On each Friday of this study, we will reflect on the events and people of the early church we discussed throughout the week. Centuries of history can be a lot to digest, so we want to utilize this day to help connect the history of the early church to our lives today.
Week One: Review + Apply
Nevertheless, I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you. But if I go, I will send him to you.
Watch Week One, Day Five
the impact of the holy spirit
The church began at Pentecost when the Holy Spirit came upon the followers of Christ. Before Jesus’ ascension, He commanded His disciples to go and make disciples, but He told them to wait first. To wait for the coming of the Holy Spirit. Why? Jesus knew that following Him and making disciples would not always be easy. Therefore, God sent the Holy Spirit as their Helper. Jesus even said that it is to our advantage for Him to leave so that the Holy Spirit will come to us (John 16:7). Think about that for a moment. Jesus said it is better if He is not physically with us so that the Holy Spirit can be within us. This truth is the power of the Holy Spirit—God’s design for His church.
The Holy Spirit is everything to the church. The Holy Spirit caused the growth and spread of the early church that we read about this week. The Holy Spirit filled the disciples as they boldly proclaimed Jesus as the Savior. The Holy Spirit inspires men, women, and children to give their lives to follow Christ. He opens our eyes and ears to the gospel. He transforms our hearts. He led the way as the early church moved into all regions.
Also, consider the Holy Spirit’s impact throughout all of the church’s history. The breadth of the impact is beyond our understanding. This week, we saw the power of the Holy Spirit speaking through Peter, helping him to give his first sermon even though he had recently denied Christ. The Holy Spirit’s power was in Saul’s conversion to Paul. And He is with us today—the very God of the universe within us. The Holy Spirit’s power within us. It is our connection to the presence of God.
Do you believe that the Holy Spirit is alive and active today as He was in the early church? How has the Holy Spirit affected your life?
conflict within the cloud
Conflict within the church is inevitable because imperfect people run the church. As we saw with the conflict concerning widows in Acts 6, the church faced conflict head on by coming up with a loving and caring solution. They did not ignore or downplay the conflict, but rather dealt with it in a practical and respectful manner.
At times, we do not deal well with conflict within the church. This can cause great hurt and distract us from our Lord and His mission. More than anything, the Enemy wants to divide God’s church. May we fight against this! May we be compassionate, kind, humble, meek, patient, and loving as we forgive each other (Colossians 3:12–14). May we remember to draw on the strength of the Holy Spirit as He unifies us and ties us all into the body of Christ even in the midst of conflict. As Jesus prayed, may we be one so that the world can know God’s love (John 17:23).
As you reflect on the events and people of the early church discussed throughout the week, what influenced you most and why?
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