The Secret to the Early Church
The real power at work in Acts
Author J.B. Phillips, after spending 14 years translating the New Testament, sat back and reflected on his most lasting impressions. He kept returning to the book of Acts and its portrait of an infant church. “The sick are not merely prayed about,” said Phillips. “They are healed, often suddenly and dramatically … Human nature is changed. The fresh air of Heaven blows gustily through these pages.
“The early church lived dangerously, but never before has such a handful of people exerted such widespread influence … To put it shortly, the lasting excitement which follows the reading of the book is this: The thing works!”
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 the Spirit’s guidance. Indeed, some have suggested that Acts should really be titled Acts of the Holy Spirit because of his dominant role. Luke mentions the Holy Spirit 57 times in Acts.
The disciples waited on the Spirit in Jerusalem before beginning to preach (see
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 Advocate will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you”
The Spirit personally directed each major advance of the church. He sent Philip into the desert to meet an Ethiopian (see
How is the Holy Spirit active in your life?
This devotion is from the NIV Student Bible by Zondervan. Used with permission.