Friday, June 28, 2013

June 28
As Simple As That!

Acts 18:23-19:12  New International Version (NIV)

23 After spending some time in Antioch, Paul set out from there and traveled from place to place throughout the region of Galatia and Phrygia, strengthening all the disciples.
24 Meanwhile a Jew named Apollos, a native of Alexandria, came to Ephesus. He was a learned man, with a thorough knowledge of the Scriptures. 25 He had been instructed in the way of the Lord, and he spoke with great fervor[a] and taught about Jesus accurately, though he knew only the baptism of John. 26 He began to speak boldly in the synagogue. When Priscilla and Aquila heard him, they invited him to their home and explained to him the way of God more adequately.
27 When Apollos wanted to go to Achaia, the brothers and sisters encouraged him and wrote to the disciples there to welcome him. When he arrived, he was a great help to those who by grace had believed. 28 For he vigorously refuted his Jewish opponents in public debate, proving from the Scriptures that Jesus was the Messiah.

Paul in Ephesus

19 While Apollos was at Corinth, Paul took the road through the interior and arrived at Ephesus. There he found some disciples and asked them, “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when[b] you believed?”
They answered, “No, we have not even heard that there is a Holy Spirit.”
So Paul asked, “Then what baptism did you receive?”
“John’s baptism,” they replied.
Paul said, “John’s baptism was a baptism of repentance. He told the people to believe in the one coming after him, that is, in Jesus.” On hearing this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. When Paul placed his hands on them, the Holy Spirit came on them, and they spoke in tongues[c] and prophesied. There were about twelve men in all.
Paul entered the synagogue and spoke boldly there for three months, arguing persuasively about the kingdom of God. But some of them became obstinate; they refused to believe and publicly maligned the Way. So Paul left them. He took the disciples with him and had discussions daily in the lecture hall of Tyrannus. 10 This went on for two years, so that all the Jews and Greeks who lived in the province of Asia heard the word of the Lord.
11 God did extraordinary miracles through Paul, 12 so that even handkerchiefs and aprons that had touched him were taken to the sick, and their illnesses were cured and the evil spirits left them.
Why does the organized body of Christ of today make following in the way of the Lord so difficult? Everything must be done and believed according to the rules that church leaders have worked out.
Is that the way of the Apostles?
It seems so easy when we read things like, " he went to Ephesus, found some believers and asked them if they had received the Holy Spirit. They didn't know about the Holy Spirit, so Paul explained it to them, and then laid his hands on them and the Holy Spirit came on them and they spoke in tongues."
As simple as that! They listened to what Paul taught them about the Holy Spirit, and then received!
Let us make it our goal to keep it simple.
We know from the Bible what the message of truth is, don't we?
And we know that the Lord instructs us to share the message with everyone.
So let's keep it simple and simply do as He instructs us.
It is .... As simple as that!
questions to ponder:
Do you make it a priority to have a thorough knowledge of the Word of God?
Do you share it with passion?
Are you willing to lay hands on people to pray for them to receive the Holy Spirit?
Whatever you do, never try to limit God by saying He does or does not do (this or that) . God does whatever He determines to be best for His creation.
We certainly should not claim to have a full understanding of His Ways to say that we can understand what He will or will not do.
It is our job to simply believe His Word and obey it!

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