Posted by: Bill Hornbeck | November 18, 2019

“be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs”

Today’s devotion comes from Acts 16:19-26.

“But when her masters saw that their hope of profit was gone, they seized Paul and Silas and dragged them into the market place before the authorities, and when they had brought them to the chief magistrates, they said, “These men are throwing our city into confusion, being Jews, and are proclaiming customs which it is not lawful for us to accept or to observe, being Romans.”

The crowd rose up together against them, and the chief magistrates tore their robes off them and proceeded to order them to be beaten with rods.  When they had struck them with many blows, they threw them into prison, commanding the jailer to guard them securely;  and he, having received such a command, threw them into the inner prison and fastened their feet in the stocks.

But about midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns of praise to God, and the prisoners were listening to them;  and suddenly there came a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison house were shaken;  and immediately all the doors were opened and everyone’s chains were unfastened.”  Acts 16:19-26.

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Encouraged by other doctrine, we tend to isolate man from God.  We focus on man and his wisdom and his alleged free-will and ask:  “What will man do?

But when we are captivated by Reformed Doctrine, we never think of man apart from God.  We focus on God and what He provides to man.  We ask:  “What will God do?

Other doctrine thinks:  “Oh no!  The crowd is out of control.  What will Paul and Silas do?  They should be strong and endure the beatings.”  Other doctrine is bewildered by how Paul and Silas could pray and sing hymns of praise to God.

Other doctrine thinks that God only enters the scene when God causes an earthquake.  So to speak, other doctrine does not see the semi-colon (the connection as compared to a period) between Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns of praise to God and the great earthquake.

In summary, we can only be strong and endure and pray and sing hymns and praise God as we should do when we are filled with the Spirit.  We should never isolate ourselves from God to try to prove ourselves.  We are always in Christ, and Christ is always in us.  “For through the Law I died to the Law, so that I might live to God.  I have been crucified with Christ;  and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me;  and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me.  I do not nullify the grace of God, for if righteousness comes through the Law, then Christ died needlessly.”  Galatians 2:19-21.

“And do not get drunk with wine, for that is dissipation, but be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody with your heart to the Lord;  always giving thanks for all things in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God, even the Father;  and be subject to one another in the fear of Christ.”  Ephesians 5:18-21.


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