Over the last few weeks we’ve been exploring the book of Acts, often referred to Acts of the Apostles but that really is a misnomer for the book – it should be called Acts of the Holy Spirit because while all the stories may be about the Apostles and how the early church operated and all the things they did the reality of it is none of it would have happened without the Holy Spirit. The book of Acts starts in the first chapter with Jesus telling his disciples,
“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”
See this whole story of the early church starts because of the movement of God, the movement of the Holy Spirit and the people respond to the movement of the Holy Spirit in their lives and community and these radical stories come about. The book of Acts is just a recording of what the Holy Spirit did in and through them.
Author, pastor, theologian, AW Tozer, when reflecting on the book of acts and the early church once said,
“If the Holy Spirit was withdrawn from the church today, 95 percent of what we do would go on and no one would know the difference. If the Holy Spirit had been withdrawn from the New Testament church, 95 percent of what they did would stop, and everybody would know the difference.”
As we read the book of Acts, as we study the early church, it is undeniable – the things we see happen, the kind of community we see created, to unity we see among the people, the sacrifice, the contrast community they become is only possible with the Holy Spirit.
But when we look at many of our lives and many of our churches we have to wrestle with the fact that we may acknowledge the need for the Holy Spirit but we live and operate very much as if we can do it on our own. Through this series we hope that changes for us as individuals and as a church.