March: A Word from the Pastor

powerIt is amazing to observe the gospel message triumph in the book of Acts.

What a contrast with the ministry of Jesus! He came unto His own and they did not receive Him. He performed signs and wonders and they did not believe Him. He taught the truth with authority and they rejected His words. All of this was according to God’s divine purpose in revealing His Son as Savior and Lord.

It was not God’s intention for Jesus to be successful in His ministry.

He, like many of the prophets before Him, was to pursue a ministry that ended in rejection and death. But His death was the greatest triumph of all. It secured the salvation of all who believed in Him in Old Testament times, and was the effective cause of all who would believe in Him after His death. In the final analysis, He is the greatest evangelist of all because everyone is saved only through Him.

Yet the going forth of the gospel message to save lost sinners was to be the ministry of the Lord’s people.

And the key to their ministry is the power of God through the ministry of the Holy Spirit. Jesus accomplished salvation at the cross – and the Holy Spirit applies that victory through the ministry of Christians in the church. Even though the disciples observed the resurrected Christ, He told them to wait for the giving oftheHolySpirit. The excitement of seeing the risen Savior was not sufficient to motivate and sustain the eager disciples. Nor was it sufficient to give sight to the spiritually blind or spiritual life to the dead so that they could see and believe in Him. All of this required the ministry of God the Holy Spirit. Jesus told the disciples to wait in Jerusalem until…

“You shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth” (Acts 1:8).

Jesus wanted His disciples to understand that the power for the victory of the gospel message is only from God.

The Father planned salvation, the Son accomplished salvation, and the Holy Spirit applies salvation. All of God and all for His glory. The whole of the work from the plan, to the cross, to the ministry of the gospel is from God. Jesus was rejected, but He never failed. His rejection resulted in the glorious victory of the cross. To God be all the glory!

– Gary W. Custis