The Holy Spirit in Acts 17:11?

The following short segment comes from our upcoming book, The Holy Spirit in the Book of Acts.  Enjoy!

Acts 17:11

These [people of Berea] were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the Scriptures daily, whether these things were so.

Paul and Silas were both prophets, both spoke by inspiration of God, and Paul (perhaps Silas too) was able to perform miracles—all by the power of the Holy Spirit. Yet God takes a moment to praise the people of Berea because they weren’t content with a prophetic message; they weren’t content with an inspired message; they weren’t content with any miracles that Paul may have performed—they knew that the message had to match up with the Scriptures in order for it to be truly from God.

Prophets were temporary (Zechariah 13:2). Miracles (including inspiration) were temporary (I Corinthians 13:8-10). But God’s word remains forever (I Peter 1:23-25). The word of God is called “the sword [or the weapon] of the Spirit” (Ephesians 6:17). It is the word of God that is able to save the souls of men (James 1:21). Miracles can’t save souls—the word of God can.

The Holy Spirit, therefore, is active in every case of conversion from Pentecost through today—but His tool for converting the lost is the living and active word of God (Hebrews 4:12). The Holy Spirit is also active in guiding Christians ever since Pentecost in the very same way: through the Scripture which is able to make us perfect (II Timothy 3:16-17).

-Bradley Cobb

(NOTE: Today’s image is taken from the cover of a publication called Nobility, which is freely available from the Gravel Hill church of Christ website)

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