Acts 4:33; Ephesians 4:29-32
WITH great power gave the apostles witness of
the resurrection of the Lord Jesus: and great grace was upon them all"
(Acts 4:33). This is the triumphant testimony of God to the early
Christians. Peter later says, "We are his witnesses of these things;
and so is also the Holy Ghost, whom God hath given to them that obey
him" (5:32). This same Holy Spirit wants to do the same wonderful
things today but is often prevented.
On the Day of Pentecost all were "with one accord" (Acts 2:1). This
was not essential in order for the Holy Spirit to come, but it was
essential in order for the Spirit to control believers at Pentecost.
"Grieve not the Holy Spirit" (Eph. 4:30) is the demand of God. The
Holy Spirit is a Person (John 16:13, 14). He is holy. He has moved in
to live within the Christian (I Cor. 6:19-20). He would normally work
through you as "rivers of living water" (John 7:37-39) unless He is
hindered. Anything unholy grieves Him. Therefore, Christians should
"let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamor, and evil
speaking, be put away from you, with all malice" (Eph. 4:31).
Christians and churches can have "Ichabod" (see I Sam. 4:21) written
over them because of the bitterness in their hearts and houses. No
longer do they see the power of God in their service or services for
the Lord. What an awful price to pay for harboring grudges or hate or
envy or bitterness against a brother, when Christians ought to forgive
one another "even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you" (Eph.
4:32). I know things about me that my mother, my wife, my children
don't know, and God has forgiven me. How can I judge others or hold
anything against my brother?
Something else was very evident about these Christians as they said,
"We ought to obey God rather than men" (Acts 5:29). They had caught a
vision and contracted a passion. They were not guilty of "quenching"
the Spirit (I Thess. 5:19). They witnessed. We must respond to the
Holy Spirit and witness no matter the cost, "for it is God which
worketh in you both to will [desire] and to do of his good pleasure"
(Phil. 2:13). Don't offend the Holy Spirit. That cost is too high.