17 Delivering you from the [Jewish] people, and from the Gentiles, to whom I [Jesus] now send you,
18 To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, release from sin's slavery, and an inheritance among those who are purified by faith in me.'2 [Paul also wrote in the book of Galatians: "But though we, or an angel from heaven, should preach any other gospel to you than that which we have preached to you, let him be accursed [anathema, sentenced to eternal punishment]. As we said before, so I say again now: if any man preaches any gospel to you other than what you have received, let him be accursed." Gal 1:8-9. And so the preachers and teachers of today's Christianity would be eternally cursed by Paul for preaching an entirely different gospel than the true gospel.]
19 Therefore, O king Agrippa, I was not disobedient to the heavenly vision,
20 But proclaimed first to those of Damascus, and throughout Jerusalem and all the region of Judea, and then to the Gentiles, that they should repent and turn to God, and do works consistent with repentance.3
|Luke 3:8-14 |
8 Bring forth fruits worthy of repentance, and do not say within yourselves, 'We have Abraham as our father.' For I say to you that God is able to raise up children for Abraham from these stones. [John is saying that before you can successfully seek the Kingdom of God, you must show a changed lifestyle, as evidenced by your deeds; then God will teach you what else to deny and how to live a godly life until you become pure and redeemed from all sin.]
9 For the axe is already laid at the root of the trees, so that every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire."3 [The tree is a metaphor for a man; fruit is the metaphor for the fruit of God's Spirit: love, peace, gentleness, patience, self-control, patience, faith, and kindness. Until a man has been cleansed, purified, and restored to God's image, he is a tree that produces bad fruit: lust, anger, envy, sexual immorality, drunkenness, revelry, foolishness, lying, theft, dishonesty, etc. Trees that do not produce good fruit are cut down and thrown into the fire.]
10 And the people asked him, "What shall we do then?"
11 And he answered and said to them, "He who has two coats, let him give to him who has none; and he who has food, let him do likewise." [Share from your excess with anyone who lacks the necessities of life.]
12 Then the tax collectors also came to be baptized and said to him, "Master, what shall we do?"
13 And he said to them, "Do not collect any more than you are required to." [Do not defraud anyone; be honest in your dealings; do not take advantage of anyone.]
14 And the soldiers likewise asked him, saying, "And what shall we do?" And he said to them, "Don't take money from anyone by force, nor accuse anyone falsely; and be content with your wages."4 [Do not oppress anyone; don't lie; don't want more; don't complain.]