Thursday, January 27, 2011

Persecution Spreads the Word

Acts 8:1 (NLT)
... A great wave of persecution began that day, sweeping over the church in Jerusalem; and all the believers except the apostles were scattered through the regions of Judea and Samaria.

Acts 8:4 (NLT)
But the believers who were scattered preached the Good News about Jesus wherever they went.

- Persecution, and the attempt to eliminate faith in Jesus actually is the catalyst for the spread of the gospel.

Acts 8:16-17 (NLT)
The Holy Spirit had not yet come upon any of them, for they had only been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. [17] Then Peter and John laid their hands upon these believers, and they received the Holy Spirit

- this is curious, that the Holy Spirit wasn't given at baptism. Doesn't it say elsewhere that he is given as a sort of down payment towards that future day of our complete sanctification? And isn't he normally given to us at baptism? Although I must admit, I've met many Christians over the years who seemed unaquinted with him still - who seemed to be caught up in a spirit exuding things other than love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self control.

So, even today it seems that our relationship with the Holy Spirit is not "automatic."

This requires further study.

Acts 8:26 (NLT)
As for Philip, an angel of the Lord said to him, "Go...
Acts 8:29 (NLT)
The Holy Spirit said to Philip, "Go ...
Acts 8:39 (NLT)
the Spirit of the Lord snatched Philip away. ...

- The active involvement and guidance of the Holy Spirit becomes really obvious now.

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