Here is what you are missing from our Acts of the Apostles Study Group…
Luke, the author of Acts, makes it vital that in order to understand the early church and the rest of the Acts of the Apostles, you must understand Pentecost. The Holy Spirit now takes center stage after Jesus’ resurrection and ascension. While the experience of the resurrected Jesus is the bedrock of Christianity, Jesus’ appearances in Acts are few.
Another key point in Acts is John’s explanation of baptism in Luke 3:16
John answered them all, saying, “I am baptizing you with water, but one mightier than I is coming. I am not worthy to loosen the thongs of his sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.”
Which brings us to Pentecost…here is the promise of John being fulfilled…Pentecost is the act of baptizing with fire. Now the growing number of disciples can begin their ministry, full of the Holy Spirit.
At every point throughout the Acts of the Apostles, Luke is constantly reminding us that the actions of the disciples are directed by the Holy Spirit. Acts is full of examples of this like, “Peter, full of the Holy Spirit…” or “Paul, full of the Spirit, decided to…”. There is no question who is orchestrating things in the early church as described in Acts.
It all started at Pentecost. God now becomes present to us in a way that transcends time and space. While the humanity of Jesus put him in one place at one time, the cosmic God, through the Holy Spirit can be anywhere and everywhere at the same time.
To be affected by the Holy Spirit all we need to do is be open to it and plug in. The Holy Spirit is perfectly willing and waiting to infuse all of us and animate us to do God’s will. If we want to open ourselves to the Holy Spirit, it is as simple as plugging into a wifi signal or using your cell phone. All we must do is connect with our “provider” to be motivated and moved by the Holy Spirit.