Day Five: “Christianity is Hopeless Without the Spirit”

“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you. And you will be my witnesses, telling people about me everywhere…” (Acts 1:8)

“[The early church] was made up of simple men and women. The leaders were former fishermen and tax collectors who fled in fear… they lacked faith and courage. They were the least likely to be put in charge of any Christian enterprise. Yet after the events in Acts 2, when the Holy Spirit is poured out, those same nobodies were suddenly transformed. With courage and faith, they turned their community, and eventually the world, upside down. That wasn’t due to their seminary training; they didn’t have any training. They couldn’t hand out copies of the New Testament, because it hadn’t been written yet. It wasn’t because they were wealthy and had the greatest sound system and light show at their church. They were poor people without a church building. In fact, the Christian church didn’t get its first public building for about three hundred years. To the existing Jewish religious establishment, those early Christians were mocked as unlearned and ignorant people with few resources. To the Roman Empire they seemed fanatical and strange. But one thing they did possess was the power of the Holy Spirit. Jesus told them to rely on the Spirit for everything, including impromptu speech. To paraphrase, he said, ‘Don’t even prepare what you’ll say when you’re in high-pressure situations, because when you open your mouth, it will be given to you. The Father will give it to you through the Holy Spirit. You’ll just know what to say’ (Mark 13:11). The early believers knew all too well that Christianity was hopeless without the Holy Spirit.”  (J. Cymbala, Spirit Rising, Kindle Locations 334-339)