Get Up And Stand!

February 27, 2013

We read in Acts 26:16-18 (NIV 1984):
The Lord replied, ‘Now get up and stand on your feet. I have appeared to you to appoint you as a servant and as a witness of what you have seen of me and what I will show you. I will rescue you from your own people and from the Gentiles. I am sending you to them to open their eyes and turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, so that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in me.’

Although these were Jesus’ exact words to Saul (Paul) on the road to Damascus where Saul, later called Paul, was headed to persecute Christians, and Jesus was letting him know he had other plans for his life, his words to Saul (Paul) could be said to any believer in Jesus, for this is the calling of each and every individual follower of Jesus Christ.

To “get up” and to “stand up” are calls to action - to listen; to awaken; to take courage; to ready yourself for action; to be resolute; to not fear; and to speak God’s words with boldness, and in his power and strength within you.

Jesus said that when the Holy Spirit comes upon us that we shall be his witnesses throughout the whole world (see Acts 1:8). This is not optional. We, as true believers in Jesus Christ, have been given the Holy Spirit within us, and we will witness for him for good or for bad by our lives, by our actions and by our words. Yet, it is his desire that we witness the truths of God’s word, and the true gospel of Jesus Christ – through our lives, words and deeds - to a world in need of The Savior.

Jesus said that we are to “Go” and to make disciples (followers of Christ) of all nations, and that we are to teach them to obey Jesus Christ’s commandments (his teachings) – see Matt. 28:19-20. This means that each and every follower (disciple) of Jesus Christ has a God-given commission and responsibility to open the eyes of the spiritually blind, and to turn them from the darkness of sin and living for self to the light of the gospel of Jesus Christ and to salvation by grace, through faith (see Eph. 2:8-9); and to turn them from the power and control of sin and of Satan over their lives to God, i.e. to true faith in Jesus Christ. Then, they will receive forgiveness of sins, and will have a place among other followers of Jesus Christ who are daily being sanctified (purified; made holy) by faith in Him.

In order to do this, we must be sharing the true gospel of Jesus Christ. We are saved by God’s grace alone, and it is not of our own doing, not by any good deeds or works that we might perform, lest any of us should boast that we gained heaven or God’s approval in our own merit (see Eph. 2:8-9). Yet, we must understand the Biblical meaning of the word “faith.” The Bible teaches us that faith is action, that faith is obedient, and that it is repentant (see Acts 3:19; Heb. 11; I John; Rom. 6; 2 Co. 7:10; 2 Pet. 3:9, et al).

Jesus said that if anyone would come after him, he must deny (disallow) himself (his self-life) and take up his cross daily (die daily to sin and self) and follow (obey) Him. He said if we hold on to our old lives of sin and living for self, we will lose them for eternity, but if we forsake our old lives of sin and living for self, we will gain eternal life (see Luke 9:23-25). As well, God, speaking through Paul, said that the way we come to know Christ is by forsaking our old lives of sin (and self), by being transformed in heart and mind (of the Spirit of God), and by putting on our new lives “created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness” (see Eph. 4:17-24).

Hello! My name is Sue Love. I pray if you have not yet repented of your sin - turned from darkness - and turned to follow Jesus Christ with your life - turned to God and the light of his truth - that you will do so today. If I can help answer any questions you might have regarding how to be a follower of Jesus Christ, and/or how you can fulfill your God-given responsibility to be his servant and witness, just let me know, and I will do my best to help you, in the power and strength of God's Spirit within me.