I’m in the middle of a series on the book of Acts and I really think the subtitle to this book – if the books in the Bible had subtitles – should be “A 28 Chapter Attempt To Explain The Person, Purpose, and Work of the Holy Spirit…And It Could Have Been Longer.”
Last week I used a wall made out of cardboard boxes to help illustrate the Spirit’s primary purpose – at least in how we see Him work in Acts. That is removing barriers to the spreading of the Gospel. Language, circumstances, fear, comfort, traditions, prejudice, pride – the Spirit empowers Christ-followers to overcome significant barriers that stood between people and Jesus.
The task this coming Sunday is to explain “HOW” He does that inside of Christ-followers.
Of course Acts 8 may just be one of the most confusing passages on the whole subject matter. Philip preaches to the Samaritans. They get healed and accept Jesus through baptism. Then John and Peter show up and lay hands on them and they “receive the Holy Spirit.” Then Simon the Sorcerer tries to get the power of laying of hands for himself. Peter basically tells him that he and his money can go to the hot place. (That’s the literal Greek translation, by the way.)
So…what confusion do we deal with first?
That’s what I’m in the middle of figuring out for Sunday.
But I’ll just go ahead and admit it right now – if the Holy Spirit is like the ocean, then our understanding of Him is about a thimble full.
Stay tuned. Or not.