In Acts 2:1-41, we find the Holy Spirit moving in possibly one of the greatest ways He has ever moved directly with human beings. On the Day of Pentecost, the Holy Spirit descended from Heaven and filled the one hundred and twenty disciples that were in the upper room praying for the lost souls of the earth. Once the Spirit's tongues of fire rested upon the disciples, they immediately got up, went outside, and promptly began to preach the message of salvation. Especially Peter, who gave a sermon that would resonate throughout the ages to come to all the people who gathered to listen to his Spirit-filled, and inspired talk about just who Jesus Christ was and is. Because of the Spirit's movement among the crowd, three thousand people gave their lives to Jesus that day.
If Peter, and the rest of the disciples, had left the room to proclaim the message of Jesus without the Holy Spirit's guidance and words, most of the crowd, if not all, would have turned away and continued to believe that the disciples were indeed drunk with wine at 9:00 in the morning. Without the Spirit to give him the correct words that would have reached the crowds hearts, Peter would have used his own words which would have had no power to change men's hearts. Also, in Acts 5:1-11, when Ananias and his wife, Sapphira, lied about giving all the money they had made on the sale of the land they had sold to give to the poor when they had actually kept some back for themselves, Peter would not have known about the lie had it not been for the Holy Spirit giving the Peter the knowledge of the lie against the Spirit. This shows us that without the Holy Spirit to guide us we would never know about the sin in us that could easily entangle us over and over again, and that the Spirit holds us accountable for everything we say and do.
In Acts 3:1-10, we find the scripture of the time when Peter and John healed the crippled man at the Temple. What is not stated in this scripture is the obvious fact that the Spirit would have led Peter and John to stop and help this crippled man. Being Spirit-led, Peter and John only stopped because they were told to so that God could show His miraculous power to those as many people He could who were near the crippled man. This is how the Spirit usually works in ways that will not only glorify God, but also let all those around the miracle to see His love, mercy, and power He could have in their lives. When Peter finally touched the man, the man got up and immediately praised God for his healing. As the scriptures say, many were amazed and stunned at what they had seen since they knew this man to be a cripple.
It can be assumed that some of the people surrounding the man accepted Jesus into their lives, because miracles are God's way of saying "Here I am! Let me love and take care of you!" If the Holy Spirit had not been involved in this instance, the crippled man would have remained on the steps of the Temple as crippled as he had been when he had awoke that morning, and Peter and John would have been laughed out of the Temple, and the Name of Jesus would have become a name to shun for His lack of healing the man.
In Acts 3:11-26, we find the scriptures that speak about the time Peter shocked his listeners with his message that pointed a finger at just who was responsible for the death of Jesus Christ. After seeing the crippled man healed, the people around him couldn't believe that he was up and walking after so many years as a cripple. Led by the Spirit, Peter let it be known just who had healed this man and who had made sure that He was put to death for doing these same miracles all over Judea. As Paul would do later, the Spirit had Peter use the Scriptures of old to show the crowd that the Jesus they had put to death was in fact the long-awaited Messiah, long
proclaimed since the beginning of time and in the days of Moses, right down to all of the prophets of Israel. During this proclamation, some of the Temple rulers came up and arrested Peter and John for their supposed words of blasphemy. Even in their clutches, the two disciples continued to follow the Spirit and continued to proclaim Jesus, even to the rulers who wouldn't believe.
If Peter and John would have walked up to the crippled man and tried to heal him in their own power, then man would have remained crippled until his dying breath. The crowd of people would have ran them out of town or would have just let the Temple rulers have them arrested and thrown in jail until the perished. There Peter and John would have no escape for the Spirit would have not been with them.
In all of the above scriptures we see that the Holy Spirit is the only One who could bring a person to Jesus, or to heal a crippled man so that he could become a productive member of society. Crowds responded to the Gospel message only because the Spirit prepared their hearts to receive the revelation that Jesus Christ is the Messiah for all nations and peoples. Without the Spirit in our lives we would never be able to even proclaim Jesus as Lord for ourselves, let alone tell others about Him. Through the Spirit of God we can only do what the Spirit tells us to do. Without His guidance, we wouldn't even know what to do for the people we pass in our daily walk. Like Peter and the rest of the apostles, we must keep ourselves open to the Spirit at all times. Only then can Jesus reach all whom He has appointed to be saved for whatever purpose He has for them to fulfill. Only Jesus knows who will be His. Only Jesus can read their hearts to know which way they will turn to get in into eternity. Only the Spirit has the power to save us all.
Stott, J. (1990). The message of acts. Downers Grove, IL: Inter-Varsity Press.
Bobby Bruno was saved 15 years ago in a way that left him no doubt that Jesus wanted him to reach others with His great and abounding love. He started writing at the age of 12 and hasn't stopped since. He achieved Associates Degree in Biblical Studies from Ohio Christian University in early 2014.
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