Have you ever wished that you had a more dramatic testimony? He wants the message of His salvation to go to all the nations on earth. Why is the idea that God elected us because He foresaw that we would choose Him opposed to Scripture? What’s a person to do? Moments before this happened, Paul was picturing himself striding confidently into Damascus, his henchmen around him, waving to his admirers, while Christians fled in terror. mine own eyes have beheld God . Citizenship protected Paul in his ministry, as we have just seen when Paul successfully demanded a fair hearing before punishment. . Likely someone had given Rome needed support in influence or money, which focuses on what citizenship tells about Paul and what it did for him. His power knocked Paul to the ground and blinded him. All of the religious zeal in the world will not reconcile a soul to God. Yet, in both instances, the visitation causes a great change in the hearts of the persecutors. It provides us with a contextual reference for the letters we will read following. Where are they to turn to find the answers to their questions about baptism? ACTS 22:4-5 4 “I persecuted this Way to the death, binding and delivering into prisons both men and women, 5 as also the high priest bears me witness, and all the council of the elders, from whom I also received letters to the brethren, and went to Damascus to bring in chains even those who were there to Jerusalem to be punished. Similarly, Paul was smitten with blindness because of his spiritual blindness in persecuting the followers of Jesus (See commentary for Acts 9:8-9). Get me out of here so I can recover from this traumatic experience!” But Paul had the presence of mind to ask permission from the Roman commander to address the mob that had just attacked him. (Dr. Sterling B. Talmage, Improvement Era, Vol. Many of the principles of church-growing are found in this book. Quite to the contrary, he confesses that he was “a blasphemer, a persecutor, and a violent aggressor” (1 Tim. Note two things: First, Paul’s audience reacted emotionally to his message. And in thy name done many wonderful works?' Change ), You are commenting using your Twitter account. 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Some churches teach that baptism is essential for salvation. Sins are remitted not in the waters of baptism, as we say casually but rather as we receive the cleansing and sanctifying influence of the Spirit in our lives." ), "Water baptism satisfies the first half of the Savior's commission to be born of water and of the Spirit. Kenneth Rivera, a lawyer, and CPA noted that “this increases and improves the real estate market. (FARMS, vol. Every Christian should ask himself, “How does God want me to fit into His purpose of being glorified among the nations?”. My spiritual reasoning tells me that because God is an exalted being, holy and good, that man's supreme goal is to be like him. . Perhaps the more useful analogy is that which attests to the Holy Ghost as the agent, the medium by which sins and dross are burned out of the human soul as though by fire, thus giving rise to the phrase 'baptism by fire.' For example, there are formulas in physics and in chemistry which men accept as scientific fact-as scientific truths. It demonstrated that God's hand is in everything and that Christianity was not the work of men, but the world of God. "Not only are there intriguing truths only partially disclosed in holy scriptures, in terms of their implications, but there are also some individuals about whom we would especially desire to know more and about whom one day we shall. “All these incentives are going to be subject to analysis based on the return on the investment. Zeal toward God seems like a noble trait, and we don't doubt the sincerity of the Jews spoken of, but sincerity doesn't go very far at the final judgment. While a third says you have to be baptized to be saved. Enoch conversed with the Lord, as did Moses, the brother of Jared and a host of other prophets. Moreover, we are not thus convinced if we look merely to ourselves and not also to the Lord, who is the sole standard by which this judgment must be measured [1.1.2]. Leah: The Woman No Man Loved But Every Woman Envied (Gen. 29:15-35), 1. With the new Code, a listing of names, types of decrees and a global tally of the government’s investment will be published for the public to review. First, the Lord tells Paul that in Damascus he would be told “all that has been appointed for you to do” (22:10). However, in Acts, we learn more of how all the lessons inherent in Jesus's time with His disciples came to influence their lives after He ascended into Heaven. There is a protective force that God brings into play when he exposes his human servants to the glories of his person and his works. He exclaimed: '. But the last straw was when he had the effrontery to say, 'Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of man standing on the right hand of God. Arise and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on the name of the Lord.” And yet the religious world of today, has taken baptism and they have twisted it and made it into something that is so confusing. In grade school? Acts 22:17-18. 9:16), then He gets all the praise and glory! He had a Jewish pedigree that few could rival. Some men have held fast to the faith while others have waivered and fallen by the wayside of life." The act of baptism, in obedience to the Lord’s command, would be a graphic picture and source of assurance to Paul of the cleansing that had come to him the moment he trusted in Christ. Miracles are preceded by prayer. That was not the intention,” Laboy added. The book of Acts is an important book for understanding the actions of the apostles, mostly Paul and Peter, after Jesus's ascension into Heaven. And to him they agreed: and when they had called the apostles, and beaten them, they commanded that they should not speak in the name of Jesus, and let them go. Spiritual truths are apprehended by spiritual reasoning which is a different faculty from logical understanding. What does this tell us about such divine interventions? Twice Jesus emphasizes that by persecuting the church, Paul was persecuting Jesus Himself (Acts 22:7, 8). This lesson is repeated twice so that we won’t miss it. (Understanding Paul, 23-24). The Crusades, the Inquisition, the Muslim wars to conquer North Africa and their incursions into Europe, modern Islamic terrorism, and the terrorism in Northern Ireland, all stem from religious zeal. No. After the service, as the judge and the pastor walked home together, the judge asked, “Did you see who was kneeling beside me at the communion rail?” “Yes,” replied the pastor, “but I didn’t know that you noticed.” The two men walked on in silence for a few moments, and then the judge said, “What a miracle of grace!” The pastor nodded in agreement, “Yes, what a marvelous miracle of grace!”.
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