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Victorious Church

Acts 2:33-35
Exalted to the right hand of God, he has received from the Father the promised Holy Spirit and has poured out what you now see and hear. For David did not ascend to heaven, and yet he said, '"The Lord said to my Lord: 'Sit at my right hand until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet.'" (NIVUK)

The true church has rarely been admired or loved by the world. Jesus was hated, and promised that His people would be persecuted (John 15:18-20). However, the Bible tells us that He wins in the end, universally honoured as the all-powerful King (Revelation 11:15-18). Such verses in Revelation are totally consistent with what David wrote, through the Holy Spirit's inspiration, some 1000 years before Christ.

In these verses, Peter quotes from David's Psalm 110:1. 'The Lord said to my Lord', is God the Father talking to God the Son. 'Sit at my right hand', is the Father's invitation to the Son to join Him in heaven as executive ruler of everything. 'Until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet', is the Father's promise to the Son that everyone who opposes Him will be shown to be a defeated enemy (conquerors would show their power over their foes by putting their feet on their necks, as in Joshua 10:22-25).

One demonstration of the Lord Jesus Christ's authority is that Father God has authorised Him to pour out the Holy Spirit on the church, to transform repentant sinners into His ambassadors (2 Corinthians 5:20; Ephesians 3:10). So the Holy Spirit's presence in the church is a sign that Christ will one day bring everyone who remains opposed to His authority, to be judged by Him and His church (1 Corinthians 6:2).

The Evil One is furious because he knows his time is short (Revelation 12:12) and makes as much trouble as he can for the church. However, Satan does not have the last word; Jesus does. In the context of Peter's Pentecost sermon, his hearers rightly interpreted Psalm 110:1 to mean that if they persisted in opposing Jesus they would be in eternal trouble (Acts 2:37). But those who repented, received Jesus and were filled with His Spirit: their lives witnessed to the Lordship of Christ (Acts 2:42-47). It is the same where you live and work. As Paul writes in 2 Corinthians 2:15-16, the true Christian 'smells of Christ' – that smell is the perfume of life to those who desire salvation but the stench of death to those who do not. So do not be surprised if the Spirit of Christ in you causes a reaction; it is an evidence that you belong to Him, and a challenge to those who as yet do not.

Holy Father. Thank You for identifying Your people to the world by pouring out Your Spirit on them. Forgive me for the times I have grieved Your Spirit by not wanting to be identified with Christ. I accept that if I am to live as an authentic believer I will attract both seekers and scoffers. Help me to live to Your glory by leading seekers to Christ and standing firm in the face of scoffers so that they will be challenged to repent. In Jesus' Name. Amen.
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© Dr Paul Adams