FAITH BLOG

FIGHT THE GOOD FIGHT

Our text today is from Acts 13:42-14:7.

 

In this passage we see Paul and Barnabas as they begin their ministries after being personally appointed and sent out by the Holy Spirit. You would expect that nothing could go wrong after being hand picked by the third person of the Trinity, right? Wrong.

 

I believe that many of us who compose the church of the 21st century have lost the Biblical perspective on what is going on around us. What is that Biblical perspective? That we are engaged in a spiritual war and that our adversary hates our message and everything associated with it. But why? As the Apostle would write in Romans 1:16, “For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is God's power for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.” Satan, who is the enemy of our souls, does not want the “good news” of salvation to reach the lost because it is the power of God unto salvation.

 

After preaching the Gospel in the synagogue on one Sabbath, Paul and Barnabas were asked to return and continue on the next. We are told almost the whole city turned out to hear them. Acts 13:45 tells us “But when the Jews saw the crowds, they were filled with jealousy, and they began to contradict what Paul was saying by reviling him.” It is no different today. The Gospel brings division. Division between light and darkness, between lost and saved, between what God has said and what lost mankind wants God to have said. Remember the words of Christ in Matthew 10:34, “Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I have not come to bring peace but a sword.”

 

Beloved, remain faithful to the Word of God. Look at their response “Both Paul and Barnabas replied courageously...”

 

Keep the faith which was once and for ever delivered to the saints, and fight the good fight.

 

Posted by Tim Parker with

HE DOES MORE THAN PUT UP WITH ME

Paul says of Israelites in Acts 13 that God "put up with them in the wilderness."  While not the most positive of phrases, it does remind me of how I feel in God's presence sometimes.  I know about God's grace from having grown up in the church.  I read about it often in scripture.  But when I repeatedly fail and am in need of God's grace, my go-to image of God is a God who "puts up with [me] in the wilderness."

Fortunately, Paul doesn't stop there.  The Israelites were given the law from Moses but we're told that not only did the law not save them, but "the law came in to increase the trespass" (Romans 5) and "our sinful passions [are] aroused by the law" (Romans 7).  But now we are released from the law.  Jesus, the greater David, came because God wanted to do much more than just "put up with us".  "By Him, everyone who believes is freed from everything from which you could not be freed by the law of Moses."  Thank God, because my Father does more than tolerate me; He made a way for me to commune with Him in a personal and powerful way.

 

Posted by J.T. Nanney with

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