Read: Acts 23:1-5
Those who stood by said, “Would you revile God’s high priest?” And Paul said, “I did not know, brethren, that he was the high priest; for it is written, ‘You shall not speak evil of a ruler of your people'” (R.S.V.).
A Holy Disposition
Of the Apostle’s behavior on this occasion Everett Lewis Cattell writes: “Now what about Paul? Was he Spirit-filled? Was he fully surrendered? Was he hid with Christ in God?
“We must make clear that all these questions concern disposition rather than outward or absolute perfection. There is proof that Paul was surrendered, that he was Spirit-filled. But the proof lies not in any experience which would make his answers, his words, the use of his tongue as perfect as those of Jesus.
“Rather the proof lies in the disposition which he manifested as soon as his error was revealed. Instantly, upon the rebuke of the bystanders, Paul came through with an apology. That indicated more truly the real heart of the man. And so it will with us. Caught off guard, a word is spoken, an attitude taken or a spirit shown for which we receive the Spirit’s rebuke. If, in that situation, we allow self to re-affirm its independent stand, if we slip out of our hidden place in God, if a bit of enmity against God creeps back in, that will be manifest by an unwillingness to heed the check of the Spirit and a stubborn decision to go right on.
“But if there is love for Christ above all else and a desire to be altogether His, that disposition will show itself, even in so stern and tempestuous a nature as Paul’s, with complete readiness to apologize and make right the incident. Note also Paul’s action was instant — he did not wait for three or four days to cool off and then come around and merely try to act pleasant as though nothing had ever happened! The Spirit-filled heart does not hold grudges” (The Spirit of Holiness).
Thought For Today
“The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord,” said the Psalmist. George Muller added, “And the stops also.”