I’m preaching on Acts 1:1-8 this week as we continue looking at pictures of the Church in the Bible. This week, we’re talking about being a church focused on sharing what we’ve seen and heard regarding Jesus. Acts 1:8 says, “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”
This is the another example of the Great Commission to go into all the world to proclaim the good news. The disciples are called to share this testimony to the ends of the earth- and they do this through the power of the Holy Spirit. As I read Acts, I am struck by Peter and John in chapter four who, when told to quit witnessing about Jesus said;
“Which is right in God’s eyes: to listen to you, or to him? You be the judges! As for us, we cannot help speaking about what we have seen and heard.”
This is such a change from the Gospel accounts where the disciples fleed Jesus when he was arrested. Peter even denied knowing him. Yet here, filled with the Holy Spirit, he (and John) declare that they cannot help or stop speaking about what they have seen or heard. Their lives have been changed and they want everyone to experience the same thing that they have!
This passage is challenging. We live in a culture where it is often much easier to remain quiet about our faith. We use the “Preach the gospel at all times, when necessary use words” as a defense to our silence. Yet, if our lives have been changed by God- if we’ve experienced unmerited grace and mercy- if we’ve been healed, restored and redeemed- how can we stay silent?
My prayer for myself, Hope Church, and the Church around the world is that the Holy Spirit would so flood our lives that we will not remain silent about God’s love and salvation available through Jesus Christ.