But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you. And you will be my witnesses, telling people about me everywhere—in Jerusalem, throughout Judea, in Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” Acts 1:8 NLT
GOD HAS THE POWER TO CHANGE YOUR LIFE BUT IF YOU ARE NOT INTERESTED IN CHANGING THE WORLD THEN DON’T EXPECT HIS POWER TO SET YOU FREE.
The early church was made up of simple men and women. The leaders were former fishermen and tax collectors who fled in fear when Jesus was arrested and needed them most.
They weren’t courageous and faithful. In fact, they lacked faith and courage. They were the least likely to be put in charge of any Christian enterprise.
Yet after the events in Acts 2, when the Holy Spirit was poured out, those same nobodies were suddenly transformed. With courage and faith, they turned their community, and eventually the world, upside down. It wasn’t a result of their seminary training; they didn’t have any. They couldn’t hand out copies of the New Testament; it hadn’t been written yet.
It wasn’t because they were wealthy and had the greatest sound system and light show at their church; they were poor people without a church building.
To the existing Jewish religious establishment, those early Christians were mocked as unlearned and ignorant people with few resources. To the Roman Empire they seemed fanatical and strange.
But one thing they did possess was the power of the Holy Spirit.
Jesus told them to rely on the Spirit for everything. The early believers knew first hand that Christianity was hopeless without the Holy Spirit.
When God looks down on the earth, He doesn’t focus on ethnicity, and He never acknowledges religious denominations.
He just sees two kinds of people: His children who have the Spirit living inside of them and unbelievers who don’t have the Spirit living inside of them. It’s as simple as that and he loves both groups of people and so should we.
Today we split hairs about doctrinal positions to validate our faith, but to the early church the definition was simpler. Either we are temples or we are not temples.
Paul wrote, “If anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Christ." Romans 8:9
It would have been impossible for the apostles to consider someone a true believer in Jesus without the accompanying witness and work of the Spirit.
The Spirit of God was the bottom line. Where the spirit of God is there is power to break chains. The power of God and the Holy Spirit of God go hand in hand. Where you see one you see the other. You see a spirit filled person you see a person with power.
I hope you will join us this Friday as we continue our series on the Holy Spirit.
I hope you join us for our first corporate prayer meeting Wednesday nights praying for Encounter.
I hope you will join us this Sunday at the UTURN building from 3-5 for the next Encounter training open to everyone.
Be Blessed and Encouraged