Alex Kremer 10-16-2022 // A Kindred Spirit, A Closed Door, and a Softened Heart
During the Jerusalem Council recorded in Acts 15, the early church affirmed that salvation did not depend upon adherence to the Mosaic Law, but solely upon accepting, by faith, the grace shown to all through the atoning work of Christ on the cross. Anything else only served to add burden to believers.
Following this Council, Paul set out to revisit the churches established during his first missionary journey in order to encourage and strengthen these churches. He also planned to enter into Asia to bring the Good News of this Gospel message to more people.
It is here, in Acts 16, where Paul first encounters Timothy, the son of a Jewish woman who believed the Gospel, and a Greek man. A young man of high character, Paul brought Timothy along on the journey; finding in him a kindred spirit for the work of the Gospel. But despite Paul's intentions, the Holy Spirit had other plans, closing doors to bring Paul into the European continent.
In today's passage, we see the importance of close bonds with those of like faith, of passing down the Gospel to future generations and the wisdom in setting aside our own preferences and liberties for the sake of the Gospel. We learn that God is the ultimate missions director, closing doors we sought to open while opening doors we may have never considered. And finally, we learn that it is God who changes the heart. And while our words are not what brings salvation, the Holy Spirit honors us with using us to reach the lost.
Thank you for listening to today's lesson. May you be encouraged and blessed through the teaching of God's Holy Word.