The Early Church
Passages: Acts 5:1–6:15, Proverbs 17
A common misconception is that God goes from being a harsh law giver in the Old Testament to an easygoing, "that’s-ok" kind of pal in the New Testament.
Clearly, upon reading Acts 5-6, this is not the case.
The early church was a movement of immense power. The very Spirit of God, who had arrived in Acts chapter 2, was now exerting authority, discipline, healing, comfort, and boldness among the believers. God, who had manifested Himself earlier in the form of His Son, was now manifesting Himself by His Spirit, through the church, in shocking ways.
For many years, I never really heard much about the Holy Spirit… I always knew about Jesus and could relate to God as Father. But scriptures like these brought new understanding to me as I began to know the God who lives inside me.
The Holy Spirit is the guardian, the jealous protector, the source of boldness, and the Word inside each believer. He is the connecting identity of each member in the church across the world. He is behind each of the stories we read… Ananias and Sapphira died because they tested Him. He was the healing power inside Peter’s shadow. He is the source of the Apostles’ boldness. He is the discerning voice that chose and empowered the seven deacons. And He is the grace and power that filled Stephen.
The early church we see in these chapters was full of people no different than us. They were ordinary folks, changed by a gracious and holy God. The same Spirit that empowered them to heal, to preach, to suffer with joy, is the same Spirit that lives in us!
It is easy to live life like an atheist if you don’t believe that the same God that raised Jesus from the dead lives in you. Today, as you go through your routine, remember… the Holy Spirit lives inside you. Allow Him to affect every part of you today. Live with confidence, humility, boldness, and the fear of God.