The Secret the Early Church
The Secret to the Early Church
The real power at work in Acts
Acts 5:38-39 And now I say unto you, Refrain from these men, and let them alone: for if this counsel or this work be of men, it will come to nought: But if it be of God, ye cannot overthrow it; lest haply ye be found even to fight against God.
"The early lived dangerously, but never before has a handful of people exerted such widespread influence . . .
Who was behind the success?
Why did it work? Acts points decisively to the power of God, through his Holy Spirit.
Luke carefully notes that every major decision of the young church was made under his guidance.
Indeed, some have suggested Acts should really be titled Acts of the Holy Spirit because of his dominant role.
Luke mention the Holy Spirit 57 times in Acts.
The disciples waited on the Spirit in Jerusalem before beginning to preach (Acts 2:4 And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance).
According to Luke, the Holy Spirit fell on each new group of believers: on Jews (Acts 4:31 And when they had prayed, the place was shaken where they were assembled together; and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and they spake the word of God with boldnes ,
then on Samaritans (Acts 8:17 And when they had prayed, the place was shaken where they were assembled together; and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and they spake the word of God with boldness.
then Gentiles (ACts 10:44 While Peter yet spake these words, the Holy Ghost fell on all them which heard the word.
And finally John the Baptist's disciples (Acts 19:6 And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Ghost came on them; and they spake with tongues, and prophesied.
For their Good
As the church grew, the disciples gradually began to understand what Jesus had meant when he said, "It is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Counselor will not come to you; but if I GO i will send him to you" (John 16:7 Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you.
Although Jesus himself departed, God became present in each one of them, making his activity in the world more widespread than ever before.
The Spirit personally directed each major advance of the church.
He sent Philip into the desert to meet an Ethiopian (Acts 8:29 Then the Spirit said unto Philip, Go near, and join thyself to this chariot.
Set apart missionaries in Antioch (Acts 13:2 As they ministered to the Lord, and fasted, the Holy Ghost said, Separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them, guided the first big church council(ACts 15:1-28).
And helped plan Paul's itinerary (Acts13:4 So they, being sent forth by the Holy Ghost, departed unto Seleucia; and from thence they sailed to Cyprus.
As presented in Acts, the spirit was no vague mist but a living person, who spoke, guided in decisions, and fueled the church with the energy of faith.
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