Acts 11:27

The reference, in these verses, to "a great dearth throughout all the world" (ver. 28), and to the sending of relief by the disciples, according to their several ability, to the brethren in Judaea (ver. 29), may suggest to us thoughts concerning the provision which God has made for us in his Divine goodness and also in his Divine wisdom. We look at -

I. HIS PROVISION FOR OUR TEMPORAL WELL-BEING. The great multitudes of mankind, the hundreds of thousands of millions are fed, year after year, age after age; and many hundreds of millions more might be sustained if all the use were made that might be of the opportunities open to us. God, in his bounty, provides what we want in

(1) fruitful and extensive soil,

(2) multiplying set,

(3) agricultural knowledge (Isaiah 28:26),

(4) materials for implements of husbandry,

(5) all nourishing and ripening agencies.

II. HIS CONSIDERATION OF OUR PIETY. God gives us our bread, our maintenance, in such a way that we are almost compelled to acknowledge his hand in the harvest. Evidently we did not produce the soil nor make the seed; evidently we cannot cause it to fertilize and grow; evidently it is his sun that shines and his rain that falls on our fields. The ordinary processes as by which the seed is multiplied are such as direct our eyes to heaven. And often, in his wisdom, he holds his hand, he withdraws the sunshine or keeps back his clouds, he sends dearth as "in the days of Claudius Caesar" (ver. 28), and then men are constrained to remember that there is work being done in the soil and in the sky which they cannot control, and in regard to which they must look up to God the Giver of all, whose is the earth with its fullness, and ask of him, and plead with him, and, it may be, humble themselves before him.


1. Intellectual. God teaches us (Isaiah 28.), but he leaves much to be discovered by our own mental labor. Agriculture provides a very wide and a very noble field for observation, experiment, contrivance; it tasks and trains the mind.

2. Moral. We cannot secure our harvests without

(1) industry,

(2) combination,

(3) patience (James 5:7). The abundance, and indeed superabundance, of the earth's yield is such that

(4) there is enough for the supply of those engaged in other pursuits; hence there is room for all kinds of labor beside that of agriculture - for the pursuit of art, and for the teaching of religious truth and training in the religious life. Those who have received the bread of eternal life from the lips of others can furnish, as Antioch now supplied Jerusalem, the bread of this temporal life to those to whom they are under spiritual obligation. The abundance which prevails in some districts - and famine is never universal - gives the opportunity of

(5) showing practical kindness. On this occasion there was sufficient in Syria for its own need and for the distress in Judea, and the Christians of Antioch contributed to supply the wants of those at Jerusalem. We should:

(1) receive God's temporal mercies with the gratitude which belongs to piety;

(2) distribute of our abundance to those who have a claim on us, either on account of the spiritual favors they have conferred or in virtue of their special necessity. - C.

And in these days came prophets from Jerusalem unto Antioch.
1. The relation between the old Church at Jerusalem and the new at Antioch was that which St. Paul, writing under parallel circumstances, described in Romans 15:27 (cf. 2 Corinthians 9:12-15). It was a becoming acknowledgment of the vast debt under which all the world must lie to the Jew, but it was no repayment of it, when rich Antioch sent bread to starving Judaea. Jerusalem sent prophets, Antioch sent back corn. Agabus appears once again (Acts 21:10), and again as a predictor of disasters. This is the more noticeable that prediction was not the usual function of the prophetic order of the apostolic Church. They were men whom the Spirit had gifted with persuasive speech, and insight into truth. We have lost the name, but the thing remains.

2. The prediction of Agabus had a practical design. He foretold the dearth that the Church might act upon it, and on the hint they acted. The reign of Claudius was one of disaster; in the opening year it was Italy which suffered from the failure of crops; in the fourth, Palestine; in the eighth and ninth, Greece; in the eleventh, Italy again. It was to the second of these dearths that Agabus pointed which occurred in A.D. 45-46. We are here on sure chronological ground, and know that the want was so great that many were starved to death. A new convert to Judaism, the Queen of Adiabene, was so struck with the condition of things that she sent to Alexandria and Cyprus for supp Josephus tells us, contributed great sums of money to the same object.

