Wednesday, August 12, 2020

61. Acts 1-14

Acts 1-14. (Thru the Bible #40) J. Vernon McGee. 1975? 170 pages. [Source: Bought]

First sentence: The Book of Acts, sometimes called the fifth gospel, is a continuation of the Gospel of Luke.

I am reading the Bible in 2020 using the daily M'Cheyne (Robert Murray M'Cheyne) plan. I thought it would add a layer of substance to in addition to the four chapters a day, to also read commentaries for those chapters. For that I am using Matthew Henry's Commentary on the Whole Bible. But the plan goes through the New Testament (and Psalms, I believe) twice. So now that I've finished Henry's commentary for the New Testament, I am tackling the New Testament commentary section of J. Vernon McGee's series.

This is not my first time reading J. Vernon McGee. I've read twelve or so of his commentaries. (Most recently Mark). 

Overall, I like his laidback, casual, straightforward, tell it like it is approach to teaching Scripture. There is something so grounded and down to earth about him. Each reader is "his" friend. It's hard not to feel like he is a friend too.

One of the things that I love about McGee's commentaries is that he just speaks timeless truths. 


  • The problem of the unbeliever today is not with the facts but with his own unbelief. The facts are available. I wonder whether anyone doubts that the Battle of Waterloo was an historical event. Very frankly, I believe that Napoleon lived, and I believe that he fought the Battle of Waterloo. But I have very little evidence for it. Actually there is ten thousand times more evidence for the death and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ than there is for the Battle of Waterloo, and yet there are people today who say they do not believe it. Where is the problem? The problem is in the heart, the unbelieving heart.
  • If you are an unbeliever, the problem is with you. The problem is not in the Word of God. He showed Himself alive by many infallible proofs.
  • If men will not have the baptism of the Holy Spirit, then they must have the baptism of fire—judgment. The baptism of fire is for those who have rejected Jesus Christ.
  • But there is no use in our arguing about who was responsible for His death back at that time. I’ll tell you who is responsible for His death. You are responsible, and I am responsible. It was for my sins and for your sins that He died.
  • Folk reading the Bible should bring to it the same common sense they use in reading other books. This is God’s Book. But it is not some “way out yonder” type of book. It deals with us right where we are, and it communicates so we can understand it.
  • You can preach Jesus, friend. You can make Him a nice, sweet individual, a sort of Casper Milquetoast, and you will not be in trouble. But you are in trouble if you preach Him as the mighty Savior who came down to this earth, denounced sin, died on the cross for the sins of men, and then rose again in mighty power. That is the hated message. When the apostles preached it, the Sadducees arrested them and brought them in to the Sanhedrin.
  • Jesus is the name of that Person who came down to this earth to save His people from their sins. When any person comes to Him in faith, that person is saved. There is no other place to turn for salvation.
  • Unbelief is not from a lack of facts; it is the condition of the human heart.
  • My friend, do not be bewitched by any man or his power. Even if a man is giving out the Word of God, do not look to the man. Look to the Word of God and check to see if he is presenting it accurately. Look to God. Turn to Him. When we get our eyes on man, we take our eyes off the Lord Jesus Christ.
  • Persecution from the outside didn’t hurt the church. It scattered the believers and actually worked for the furtherance of the gospel. What hurt the church was that people got on the inside, professing to be believers when they were not believers. Always the church is hurt from the inside.
  • I believe that we ought to make it a matter of definite prayer before we talk to anyone. We should talk to the Lord about the individual before we talk to the individual about the Lord. It is not simply that we need the Holy Spirit to lead us. What we need is for the Spirit of God to go ahead of us and prepare the way, then to call us up to where He is. We want to go where the Spirit of God is moving. This is the first essential in a conversion.
  • The Holy Spirit will take the things of Christ and will reveal them to an individual. It is the Spirit of God using the Word of God.
  • The Spirit of God uses the man of God who delivers the Word of God to produce a son of God, one who is born again.
  • I do not believe that people can be converted by hearing a song. The song may affect a person emotionally and influence the will to make a decision for Christ. However, if the Word of God is not in it, there can be no true conversion. It requires the Word of God. How important that is!
  • I believe that God uses a human instrument in the conversion of every individual, although that individual may not be present at the moment of the conversion. That is the reason you and I should cast our influence for the Lord Jesus Christ at all times.
  • We remember that Saul had been one of those who had wasted the church in Jerusalem by his relentless persecution of them. How wonderful it is to see that by his own hands a transformed Saul now brings relief to that same church. That is Christianity in shoe leather, my friend. That is the way it ought to be.
  • But life and death are in the hands of a sovereign God. When you and I rebel against His decision, it is simply too bad for us. This is His universe, not ours. It is God’s church, not ours. The hand of a sovereign God moves in the church.
  • How could Simon Peter sleep between two soldiers? Remember that he went to sleep also in the Garden of Gethsemane. I would say that Simon Peter was not troubled with insomnia. He didn’t have any difficulty sleeping. It seems he could sleep just about any place and any time.
  • God expects us to use our common sense. Sometimes what looks like a tremendous faith in God is actually tempting God. Even after God has done some wonderful or miraculous thing for you and for me, He still expects us to use our common sense.
  • Today you and I are the beneficiaries of the fact that someone went down the road of this world to bring the gospel to the ends of the earth. You and I ought to be in the business of taking the gospel down beyond where we are to some who have not heard.

© Becky Laney of Operation Actually Read Bible

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