Dr. Craig M. Jenkins, Pastor
Faith To Discern
Lesson 2 December 10, 2017
Discerning the Spirit’s Calling The first groups to discern what the Holy Spirit was calling them to do were the prophets and teachers. Prophets were inspired, and teachers were inspiring. Perhaps the Holy Spirit spoke audibly from Heaven or from some inward impulse of the believers. But it makes good contextual sense to believe that the Holy Spirit indicated his desire through one of the prophets or leaders mentioned.
The five people who discerned this missionary calling of the Spirit could not have been more diverse. There was a Levite from Cyprus, a black Jew from south of the Sahara in Africa, a Greek man from the northern part of Africa (Libya), a man of clout and means who grew up with royalty, and a rabbi steeped in Judaism and university trained. The calling of the Spirit took the first and last men in the list for missionary service.
The context for the Spirit’s call was worship (liturgy) and fasting (abstaining from food for some spiritual purpose). Missions were born from worship. The Holy Spirit set apart Barnabas and Saul for the work. Make no mistake about it. Church planting is work. Heaven had already called these two missionaries. The Spirit was now making it known, and the church was recognizing that call.
Discerning the Deceiver’s Opposition One thing is for sure—wherever the gospel goes, Satan will rear his ugly head and attempt to thwart its advance. In Acts 8 when the gospel went to Samaria there was Simon the sorcerer. In Acts 16 when the gospel went to Europe there was a slave girl who predicted the future by a spirit. In Acts 19 when the gospel went to all of Asia Minor there were the seven sons of Sceva. And in Acts 13 when the gospel went to Cyprus there was Elymas. He is identified as complete evil.
No matter the enemy’s deception, the gospel is victorious.
Based on Christian Standard Writings
Submitted by Donna Reed
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