No doubt at one time Barnabas looked like other unsaved men, and the reader will remember that both sin and grace put their marks on a man. But thank God when we receive the Holy Ghost and the gift of righteousness, the mark of sin is so blotted out, and the mark of grace takes its place, that you can scarcely look on a Christian and imagine that he ever was a sinner.
There is something about the grace of God that will illuminate from within. It was just so with Barnabas. His face took on a smile and a heavenly glow that could not be rubbed off, and it won't wear off; the longer it wears the brighter it shines. There is nothing that will improve a man's looks like a good case of old-fashioned, heart-felt, Holy Ghost religion.
I have seen people that it seemed there was a divine light somewhere within them, it seemed to shine out from their eyes and face, it would simply leak out in a handshake or a kind word. We have seen some . people that had what we call some natural beauty, but they had to kind of supplement it with the various chalk and powders and perfumes that are put up by the druggist, while we see some people that apparently Nature has overlooked as far as beauty is concerned, yet they were so filled with the blessed Holy Spirit, that they were beautiful to look upon, and you could apparently look through them and see God behind them.
Moses had this wonderful illumination when he came down from the mountain. His people said, "Put a veil on him or we can not look at him," and the beauty of it all is we read that Moses, "wist not that the skin of his face shone."
Some time ago we read a little story of an infidel, a Swiss artist, who was sent to make a character sketch of a Salvation Army meeting in England, but when he critically watched their faces and saw that humble band of Christian workers and the joy and peace that they enjoyed to which his own soul was a complete stranger, he was completely overcome, for as he saw the visions of the heavenly light in their faces and saw his own fearful and wretched condition, he never got away from their faces, but the vision tarried with him, until in a short time he knelt at their altar, and turning his own hard, critical face heavenward and the Salvation Army lassies knelt around him and their faces all heavenly lit, and as he wept and prayed with them for the mercy and love of God, finally the visions that were on their faces seemed to break out in his, until he arose and declared publicly that he had come to criticize, but was going away to rejoice.
Such was this man Barnabas. His goodness was not like the morning dew, it did not pass off with the rising of the sun, but during the long, sultry days the shine wore on instead of wearing off, for his heart and life were fully consecrated to God, which is the only guaranty for permanent integrity and righteousness. Barnabas could stand erect and unmoved in the storms of opposition and persecution, because his goodness was riveted down like a lighthouse built on a storm-swept ledge in the bed rock of a full salvation.
Another beautiful characteristic of Barnabas was, he was full of faith. This, as you will see, is saying that he was a strong, healthy believer. Faith was not only the root principle, but the mainspring and passion of his life.
We heard somebody say once that there were three kinds of believers. There are half-believers, make-believers, and whole believers. Well, amen! Barnabas belongs to the latter class. Nothing was lacking in his faith, having rested alone on Christ for his salvation, and having felt His power in his own soul, he believed, beyond doubt, that the truth which he had embraced and the cause which he had espoused were of God. He was actually full of faith, and this will account for the fact that Barnabas was such a force in the early Christian Church. How refreshing in these times of religious doubt and wavering, to get near a man with so much heaven in his compassion, and one who manifests such a rich fullness of faith.
Robinson, Reuben A. (Bud). The Collected Works of 'Uncle Bud' Robinson