Acts 03a SU - Power In The Spirit
Power In The Spirit
ð Looking at a car only in the showroom is not the best way to choose what to buy. The best thing to do is either to read about it from magazine road tests, or better still to road test it yourself.
ð It’s the same with the Christian faith. People are not necessarily convinced by what we tell them. They want to see what difference that faith makes to life. We may well believe and know the difference of what being a Christian means, but unless we can demonstrate it in our lives, we are unlikely to convince people.
ð We know that the Holy Spirit works personally in the lives of individuals as well as in the life of communities, but if we want to see that happen we need to learn some lessons from what the early church did.
· They were in the community
ð The early church was in the thick of things. They were very much in the community. The temple wouldn’t have been the easiest place to go, but it was the centre of the religious life of the people and the focus of God’s promise.
ð This challenges us as to where we live out our Christian lives – whether we go to where other people are or stay in our own comfort zone.
· They had something to offer
ð Peter and John didn’t just pass the beggar by, they had something for him – the healing and blessing that comes from the Lord. As God’s people we need to be prepared to act. It’s not enough just to have the right words to say. We need to be prepared to act practically – to show our faith in action.
· They had something to say
ð Mind you we need to spell out what our actions mean. Without a clear explanation of what had happened, the miracle of the lame man walking again would not have made much impact for the gospel. Peter had to explain to the crowd what had happened. Time and again that is what has to happen. Missionaries are often asked by people that have helped why they have come. That’s when they have the opportunity to explain the gospel to their hearers – and why their words are so effective; because they have demonstrated the reality of their words before they have spoken them.
ð We should always be prepared to help people and we always need to be ready to explain the reality of the faith behind our actions and be ready to help people to understand it.
ð It is the combination of these three things – being there at the point of need, having some practical help to offer, and using it to demonstrate the gospel – that is important. Faith without works is dead; and works without faith is pointless. Emphasising one at the expense of the others makes us lose our sense of balance.