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A network of agents known as The Cohort is run by the powerful Roman politician Senator Tatius. In 41 A.D., Emperor Caligula is assassinated by his own bodyguards and “Uncle Claudius” is propped on the throne by the Praetorian Guard.
Rome’s plan to conquer Britannia requires an important naval base in Mauritania at the Pillars of Hercules between the Mediterranean and Atlantic can be secured by an Army legion before a political delegation to the region can tribute from the local Berber tribes, by force if necessary.
Two novice operatives of The Cohort are placed into the Mauritanian delegation to report back to Senator Tatius about naval and trade negotiations. Legatus Linius Crispus Valerius, head of The Cohort in Asia Minor, (see The Quiet Centurion | Book I), gives the two young men their orders and sends them into a web of diplomatic and military intrigue. Linius Crispus and his assistant, Ming, run into their own dangers in Roman provinces across norther Africa and Syria.
The Third Emissary | Book II continues a fictional series that traces the lives of a Christian centurion, his family, and a host of characters during the period 35-74 A.D. The rapid spread of Christianity intertwines with the ruthless expansion of the Roman Empire.
And he [Jesus Christ] gave some apostles; and some, prophets;
and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;
For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry,
for the edifying of the body of Christ
Ephesians 4:11-12 (KJV)
This post begins an important section about Biblical Spirituality that delves into the “spiritual gifts” or “grace-gifts” that Christ, through the Holy Spirit, gives “variously as He wills” to each believer. God decides in His infinite wisdom to give grace-gifts to each believer—unique and personal to that individual; some with more than one gift—to minister to others. The purpose of spiritual gifts, as we will expand upon later, is three-fold, “For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ.”
Lewis Sperry Chafer introduces the topic of Spiritual Gifts:
“The very service of the Christian, like his salvation, has been designed in the eternal plan and purpose of God: For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them (Ephesians 2:10). According to this passage, God has before ordained a very special service (work, ministry) for each individual to perform, and the doing of these particular and individual ministries constitutes ‘good works’ according to the divine estimates. Any service other than that which was foreordained for the individual though valuable in itself, cannot be called ‘good works’ because it is not the personal outworking of the will of God. The…realization of ‘good works’ is not experience by all believers, but only by those who have presented their bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God; who are not ‘conformed to this world,’ but are ‘transformed’…by the renewing of their minds (Romans 12:1-2).
“Christian service (ministry) according to the New Testament, is the exercise of a spiritual gift. The Bible use of the word ‘gift’ should not be confused with the world’s conception of a ‘gifted person.’ The thought of the world concerning a gifted person is of one who by physical birth, is especially able to accomplish certain things. Such natural ability the Spirit will doubtless employ; but a ‘gift’ in the Bible use of the word is a direct undertaking or manifestation of the Spirit working through the believer. It is the Spirit of God doing something, and using the believer to accomplish it; rather than the believer doing something and calling on God for help in the task. It is the ‘work of the Lord’ in which we are to ‘abound.’ According to the Word, the Spirit produces Christian service as He produces the graces of Christ in and through the believer. Every faculty of the human instrument will be employed in the work. That human instrument will know what it is to be weary and worn in the service. Human energy, however, could never produce the divine results which are anticipated, and the Scriptures jealously contend that true Christian service is a direct ‘manifestation of the Spirit.’
“A ‘gift’ then, is the ‘manifestation of the Spirit,’ or service divinely produced by the Spirit, and ‘as He wills.’ Thus it is clear that there can be no exercise of a spiritual gift through an unyielded life.” *
* He That is Spiritual by Lewis Sperry Chafer (pp. 51-52)