The book of Acts in the New Testament is an unfinished story. Scholars of the Bible call it the acts of the Holy Spirit. His works still continue up to the present time.
The signs and wonders that were experienced by those who have believed in Jesus are the works of the Holy Spirit. Those works were all done in the name of Jesus our Lord!
And heres what Jesus said of these works. He said, And these signs will follow those who believe. In My name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues; they will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover. (Mark 16:17-18)
Those who believed in Christ are not only saved. Jesus said they are to be filled with the power of God through the Holy Spirit. In fact He charged His disciples to wait in Jerusalem till they are baptized with the Holy Spirit. (Acts 1:4-5)
The power Jesus meant was the power to witness for Him. (Luke 24:45-49; Acts 1:8). His believers are to be marked with this power. It comes down upon them when they ask Jesus to baptize them. For He is the One who baptizes with the Holy Spirit. (John 1:32-34)
This power will not come down automatically. Jesus disciples or believers should ask for it. Take note that the apostles and the other disciples with them did not just wait on the power to come. Luke wrote that they went back to Jerusalem and stayed in an upper room.
There, they were frequently gathering together to pray in anticipation of the coming of the power through the Holy Spirit. Then on the Day of Pentecost, while a hundred and twenty believers were gathered together in one place, the Holy Spirit came. Thus the birth of the Church took place and its work in spreading the Gospel began. And that was followed with signs and wonders in awe of those who do not believe. (Acts 2)
Once the Holy Spirit comes upon a believer, Jesus gives him the power to witness for Christ. Though this power does not mean the power to save [because God alone has the power to save], it will help enlighten unbelieving minds and hearts. And when those unsaved men and women see Gods power displayed through His people, they will begin to realize their need of God. It will help them sense that God is serious in reaching out to them.
The people of God need to desire to have this power. And it means they must seek God always. For the Holy Spirit will lead those who seek God. And those He will lead are Gods children. (Romans 8:14). And those He will lead will have His power to make men see how good God is through their lives.
Bible translator J. B. Philips gave this comment about the early churches that were highlighted in the book of Acts. The sick are not merely prayed about. They are healed often suddenly. The early church lived dangerously but never before had such a handful of people exerted such widespread influence.
We need to have those signs and wonders back in our time. For they bear witness of God in the presence of those who do not believe. (John 10:25). And like the members of the old churches that the apostles had established, we must continue to seek God so that He can work wonders through us. We need to depend on the same power they had depended on. For we are called not only to be saved but also to share to others what we have found in God.
Keep in mind that God is in the business of turning the unsaved back to Him. And that never changes.
1. When was the last time you witnessed for Christ? What are your plans to reach out to those that are unsaved?
2. Compare the early and the present-day churches in terms of witnessing for Christ. How should todays churches witness for Christ the fact that times have changed so fast?
To witness for Christ is the believers lifelong task.