Golden Text:--"With great power gave the apostles witness
of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus."--Acts 4:33.
THE lessons of the quarter may be reviewed by each according to his preferences of method. The Golden Text seems to embody the principal features of all the lessons; for each one discussed some feature of the great work of the Church, namely, the witness for Christ. We considered the witness given at Jerusalem, at Damascus, at Antioch, during the missionary journey in Asia Minor, and finally Paul's witness at Rome respecting the Heroes of Faith. All this witnessing was to the point. It all testified that Christ died; that his death was not for his own sins, but as man's Redeemer.
The witnessing also specially related to our Lord's resurrection as stated by the Golden Text, because a dead [R4391 : page 140] redeemer would be powerless to become the Messiah and to establish the Divine Law amongst those whom he had purchased with his blood. "Jesus and the resurrection" was the general theme of the early Church, to which was added the hope of glory--the Second Coming of Jesus to receive his Bride to himself, to change her to his own nature, to associate her with him in his Kingdom glory and then to begin the Millennial reign of righteousness, to bring all mankind to a knowledge of God. And all this was based upon the precious sacrifice finished at Calvary.
Our text tells us that this witnessing was done with power, great power. It was not made secondary to politics, to social questions, to evolutionary theories or higher critical dissertations. It, and it alone, constituted the apostolic theme. And so it should be with us. The resurrection of the Lord and its value and signification to the Church and the world through the Divine Plan should be ever prominent in our witnessing.
Not only by their words and logical presentations did the apostles witness, but their lives were witnesses. As the Apostle said, "Ye are our epistles, known and read of all men." The lives of the early Church were the special witness to the Lord. Without the consistency of their lives and their consecration to the Lord and to the Truth, it is evident, the message would have had no such import as it bore. So it is with us to-day. It is well that we preach the Word. It is still more important that we live in it. But it is the ideal thing to both preach and live the Truth. "Let your light so shine before men that they may see your good works and glorify your Father which is in heaven."