One of the profound marks of the Early Church was how persons were filled by the Spirit for a specific work God wanted them to do. They were given through Him, the ability to powerfully proclaim truth and the gospel. We are familiar with Acts 2 when the Holy Spirit came on the day of Pentecost, “and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit” (2:4). This happened again when the Church gathered to ask God for boldness in spite of severe opposition; “they were filled with the Holy Spirit and continued to speak the word of God with boldness” (4:31).
The action of God in the Church was also at times when the message required a particular filling by the Spirit so that God’s power would be present in the message. It was certainly true on the Day of Pentecost as Peter answered the amazement and perplexity of the crowd that observed what God was doing. It brought immediate conviction in the hearts of those listening. God also filled Peter when he answered the rulers, elders and scribes about the healing of the lame man; “Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them…” (4:8). Peter and all the disciples knew their purpose and religious leaders and their threats were not going to stop what God was doing.
What would happen if we were more concerned that this would be true of us today. Have we settled for sermons that merely pass on biblical information with no convicting power; not change in those who listen to the message? Have we lost the vision of God’s eternal plan before the ages of time that the Spirit in the Church would accomplish bringing the nations to praise God (Psalm 45:17) and become “a holy temple in the Lord” (Ephesians 2:21)? Let us ask God to rekindle His plan and purpose in us!
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