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News and views from the German-language region of Europe

January 17, 2020

How are we supposed to do all that?

Filed under Sabbath Thoughts

When you consider everything that Jesus expects us to do, you could ask this question! We are to be a light to the world and preach the Gospel everywhere and be a loving community of those called. Where do we look for spiritual power today? Education? Work? Religious heritage? Acts shows us that the holy spirit gives us power!

Acts is a history of the transforming power of the holy spirit. Jesus promised power to the disciples after the Holy Spirit came upon them: "And He opened their understanding, that they might comprehend the Scriptures. Then He said to them, Thus it is written, and thus it was necessary for the Christ to suffer and to rise from the dead the third day, and that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. And you are witnesses of these things. Behold, I send the promise of my father upon you; but tarry in the city of Jerusalem until you are endued with power from on high" (Luke 24:45-49).

It was this spirit that empowered the apostles to proclaim Jesus as the Messiah. And the book of Acts reveals the holy spirit as the driving force behind all powerful ministry performed in Jesus' name.

Acts also shows a new sense of identity that true believers have. The disciples gradually realized they were no longer Jews (at least from the ceremonial point of view). They slowly began to understand that they were part of a new community led by the holy spirit — a community which was prophesied in the Hebrew Scriptures. And they also came to recognize the need to preach to all people — Jews and Gentiles — and to fellowship with those whom God called, no matter what their national background. Baptism in the name of Jesus Christ and participation in the church's worship life through Sabbath and Holy Day observance became the outward signs of the inward grace. Acts shows the importance of relationships among the household of faith.

When we read the book of Acts, we should realize that it is a history of our church. And it is a history that can repeat itself if that same spirit is alive in us today.

With these thoughts I wish everyone a rewarding Sabbath!

Paul Kieffer's blog with personal insights and news from the German-language region in Europe.


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