Posted by: Bill Hornbeck | October 9, 2019

“So the church … enjoyed peace, being built up;  and going on in the fear of the Lord and in the comfort of the Holy Spirit”

Today’s devotion comes from Acts 9:26-31.

“When many days had elapsed, the Jews plotted together to do away with him, but their plot became known to Saul.  They were also watching the gates day and night so that they might put him to death;  but his disciples took him by night and let him down through an opening in the wall, lowering him in a large basket.

When he came to Jerusalem, he was trying to associate with the disciples;  but they were all afraid of him, not believing that he was a disciple.  But Barnabas took hold of him and brought him to the apostles and described to them how he had seen the Lord on the road, and that He had talked to him, and how at Damascus he had spoken out boldly in the name of Jesus.  And he was with them, moving about freely in Jerusalem, speaking out boldly in the name of the Lord.  And he was talking and arguing with the Hellenistic Jews;  but they were attempting to put him to death.  But when the brethren learned of it, they brought him down to Caesarea and sent him away to Tarsus.

So the church throughout all Judea and Galilee and Samaria enjoyed peace, being built up;  and going on in the fear of the Lord and in the comfort of the Holy Spirit, it continued to increase.”  Acts 9:26-31.

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At first reading, this last verse, verse 31, seems out of place, a non sequitur.  After we read about all the plots, persecution, distrust, and sending away of Saul, it does not logically follow:  “So the church throughout all Judea and Galilee and Samaria enjoyed peace, being built up;  and going on in the fear of the Lord and in the comfort of the Holy Spirit, it continued to increase.”  Verse 31.

But, our Sovereign Triune God is at work!

God the Father causes us to fear Him.

“So they will fear the name of the LORD from the west …”  Isaiah 59:19.

God the Son builds His church.

“…  I will build My church;  and the gates of Hades will not overpower it.”  Matthew 16:18.

God the Son gives us peace.

“Peace I leave with you;  My peace I give to you;  not as the world gives do I give to you.  Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful.”  John 14:27.

God the Spirit is our Comforter.

“I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever; ”  John 14:16.

Likewise, our lives may be filled with trials, troubles, and tribulations, but we also can experience and enjoy “peace, being built up;  and going on in the fear of the Lord and in the comfort of the Holy Spirit”.

Reformed Doctrine preaches and teaches that God provides all that we need for salvation from beginning to end:  from the beginning of “Unconditional Election” through “Limited Atonement” through “Irresistible Grace” to the end of “Preservation of the Saints”, the “U”, “L”, “I”, and “P” of “TULIP”, the Five Points of Calvinism, the Reformed Doctrine of Salvation, as more fully set forth in the Canons of Dordt.

Reformed Doctrine provides comfort.

Q. 1.  What is thy only comfort in life and death?

A.  That I with body and soul, both in life and death, am not my own, but belong unto my faithful Savior Jesus Christ;  who, with His precious blood, hath fully satisfied for all my sins, and delivered me from all the power of the devil;  and so preserves me that without the will of my heavenly Father, not a hair can fall from my head;  yea, that all things must be subservient to my salvation, and therefore, by His Holy Spirit, He also assures me of eternal life, and makes me sincerely willing and ready, henceforth, to live unto Him.  Heidelberg Catechism.

Reformed Doctrine preaches and teaches how great God is and how great are His works.

“3 Great is the LORD, and highly to be praised,
And His greatness is unsearchable.
4 One generation shall praise Your works to another,
And shall declare Your mighty acts.
5 On the glorious splendor of Your majesty
And on Your wonderful works, I will meditate.
6 Men shall speak of the power of Your awesome acts,
And I will tell of Your greatness.
7 They shall eagerly utter the memory of Your abundant goodness
And will shout joyfully of Your righteousness.”  Psalm 145:3-7.


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