First sentence: Chapter 15 Theme: The council at Jerusalem Now that the first missionary journey of Paul and Barnabas has been completed and the churches which they established in the Galatian country are 100 percent gentile, the church faces its first great crisis.
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.
- Friend, the Lord Jesus should occupy the very center of our lives. We should think of Him constantly. We should not see a sunset without thinking of the One who made it. He should be brought into our daily living, into all situations of life, our tensions and our anxieties.
- There is only one question God asks the lost world: “What do you do with My Son who died for you?” God doesn’t give us some little Sunday school lesson by saying, “I want you to be a good boy. I want you to join a church. I want you to go through this and that ritual.” That kind of teaching is only for an insipid religion. It does not come from God. God is saying, “My Son died for you. What will you do with Him?” The answer to that question will determine your eternal destiny.
- How can a man be saved? By believing on the Lord Jesus Christ. Could he believe for someone else? No. Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved, and if thy household believes on the Lord Jesus Christ, they shall be saved also.
- Friend, you will not find a message given in the Book of Acts either by Peter or by Paul in which the Resurrection is not the heart of the message. Today we find so often that the Resurrection just doesn’t seem to be the heart of the message. What we talk about today is the cross—even in fundamental circles. But, my friend, we have a living Christ today. Someone has put it this way: “There is a Man in the glory but the church has lost sight of Him.”
- Is it meaningful to you that Christ died and that He rose again? Are you related today to that living Christ? How has this been meshed and geared into your life? Today we have conservatism in the church and we have liberalism in the church and, very candidly, neither group seems to be getting through to Him. Why not? Well, because every Sunday should be an Easter—on the first day of the week He came back from the dead!
- Our country is a country filled with hypocrisy. We pretend that we are a Christian nation. We pretend that our leaders are Christian, that all the politicians are Christians, that everyone is a Christian. Friend, we are one of the most pagan nations this world has ever known. Christianity today is mostly a pretense. We need to recognize that we need to get back to the Word of God and to the living Christ. How important that is!
- One of the troubles today is that the church is not being persecuted. In fact, the church is just taken for granted. The average Christian is just a person to be taken for granted. It wasn’t that way in the first century.
- God has made one humanity. This verse is not talking about brotherhood. The only brotherhood which Scripture knows is the brotherhood of those who are in Christ Jesus. Perhaps I should amend that by saying there is a brotherhood of sin. We
- Friend, the moment you trust Christ you are regenerated by the Spirit of God, you are indwelt by the Spirit of God, you are sealed by the Spirit of God, and you are baptized into the body of believers by the Spirit of God. This happens the moment you believe and trust Christ.
- It’s not how long you make it but how you make it long. I believe in making it long; my scriptural authority for it is that Paul did it. He spoke until midnight. You can’t help but smile at that.
- I have always believed that the important issue is to get out the entire Word of God.
- The Devil wants to get into a church where the Bible has been taught. He would like to wreck a radio ministry that is teaching the Word of God. The Devil is not our friend; he is our enemy. He wants to stop the teaching of God’s Word.
- I find that a great many Christians are diet faddists. It always amazes me to find how many there are. They are constantly telling me their advice about what this or that diet will do for me. May I say that the only difference a diet will make is in your physical body. A diet will not commend you to God. Under grace you can go on a diet or not go on a diet. It may have something to do with your health and your physical condition. It has nothing to do with your relationship to God. Oh, if God’s people could only learn that!
- Friend, today your sins are either on you or they are on Christ. If your sins are on Christ, if you have put your trust in Him, then He paid the penalty for your sins over nineteen hundred years ago. They do not lie ahead of you for judgment in the future. But if your sins today are still on you, then there is yet a judgment to come. People don’t like to hear about judgment to come.
- In our day, friend, there are many witnesses, especially ministers, who are so afraid that they won’t appear intellectual, but will be considered fanatical, that they do not declare the great truths of the gospel. Friend, we ought to be willing to take the place of madmen—but not act like them. We should present the gospel soberly as Paul did.
© Becky Laney of Operation Actually Read Bible