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What the Apostles Did and Taught.

What the Apostles Did and Taught.

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Published by glennpease
BY JOHN SCOTT, D. D.



Acts xiv : 22.
BY JOHN SCOTT, D. D.



Acts xiv : 22.

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Published by: glennpease on Apr 08, 2014
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WHAT THE APOSTLES DID AD TAUGHT. BY JOH SCOTT, D. D. Acts xiv : 22. PAUL and Barnabas, by direction of the Holy Ghost, had been set apart by the church at Antioch for a special service to which God had called them. And when the brethren '' had fasted and prayed, and laid their hands upon them, they sent them away." Faithful in the performance of the work as- signed them, they went forth from city to city, and from country to country, preaching the Gospel and making converts to the faith. Having planted the seed of divine truth, they deemxed it important to water it ; having made converts to the faith, they considered it neces- sary to strengthen and establish them. Hence we are informed that when they had preached the Gospel in Derbe, "and had taught many^ What the Apostles Did and Taught. 1 47 that they returned again to Lystra, and to Iconium, and to Antioch, confirming the souls of the disciples, and exhorting them to con- tinue in the faith, and that we must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God." We have here presented what the apostles did and taught. Let us notice, I. What the apostles did. They confirmed
 
the souls of the disciples, and exhorted them to continue in the faith. I . They confirmed the souls of the disciples. Confirmation, as we now use the term in a religious sense, is of two kinds, ecclesiastical and spiritual. Ecclesiastical confirmation is a rite in certain churches, by which an individ- ual, when he arrives at years of discretion, takes upon himself all the obligations assumed for him by his godfather and godmother at the time of his baptism. In the primitive Church confirmation usually accompanied bap- tism, and it does so still in the Greek Church. The Latin, or Roman Church, has made it an independent sacrament, and has fixed the age of seven years as the time for its observance. But in the Church of England the age for confirmation is not fixed. 148 Pulpit Echoes, This, however, is not the kind of confirm- ation spoken of in the text. It is spiritual confirmation — the confirmation of the soul — the establishment of believers in the knowl- edge and love of the truth, by the Spirit and grace of God, communicated to the soul in the use of the appropriate means. This is true confirmation, that which is necessary to our steadfastness, perseverance, and final sal- vation. The souls of believers, and especially of young converts, need to be confirmed. They are surrounded with influences which are w^ell calculated to unsettle and overthrow their faith. ''The cares of this world, and the lusts
 
of other things, entering in/' are calculated to *' choke the word," and render it unfruitful. Like a little child, they often waver, their steps are tottering and unsteady, and they need to be guided and supported until they acquire sufficient strength and experience to enable them to walk alone. Or, like a tree which has been recently planted, and needs to be kept in its position by external aids, until the ground has settled around it, and its roots have struck deep into the earth, thereby keeping it in its place, and enabling it to resist What the Apostles Did and Taught, 1 49 the winds and the storms, so believers, and especially young converts, need the watchful care, the godly counsel, and the assisting hand of the more experienced and better estab- lished, until they become rooted and grounded in the faith, settled and fixed in their convic- tions and purposes, so that they can not by every wind of doctrine be moved away from the hope of the Gospel. The apostles confirmed the souls of the disciples, not as efficient agents, by their own power, but as faithful instruments in the hand of God, by his power. They did this, ordi- narily, by proving to them, in the first place, more certainly the truth of the Gospel, its harmony with ancient prophecies, its fulfill- ment of ancient promises, and its confirma- tion by stupendous miracles. Pointing to Jesus, they declared that '' to him gave all the prophets witness, that through faith in his name, whosoever believeth in him shall re- ceive the remission of sins.'' They maintained

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