It is profitable to observe how the apostles put into practice the principles already outlined about the importance of knowing the truth revealed by God. There is an interesting case in Acts 10 about a man called Cornelius. The record says that he was a devout man and one that feared God with all his house. He prayed to God always and gave much alms to the people. God sent Peter to find this man and his companions and preach to him the truth about Christ and his kingdom. When they had heard and believed they were baptized into the Saving Name of the Redeemer. Why it is so interesting is that Cornelius was such a good man in every way, fearing God, praying regularly and living faithfully and generously. But notwithstanding all this, he needed to know the truth and respond to it in order to be saved. By today’s standards many people would say he was good enough to start with, but the narrative proves that it did matter what he believed. He needed to know the truth so that he could respond in faith.
There is a significant case in Acts 8 which concerns a man who by today’s standards would be called a Bible reader and a regular churchgoer. He was an Ethiopian, returning to his homeland after worshipping at the temple in Jerusalem. He was sat in his chariot reading from Isaiah 53. An angel directed Philip to go to the Ethiopian and help him with his understanding of what he was reading. So Philip joined the man in his chariot and explained to him the truth about Jesus Christ. As they proceeded on the journey they came to some water and the Ethiopian asked to be baptized. Philip replied,
“If thou believest with all thine heart thou mayest”.
Once again it is emphasised that faith is essential in the process of conversion.
The third example has to do with Apollos, a man of considerable eloquence,
“mighty in the scriptures” (Acts 18:24),
said to have been instructed in the way of the Lord, fervent in the spirit. But the record makes it quite clear that more was needed. Two disciples, Aquila and Priscilla, took him and
“expounded unto him the way of God more perfectly”.
It was a matter of vital importance that he understood the way of God more perfectly.
So there it is — a devout man who prayed every day and lived a faithful life; a Bible reading man who worshipped God reverently; a man mighty in the scriptures who was fervent in spirit and preached diligently-in every case needing to be taught the truth more perfectly. None of these examples gives any support to the idea that religious people can please themselves about what they believe. On the contrary the evidence is that those who mean business about their religion should take care that the basis of their faith conforms faithfully with the teaching of the word of God. Saving faith is faith in that which is true. Any other kind is likely to prove abortive.
�One Bible, Many Churches.� Does it matter which one? In the final analysis the answer will depend upon what the questioner is seeking. If the quest is for friendship, or to satisfy the belief that one ought to worship somewhere — then the answer is No, it probably does not matter. The answer is Yes, however, if the quest is for eternal life, and a form of worship acceptable to God.
Next we shall look at the necessity to avoid friction and distraction in the Body of Christ.
Next: Avoiding friction and distraction in the body of Christ
- Concerning gospelfaith
- Epitome of the one faith
- Understanding what we read
- Matthew 12:9-21 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Is It Lawful to Cure on the Sabbath?
- Did the Disciples Have Any Faith in Jesus? (Mark 4:38) – Mondays with Mounce 326
- The centurion’s gospel – Ch5 – part 1
- The centurion’s gospel – Ch5 – part 3
- Sunday Morning 11/4: Peter Visited Cornelius
- Acts 11
- Peter and Cornelius in Ceasarea
- God Shows No Partiality
- Cornelius Sees an Angel
- Creating a gospel culture
- No Boundaries and No Discretion
- Acts 8
- Reading in Ethiopia …Acts 8
- A Window of Opportunity
- A Eunuch’s Legacy
- The Ethiopian Eunuch – Philip Preaches to a Stranger on a Lonely Road
- Gospel on the Desert Road
- Impact of obedience
- Living and Active
- “Do you understand what you are reading?” ~Philip
- Acts 8 – The Outsider and the Good News
- Be like Philip.
- Requirements/Responsibilities of Christians
- Pauline partisan Christianity
- Who Are We of?
- Core Church Members
- Bible Reflection: Jesus is the Christ
- Avoiding Distractions in the Church
- Jesus The Way (2)
- Knowledge is Not Enough
- God Raises Up Apollos. Acts 18:24-28. Part 3
- Believe Like Corinthians