(Bible quotations are from the NIV unless otherwise stated)
26th May 2012
last week, we thought about the time Jesus said:
We saw that the disciples of Jesus - and, if you're a Christian, that includes you - are called to be like Him, and to carry on His ministry, being the light of the world now that He has returned to the Father. God wants us to let [our] light shine before men, that they may see [our] good deeds and praise [our] Father in heaven.
I find this an awesome responsibility, but I know that it is indeed what we're called to. I feel so inadequate for such a role, and I think all good Christians do. It would be arrogant not to. How on Earth can you and I function as the light of the world?
The disciples must have wondered the same thing but Jesus answered their concerns by saying:
To be Jesus's witnesses is another way of saying let [our] light shine before men, that they may see [our] good deeds and praise [our] Father in heaven. And the only way we can do that is to receive power from God. And we receive power from God when the Holy Spirit comes upon us.
From the Ascension until the day of Pentecost, the church prayed (Acts 1v14) and they met together (Acts2v1) but then:
I know there are still some Christian people who wish that God didn't give us spiritual gifts like speaking in tongues. Some of us are confused or embarrassed about it. We might not understand why we need to speak in tongues, we might feel awkward when others do it, we may not feel comfortable about our non-Christian friends knowing that we do it. But any gift from God is a good gift. And those of us who have this gift have come to value it enormously as an aid to our prayer life. As Paul teaches us:
1 Corinthians 14v4a
Of course, Paul also makes it clear that not all Spirit-filled Christians speak in tongues (1 Corinthians 12v29-30) but God wants to give some spiritual gifts to every individual Christian when the Holy Spirit comes upon [them]. And He knows which gifts would be best for each us.
And - here's the point - just a few minutes after the Holy Spirit came upon the early church (Acts 2v2-4) they began to function as witnesses:
Peter preached an open-air, impromptu sermon, and the rest of the church supported Him, and:
The baptism in the Holy Spirit is great for those in the church, but it's given so that we can witness to those who need to hear the Good News.