The title of the book of Acts should not have been Acts of the Apostles but Acts of the Spirit. It might help give you a more God-centered perspective in reading the stories of how the church grew from a tiny band of men and women in Jerusalem to billions now across the world.
It started with a small fire in the church in Jerusalem. That fire, because no one and nothing can put it out, spread throughout the whole world. How did it happen? As you read the book of Acts and see how Jesus’ mandate in Acts 1:8 (“you shall be my witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth”) was fulfilled, you will get the obvious impression that the Holy Spirit sets the church on fire. It is the Spirit’s work, empowering the church to fulfill her mission.
God doesn’t just want this fire to spread in naturally, but supernaturally. The reason? That the focus would not be on man and what he can do but on God alone that he might receive all the glory. To spread this fire supernaturally, he uses certain fuels to make sure the fire keeps burning and spreading.
The following fuels are not only true in the case of the early church. The Spirit also uses them until today in and through our churches.
- Christ-centeredness in the proclamation of the Word
- Boldness in the midst of persecution
- God-dependence in prayer
- Evidence of the Spirit’s power
- Increase in the Church’s purity
Question: Among these five, what do you think are missing in our church today? What can we do to put ourselves in a position where the Spirit will see us fit to be used as fuel for spreading the fire of the gospel?