When God is at work moving someone along toward saving faith in Christ, there is a good process that takes place in their mind, heart, and life. If you recall, the Ethiopian man was exploring in his mind who the man was that the Isaiah passage spoke of. Having been to Jersualem, he most certainly had heard about Jesus. God was definitely at work helping with the connecting of the dots in the man's mind regarding Jesus Christ. It is as if he is longing for the guidance of Philip who God wonderfully makes available to him. You can imagine him taking in every word and how everything comes together in his mind. We will look at God's work in his heart tomorrow and his life on Friday. Today, it is the work God is doing in his mind that we want to get a handle on.
Then Philip said, “If you believe with all your heart, you may.” And he answered and said, “I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.” Acts 8:37 (NKJV)
Philip's words, "If you believe" are connected to the heart in our passage, but most certainly belief begins in the mind. This man comes to understand in his mind who Jesus is and accepts as true the claims regarding who Christ is. Our 1 Corinthian 15 passage summarizes these claims well.
I passed on to you what was most important and what had also been passed on to me. Christ died for our sins, just as the Scriptures said. He was buried, and he was raised from the dead on the third day, just as the Scriptures said. He was seen by Peter and then by the Twelve. After that, he was seen by more than 500 of his followers at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have died. 1 Corinthians 15:3-6
The Ethiopian man believes that Jesus is who he claimed to be. He is the Christ, the Son of God, who was crucified, buried, and raised from the dead. Everyone who comes to saving faith in Christ experiences the battle of the mind and the intellectual roadblocks that come in their journey of searching. It is the Spirit of God that makes the difference as seen in our 1 Corinthian 2 passage.
The person without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God but considers them foolishness, and cannot understand them because they are discerned only through the Spirit. 1 Corinthians 2:14 (NIV)
God's Spirit brings discernment to the mind of the seeking person that allows them to settle on and accept the understandings about Christ that make up the glorious message of the Gospel. It is this work by the Spirit in the mind of the seeking person that prepares them for the work God will do in their heart and life as well. Reason, logic, and thinking on their own can be the very things that keep the seeker from getting to where he needs to get. However, when God's Spirit brings discernment to their mind it makes all the difference.
Thank you, Lord, that you are always at work. I am grateful that saving faith is a reasonable faith and of course so much more. I am grateful for your patience and perseverence as you work in my life. Keep me responding to you and all that you are doing in my life. Amen!
Posted on Wed, September 2, 2015
by Alan Porter