Jesus Creed

Jesus Creed

Staying on one’s turf

Paul has undoubtedly heard of what God is doing through the gospel in other places, but his priestly offering that he can take pride in is the work he has done: “I have reason to boast of my work for God” (15:17). He says he will only speak of what Christ has accomplished “through me” to win Gentiles to faith in Jesus Messiah.
Paul sums up his ministry with this: “by word and deed, by the power of signs and wonders, by the power of the Spirit of God … I have fully proclaimed the good news of Christ” (15:18b-19).
Here is a good example of Paul’s ministry — among Gentiles — about which he is proud and about which he will tell (Acts 14:8-18):

8 In Lystra there sat a man who was lame. He had been that way from birth and had never walked. 9 He listened to Paul as he was speaking. Paul looked directly at him, saw that he had faith to be healed 10 and called out, “Stand up on your feet!” At that, the man jumped up and began to walk.
11 When the crowd saw what Paul had done, they shouted in the Lycaonian language, “The gods have come down to us in human form!” 12 Barnabas they called Zeus, and Paul they called Hermes because he was the chief speaker. 13 The priest of Zeus, whose temple was just outside the city, brought bulls and wreaths to the city gates because he and the crowd wanted to offer sacrifices to them.
14 But when the apostles Barnabas and Paul heard of this, they tore their clothes and rushed out into the crowd, shouting: 15 “Friends, why are you doing this? We too are only human, like you. We are bringing you good news, telling you to turn from these worthless things to the living God, who made heaven and earth and sea and everything in them. 16 In the past, he let all nations go their own way. 17 Yet he has not left himself without testimony: He has shown kindness by giving you rain from heaven and crops in their seasons; he provides you with plenty of food and fills your hearts with joy.” 18 Even with these words, they had difficulty keeping the crowd from sacrificing to them.

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Ted Gossard

posted October 18, 2006 at 3:52 am

I struggle some on the signs and wonders subject. I think it is especially appropriate in a missional context as here. Not in the way it seems to often be played out.
I do wonder if our missional work of the gospel ought to be accompanied more with signs and wonders that mark an apostolic ministry. So as to point people to Christ. I tend to think so. That this doesn’t just stop at authenticating Paul’s calling in Jesus. But goes to our calling in the world.
No matter what manifestations (or not) come, we are to be Christ’s presence in this world. And in doing that, to bring his gospel to it, in deeds and words. By the same Holy Spirit.

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Beyond Words

posted October 18, 2006 at 7:46 am

Yes,Ted. Please pray for me as I meet in a couple of hours with a dear woman friend who leads womens ministry at my church. I told her I need to pour out my heart to someone about this very thing–being Christ’s presence in the world. I’m very burdened for Christ’s church–not just my congregation. Pray that I’ll be humble and gracious and courageous to speak the things Holy Spirit it convicting me about.

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posted October 18, 2006 at 11:25 am

True – in deeds and in the power of God manifesting Himself through us, what an honor, what a privledge. “that I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, becoming conformed unto his death;” Philippians 3:10

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