The American Boeing 787 made it fourteen hours direct from Dallas to Seoul, and with a short domestic Korean flight, I arrived safely on Jeju Island in time to get a good night’s sleep.
Part of the genius of the Word of Life Bible Institutes around the world, including Korea, is that they bring in guest lecturers from Dallas Seminary, Liberty University, and a host of other solid biblical schools to come alongside their own fulltime faculty. In a year this exposes the students to the gifts the Holy Spirit has given to many different teachers, and this plurality of leadership mirrors how the first century church as described in Acts functioned.
In the last several Devos we’ve been living in the Jerusalem Council where the issue of grace vs religious rules and regulations was decided on the side of only grace and faith when it comes to the question of eternal salvation.
When the Jerusalem Church composed the letter presenting this conclusion to the Church of Antioch, observe how they not only affirmed their love for Paul and Barnabas, the champions of the grace position, but they also sent two of their own gifted prophets and teachers along. This sending of gifted leaders from the two different churches was a brilliant step to sustain unity in the Church. Listen to how Luke reports on the extensive ministry of these Jerusalem Church leaders up in Antioch.
“And when they sent off Paul and Barnabas with Judas and Silas (two gifted leaders in the Jerusalem Church), they came down to Antioch, and after gathering together the congregation, they delivered the letter. When it was read aloud, everyone rejoiced because of the encouragement it brought. And Judas and Silas, who were themselves prophets, encouraged and strengthened the brothers with a long address.
After they had spent a good deal of time, Judas and Silas were sent off in peace and returned to the brothers who had sent them in Jerusalem. Now Paul and Barnabas remained in Antioch teaching and proclaiming with many others the Word of the Lord.” Acts 15:30-35
I am so grateful that the leaders I worked with at Midlothian Bible Church believed strongly in the plurality of leadership and that they allowed the teaching gifts of many in our church to strengthen and encourage the church. As a result, they have seen many of their gifted teachers move out and serve other churches here and around the world.
LORD, thanks that Silas went on to become one of the Apostle Paul’s most trusted associates. Help us learn from the example of our brothers and sisters in Jerusalem and Antioch the importance of using the gifts of many preachers in our local churches. Help me throw the door wide open for the gifted teachers who are around me at Southern Bible and the young churches Mary and I are seeking to bless.
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