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Today's Little Lift

    by Jim Bullington

A Man Attested by God (Acts 2.22)
Date Posted: May 11, 2021

Personal references are an essential if you want a good job. In fact, a well written personal recommendation can overcome several perceived negatives in a person's work history. As employers, we like letters of recommendation because they provide practical insight into a potential employee's work related behavior. A bad recommendation can trump an excellent interview experience and a great recommendation can overcome a less than stellar performance. Recommendations are important! Well, today's message is about a recommendation for all time and for all audiences. Consider what follows.

The first declaration of the gospel was a momentous occasion for a number of reasons that are obvious to all who care about spiritual things. At the outset of the sermon Peter preached on that occasion, he made this affirmation: “Men of Israel, hear these words: Jesus of Nazareth, a Man attested by God to you by miracles, wonders, and signs which God did through Him in your midst, as you yourselves also know...” (Acts 2.22). The phrase “attested by God” is the operative phrase here. The King James and American Standard Versions translate the phrase as “approved of God.” This is an even stronger phrase inasmuch as God not only testified about Him, He testified approvingly!

Concerning His work and witness, Jesus said, “If I [alone] bear witness of Myself, My witness is not true. There is another who bears witness of Me, and I know that the witness which He witnesses of Me is true. You have sent to John, and he has borne witness to the truth. Yet I do not receive testimony from man, but I say these things that you may be saved. He was the burning and shining lamp, and you were willing for a time to rejoice in his light. But I have a greater witness than John’s; for the works which the Father has given Me to finish—the very works that I do—bear witness of Me, that the Father has sent Me.” (John 5.31-36).

Returning to Acts 2 and Peter's words, Jesus was not the one approving or attesting in this case, it was the Father. In fact, the verbs are in the passive voice indicating that another was acting on Jesus' behalf. The remainder of the sentence answers the who and how; the Father bore witness “... by miracles, wonders, and signs which God did through Him [Jesus].” These approving acts of God had been accomplished in the midst of the audience to whom Peter was speaking. Unlike the so-called miracle workers of today whose deeds are done in distant lands where they cannot be verified, the deeds of the Father which approved Jesus were done in plain sight of those who were being asked to believe their significance. Further to that case, Peter said that these miraculous deeds were things which “...you yourself know.” They were eye witnesses to the very acts of confirmation that the Father had performed. They did not have to rely upon the testimony of others; they knew it for themselves!

When we or anyone else seek proof that Jesus is Messiah, the greatest witness is not in man; it is of God. After all, that is the witness that Jesus Himself identified as the greatest witness. Man can be mistaken; God cannot. Man can be misled; God cannot not. Man can be be biased; God cannot. Man can be manipulated; God cannot. That is the very reason the word of God is the ultimate source from which testimony regarding the Christ must come. That is also why as believers we must uphold the credibility of the Scriptures and resist any attempts to undermine it or reduce its witness to the mere witness of man,

I do not accept Jesus to be who He claimed because of any man or group of men. He has His own “letter of recommendation” and it is from God Himself; that is why I believe!

Questions:

1. How did Peter say the Father demonstrated His approval of Jesus as the Christ?

2. Why is the witness of God greater than the witness of man?

3. What was the source of information upon which Peter's audience had to reply to make a decision on Pentecost? Who told them, if anyone, of the testimony of God the Father?

4. In establishing the identity and authority Jesus, what part does the Word of God (the Bible) play?

"'Winging It" from Stan Smith

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Biography Information:
Jim Bullington - A Christian writer whose insight into the scriptures is reflected in practical application lessons in every article. The reader will find that the Bible speaks directly to him/her through these articles. God is always exalted and His word is treated with the utmost respect in this column.
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