mandag 4. juli 2016

The prerequisite for new insights and growth

The Holy Spirit had fallen on the Cornelian house-fellowship in Caesarea and - by doing so - "sanctioned" the Gentiles as part of God's people. Apparently this did not immediately ignite an evangelistic campaign to reach the Gentiles initiated by the apostles in Jerusalem.

The next development happened in Antioch. Like in Samaria, it was Christians who fled from the persecution in Jerusalem who also included Greeks when they gave their testimony. Many Greeks came to faith and were converted. When the news reached the church in Jerusalem, Barnabas sent to do a review, and this is the brief record:
When he arrived and saw what the grace of God had done, he was glad and encouraged them all to remain true to the Lord with all their hearts. He was a good man, full of the Holy Spirit and faith, and a great number of people were brought to the Lord.
Acts 11: 23-24 
It is interesting how Luke interprets the reactions of Barnabas: He was glad when he saw what the grace of God had done in Antioch. Between the lines, I read that Luke ascribes this reaction to the fact that Barnabas was "full of the Holy Spirit and faith". The logic is simple: What the Holy Spirit does, can only be discerned by a person who knows the Holy Spirit.

Paul has explained it this way: The person without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God but considers them foolishness, and cannot understand them because they are discerned only through the Spirit. (1) Similarly, a man filled of the Spirit has no trouble accepting that God is able to do more than we are able to ask for or imagine (2).

To be filled with the Holy Spirit and faith helps us to accept that God often does something that breaks the limits of our natural capacity to comprehend.

Today 'manna':

To be full of the Holy Spirit and faith are important prerequisites for being able to discern what comes from God.
(1) 1 Corinthians 2:14
(2) Eph 3:20

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