3. On such occasions it was usual for the foreign synagogues to remit aid, as at this hour numbers of indigent Jews in Jerusalem are sustained by the charity of their European compatriots. The Church at Antioch, however, did not contribute through the synagogue, and in this separate assistance there is the first historical recognition of the fact that church and synagogue had parted company; that to be a Christian cut off a Jew from the charities of his own people; and that henceforth the tie of fellow Christian was to prove a stronger bond betwixt Jew and Gentile, than any other which bound Jew to Jew or Gentile to Gentile. A new force had entered into humanity, the name of Christian had already begun to dissolve ancient unities and to reconcile ancient feuds and to construct on the ruins of race hatreds a catholic society.

4. It is true to this day that Christianity plants in genuine Christian hearts a brotherhood which can cross the barriers of nationality. When the Reformation revived the primitive faith, the newly-formed Churches of Germany, Switzerland, England, etc., were brought into close and friendly relations. They exchanged famous teachers, sheltered one another's confessors, shared each other's fortune, and leagued their political influence for their common good. The Evangelical Churches of our own day have shown a similar readiness to succour feeble and struggling foreign congregations. If ever that decaying virtue called patriotism is to lose itself in a more cosmopolitan charity, it must be on a Christian, not on a socialistic, basis. It is sad to see the best hearts of Europe groping after the foundations of a new civil order in which all men shall be brothers while they cast off the name of One in whom alone the principles of love and freedom and authority meet. It is sadder still to see a Christian Church so rent by animosity that instead of demonstrating to distracted peoples where to find the true secret of brotherhood, it rather repels from Christ those who are most passionate for peace and fellowship. But when Jerusalem shall not envy Antioch nor Antioch vex Jerusalem, when Churches that are poor in this world are rich in faith, and those who are rich in this world are "ready to distribute," then will men learn that to be a Christian is to be free of a universal commonwealth whose citizens are all equal and all loving.

5. The Gentile Church made its gift more precious by sending it through its most honoured members. It is notable that just before we part with the mother Church, we hear for the first time of its being ruled by presbyters (ver. 30). This official name, the most venerable and Biblical of all ecclesiastical distinctions, frequently recurs, at first associated with apostles at Jerusalem, and afterwards with deacons or alone in the Churches of Ephesus, Crete, Philippi, etc.

(J. O. Dykes, D. D.)

I. THE WANT PREDICTED. The prophets' functions were two fold: to forth-tell, i.e., to utter the present truth in forceful and convincing language, and to foretell future events. The latter entered largely into Old Testament prophecy, rarely into the New. The office has survived, and the former and more important function is discharged by the Christian ministry; but what has become of the latter? That the future should be an utter blank, that the Church should live from hand to mouth, that Christians should be mere opportunists, is dead against the doctrine of the Divine presence in and leadership of the Church. What had become of Christianity, not only in great crises, but in its normal developments, if it had lacked "seers," "men who had understanding of the times to know what Israel ought to do"? Inspired prediction has ceased, and men can no longer tell with minute circumstantiality what a century may bring forth. But men are endowed with sagacity, prudent forethought, keen foresight, and in politics, business, etc., often make their calculations with the nicest accuracy, and lay plans which only extraordinary contingencies frustrate. It is this faculty that the great Head of the Church now consecrates and. employs — when the Church places them at His disposal which, alas, is not always the case. It is the duty of Christians to be on their watch tower and to look out for advantages, and not only within the citadel economising resources or strengthening fortifications, e.g., a town Church should anticipate the migration of the surrounding population to the suburbs, and make timely provision for future extension. If, however, it is content with its own immediate work, and with the supply of its present needs, it may find itself, as many a city Church has done, utterly stranded. Again, the home Church should ever keep its eye on emigration to our colonies. How many descendants of Christian people have grown up practically heathen from the neglect of this! Once more, as regards ecclesiastical buildings — churches, schools, etc. — there should always be room for expansion, or, lacking accommodation, adults or children will go elsewhere or go nowhere. Lastly, to recur to the text, how requisite it is that wise and timely provision should be made for the necessities of the poor. The poor we have always with us, and we know from bitter experience that their wants are augmented in winter. Yet we allow winter to come, and when the evil is on us, there is a terrible spasm of effort to collect money, hold sewing meetings, open soup kitchens, etc. How much better to make timely provision in the summer when resources are more ample, and when we might encourage the poor themselves to "put by for a rainy day."


