How the passage fits within the metanarrative of the Bible
The story of Dorcas of Joppa is affiliated with the new creation multinarrative of the Bible. The description is about a woman who helped the poor, widows and was of an admirable heart. At one time, she died, and the people she was assisting felt the gap and sought to return her life by involving Peter, the man of God whom Christ had sent with the anointing to change people’s lives into new beings. The story is about a new creation perspective for various reasons, as highlighted below.
First, the resurrection of Dorcas is a mark of the new creation through the changes that occur in Christian lives after they do recommendable acts as per God’s wishes. When Dorcas was alive, she trained herself to do others a favor by helping the poor with linen making, which was a godly act (Burden 47). The new creation is found in the New Testament, whereby Christians are changed to become creatures under the Christocentric doctrine. When Jesus left his disciples, among them Peter, He instructed them to convert people to Christianity, and thus, it was one way of new creation. Second, the new creation is symbolized by the evident transformation after Dorcas was resurrected. The Bible records in verse 47 that “He took her by the hand and helped her to her feet. Then he called for the believers, especially the widows, and presented her to them alive” (Yinger 118). Thus, it means a new way of life characterized by the absence of mourning and assisting people. Additionally, the Bible says that many people believed in God, marking a new transformation in people’s lives hence, new creation. The story can make Christians believe that the power of God is manifested in New Testament through changes that occur hence, a new creation.
How the principle from Acts 9:36-43 fits with the rest of the Scripture
The rest of the Scripture is about Saul’s conversion to Paul, who had been persecuting the Christians for a long time. In Damascus, Saul had been feared by society due to his capacity when it came to sending people to prison. The major principle of goodwill that involves Dorcas’s actions and that of Paul after conversion is a revelation that there are changes when people come across the power of God. God tells Ananias in verse 15 that “Go! This man is my chosen instrument to proclaim my name to the Gentiles and their kings and to the people of Israel. I will show him how much he must suffer for my name” (Reddy 7). In that case, it shows a different person from the way people had perceived Saul during the times when he was prosecuting Christians. Paul had been changed, and God prepared him to be a useful tool to convert other people to Christianity. Therefore, Paul’s changing other people’s beliefs is a manifestation of new creation. Paul is seen preaching the name of God through Jesus Christ in many places in Jerusalem and Damascus. Like Dorcas, Paul started acts of goodwill which made him bring a new plan for the people under the new doctrine found in the New Testament. The principle of goodwill under the new creation is discovered in 2 Corinthians 5:16-17, which says, “So if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation: everything old has passed away; see, everything has become new!” (Reddy 6). This interpretation means that Paul gave the impression that people had to be converted to believers who portray new creations mandated to do ‘good’ in society. In Thessalonians 2:6-8, the Bible puts that there is new hope after conversion to new believers, whereby they would receive new bodies. These bible passages show the perspective of the new creation linked with actions of goodwill.
How the passage from Acts reflects the person and work of Jesus Christ
The personality and works of Jesus Christ can be seen in the text in several ways. The work of Jesus was to transform the world from the old and traditional doctrines that had obsessed people. Jesus purposely began the initiative of transforming the world by introducing the concept of Christianity under the New Testament, which was about bringing the relationship between God and human beings closer. The personality of Jesus shows that He was focused on bringing humility, charity, and love (Yinger 118). Charity is seen where Christians receive free salvation. He also demonstrated love by freely offloading people’s sins by dying on the cross. To ensure that people were close to God, He instructed His disciples to continue converting other non-believers to start believing in God. The principle of new creation and doing good is seen through Jesus’s attribute of holiness. Jesus Christ was a sign of a direct link between God and people and wanted to ensure that after He ascended to heaven, the disciples would not divert from how he showed them. In John 1: 13, the Bible explains that new birth was brought by the will of God (Burden 51). Thus, it is evidently true to say that human beings did not receive new nature from their parents or as per their decision but through Jesus Christ. The attributes associated with Jesus show that He came to bring people closer to God and manifest God’s power in the universe. Jesus called Saul by name means that He specifically moved his strategy by himself. When Saul asked who was speaking to him, Jesus said that “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting.” Thus, it conveys that He wanted to associate God’s work through contemporary life issues, such as legal influencers who may overturn God’s will of God b wrongly interpreting the Scriptures.
The Question of Duty
Dorcas’s duty was to help the poor, especially the widows who needed her help. Additionally, Peter’s duty was to bring new life and change people toward Christianity as one way of making a new creation. Christians must ask themselves what they should do to come across to God. Similarly, the entire text talks about Saul, a convert who started preaching the word of God (Reddy 8). When Jesus was assigning duties to His disciples, there was the intention to restore what was lost, and that meant the relationship between God and human beings was settled. The way the passage shows various duties taken by different people; makes believers realize God’s expectations when it comes to serving Him. In the contemporary life setting, all individuals must work towards winning the new creation by doing recommendable actions. Therefore, the biblical attributes that Jesus showed to people are important in revealing a new life accompanied by kindness and holiness.
The Question of Character
The question, in this case, should be able to satisfy what should be. First, an individual should be kind to society in that when there is a problem, the same people will intervene and lead to the rescue. Dorcas, a servant of God, made clothes for less privileged people. In the current world setting, Christians must work tirelessly to ensure that there is holiness the way Peter had holy power to resurrect. The character must be that which is godly, and it means adhering to God’s rules is the main target that should be set for everyone. When people are converted to Christianity, they must believe and draw others close to God as that character shows diligence and righteousness. The character of Dorcas was recommendable to Peter by society in that there were reasons that made her deserve to be raised back to life. If people stick to holiness and follow the new rules under Jesus’s creation, society could be redeemed from sinful nature.
The Question of Goals
People should ask themselves what causes them to pursue and the passions that consume their energy. In Christianity, people should follow coming to terms with God before seeking worldly pleasures. The key goal must be to know what to believe, which means either the godly spirits or other objects. Peter’s goal was to bring happiness back to the widows and the poor who had requested him to assist them. 1 Peter 3: 15 tells people to be ready to answer any person who asks them to give the reason for the hope they have (Yinger 118). At this point, it means there should be a goal to defend God’s name in terms of building the items that draw them near Him. The other goal is to be real in that people should not pretend to be vulnerable, yet there is a protector who can safeguard their lives. There is a need to follow the passage so that a person may be able to achieve eternity after the world comes to an end.
The Question of Discernment
From a Christian perspective, a person must be able to judge well without bias, discrimination, or sophistication when making decisions. God had seen the need to have human beings restored to their previous bond with him. While living, a person must choose the ways that will guide their ways. The way Dorcas had dedicated herself to helping others, Christians must be willing to distinguish the perfect ways to ensure they get close to God. Peter had decided to preach the word of God, and that is why people spotted him while working in Lydda. As disciples of Jesus, Christians must be able to choose whether to believe issues that are popular or decline by basing biblical perspectives. Many false preachers lie to others about the domain of Christianity. People must discern to know the real God, which means they will keep praying so that they are guaranteed a bright future.
Burden, J. “New Creation and Resurrection in The Bible and In a New South Africa: An Old Testament Scholar’s Perspective”. Scriptura, vol 37, no. 6, 2020, pp. 44-54. Stellenbosch University.
Reddy, Mike Megrove. “The Apostle Peter Communicating His Divinely Inspired Message to The Jews”. Pharos Journal of Theology, vol 9, no. 7, 2021, pp. 5-9. AfricaJournals.
Yinger, L. “The Crucified Apostle: Essays on Peter and Paul”. Bulletin for Biblical Research, vol 29, no. 1, 2019, pp. 117-119. The Pennsylvania State University Press.