Posted by: Bill Hornbeck | October 29, 2019

“amazed at the teaching of the Lord.”

Today’s devotion comes from Acts 13:4-12.

“So, being sent out by the Holy Spirit, they went down to Seleucia and from there they sailed to Cyprus.  When they reached Salamis, they began to proclaim the word of God in the synagogues of the Jews;  and they also had John as their helper.  When they had gone through the whole island as far as Paphos, they found a magician, a Jewish false prophet whose name was Bar-Jesus, who was with the proconsul, Sergius Paulus, a man of intelligence.  This man summoned Barnabas and Saul and sought to hear the word of God.  But Elymas the magician (for so his name is translated) was opposing them, seeking to turn the proconsul away from the faith.  But Saul, who was also known as Paul, filled with the Holy Spirit, fixed his gaze on him, and said, “You who are full of all deceit and fraud, you son of the devil, you enemy of all righteousness, will you not cease to make crooked the straight ways of the Lord?  Now, behold, the hand of the Lord is upon you, and you will be blind and not see the sun for a time.”  And immediately a mist and a darkness fell upon him, and he went about seeking those who would lead him by the hand.  Then the proconsul believed when he saw what had happened, being amazed at the teaching of the Lord.”  Acts 13:4-12.

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We thought the procounsul would be amazed at what had happened to Elymas the magician.  But, we read that the procounsel was “amazed at the teaching of the Lord.”

Other doctrine presents preaching and teaching based on the eloquence of the preacher or teacher with the help of the magic of loud repetitive praise music and light show.

But, Reformed Doctrine presents preaching and teaching based on the power of God and His Word.  

Other doctrine seeks the alleged free-will response of man.

But, Reformed Doctrine trusts the sovereign will initiative of God.

“But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.”  Ephesians 2:4-7.

“Article 12.  And this is the regeneration so highly celebrated in Scripture, and denominated a new creation:  a resurrection from the dead, a making alive, which God works in us without our aid.  But this is in no wise effected merely by the external preaching of the gospel, by moral suasion, or such a mode of operation, that after God has performed his part, it still remains in the power of man to be regenerated or not, to be converted, or to continue unconverted;  but it is evidently a supernatural work, most powerful, and at the same time most delightful, astonishing, mysterious, and ineffable;  not inferior in efficacy to creation, or the resurrection from the dead, …”  THIRD AND FOURTH HEADS OF DOCTRINE Of the Corruption of Man, His Conversion to God, and the Manner Thereof of Canons of Dordt.

The power of God and His Word and His sovereign will initiative are indeed amazing!

“And when I came to you, brethren, I did not come with superiority of speech or of wisdom, proclaiming to you the testimony of God.  For I determined to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ, and Him crucified.  I was with you in weakness and in fear and in much trembling, and my message and my preaching were not in persuasive words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, so that your faith would not rest on the wisdom of men, but on the power of God.”  1 Corinthians 2:1-5.


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