1. In the spirit of brotherhood. "Disciples...brethren." They were people of different races, and the Christians at Antioch had been regarded with none too much of charity by the Church at Jerusalem. Tilts, however, was unnoticed. It was enough that "brethren" were in trouble, and "disciples" could relieve them. There were poor at Antioch no doubt; but Christians had not then learned to confine their benefactions to their own communities. How many rich Churches with few or no poor need this example!

2. Universally. "Every man" did something. It is an unhealthy state of things when contributions are confined to the more opulent of a congregation. Christians sadly need teaching the privilege as well as the duty of giving.

3. Conscientiously. "According to his ability."(1) Not according to some arbitrary rule. Tithing in many cases would be far more than the poor could afford, but far less than the rich.(2) Not according to mere inclination. This fluctuates, and at one time impels a man to be unjust to himself and at another unjust to others.(3) Not according to urgent solicitation. Agabus asked for nothing.(4) But according to ability at the time.

4. Delicately. "By the hands of Barnabas and Saul." A gift is enhanced by the medium through which it passes. If you cannot give yourself, see that your gifts are conveyed by those who will not make it disagreeable to receive them.

5. Wisely. To the elders of the Church, who best know the cases to be relieved, and can distribute economically and kindly.

(J. W. Burn.)

1. It is impossible for us to read this record without being struck with the spirit and devotion which stamped the character of Divinity upon the religion in connection with which it is shown. It was one of the remarks made by a heathen author in those days, "See how these Christians love one another." Men looked to their opinions, and could not accept them — to the peculiarities of their religion, and were offended by them. But there was an argument which these Christians could adduce, which an unbeliever could not impugn; it was a positive, practical, evident demonstration of the power of God.

2. The history is soon told. Light loves to radiate. For a long time Christian light was centred in Jerusalem, but there came a time when God chose to disperse that central light. Men, imbued with Christian faith and love, were scattered abroad; and among them were some who went as far as Antioch preaching the Word. Christianity is catholic; is also reflex in its operation: it is not one of those lights which fall upon a non-reflecting surface. It is intended that God should shine upon individuals, and that individuals in their turn should shine upon each other. "Let your light so shine before men," etc. Christian light had come from Jerusalem to Antioch, and these men of Antioch necessarily sought for some opportunity of showing their gratitude. They could not send them light, for this they had, perhaps, in a more perfect form than themselves. But they were rich, and the others were poor; for the Christians at Jerusalem had beggared themselves by their liberality in times past. And so, when the occasion arose, the men of Antioch made a bold and a noble determination that "every man, according to his ability, should send help to the saints in Judea." Not that they passed resolutions merely; nor that they went through that parody of benevolence that you find in public meetings, where you shall find men hold up their hands in accordance with some proposition that they never intend to carry out. The men of Antioch determined to do; and as they determined they did.

I. THE OCCASION WHICH PRODUCED THIS LIBERALITY. The destitution assumed two features —

1. It was predicted. There was no exhibition of harrowing details — no picture of widespread distress — held before the men of Antioch. It was a thing to be. Nevertheless, these men acted upon it as though it were, and prepared to meet it. What does this teach us?(1) The simplicity of their faith. They had nothing objective to look to which told them of the existence of distress. They looked, perhaps, at the state of the soil, at the state of the atmosphere, at the circumstances of times past; but there was nothing to create apprehension. All was quiet, except the voice of prediction; and God, who seeth not as man seeth, told them that the famine was coming. And what did they do? Other men might have stood by in silent expectation, or have derided the prediction, but these men took prophecy for fact. In these days, probably, when men walk by sight in place of by faith, they would have said, "Wait till the calamity comes." No, said these men; it has come. "Come where? There is no trace of it!" God has predicted it, and in the simplicity of their faith that was enough.(2) A positive refinement of benevolence. There is a certain vulgarity of benevolence. In these days we have to place before men a picture of calamity, to come down to statistics, to state the absolute startling facts. But these men looked not for facts. They were prepared to act upon the intimation, and they required no appeal to their feelings; they took the fact as given at their hands by God.

