Learning about God and the relationship God has with His Son coupled with the realization of God’s Holy Spirit can get muddled in living an ordinary life in this world of anything goes. We want to be “good for goodness’s sake” as the Santa song goes, but we need to “watch out”, not for Santa, but for Truth. God’s Word holds His Truth—all of it—from Genesis to Revelation, God’s Word leads us to know and worship the Author, God Himself. God is our creator. God’s Son is the Way, Truth and Life to a holy relationship with our Creator. God’s Holy Spirit lives with us to build God’s character within us. The Three-In-One—Truth and Life! Ooh, this is good!
Paul was schooled in God’s Word. He knew what the prophets said. Paul became so zealous in knowing all the details of The Law and man’s additions to that law, that he rose to leadership as the persecutor of anyone who did not adhere to The Law. He had a relationship with The Law, but no relationship to God who wrote the original Law. He didn’t have the full picture until he met Jesus. Jesus changed everything about Saul who is now Paul. A repentant, now saved by grace, Paul is driven, just as strongly, but now with a relationship with God, through Jesus Christ, His Son. His heart, mind and soul have a new commander, God’s Holy Spirit, who lives in Paul.
Paul is now compelled to teach others of the saving grace of the Master, Jesus Christ with the joy of a new relationship mankind can have with God because of what Jesus did—just as the prophets foretold! Paul now sees the big picture. His mission is to make sure others see it, too. God’s Holy Spirit guides every step Paul makes. As Jesus only did what the Father did and told him to do, Paul works hard to say and do what God’s Holy Spirit says to do, where to go, and how long to stay. Paul admits he is not perfect, but he is perfectly forgiven.
What a great example of how to live our lives! We are not “good” on our own. We never will be “good” no matter how hard we try. No one is good. Only Jesus. Jesus is the One and Only who is good for goodness’s sake. Believe and be saved from the pretense of being good alone and grow in a relationship with Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord of our lives. This is good. Very good. Jesus sent a helper from God—His Holy Spirit, who guides and helps us to see what is good with how to live good lives in relationship with the Three-In-One.
This is the Paul who is traveling about the province of Asia with REAL Truth—Jesus!
ACTS—God’s Actions through His Disciples
Acts 19:1-10, The Message
1-2 Now, it happened that while Apollos was away in Corinth, Paul made his way down through the mountains, came to Ephesus, and happened on some disciples there. The first thing he said was, “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed? Did you take God into your mind only, or did you also embrace him with your heart? Did he get inside you?”
“We’ve never even heard of that—a Holy Spirit? God within us?”
3 “How were you baptized, then?” asked Paul.
“In John’s baptism.”
4 “That explains it,” said Paul. “John preached a baptism of radical life-change so that people would be ready to receive the One coming after him, who turned out to be Jesus. If you’ve been baptized in John’s baptism, you’re ready now for the real thing, for Jesus.”
5-7 And they were. As soon as they heard of it, they were baptized in the name of the Master Jesus. Paul put his hands on their heads and the Holy Spirit entered them. From that moment on, they were praising God in tongues and talking about God’s actions. Altogether there were about twelve people there that day.
8-10 Paul then went straight to the meeting place. He had the run of the place for three months, doing his best to make the things of the kingdom of God real and convincing to them. But then resistance began to form as some of them began spreading evil rumors through the congregation about the Christian way of life. So Paul left, taking the disciples with him, and set up shop in the school of Tyrannus, holding class there daily. He did this for two years, giving everyone in the province of Asia, Jews as well as Greeks, ample opportunity to hear the Message of the Master.
Paul, knows when to “hold them, fold them and walk away” from resistance. Choose your battles and know that God will take care of those who believe.
Led by the Holy Spirit, Paul sets of a “seminary” of clarification in the school of Tyrannus for TWO YEARS, “giving everyone in the province of Asia, Jews as well as Greeks, ample opportunity to hear the Message of the Master.” Paul taught who was REAL. Paul introduced all people to a real relationship with the Master, Jesus Christ!
Friends, aren’t we glad Paul, Peter, John and the other apostles and disciples obeyed the Holy Spirit? I am convinced that God’s actions in His disciples brought generations into a growing relationship with Him through Jesus Christ, His Son. The Holy Spirit assures me of this truth. God is STILL on the move among His created.
Thank you for this message of hope today. Thank you for saving my soul. Thank you for teaching me daily, letting me see more of the bigger picture. Thank you for forgiving this imperfect soul with your ever perfect forgiveness. When I am down, you pick me up and set me right to what is real and who is good. Thank you, Lord.
In Jesus Name, Amen