The Book of Acts, traditionally known as The Acts of the Apostles, is a monumental
account of the power of the Holy Spirit and the birth and beginnings of the Church. It contains all the elements of a great story...heroes, villains, adventure, murder, loss, triumph, unlikely protagonists, and everything in between. If it were simply a story, it would surely be a page-turner. The book is so much more than a great story. The book of Acts is not a fictitious tale but the epic truth of the beginnings of the Church and how God's power fuels his people to take the good news of Jesus to the entire known world. If you are a follower of Christ, the book of Acts is your history, the inception of your faith, and the foundation upon which the universal Church was birthed and sent. The Church and its story is a story to study, know, and embrace as your own. Be encouraged that the same Holy Spirit that descended on the followers of Jesus in the book of Acts is the same Spirit that is alive and active today.
God’s Kingdom work accomplished in the world happens only through the Holy Spirit
living in Christ-followers. Like the tongues of fire that rested on the first Christ-followers, the
Holy Spirit lives and ignites us today. No character introduced in the book Acts can take credit for their accomplishments and achievements. The same can be said about Christians today and all throughout history. We live and follow God, telling and teaching others the good news of Jesus, and following Jesus's example of loving God and loving others because of the Holy Spirit. Restoration Church studied the book of Acts from February to March (2022), starting in chapter 1 and pausing after Acts 5:42. During that time, we witnessed the mighty power of the Holy Spirit spurring Jesus’s followers to spread the gospel to the ends of the earth. As we listened to sermons and discussed content in RGroups at the beginning of the year, groups recorded the tangible ways they witnessed the Spirit's power communicated in the Scriptures. As we reengage with Acts as a Church family, let’s remember where we’ve been and what we’ve observed so far.
The Holy Spirit gave the gift of speaking in multiple languages to spread the gospel to people of all ethnicities.
The Holy Spirit acted as new believers’ conscience, pushing them to obedience, convicting them of sin, and spurring them to repentance and baptism.
Fellowship with others and breaking bread ultimately helped others hear the gospel.
The power of the Holy Spirit is present as it saves people daily, working through brothers and sisters in Christ.
Communication with the Lord and giving God room to speak and be heard are valuable.
Community is one way the Holy Spirit draws us together physically and spiritually with the Godhead.
The Holy Spirit can manifest in literal, physical healing.
We need to be bold in our actions because if Jesus lives in us, we don't need to worry about anything else. Anything that we do for the Kingdom of God is by the power of the Holy Spirit.
The Holy Spirit emboldens us to speak the truth, even when facing persecution.
The Holy Spirit knows our heart’s condition and convicts us to live in a holy way.
The above statements are the observations and recorded words from our RGroups as we studied and discussed Acts at the beginning of the year. As we jump back into learning and growing as a church family, reread the first five chapters and the above statements. Ask yourself where you see the Holy Spirit working and moving in the Scriptures and your everyday life. Choose and meditate on a few verses from Acts and commit them to memory. Pray to the Holy Spirit, asking to be filled with belief and power that brings glory to God and reflects the love and character of Jesus. The good news of Jesus (the gospel) will not fade, diminish, or submit to another power. God, the most excellent, vital, best, most loving, and just God, is on the throne, and his Spirit lives and lights every follower. As we gather together as the Church, we are in community with others whom the Holy Spirit empowers and emboldens. Live every day believing in God, in the power of the Holy Spirit, and in the redeeming love of Jesus.