Browsing Tag


Bless Your Heart by Cindy Colley

Three Prongs of the Spirit’s Convicting Work

Sometimes, only when it’s time to move on to another passage, do I have my fullest (yet) understanding of the passage I’m having to leave. It’s that way with this months’s dig in John 16. So many of my friends say things like “I made this decision and I feel a peace about it.” (Sometimes the decision is in direct opposition to the Word of God.) From John 16, I understand that my peace (or lack of it) is not the test of my righteousness or even of the wisdom in my decisions. The test is whether or not my decision accords with the Spirit. That clarity shines from the teachings about the Holy Spirit in John 16. As we leave this study for another one that we will love as much, let’s take some blockbuster truths that help us decisively overcome our sorrows in this life, because He has already overcome the world (John 16:33).

  1. The Holy Spirit’s new work, as the Comforter promised to the apostles, began in Acts 2.
  2. That work was to convict men of sin, righteousness and judgment (John 16: 8-11. Here, the reason for each prong of the Holy Spirit’s convicting message is given.)
  3. Signs (miracles) brought attention to and verified the message of the Holy Spirit and were completed when the apostles no longer were laying hands on Christians to impart them (Acts 8:10-15; 1 Corinthians 13). 
  4. The message of salvation—the convicting of sin, righteousness and judgment— was always communicated in words (I Corinthians 2:6-14).
  5. The message did not cease when the miracles ceased, because it was preserved in words in Scripture for all time (2 Timothy 3:16). 
  6. In every instance in the book of Acts where detail is given about the preaching or teaching, we see these three tenets of the convicting message of the Holy Spirit (Acts 2, Acts 3-5, Acts 7, Acts 24, etc.)…
  7. Thus, prior to receiving the comfort, the gladness, the boldness that the Spirit brings, we must heed the words of the three fold message; being convicted of personal sin, believing that Jesus is righteous and accepting his method of making us righteous (the washing of baptism and faithful living), and being sure in our conviction of impending judgment on those who reject Christ. (This last one is one of the strongest motivators to spread the gospel.)
Bless Your Heart by Cindy Colley

Digging Deep Israel: Next Stop–Capernaum

Capernaum. Place of miracles.  It was a place where Jesus cast out an unclean spirit in the synagogue. . He looked up and saw a paralytic man coming through the ceiling of the house where he was teaching and then both forgave the man’s sins and healed him.  He raised a little girl from the dead. He healed Jairus’ daughter. He stopped a bloody flow in the body of a woman who merely touched His garment. He healed Peter’s mother-in law.  He healed two blind men. He gave a discourse in the synagogue about the Bread of Life. Capernaum is a place from which the miracles of the Lord just exploded and his fame spread abroad Matthew 4:23-25).  

When the woman who was bleeding reached out to touch his garment, our Lord said he could feel that power had gone out from Him. Capernaum, in a larger sense, was a city from which great power from heaven emanated.

If these walls could talk! That’s how you feel when you walk through the ruins of the ancient Greek synagogue of Capernaum, likely built on the very same site as was the original synagogue in which Jesus did teach.  You see the plausible site of Peter’s first century house. Whether this early Christian home was the exact one Peter inhabited is, of course, uncertain; but you do know that both he and the Lord walked this street and you know you are in the place where blind men saw and where that woman who had the issue of blood touched the garment of the Lord. Those  of you who went with us in 2019 have not forgotten. Those of you who plan to go in 2022 are anticipating the thrill of being in the place of any miracles. 

The little city was on the northern tip of the Sea of Galilee and, apparently, the Lord made this town, the home of Peter, Andrew, James and John, his home for a time after leaving Nazareth. Thus it became the meeting-place of the miraculous and mundane aspects of the everyday life of the Lord. This strategic location was along a major trade route, so it was a perfect location for the miracles of the Lord to be published and In spite of the amazing events that were readily available to evidence the deity of Jesus, in this little town, Jesus, amazingly said that Sodom, the city burned for its extreme wickedness in Genesis 19, would have repented and been spared if the residents had seen the mighty works done in Capernaum.

And you, Capernaum, will you be exalted to heaven? You will be brought down to Hades. For if the mighty works done in you had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until this day (Matthew 11:23). 

May we look to those mighty works and fear his judgment. May we never be so distracted by the unbelievers around us that we ignore the superhuman feats He has wrought so that we might have salvation. May we keep in mind that the Lord lived right in the middle of the worst of the world’s wickedness and yet his light from that dark place is still shining. And, even in the midst of the blackness caused by sin and disbelief, may we constantly remember His provision and blessings.

Passages about Capernaum: 

Mark 2:1-12

Mark 5:35-43

Matthew 11:20-24

John 6:28-59

Luke 4:31-49

Matthew 9:20-22

Matthew 8:14-15

Matthew 17:24-27

Here’s a few folks from our 2019 Digger’s group resting in Capernaum. (If you’re a digger and you want to go in 2022, here’s where to go. Late October/early November. Reserve your spot now!



Questions and Answers: Passage about Miracles

Question: Other than I Corinthians 13, is there another passage to show that miraculous gifts of the Holy Spirit have ceased?
Answer: Well, I believe Acts 8 is a very good passage to use to prove that the miraculous gifts of the Holy Spirit ceased when the apostolic age ended. Notice that Philip taught the people in Samaria the gospel (vs.12). They believed and obeyed. But they did not have the miraculous gifts until apostles (Peter and John) came to lay hands on them (vs.14-17). This chapter even tells about a man (Simon) who was baptized, saw how the miraculous gifts were passed on and wanted the ability to pass on these gifts by laying his hands on people. Simon was denied and reprimanded (vs. 18-22). This chapter shows us that the gifts of the Holy Spirit were miraculous. It shows us that the only way these gifts were given was by the apostles laying their hands on saved people. (These saved people in Samaria had to wait on Peter and John to get to Samaria before they could have these gifts of the Holy Spirit.) It follows then, that since all the apostles are dead and the only way to get the gifts is through “laying on” of apostles’ hands, then miraculous gifts have ceased. The gifts ceased when the last people on whom the apostles laid their hands had died. This is one of my favorite places to go when discussing the fact that miracles have ceased. It leaves no question about how miraculous gifts were given, thus no question that they have ceased.