Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Power of Tongues to Peter and Paul

Q. What were the fruits of Paul’s baptism in the Holy Spirit? In

the people of Caesarea and Ephesus, what was the evidence 

of the indwelling Holy Spirit?

The Vision of Jesus Knocks Paul Off His Horse!
  (Art by Caravaggio, 1600)

Paul found himself blind for three days. This gripped him at his shocking conversion of the vision of Jesus on the road to DAMASCUS. This evidence marked the reality of his experience. Quickly, God sent a disciple named Ananias to the home of Judas on Straight Street to restore Paul’s sight.

v17 Then Ananias went to the house and entered it. Placing his hands on Saul, he said, “Brother Saul, the Lord—Jesus, who appeared to you on the road as you were coming here—has sent me so that you may see again and be filled with the Holy Spirit” (Acts 9:17 NIV).

God sent Ananias to baptize Paul in the Holy Spirit. At this filling of the Holy Spirit, something like scales fell off Paul’s blind eyes and he could see again. He got up healed, was immediately baptized with water as well, ate some food, and regained his physical strength.

As the fruit of his baptism in the Spirit, Paul began to preach Jesus is the Messiah in the synagogues of Damascus. The fruit of Paul’s indwelling of the Holy Spirit was his healing from blindness and his immediate response to the call of preaching. Saul amazed the Jews in Damascus as he eloquently preached Jesus is the Messiah.

I thank God that I speak in tongues more

than all of you” (! Cor 14:18 NIV).

Paul later expressed his tremendous, personal prayer life in the Spirit, which supported his amazing public ministry.

In the seacoast town of Joppa, Peter the apostle experienced a powerful vision from God which led him to visit the home of the Roman Centurion, Cornelius, in CAESAREA. The carrying of the gospel to the Samaritans, who were relatives to the Jews, was one thing, but this incident marked the carrying of the gospel to the pagan occupation forces, the Romans.

In the vision, God told Peter not to call any meat unclean. Peter was shocked! God so indicated that salvation was for others than believing Jews alone.

v34 Then Peter began to speak: “I now realize how true it is that God does not show favoritism but accepts from every nation the one who fears him and does what is right” (Acts 10:34-35 NIV).

When he arrived at the home of Cornelius, Peter found a large gathering of people assembled to hear him, and he began to preach the gospel to the pagans assembled.

While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit came on all who heard the message. The circumcised believers who had come with Peter were astonished that the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out even on Gentiles.

For they heard them speaking in tongues

and praising God” (Acts 10:44-46 NIV).

Peter then baptized the new believers with water, whereas they initially received the indwelling Holy Spirit after hearing and believing the gospel. The Holy Spirit demonstrated profoundly he would come on believers when and where and indeed, on whom, he selected. Tongues with praise was an outward sign of the powerful indwelling of the divine Holy Spirit.

Peter was taught a personal lesson; he learned the equivalent of the modern adage that “One can’t put God in a box.” You can’t limit God or what he will do by your own religious beliefs, dogmas, and doctrines. No one has an exclusive corner on God.

Paul, on his missionary journeys to the Greeks and Jews, visited a small community of believers in the city of EPHESUS. There he searched for evidence of the Holy Spirit among the people.

Did you receive the Holy Spirit when

you believed?” he asked them.

No, we have not even heard that there is a Holy Spirit,” what the men replied, many religious Christians could well say today. They explained they were baptized only with the baptism of John the Baptist.

On hearing this, they were baptized into the name of the Lord Jesus. When Paul placed his hands on them, the Holy Spirit came on them, and they spoke in tongues and prophesied. There were about twelve men in all (Acts 19:2-7).”

Paul continued to preach in Ephesus for some two years. Through his diligent preaching and the accompanying miracles and healings, in spite of the persecutions, Ephesus became a strong Christian center for years to come.

The fruit of the indwelling Spirit powerfully manifested in Peter and Paul's lives, teachings, and ministries for Jesus.

--Bill Hunt

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1 comment:

Lori said...

Bill, I love it...."You can't put God in a box" but we sure try at times don't we, when He gets a bit too uncomfortable for us! Lori