I feel a little like Apostle Paul on his third missionary journey, leaving Philippi after the Days of Unleavened Bread and hurrying to Jerusalem in hopes of arriving there by Pentecost (Acts 20:6-16).
OK, so I said I only feel a little like Paul. Here at home it’s not been as exciting as in the Acts of the Apostles. But this past month has been a spiritually rewarding season as Lord’s Supper was kept just as the “One Faith” BA was mailing out. Now, with Passover behind me and Pentecost up ahead, I’m pressing to get everything lined up for the “One Spirit” issue that will arrive in your mailbox (or post online) in about a month.
Passover to Pentecost; one faith to one spirit. What a happy correlation between my life in the Bible, in church, and in editing the Bible Advocate. It is a blessed and natural progression that celebrates our faith in the Lamb slain and the gift of His Spirit in us. So much of our life together as disciples of the cross and dove is caught up in these two realities and their recurring rhythm. Faith and Spirit: They draw us together.
Paul illustrates his concern for togetherness among the disciples back in Acts 20. The disciples are mentioned three times in the chapter amid Paul’s hurried travels. The first time finds Paul calling the disciples to him and embracing them after dodging a riot in Ephesus and before departing to Macedonia. In the second time, the disciples come together in Troas to break bread and hear Paul before he departed to Miletus. Finally, he speaks to the Ephesian elders, admonishing them to guard the flock and warning them that after he departs, men will try to “draw away the disciples . . .” (vv. 1, 7, 30, NKJV throughout).
The one Spirit is God’s embrace through Christ that holds us together. It is not a big surprise to find that on the Day of Pentecost, when the wind blew and the Spirit fell, the disciples “were with one accord in one place” and at the end of that momentous outpouring it is said of them, “and all who believed were together . . .” (2:1, 44).
I reference this verse in the “First Word” of the May-June BA, but it is worth quoting again since “one Spirit” and “one faith” belong together, just like we disciples are meant to be together:
“Stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel” (Philippians 1:27).
— Jason Overman