When Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them, “Rulers and elders of the people, if we are on trial today for a benefit done to a sick man, as to how this man has been made well, let it be known to all of you and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead – by this name this man stands here before you in good health."
When did we allow our faith to get boring? When did Jesus, the Son of God come into the world, become everyday news? We Christians seem to be waiting, like the pre-Pentecostal believers were, for the coming of the Holy Spirit to descend upon us. Well, let me tell you. YOU’RE TOO LATE. It has already happened. The difference between those first New Testament Christians and our poor substitute for their faith is that they did something once the Spirit fell upon them. They made bold gestures. They took great leaps with their faith. They got outside the walls of the upper room and never looked back. They recognized that the purpose for the existence of the church was never about them. That purpose and goal was always “OUT THERE” somewhere; it was in the next person with whom they shared the Gospel.
Why don’t we have more evidence of the Holy Spirit in our lives? Maybe because we don’t need any more of it to keep doing the same thing we’ve been doing for decades. Maybe it is because it doesn’t take anything when we don’t risk anything.
Peter did not speak to the Sanhedrin because he was filled with the Holy Spirit. No, Peter was filled with the Holy Spirit because he and the other disciples had begun a course of action that brought them to this place before that austere body. We have gotten it backwards. We have not lived out our faith. We stay in our comfort zone, a place where the Holy Spirit is not needed because there is no risk, a place where we can do it all on our own
The story of the Acts of the Apostles is an action adventure story. It is more exciting the Indiana Jones. If it were a movie, we would buy tickets. In fact, we would stand in line to buy tickets. If the story of First Presbyterian Church were a movie, would you go see it? In what genre would it be listed? How about your own Christian journey? Yeah, mine too.
The faith of those early believers drove them to step out on great journeys. It was those great journeys that demanded the presence of the Spirit in order to see it through to the end. The church at Antioch had already committed to sending someone out with the message of the Gospel when the Spirit led them to commission Paul and Barnabas! Christ has called us into his kingdom to dream great dreams, to begin grand adventures, to step beyond the possible resting in our faith that God will indeed send his Spirit to do great things! Let’s go on a journey!