søndag 14. august 2016

Paul and spiritual authority

When I now enter the last part of my journey through Acts with focus on the Holy Spirit, I want to look at Paul’s spiritual authority. Even though he was sent out by the church (1), he does not seem to have had a typical formal leadership position. Even though he was the founder of many churches and felt the daily concern for them (2), it is not primarily as a church leader I think of him. 

Even so, Paul possessed a spiritual authority that seems completely independent of the role he held at any given time. Many of these spiritual qualities became very evident when he as a prisoner was transported to Rome (3).

The strong spiritual authority was not influenced by his status as prisoner. Paul used this authority in a way that informally gave him the leadership in a crisis. When I use the word ‘informal’, it is because he did make any effort to change his status as prisoner or to revolt against the existing leadership hierarchy. His authority had some limitations, because Paul did foresee the disaster they would face on the last lag of their sea crossing, but he did not manage to persuade his “leaders” to postpone the crossing.

Paul possessed something that characterized several of the Biblical heroes, like e.g. Daniel:

Now Daniel so distinguished himself among the administrators and the satraps by his exceptional qualities that the king planned to set him over the whole kingdom.
Dan 6:3
With regard to Paul – I will focus on several of these qualities in the days ahead.

‘Manna’ for today:

An exceptional Spirit gives exceptional qualities.
(1) See: Confirmation of the call
(2) 2 Cor 11:28
(3) Acts 27-28

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