Tuesday, December 8, 2009

“And some were persuaded” (Acts 28.24)

New Testament Challenge, Day 24 – Acts 23-28

Our reading today completes the Acts of the Apostles, sometimes known as the Gospel of Saint Luke, Part 2, following his own introduction. The completion of Acts reminds us that some will choose to follow Christ and others will not. This is not a point of logic since our knowledge of God is not based upon logic but revelation by the Holy Spirit.

The other day I took note of a statement made by someone that our salvation is based upon knowing God. This is true, but I don’t believe its truth is what was meant by the statement. In today’s terms we consider knowledge what we posses and can therefore act upon within our logic. What we know is what we read and choose to accept as fact. For example, we choose to accept as fact that George Washington was the first president of the United States. We believe this to be true because we read it in a history book and therefore we believe we know who the first president was. But, since we were not present at his inauguration nor at any function where he was presented as president, we take only of faith that in fact George Washington was the first president. This is knowledge as we have come to understand it in terms of science and history which carry the weight of empirical evidence.

Knowledge of God however isn’t based upon logic but revelation by God Himself to our hearts. The only way to know God is to be in communion with Him. Knowledge of God is an intimate connection and experience of His energies to the extent that He has allowed us to participate. To this end we know that Saint Paul had a physical encounter with the Lord on the road to Damascus and was called directly by Jesus Christ Himself as the Apostle to the Gentiles. (See Acts 9.15) When we share such an intimate relationship with God, Holy Communion – the unity of humanity and Divinity – we are emboldened by our Faith just as Paul was to defend Christ and preach His Gospel.

“Then Paul dwelt two whole years in his own rented house, and received all who came to him, preaching the kingdom of God and teaching the things which concern the Lord Jesus Christ with all confidence, no one forbidding him.” (Acts 28.31) This proves to me that Paul knew Jesus Christ.

We know Him too or at least we have an opportunity to know Him. As part of our New Testament Challenge to read the entire New Testament as preparation for Christmas we are having a daily encounter with His Word. On Sundays we are invited to partake of the Holy and Precious Body and Blood of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ to be in holy communion with the divinity of God in a real, yet mystical, way. We know God too….the question is, do we confess Him and preach about His kingdom?

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