CHARACTER STUDY: PAUL 9

KEY SCRIPTURE: Acts 13:8 ” But Elymas the sorcerer (for so is his name by interpretation) withstood them, seeking to turn away the deputy from the faith.”

(Read Acts 13:6-12

Apostle Paul and Barnabas were invited by the deputy governor of Paphos, called Sergius Paulus a prudent or wise man to share the gospel with him.

When they got to him, they found one Bar-Jesus which means son of Jesus (in Hebrew) , a false prophet or a sorcerer with him .This man  opposed the gospel.

Satan has many ways he uses to oppose the gospel. In this instant he used this false prophet who tried to confuse the deputy governor from accepting the message. Satan may oppose the gospel by scandalising about the men who preach the gospel. He may oppose the gospel by raising financial challenges to limit the easiness with which the gospel is propagated. Satan can also do so by raising certain false prophets whose practices become a great hindrance for people to reject the gospel. Another subtle way to oppose the gospel is when he attacks a man advancing the gospel with a kind of deadly disease that makes him or her unable to project the gospel as a strong person would do. He can also use an unrest in the nation to hinder the gospel.

How did Apostle Paul stop this satanic orchestrated plan to hinder the gospel? Acts 13:9 says “Then Saul (who also is called Paul) filled with the Holy Ghost set his eyes on Him”. Paul rebuked him and pronounced God’s judgement on him which happened instantly thereby erasing that negative impact on the proconsul. Elymas or the false prophet became blind instantly.

The bible said Paul was full of the Spirit, out of whom he spoke to stop that opposition. What does it mean to be full of the Holy Spirit? The following scriptures will assist us to know what it is like, to be full of the Spirit. Acts 6:5 speaking about Stephen, describes him as full of faith and full of the Holy Spirit. Acts 11:24 also speaking about Barnabas said, he was full of the Holy Spirit and faith. These scriptures and others reveal a relationship between being full of faith and being full of the Holy Spirit. They always go together. We can say Apostle Paul was full of the Holy Spirit and also full of faith. He silenced the opposition by an act of faith. He spoke in faith against the opposing person or situation. The main answer to various oppositions to the advancement of the gospel is a bold step of FAITH.  It may be applied in various forms; for example, through prevailing prayer Faith is the victory that overcomes the world. (1st John 5:4). To be full of the Holy Spirit is to be full of faith.

It is the fullness of the Holy Spirit in us that makes us overcome. Let the Spirit have you totally by deciding to act on the word of God always. This is what faith is all about. Act in faith and stop Satan’s resistance to the gospel.

 CONFESSION

I am submitted to the word of God. I act on the word which allows the Spirit to have His way in me making me full of Him. I obtain great results by acting on the word.

FURTHER STUDIES.

Hebrews 11:33-34 ” Who through faith subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, Quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, waxed valiant in fight, turned to flight the armies of the aliens.”

1 John 5:4 ” For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.”

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