søndag 12. juni 2016

An opposition under the influence of the Holy Spirit?

There are many forces working against the word of God and his saving work in the world today. Is there hope that such opposition may be affected by the Spirit, and what then are the signs that it is actually happening?

I can testify that this has happened and that it's going to happen again, but it is even more exciting to see the effect on the council that tried to stop the first disciples evangelizing:

• The Holy Spirit makes the council-members feel guilty:

"You … are determined to make us guilty of this man’s blood.”
Acts 5:28
As mentioned earlier, Jesus prophesied that this was the role of the Holy Spirit – Cf. Joh 16:8. In this verse Jesus does not use the word 'guilt', but 'sin'. These words are not synonyms, but sin causes guilt. All who have received salvation in Christ have also received forgiveness for sin. The Bible confirms this (1), but even so many continue to live with a feeling of guilt. This feeling disappears when a believer sees himself as a new creation in Christ (2)

According to Jewish tradition the members of the council had received forgiveness for their sins through the sacrifices in the Temple, but now they were filled with guilt. Only Jesus can remove guilt!!!

• The presence of Holy Spirit causes them to doubt their position:

I first wrote; "The Holy Spirit causes them to doubt ..."  - but such a statement can be misunderstood. It is the devil who is the source of doubt. The Holy Spirit sows faith, and that same faith will always be in conflict with an opposing position. It was exactly what happened to Gamaliel – at least it was he who put the brakes on, ending a good argument with the following advice:
"Let them go! For if their purpose or activity is of human origin, it will fail. But if it is from God, you will not be able to stop these men; you will only find yourselves fighting against God."
Acts 5:39
The Council followed the recommendation, but kept face by whipping the disciples. But in reality they whipped them on!

'Manna' for today: 
People opposed to the gosplel can be influenced by the Holy Spirit
(1) If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sinsand purify us from all unrighteousness. (1 John 1:9)
(2) Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!
(2 Cor 5:17)

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