每日诗歌: 聖靈之歌 (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xJuUMN9vMPs)
Job 31 [Read]
Job 32 [Read]
Acts 13:1-23 [Read]
The book of Acts is also called the Acts of Holy Spirit, emphasizing the Spirit’s deep involvement in the establishment and expansion of the young Church. This is also why the term “Spirit” occurred 70 times in this book alone, more than any other books. Therefore, studying Acts should help us understand how the Holy Spirit acts in our lives.
Today’s NT reading gives an excellent example of how he works. The church of Antioch was quickly becoming a center of the growing movement of Christianity, and they were blessed with several prophets and teachers (13:1). While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit spoke to them (13:2). Who were “they” in this case? Though most people assumed it to be the five mentioned in 13:1, it was really not very clear. It could also be the whole church. Either way, we will naturally wonder how the Holy Spirit spoke. Was it audible or was it through the Scripture or was it through one of the prophets? We really don’t know, but it’s clear that “they” all got the same message.
Hence, “after they had fasted and prayed, they placed their hands on them and sent them off” (13:3). It’s clear that Paul and Barnabas were the ones being sent, but it’s not clear who fasted and prayed. Were “they” the five excluding Paul and Barnabas or the whole church? It seems reasonable to assume “they” here is the same as that in 13:2. In other words, they who heard the Spirit spoke also sent out the missionaries. Based on 14:26-27, “they” likely referred to the church of Antioch as a whole, because they were the ones Paul and Barnabas “reported all that God had done through them” (14:27). But in God’s view, Paul and Barnabas were “sent on their way by the Holy Spirit” (13:4).
When I put this episode alongside Acts 6 and 15, which involved the other two major endeavors driven by the Holy Spirit, I have to conclude as this. When God wants to move his people to do his work, the Holy Spirit will work through his church to accomplish it. All will amen the work. Furthermore, such consensus is a result of listening to the Holy Spirit through worshiping and fasting (13:2) and of confirming it with prayer and fasting (13:3). Such earnest pursuit of God’s will pleases God, and it also guards against the attack from Satan. God’s work can only be done by God’s way.
Keep on reading,