2. It was universal. The Jewish historian tells us, it was over the entire world, and that multitudes died on account of it, and therefore these men of Antioch were included in it. What might have happened then? They might have said, When that dark calamity falls, it will touch ourselves; we shall come to the time of high prices, of scant food, of short employment; let us therefore be wise now in the principles of political economy, and lay by for our own destitution. No. Notwithstanding that they themselves stood on the very threshold of the disaster, they passed a resolution which they carried out into action.


1. The smallest and lowest of the dictates of humanity. There are feelings within feelings, and circles within circles, and humanity is not the less practised because Christianity is received. You shall find it among heathen nations. It was one of the noblest sayings of antiquity, "I am a man, and hold nothing that concerns human kind to be strange to me." Those men of Antioch were men. They felt for others. It was not simply that the men at Jerusalem were Christians — they were men, and because they were men, it was in the first place that they determined to help them.

2. But there are principles not built upon the mere instinctive and natural feelings — a love to men, on account of their being brother Christians. The disciples determined to send relief to the brethren. These men had never looked upon each other face to face, nor exchanged a thought. What then? Sons of God in Jerusalem — sons of God in Antioch — members of the same family of Christ looked upon each other as brethren! We oftentimes ask ourselves the meaning of the expression, "The communion of saints." You have an exhibition of it here. Did not the men of Jerusalem feel, "We have sent light to Antioch"? And did not the men of Antioch feel, "We are going to return it after our poor fashion"? What is all that but communion? There is such a link in the natural world, where you shall see the loadstone drawing to it the particles of iron that approach to it, imparting the same quality to the particles which it touches, and thereby drawing these particles the one to the other. And it is the peculiarity of Christian truth, to bind believers the one to the other. Why? Because, first of all, they have been bound to Christ.

3. Gratitude. The very best of blessings which one people could confer upon another, had been by the men of Jerusalem conferred upon the men of Antioch. They had sent to them their spiritual things; it was no wonder that they should reap their carnal things.

4. The love that they bore to Christ, and which constrained them to love one another. And it is that principle, after all, that tells. "He that loveth God will love his brother also."

III. THE MODES IN WHICH THEIR BENEVOLENCE WAS MANIFESTED. We have oftentimes heard the charge of want of judgment brought against Christians. "They have all things but common sense." Now, look at the steps taken by the men of Antioch. The distribution of their charity was marked by three features.

1. Universality and proportion. "Every man" was expected to feel for the brethren, and to show that feeling by contributing according to his means. It was not one of those things which a certain class or section was to take upon them. Now, why need we adopt house-to-house visitation, but because there are multitudes in this world who are content to stand by, and to see others bear the burden, and push it from themselves. Eighteen hundred years ago, that was not the course taken by the men of Antioch. There was no working upon the passions of people and constraining them to give. It was a simple method of giving in proportion to means. The matter was thus left to each man's conscience to say what his ability was. Look at thy means. See whether, in the midst of thine affluence, comfort, and family expenditure, thou mayest not knock off something that is not absolutely necessary, and bring it to the rule of thine ability. Ask thyself not what thou wishest to do, not what thou mayest be seen to do, not what others are doing; but give in proportion to thy means. Is it not a righteous principle? — a principle recognised in Scripture. "Upon the first day of the week let everyone lay by according to his ability." Is it so? If so, then must you learn a lesson from these poor, enthusiastic Christians in Antioch.

2. Promptitude. They did not trust to second impressions, or to second suggestions; and wisely. Upon hearing of a great deal of distress, our first emotions are generous; our second emotions are narrowed. At first, there is a burst of feeling; we draw out our purses, and almost pour out their contents. Second thoughts however come; but these men of Antioch would not trust themselves to second thoughts. No, said they; we had better act at once, before the blessed influence has left us. They put it out of their own power — out of their own hands.

(Dean Boyd.)

Van Lennep tells us that among the Nestorian Christians dwelling in the fertile plain of Ooroomia, Persia, charity assumes an almost apostolic form; for it is their yearly practice to lay by a certain portion of their crops in order to supply the wants of their brethren living among the rugged mountains of Koordistan, whose food often fails them altogether, or is carried away by their more powerful enemies. Deeds of charity are highly extolled in the Koran, but the Mohammedans ignore these precepts, so the value of such acts by the Christians is more particularly felt where the rulers take no interest in works of public utility.

