9th June 2019

Surprised by the Holy Spirit

“The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it, but cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes…”
John 3:8 (NKJV)

Though the Spirit is always at work in the world, we often don’t recognise what he is doing until after the fact. In Acts 15, Luke tells of the church council where there was “much discussion” about what should be required of Gentile converts. However long the discussion lasted, at some point Simon Peter testified that the Gentiles had heard the gospel and that by grace, through faith (not works of the Law) they had been converted (Acts 15:6-11).

The backstory is that in Acts 10, Luke tells how the Spirit had given Peter a vision to convince him that God truly was including Gentiles in the body of Christ. Obedient to the message of the vision, Peter baptised the centurion Cornelius, along with those within his household (Acts 10:27, 47-48). Acts 10 makes it clear that the Holy Spirit had moved with power to transform Peter’s thinking concerning a particularly controversial issue. He did so cleverly, using the Old Testament custom of distinguishing between clean and unclean meats, to show Peter that what God had declared clean, no person was to consider impure. To emphasize this point, the Spirit gave Peter the vision three times (Acts 10:9-16). Like us, Peter was prone to miss God’s point the first time (and maybe the second as well!).

Though what the Holy Spirit did at this foundational point in church history is in many ways unique, the Spirit has continued moving with power down the centuries to transform the church. In GCI, we’ve seen his transforming presence and power at work “up close and personal” as just recently, the Spirit showed us that we need to make significant changes to our global denominational structure. With many of our leaders retiring and other leadership transitions occurring, we need a leadership structure that better matches our resources to the needs of our churches and pastors around the world. For me, the primary experiences I take away of this past year is this: Within GCI, our amazing Triune God has been preparing and calling leaders for a time such as this. I have high hopes for how our new structure will function. I truly believe that our best days lie ahead.

Holy Father, thank you for the ever presence with us of the Holy Spirit. He, according to your will, leads us, and prepares us for what you have in mind for us to do. Help us to continue to respond to his guidance so that the work you are conducting may continue to flourish and produce fruit for your soon-coming kingdom. In Jesus’ name we pray.

Study by Greg Williams

About the Presenter:
The Day by Day each Sunday is taken from ‘Speaking of Life,’ ( https://www.gci.org/videos/media-speaking-of-life/), a public resource video on the USA website of Grace Communion International. Greg Williams is President of Grace Communion International and lives in North Carolina, USA.

Local Congregation:
You are welcome to attend one of our local Church congregations located throughout the UK and Ireland. For details of your nearest local congregation, check on our website, www.gracecom.church under the ‘Churches’ tab, or ring +44 (0)1858 437099.

Email: admin@daybyday.org.uk

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