After some time had passed, the Jews plotted to kill I’m, but their plot became known to Saul. They were watching the gates day and night so that they might kill him; but His disciples too him by night and let him down through an opening in the wall, lowering him in a basket. When he had come to Jerusalem, he attempted to join the disciples, and they were all afraid of him, for they did not believe that he was a disciple. Acts 9:23-26
Saul leaves Damascus by the believer’s putting him into a merchandise basket and lowering him down the walls to avoid the plotting Jews wanting to catch him and kill him. Three years later he comes to Jerusalem for a first visit (Gal. 1:15) so Saul’s time with the Christians in Damascus has entailed solidifying friendships in Christ, fueled by the Holy Spirit preaching in the synagogue, listening and learning from Jesus, and heartfelt conviction to his purpose to preach to the Gentiles the victory of Christ’s love.
Were you to set a three year goal to prepare for the purpose in Christ what would you choose? Immersion and learning of the Scriptures, forming Christian oneness in community with Christ’s loving acceptance as foundation, discovering the depth of trusting our Lord to strengthen you in faith to go forward each day, or would it be all of these and added to these the practice of solitary and community prayer that is like the rudder on a boat. Trust in Christ as you are readied for something next.
Then they returned to Jerusalem from the mount called Olivet, which is near Jerusalem, a sabbath day’s journey away. When they had entered the city, they went to the room upstairs where they were staying… Acts 1:12-13
A little more than a half mile away from Jerusalem is Olivet, the Mount of Olives. Why does Dr. Luke write, ‘a sabbath day’s journey away’ when this distance may be walked in less than an hour? He crafts wording this way because there were several hundred thousand people camping outside of the city during Passover. Jesus was crucified on Passover and appeared to believers for 40 days after His Resurrection— Luke (author of Acts) is reminding us of this Holy time and our Passover Lamb Jesus.
After 40 days Jesus Christ ascends into heaven and two angels speak with the disciples to say how Christ will return to us from the throne of heaven. Then the 11 men disciples and the 7 women disciples return to the comforting Holiness of the upstairs room and there they pray in oneness, praise, and waiting.
Believers will never have this particular time of waiting again. This is a one-time event in all of history. Christ gives us the Holy Spirit at the first Pentecost then all the blessings from His Promise Of The Spirit flow continually into believers who say, “In the Name of Jesus Christ, come Holy Spirit. Thank you Jesus for anointing me with your Spirit of Truth.” The Holy Spirit is what makes us Christ’s Kingdom on earth, with our hearts joined in Christ’s love for us.
Welcome those who are weak in faith, but not for the purpose of quarreling over opinions. Romans 14:1
Pick your quarrels carefully. and use gentle words instead of harsh, cutting, and cruel. You are helping the weak into the consecrated life. Time is on your side. Patience is your advantage. Refuse to get discouraged. Be certain that our Lord does not put all the responsibility for maturing the weak one’s spirituality all on you– He orchestrates other believers too.
Paul defines those weak in faith– they use the world’s ethics as a life template in lieu of immersion in Christ. The choice to rely on the Holy Spirit’s guidance in the heart and the conscience within the weak believer is like the ebb and flow of a river– sometimes there is a rapid flowing interest in staying in the Way of Christ and other times there is a pooling of fall-back onto stagnant former ways.
Those who are weak in faith need Good News teachings as they grow to maturity as Christians. Choose the times in which you speak up for Christ. When a quarrel erupts it may be over opinions and not core Christianity and if so then give up, back away, and rest if the quarrel is about options.
Trust God’s plan for those who are weak in the faith– His plan of sanctification; the maturing of faith through faith’s testing and endurance. As you understand your process of sanctification so you will understand that of the weak.
You are not in the flesh, you are in the Spirit; since the Spirit of God dwells in you. Romans 8:9
Notice how Paul uses these words interchangeably– The Spirit, the Spirit of God, the Spirit of Christ. Christ ‘dwells’ within your soul and His Presence within you is Spirit. Because of Christ Resurrected, there is a new community of faith where Christ is alive within us as believers. Awesome.
Live boldly Christian. Unselfishly and using Christ’s compassion, act as Christ acts, speak as Christ speaks, and love as Christ loves. Show mercy and forgiveness without hesitation and reject disappointment. Jesus instructs you to shake the dust off of your shoes when you come to others in the name of Christ and they will not accept you; walk on; continue on solidly of Christ.