The Irish famine (1847) touched the hearts of outside and distant peoples to a sentiment of their common humanity which was never stirred in them before to such fine issues. In America this fellow feeling pervaded the whole population, North and South, black and white, bond and free. The very slaves in the South, at their rude cabin meals at night, thought and spoke of the hungry people somewhere beyond the sea, they knew not in what direction. And they came with their small gifts in their great hands, and laid them among the general contributions, each with a heart full of kindly feeling towards the suffering. Never was there such a rummaging in cellars, garrets, wardrobes, and granaries in the United States for things that would be comfortable to the hungry and needy. The barrels and bags of flour, wheat, and Indian corn, the butter, cheese, and bacon sent from the prairie farmers of the Western States, were marvellous for number and heartiness of contribution. From a thousand pulpits a thousand congregations of different creeds were invited to lend a hand to the general charity in a few earnest and feeling words about the Universal Fatherhood of God and the Universal Brotherhood of Men.

(Elihu Burritt.).

Agabus, Barnabas, Christians, Claudius, Cyprians, Cyrenians, Grecians, John, Peter, Saul, Simon, Stephen
Caesarea, Cyprus, Cyrene, Jerusalem, Joppa, Judea, Phoenicia, Syrian Antioch, Tarsus
Antioch, Jerusalem, Prophets
1. Peter, being accused for preaching to the Gentiles,
5. makes his defense;
18. which is accepted.
19. The gospel being spread in Phoenicia, and Cyprus, and Antioch,
22. Barnabas is sent to confirm them.
26. The disciples are first called Christians at Antioch.
27. They send relief to the brothers in Judea in time of famine.

Dictionary of Bible Themes
Acts 11:27

     5976   visiting
     7241   Jerusalem, significance

Acts 11:26-30

     7924   fellowship, in service

Acts 11:27-28

     1424   predictions
     1431   prophecy, OT methods
     1432   prophecy in NT

Acts 11:27-29

     4018   life, spiritual
     7773   prophets, role

Acts 11:27-30

     7025   church, unity
     7026   church, leadership
     8409   decision-making, and providence

April 27 Evening
A new name.--REV. 2:17. The disciples were called Christians first in Antioch.--Let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity.--They that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.--Ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's. God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world. For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision
Anonymous—Daily Light on the Daily Path

The Exhortation of Barnabas
[Footnote: Preached before the Congregational Union of England and Wales.] 'Who, when he came, and had seen the grace of God, was glad, and exhorted them all, that with purpose of heart they would cleave unto the Lord.'--ACTS xi. 23. The first purely heathen converts had been brought into the Church by the nameless men of Cyprus and Cyrene, private persons with no office or commission to preach, who, in simple obedience to the instincts of a Christian heart, leaped the barrier which seemed impassable
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture: The Acts

A Nickname Accepted
'The disciples were called Christians first in Antioch' --ACTS xi. 26. Nations and parties, both political and religious, very often call themselves by one name, and are known to the outside world by another. These outside names are generally given in contempt; and yet they sometimes manage to hit the very centre of the characteristics of the people on whom they are bestowed, and so by degrees get to be adopted by them, and worn as an honour. So it has been with the name 'Christian.' It was given
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture: The Acts

Peter's Apologia
'And the apostles and brethren that were in Judaea heard that the Gentiles had also received the word of God. 2. And when Peter was come up to Jerusalem, they that were of the circumcision contended with him, 3. Saying, Thou wentest in to men uncircumcised, and didst eat with them. 4. But Peter rehearsed the matter from the beginning, and expounded it by order unto them, saying, 5. I was in the city of Joppa praying: and in a trance I saw a vision, A certain vessel descend, as it had been a great
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture: The Acts

The First Preaching at Antioch
'And some of them were men of Cyprus and Cyrene, which, when they ware come to Antioch, spake unto the Grecians, preaching the Lord Jesus. 21. And the hand of the Lord was with them: and a great number believed, and turned unto the Lord.'--ACTS xi. 20, 21. Thus simply does the historian tell one of the greatest events in the history of the Church. How great it was will appear if we observe that the weight of authority among critics and commentators sees here an extension of the message of salvation
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture: The Acts

