The rapid spread of the church in the New Testament can only be attributed to two things: the gracious, miraculous activity of the Holy Spirit, and the bold witness of His followers.
If God had not moved, nothing would have happened. If believers had not shared the gospel, the movement would have stalled.
We can always count on the power of God. He is moving. Our task is to not quench (restrain, resist, stop) the Holy Spirit.
The need on our side is to turn away from a fear of man, and boldly cooperate as the Spirit prompts us to open our mouths and share the gospel every day, everywhere, to everyone.
An Undeniable Witness
Peter and John were threatened by unbelieving men. They had been imprisoned for proclaiming their faith.
Such persecution regularly happens around the world and is increasingly happening in America. If we do not have a nationwide spiritual awakening, we can expect a rapidly growing persecution of believers in our nation. Satan will see to that.
But when Peter was questioned by the religious authorities, here was his response:
Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them “… let it be known to all of you and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead—by this name this man stands here before you in good health. … And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:8-12 NASB).
What gave Peter such boldness?
- The indwelling Holy Spirit in Peter’s life, moving him to action
- Peter’s willingness to open his mouth and say what the Spirit was telling him to say
It’s not complicated. And this is written for us. Are we willing to let Christ have absolute control? When He tells us to open our mouths and unashamedly tell people about Christ, will we respond in glad obedience?
We can’t say that we are filled with the Spirit if our days are not filled with gospel witness … if we are not living to lead people to Christ … if we are not opening our mouths every day with the proclamation of the gospel.
The Bible never records people being filled with the Spirit so they could feel better, or experience pleasant emotions, or have a good day.
The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of Christ, and He will always do what He has always done—seek and save the lost.
If that is not happening with us, then we are not cooperating with His leadership, and the movement of God will be quenched and stalled in our families, our church, and our world.
Father, forgive me for my timidity—for not letting Your Spirit have such control that my days are filled with telling everyone everywhere about You. I gladly give You my body to be used in the remaining days of my life as Your channel to tell people about that which they cannot know unless someone tells them—the lifesaving good news of Christ’s life, death, burial, and resurrection, and the assurance of eternal salvation if they will receive Him.