One of the things I am continually drawn to, in my current reading of the book of Acts, is how the scriptures consistently highlight the role of the Holy Spirit in the activities of the apostles. They are always “filled with the Spirit” when they speak to someone, or when they heal someone, or when they showcase gifts.
And therefore, I am drawn to this conclusion:
The apostles who are seemingly completely dependent on the presence and the power of the Holy Spirit to will and to do the work of Jesus teach us that we, Christians in the 21st century, should not be so foolish as to neglect the Holy Spirit ourselves. Without Him, we are lost in our identity and our purpose.
The very mission of the church depends on its ability to be used by the Holy Spirit. Allow me to explain.
Notice how the book of acts begins:
In the first book, O Theophilus, I have dealt with all that Jesus began to do and teach…
Luke’s gospel is an account of what Jesus began to do and teach. Therefore, his second work, Acts and beyond is quite simply… the continuation of what Jesus is doing on this earth. The book is not the Acts of the Apostles. The book is really the acts of Jesus through the apostles.
And how does Jesus, who sits at the right hand of the Father, continue to do his work on earth? Why through the Holy Spiri! It is the Holy Spirit taking vesselship of peoples who are called by his name and having them surrendered to his presence and his power.
The implications of what this means in our churches is huge. The churches doing the most and the best of God’s will are not the ones who have the most money, the most members, the best infrastructure, etc…
The church that is doing the most is quite simply the one that is most filled with the Holy Spirit.