Repentance unto Life
By "Repentance unto life," I think we are to understand that repentance which is accompanied by spiritual life in the soul, and ensures eternal life to every one who possesses it. "Repentance unto life," I say, brings with it spiritual life, or rather, is the first consequent thereof. There are repentances which are not signs of life, except of natural life, because they are only effected by the power of the conscience and the voice of nature speaking in men; but the repentance here spoken of is
Charles Haddon Spurgeon—Spurgeon's Sermons Volume 1: 1855

Completion Op the Fifth Continental Journey.
1849-50. The disorganized state of Germany presented a serious obstacle to John and Martha Yeardley's resuming their labors on the Continent. FROM JOHN YEARDLEY TO JOHN KITCHING. Scarborough, 6 mo. 23, 1849. We spent two days at Malton with our dear friends Ann and Esther Priestman, in their delightful new abode on the bank of the river: we were comforted in being at meeting with them on First-day. On Second-day we came to Scarborough, and soon procured two rooms near our own former residence. The
John Yeardley—Memoir and Diary of John Yeardley, Minister of the Gospel

From the Ascension to the Church at Antioch.
Acts Chs. 1-12. The Book of Acts. The book of Acts is the only purely historical book of the New Testament. It is as a continuation of the gospel of Luke. It follows the fortunes of the infant church and gives us all the light we have in regard to its further organization and development, but it does not claim to be a complete history of the work of the early church. As a history it is as remarkable for what it omits as for what it narrates. The central theme is the triumph and progress of the gospel
Josiah Blake Tidwell—The Bible Period by Period

Then has God also to the Gentiles granted repentance unto life.' Acts 11: 18. Repentance seems to be a bitter pill to take, but it is to purge out the bad humour of sin. By some Antinomian spirits it is cried down as a legal doctrine; but Christ himself preached it. From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent,' &c. Matt 4: 17. In his last farewell, when he was ascending to heaven, he commanded that Repentance should be preached in his name.' Luke 24: 47. Repentance is a pure gospel grace.
Thomas Watson—The Ten Commandments

Some Associated Questions
A BRIEF reference to some of the other difficulties, which have been found in Luke's references to matters of contemporary history, will form a fitting conclusion to this study. In some cases all that is wanted to solve the difficulty is proper understanding of Luke's words. That, for example, is the case with Acts 11:28, where the statement, that in the days of Claudius there was famine over all the world, has been misinterpreted to imply that harvests failed and a famine ensued in every part of
Sir William Mitchell Ramsay—Was Christ Born in Bethlehem?

What God Hath Cleansed
'There was a certain man in Caesarea called Cornelius, a centurion of the band called the Italian band, 2. A devout man, and one that feared God with all his house, which gave much alms to the people, and prayed to God alway. 3. He saw in a vision evidently about the ninth hour of the day an angel of God coming in to him, and saying unto him, Cornelius. 4. And when he looked on him, he was afraid, and said, What is it, Lord? And he said unto him, Thy prayers and thine alms are come up for a memorial
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture: The Acts

The Breaking Out of Discord
'And certain men which came down from Judaea taught the brethren, and said, Except ye be circumcised after the manner of Moses, ye cannot be saved. 2. When therefore Paul and Barnabas had no small dissension and disputation with them, they determined that Paul and Barnabas, and certain other of them, should go up to Jerusalem unto the apostles and elders about this question. 3. And being brought on their way by the church, they passed through Phenice and Samaria, declaring the conversion of the Gentiles:
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture: The Acts

Rome Protects Paul
'And it came to pass, that, when I was come again to Jerusalem, even while I prayed in the Temple, I was in a trance; 18. And saw Him saying unto me, Make haste, and get thee quickly out of Jerusalem: for they will not receive thy testimony concerning Me. 19. And I said, Lord, they know that I imprisoned and beat in every synagogue them that believed on Thee: 20. And when the blood of Thy martyr Stephen was shed, I also was standing by, and consenting unto his death, and kept the raiment of them
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture: The Acts

Knowledge and Obedience.
"For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; that ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God; strengthened with all might, according to His glorious power, unto all patience and long-suffering with joyfulness; giving thanks unto the Father."--COL. i. 9-12. The Epistles
W. H. Griffith Thomas—The Prayers of St. Paul

