This week I am resuming a long-standing habit I left off a couple years ago: reading a chapter a day in the Greek New Testament. I started with Acts yesterday, so today the reading was Acts Chapter Two. Hopefully I will be able to write blog posts regularly from my readings, if not daily.
We are hit immediately in this chapter with the mighty rushing wind and cloven tongues of fire; the Spirit-filled believers speaking in tongues and appearing drunk to the visiting Jews in Jerusalem. Over the years I have heard many say that this experience is to be replicated in the lives of Christians as the evidence of the Spirit’s fullness. Certainly we would not refuse any good gift from the Spirit, but there are other items in this chapter which amaze me more than the initial signs in the Upper Room.
Peter’s boldness is striking. Here is a man who a few weeks earlier had denied Christ three times. Now the uneducated Galileean takes a fearless stand and preaches a convicting sermon that results in the conversion of thousands of hard-hearted hearers. Then there is the sense of community and fellowship among the church in Jerusalem. God blesses the new flock and adds new converts daily, seemingly without any organized plan. It all seems very natural and spontaneous.
Again, I will take whatever God’s Spirit has for me. But the prayer of my heart is for true boldness to speak the message of the cross and resurrection with effectiveness. Nothing has changed. God is the same, and the needs and condition of man are the same. The water of culture has slowly been heated so that the frog in the kettle does not know he is boiling to death, just as the hearers of Peter’s sermon did not realize their spiritual peril. I pray God will fill us with His Spirit and give us boldness to proclaim the message without compromise and to live in fellowship like we see in the Acts passage.
Can I get a witness?