Finally, Paul’s expanding strategy came as a result of the leadership of the Holy Spirit (Acts 13:1-4). It is interesting to observe how the gospel went from Jerusalem to the world when the Holy Spirit came upon them at Pentecost. These new converts naturally, or maybe we should say, “supernaturally,” became evangelists. Why? Because when a person received the Spirit, he/she would begin to seek to bring others to the saving knowledge of Jesus as seen in Acts. Historically, every great revival, whether the Haystack, Great Awakenings, Welsh or the South Korean, resulted in evangelism and obedience to the Great Commission. This is not surprising since the Spirit that we receive is the missionary Spirit—the Spirit of Jesus who came into the world to redeem lost souls to the Father. We will learn from Acts how the churches were strengthened in faith and increased in number in Galatia, and how the Word of God spread to Macedonia and Achaia from Thessalonica, and how the gospel spread throughout neighboring countries from Ephesus (1 Thessalonians 1:5-9).
Paul led these new believers to understand the importance of the Spirit of Christ, whom they willingly submitted to. He set for them an example that was in accord with the mind of Christ. Paul was persuaded that the indwelling Spirit of Christ in His power and passion would enable the church to expand. When the foundation of the church is not properly laid, I believe that the evangelistic Spirit is quenched, resulting in a stagnant church. This is yet another compelling reason to use Paul’s proven model and method of training; we are told to follow or imitate Paul as he followed Christ (1 Corinthians 11:1).
(Tim Bunn, God’s Plan for His Church, page 18-19)
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