Did we not strictly command you not to teach in this name? And look, you have filled Jerusalem with your doctrine, and intend to bring this Man’s blood on us! (Acts 5:28)
Filling A Community With Jesus
The early disciples were causing a stir in Jerusalem. From the day of Pentecost a new wave of religious fervor swept through the winding streets of the city of David. It is brash and bold to the ears of the devotees of Moses. New ideas are put forth telling of the Messiah murdered on a cross but raised from the dead. Jesus of Nazareth was seen by many people after his death. He was alive. His message of hope poured forth as living waters showing people the fulfillment of the prophets and scriptures of old. Disciples of the Way were changing the face of worship to the only God – Jehovah.
Persecution came slowly but it gained momentum. Forbidden to teach in the name of Jesus the early people of God remained steadfast in their belief in a risen Savior. Many were accepting this teaching. The Jewish leaders were alarmed by the rise in the disciples of Jesus and strictly warned those responsible to tone down their rhetoric. But it was too late. By their own admission the story of Jesus had filled the city of Jerusalem. The doctrine of Christ was spreading like wild-fire throughout the land. Disciples of Jesus had a story to tell.
Doctrine is ‘a rule or principle that forms the basis of a belief’ and Jerusalem was being filled with the good news of salvation through Jesus Christ. The spread of this message came from people who were telling other people about Christ; who responded by sharing the news with others. One of the characteristics of the early Christians is found in their resolve to tell others about Christ. Later they would be charged with turning the city of Thessalonica upside down with the teaching that Jesus was the Christ. THEY WERE FILLERS AND TURNER-UPSIDE-DOWNERS!
Tuesday is a good day to be a Filler. The third day of the week is when we can find ways to turn things upside down around us. All we have to do is to share the good news of what Christ means to me with one other person. Okay – not 100 or 50 or 25 – let’s start where we all need to start and find one person that you can bring to Christ this year. Let’s fill our communities with filler people who are finding that ONE person to bring to Christ and let’s turn our neighborhoods and cities upside down for the hope of Heaven. Shake the world. Rock the world. Turn this world on its ear so that it can hear the roar of the Lamb of God! He came to save men and we need to tell them that. Fill them up. Turn it upside down. Now that is DOCTRINE!
The fact that the gospel is not popular is all the more reason for preaching it. The very fact that men cannot endure sound doctrine is all the more reason for seeing that they get it. It is not our responsibility to make it acceptable; it is our duty to make it available. (Vance Havner)