"1 Now at Iconium they entered together into the Jewish synagogue and spoke in such a way that a great number of both Jews and Greeks believed.
2 But the unbelieving Jews stirred up the Gentiles and poisoned their minds against the brothers.
3 So they remained for a long time, speaking boldly for the Lord, who bore witness to the word of his grace, granting signs and wonders to be done by their hands.
4 But the people of the city were divided; some sided with the Jews and some with the apostles." (Acts 14:1-4 ESV)
1. The apostles spoke in SUCH A WAY as to reach the Greeks (they needed empirical evidence) and the Jews (They were legalistic religious guys).
---> Same two group of people that we have today!! We need to be spirit-filled of course, but mindful that we must be aware of the person(s) before us and be diligent to deliver the message of the gospel in such a way that accounts for the ideology of the listener. BE COMFORTED....The spirit steps in once we step out!
2. The apostles did signs and wonders AND spoke in such a way that Jews and Greeks (remember they represent the same kind of people we have today) BUT some didn't believe and succeeded to "poison the minds" of the BELIEVERS!!
---> Wow. Yes it can happen. You can do all the right things including perform miracles and many still won't believe. This third group EFFECTIVELY COMBAT the gospel - poisoning the minds.
3. The apostles responses that we should learn from Christ by the Spirit:
- They spoke in such a way as to reach diverse groups with the truth
- They saw the poisoning and "STAYED A LONG TIME". -perserverance and commitment
- They walked in the power of the Holy Spirit. a) speaking with results (verse 1), b) doing signs and wonders (vs 3) c) speaking boldly (bold = not in their comfort zone) (vs 3) d) Were a witness of Christ's word (they knew what He said) and grace (they knew what He did) (vs 3)
Let's be on our knees and at the feet of Jesus that the Holy Spirit may fill us and work these things in our lives. As Jesus said, "Without me you can do nothing." but it "is the will of my Father that you bear much fruit."
Let's do it.