle, to whom he had promised, and to whom he had given, his Holy Spirit to teach him all the truth (John 16:13)? Read more