“The Ministry of God’s Word and the Holy Spirit in Mission 宣教上聖言與聖靈服侍的事工“（Acts 使徒行傳 13:6-12）
… The proconsul, an intelligent man, sent for Barnabas and Saul because he wanted to hear the word of God. But Elymas the sorcerer (for that is what his name means) opposed them and tried to turn the proconsul from the faith. Then Saul, who was also called Paul, filled with the Holy Spirit, looked straight at Elymas and said, ‘You are a child of the devil and an enemy of everything that is right! You are full of all kinds of deceit and trickery. Will you never stop perverting the right ways of the Lord? Now the hand of the Lord is against you. You are going to be blind for a time, not even able to see the light of the sun.’ … When the proconsul saw what had happened, he believed, for he was amazed at the teaching about the Lord.
… 省長是個聰明人，他請了巴拿巴和掃羅來，要聽聽神的道。但術士以呂馬（以呂馬就是“術士”的意思）與使徒作對，要使省長轉離真道。掃羅，也就是保羅，卻被聖靈充滿，定睛看著他，說：“你這充滿各樣詭詐和各樣奸惡的人，魔鬼的兒子，公義的仇敵！你歪曲了主的正路，還不停止嗎？你看，現在主的手臨到你，你要瞎了眼睛，暫時看不見陽光。” … 那時，省長看見了所發生的事，就信了，因為他驚奇主的教訓。
The proconsul’s desire to hear God’s word was an unexpected door opened for the gospel by the Holy Spirit. Wherever there is likely to be great success (here in leading people to Christ), the open door and the opposing adversaries (like the sorcerer trying to turn the proconsul from the faith) will both be found. Paul, using spiritual discernment and operating in the gift of faith, rebuked and pronounced God’s judgment God upon Elymas with physical blindness (corresponding to his spiritual blindness). Yet, the proconsul’s astonishment is noted to be at God’s teaching (presumably, the doctrines of God’s gracious gift to mankind in Lord Jesus through the cross) not the miraculous work before his eyes.
Prayer: Triune God, thank you for warning us through the sorcerer’s counter example that if one wants to give up on all your things and grow bitter in his/her heart against you, that is his/her choice. But it is a heavy sin to draw anyone else away with him/her, with his/her words or example. May we see the trouble sin brings people into, prompting us to pursue you more earnestly and follow Paul’s bold example empowered by the Holy Spirit to make a stand for what we believe. Amen.