Acts 1 v 21 - 26

The way that the Jews decided important matters had similarities with the way football clubs are picked in the draw for the next round of the FA Cup! Names of candidates were written on stones and put into a jar and the jar was shaken until one stone fell out. The name on that stone was the one elected. In this case, there were only two names-Joseph Justus, nicknamed Barsabbas, and Matthias. The stone with Matthias' name on it fell from the jar and he was thus elected the replacement apostle for Judas Iscariot.

This passage reveals two important truths to the reader:

Firstly, it tells us that the function of an apostle was to be a witness to Christ's resurrection. Every apostle was to have known Jesus personally. Paul claimed that he could call himself an apostle because it was the risen Christ who appeared to him on the road to Damascus. The mark of a Christian is not that they know about Jesus, but they know Him personally as a living presence, not just a historic character who once did great things and lived a good life!

Secondly, it tells us that the qualification of an apostle was that they must have been with Jesus.

We are studying tomorrow the second chapter of the book of Acts, one of the best known and most loved of chapters in the Bible. We do not know exactly what happened on the Day of Pentecost, but we do know that it was one of the greatest days in the history of the Christian Church and many Christians mark it as the Church's birthday and celebrate it. Jesus Christ has been born, lived, ministered, obeyed His Father's will completely. He has been killed and has been raised from death because death cannot keep a sinless person. The third person of the Trinity, the Holy Spirit, will appear in great power and remain with believers from this time until the present day and into the future. It will no longer be totally dependent on human beings in their own strength to spread the Gospel, because divine power will be present with them.

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