Pastor Tony Pierce
NOVEMBER 18, 2021 ~ JOURNEY THROUGH THE BIBLE CHRONOLOGICALLY
Updated: Jan 3, 2022
NOVEMBER 18, 2021 READINGS... Acts 18:24-19:20 & 1 Corinthians 1:1-3:23
The baptism of the Holy Spirit began to be spread among those who had trusted in God. Apollos proclaimed Jesus boldly…and several believers were asked of Paul in Ephesus if they had received the Holy Spirit. Both Apollos and these believers had previously only been taught about the baptism of John. After being taught, it is clear they all received the Holy Spirit. This is a good place to remind everyone that the book of Acts is a book of transition from the old covenant system to the new covenant. As such it was needful to explain to believers the “baptism of the Holy Spirit”, and for them to receive it at the laying on the hands. After the transition was over we do not have recorded the need for the laying on of hands to receive the Holy Spirit. As a matter of fact, the epistles teach that when we trust in Jesus as Savior we receive the Holy Spirit. While Paul was teaching and ministering in Ephesus, there was a group of Jewish traveling exorcist who had heard Paul use the name of Jesus to cast out demons. They attempted to do this and the response they got was eye-opening. The demons said, “Jesus we know, Paul we know, but we do not know you!” Then they jumped on these men, attacked them, and the men fled from the house beaten and naked. This lets us know that the demons know who Jesus is…they also know who belong to Jesus…but they don’t recognize those who are not of Christ, nor do they recognize it when lost people try to claim authority in the Name of Jesus.
We start the book of 1 Corinthians in our reading today. This letter is largely a letter of correction from the Apostle Paul to a church that quickly moved into error as they received teachings that were not from God, and practices that were not inline with the Apostle’s instruction. Paul does thank God for the believers in Corinth, and confirms for them the truth that he had previously shared with them. Paul was concerned with the divisions that were in the church…the cause of this was because people were taking their eyes off of Jesus and put them on their human leaders. Anytime human personalities are exalted in the church, you can be sure division will come…for true biblical unity is found only when Jesus is preeminent in His church. Paul reminds them that there is a distinct difference in the wisdom of this world and the wisdom of God. That from a worldly perspective the teachings that come from God, the truth of God, and the ways of God were foolishness. The Apostle reminds them that the wisdom of God is far above that of the world…and that those without the Spirit of God cannot even understand the things of God. Nothing has changed, it is still true today. Don’t be surprise that a blind and spiritually dead world does not understand when you and I try to share the things of God. Finally. Paul once again reminds them and us to keep our eyes on only Jesus…for everything from God comes to us through Christ alone.
Please share your thoughts from today’s reading.
TOMORROW’S READINGS… 1 Corinthians 4:1-7:40