Monday, February 4, 2008

Acts: Signs of the Spirit (4:31)

There are church groups out there who teach a two-step process to salvation. You get saved from your sins, and at a later point in time you are given the Spirit of God. This gift is accompanied by outward signs, they say, usually incoherent babbling.
 
This whole doctrine is built on not differentiating between the terms “baptized” and “filled,” and on making a couple of specific occurrences a norm for all people for the rest of time. These moments are (1) the first group ever to get the spirit (Acts 2), and (2) the first group of Samaritans to get the spirit (Acts 8).
 
The Bible does speak of people who are already saved, being “filled” with the Spirit and there is in this instance in Acts 4, a sign. They speak the Word of God with boldness.
 
Christians today like to talk about Spiritual Gifts. It seems an aspect of our self-obsession. We like to take tests and learn more about ourselves. There is also a desire to find out what Spiritual gifts we don’t have so we can feel all right about not doing certain things.
 
“Oh, sorry, I would teach Sunday School, but I don’t have the gift of teaching.”
 
“Well, I would like to share my faith, but you see… I took that test and I don’t have the gift of evangelism.”
 
The fact is that every single Christian according to the Bible is supernaturally, spiritually gifted to Evangelize. Look at Acts 1:8, or here in 4:31. We all have all the power of God at our disposal. All that is required of any Christian is to simply share what they have witnessed first hand. God takes care of the rest.

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