Other New Testament Names for "Being Filled with the Spirit. "
That we may see how full the New Testament is of this blessing, and that we may the better understand what it is and how it is obtained, let us just glance at some other terms used by the Holy Ghost when speaking of it. 1. "Baptized with the Holy Ghost." "Ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence" (Acts i. 5). See also Acts xi. 16, Matt. iii. 11, Mark i. 8, Luke iii. 16, John i. 33. Now, though "baptized" and "filled" are sometimes convertible terms, it is instructive to note
John MacNeil—The Spirit-Filled Life

Lucas, Evangelii el medicinae munera pandens; Artibus hinc, illinc religione, valet: Utilis ille labor, per quem vixere tot aegri; Utilior, per quem tot didicere mori!" Critical and Biographical Schleiermacher: Ueber die Schriften des Lukas. Berlin, 1817. Reprinted in the second vol. of his Sämmtliche Werke, Berlin, 1836 (pp. 1-220). Translated by Bishop Thirlwall, London, 1825. James Smith (of Jordanhill, d. 1867): Dissertation on the Life and Writings of St. Luke, prefixed to his Voyage and
Philip Schaff—History of the Christian Church, Volume I

For if they be Urged from the Gospel that they Should Put Nothing By...
31. For if they be urged from the Gospel that they should put nothing by for the morrow, they most rightly answer, "Why then had the Lord Himself a bag in which to put by the money which was collected? [2572] Why so long time beforehand, on occasion of impending famine, were supplies of corn sent to the holy fathers? [2573] Why did Apostles in such wise provide things necessary for the indigence of saints lest there should be lack thereafter, that most blessed Paul should thus write to the Corinthians
St. Augustine—Of the Work of Monks.

As it Is, However, They, against the Apostle of Christ...
27. As it is, however, they, against the Apostle of Christ, recite a Gospel of Christ. For so marvellous are the works of the sluggards, hindered that they want to have that very thing by Gospel, which the Apostle enjoined and did on purpose that the Gospel itself should not be hindered. And yet, if from the very words of the Gospel we should compel them to live agreeably with their way of understanding it, they will be the first to endeavor to persuade us how they are not to be understood so as
St. Augustine—Of the Work of Monks.

Whether Chrism is a Fitting Matter for this Sacrament?
Objection 1: It seems that chrism is not a fitting matter for this sacrament. For this sacrament, as stated above (A[1], ad 1), was instituted by Christ when He promised His disciples the Holy Ghost. But He sent them the Holy Ghost without their being anointed with chrism. Moreover, the apostles themselves bestowed this sacrament without chrism, by the mere imposition of hands: for it is written (Acts 8:17) that the apostles "laid their hands upon" those who were baptized, "and they received the
Saint Thomas Aquinas—Summa Theologica

How Does it Come?
How does the Filling of the Spirit come? "Does it come once for all? or is it always coming, as it were?" was a question addressed to me once by a young candidate for the Baptism of the Holy Ghost. There are many asking the same question. We have considered how the Fullness is obtained, but now we proceed to consider, How does the Fullness come? In speaking of the blessing of being filled with the Spirit, the New Testament writers use three tenses in the Greek--the Aorist, the Imperfect, and the
John MacNeil—The Spirit-Filled Life

The Ministry of Angels.
1 High on a hill of dazzling light, The King of Glory spreads his seat, And troops of angels stretch'd for flight, Stand waiting round his awful feet. 2 "Go," saith the Lord, "my Gabriel go, "Salute the virgin's fruitful womb,[1] "Make haste, ye cherubs, down below, Sing and proclaim the Saviour come." 3 Here a bright squadron leaves the skies, And thick around Elisha stands;[2] Anon a heavenly soldier flies, And breaks the chains from Peter's hands.[3] 4 Thy winged troops, O God of hosts, Wait on
Isaac Watts—Hymns and Spiritual Songs

As That, "Take no Thought for the Morrow...
29. As that, "Take no thought for the morrow," and, "Take therefore no thought what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink, or what ye shall put on." [2344] Now when we see that the Lord Himself had a bag in which was put what was given, [2345] that it might be kept for necessary uses as the time should require; and that the Apostles themselves made much provision for the indigence of the brethren, not only for the morrow, but even for the more protracted time of impending dearth, as we read in the
St. Augustine—On Lying

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