Just four years after the birth of the Church, it is remarkable how clear their understanding was of the Holy Spirit. “And we are witnesses to these things, and so is the Holy Spirit, whom God has given to those who obey him”” (Acts 5:32). Peter knew instinctively what happened on the Day of Pentecost was through the giving of the Holy Spirit (2:33). Luke who recorded these early events of the Church, gives clear and accurate accounts as an “eyewitness” of what happened. They prayed; “grant to your servants to continue to speak your word with all boldness…And when they had prayed, the place in which they were gathered together was shaken, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and continued to speak the word of God with boldness” (4:29, 31).
So powerful was the work of the Holy Spirit in those days that even lying about personal matters was a “lie to the Holy Spirit…to test the Spirit of the Lord” (5:1-11). Yet, many today think nothing of cheating with money and moral standards; overlooking biblical principles of how the Church is formed and how it must function. This includes qualifications for leadership in their private and public lives, and the accurate presentation of the pure gospel. Such failure, however small in our eyes, is a direct affront to the Holy Spirit. He is grossly misrepresented. Instead of “great fear coming upon the whole church and upon all who heard of these things” (5:11), there is great weakness and ineffectiveness in the church and the testimony of Christ is robbed of its power.
Where is the witness of the Spirit in the Church and missions today? It is only where believers are submitting to His will and acting in their personal lives, marriages, families, churches and ministries, and may I add, work places. May God humble our hearts in genuine repentance!
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