It can be observed by reading through Acts, Luke's account of the work of the Holy Spirit in the Early Church, that there were wealthy converts in the fellowships and that some were influential too. We read about Dionysius at Athens, Sergius Paulus the proconsul of Crete, Erastus the city treasurer of Corinth, and some noble women are mentioned. However, the great majority were of little account in the world's eyes, being slaves-of which there were 60 million in the Roman Empire- or women or both! Paul sees this as part of the glory of the Church. To end this passage, he quotes from Jeremiah 9 v 23, 24 to remind his readers that the one basic sin is self-assertion, or a desire for recognition. Every believer has to come to the point where they recognise that they can do nothing and God can and will do everything. It is people who recognise their own weaknesses and foolishness that are the strong and the wise. As Paul insists, Christ is for us... 1. Wisdom. He is the expert in life and it is only as we listen to Him and walk in His footsteps that we find the Truth. 2. Righteousness. In Paul's writings this always means a right relationship with God. This comes not from what we can do for God (haha- Psalm 50 v 7-15), but an acceptance and appreciation of what God has done for us. 3. He is consecration. The Christian seeks to walk every moment of every day in the knowledge that Christ walks with Him. 4. He is deliverance. Look at all the people seeking help for physical and mental ailments without recognising that the ultimate answer is to turn to Jesus. He emancipates us from past sin and guilt, present helplessness and future fear. He sets us free from slavery to sin and self. I have come to recognise that one of the biggest issues in human existence is the sense of hopelessness. Jesus brings hope into lives.
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