‘You rejected the Holy and Righteous One and asked to have a murderer given to you and you killed the Author of life whom God raised from the dead’ (14-15).
‘Repent therefore and turn to God’ (19).
‘You have put gladness in my heart, more than when their grain and wine abound.’
Take verse 1 as an instance.
- ‘See what love the Father has given us’ makes us think about God as our Father, God’s love for us, and what kind of love it is that has been given to us;
- ‘that we should be called the children of God’ makes us think about how this expresses God’s love for us and about what it means that we are the children of God (‘and that is what we are’) and thus what it means that we might not be the children of God.
‘when he is revealed, we will be like him’.
So, what then is verse 6 saying? I suggest at least these things:
(a) no one who abides in Christ should be complacent about ongoing sin
(b) the one who abides in Christ steadily eradicates sin from their life
(c) when we find there is sin in our life we should clearly understand that that sin represents competing forces in our life and thus we should both eradicate sin and deepen our abiding in Christ.
First, Jesus underlines a great theme through Luke’s Gospel: Jesus is the fulfilment of past prophecy and thus (taking up a point we are finding in our Acts readings through these weeks) is fulfilling his destiny under God.
Secondly, the Scriptures (i.e. the Old Testament) may be studied in order to understand who Jesus the Messiah is, what he came to achieve and what the future work of his disciples is.
The disciples are now and in the future utterly committed to a new and special work in the mission of God in the world: ‘You are my witnesses of these things’ (48).