Greetings in the name of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
But when the Son of Man returns, how many will he find on the earth who have faith?” (Luke 18:8b)
As the Holy Spirit came, on the day of Pentecost, which was promised by Jesus, who ascended to Heaven after His resurrection. The disciples and the rest of all believers gathered in one place. Suddenly, there was a sound from heaven like the roaring of a mighty windstorm, and it filled the house where they were sitting. Then, what looked like flames or tongues of fire appeared and settled on each of them. And everyone present was filled with the Holy Spirit and began speaking in other languages, as the Holy Spirit gave them this ability.
Then Peter stood up and boldly preached the Gospel – the death and the resurrection of Jesus. By the power of the Holy Spirit, Peter’s words pierced the hearts of those who gathered in the pace, and they said to him and to the other apostles, “Brothers, what should we do?”
Peter replied, “Each of you must repent of your sins and turn to God, and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. Then you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. This promise is to you, and to your children, and even to the Gentiles—all who have been called by the Lord our God.” Then Peter continued preaching for a long time, strongly urging all his listeners, “Save yourselves from this crooked generation!”
On that day, those who believed what Peter said were baptized and added to the church —about 3,000 in all. (Acts 2:41) What a power of the Holy Spirit! We all like to be Peter, who powerfully preached the Gospel to thousands people, and made them accept Jesus.
Peter with John continued speaking boldly about Jesus. However, soon they were confronted by the priests, the captain of the Temple guard, and some of the Sadducees. These leaders were very disturbed that Peter and John were teaching the people that through Jesus there is a resurrection of the dead. They arrested them and, since it was already evening, put them in jail until morning. Peter endured the persecution with the power of the Holy Spirit with faith in Christ Jesus. Peter’s perseverance was not just for Peter, but for the people who heard the message of God from Peter. They witnessed Peter, who was physically confined in jail, but He was joyfully obedient to God in the power of the Holy Spirit. Thus, many believed God and accepted Jesus. As a result, the number of believers grew to about 5,000 men, not counting women and children. (Acts 4:4b)
The next day, both Peter and John were brought to the rulers, the elders and the teachers of the law in Jerusalem. Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, boldly proclaimed to them, “Jesus is
“ ‘the stone you builders rejected,
which has become the cornerstone.’
Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.” (Acts 4:11-12)
Those who heard this bold message had nothing to say. So they ordered Peter and John out of the council chamber and conferred among themselves. Then they called the apostles back in and commanded them never again to speak or teach in the name of Jesus.
But Peter and John replied, “Which is right in God’s eyes: to listen to you, or to him? You be the judges! As for us, we cannot help speaking about what we have seen and heard.” (Acts 4:19-20)
So they called the apostles back in and commanded them never again to speak or teach in the name of Jesus.
But Peter and John sternly replied, “Do you think God wants us to obey you rather than him? We cannot stop telling about everything we have seen and heard.”
The council then threatened them further, but they finally let them go because they didn’t know how to punish them without starting a riot. As soon as they were freed, Peter and John returned to the other believers and told them what the leading priests and elders had said. When they heard the report, all the believers lifted their voices together in prayer to God: “O Sovereign Lord, Creator of heaven and earth, the sea, and everything in them. (Acts 4:24)
All of them prayed with heart and mind to God for His Sovereign power and thanksgiving for releasing Peter and John by silencing the religious leaders and the authorities. Again, this was the power of the Holy Spirit on action, not that of Peter and John. Peter and John were just a holy instrument to magnify the glory of God, and His absolute sovereignty.
All humans’ cunning, wisdom and even earthly power were simply powerless before the power of the Holy Spirit After this prayer, the meeting place shook, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit. Then they preached the word of God with boldness.
When the Holy Spirit is with us, like Peter and John, surely we will be above the power of the world because we are with our God, who is absolutely sovereign to everything on earth. Peter and John had experienced the power of the Holy Spirit. Their faith was continuously strengthened in the Holy Spirit promised by Jesus. The same Holy Spirit acts on us even today, which is the promise and the reality today in our hearts.
However, Jesus lamented, “when the Son of Man returns, how many will he find on the earth who have faith?” Why?
Like a warrior story, when we heard and learned about great powers of the Holy Spirit, we are all charged up, and we feel that we also could be victorious over all things and hardships in the power of the Holy Spirit. Is it true to each of us? Absolutely not. We are sinful and short of the glory of God. Our hearts are prone to change like chameleon. When everything goes well, we all confidently think God is with us, and we are on God’s side. However, when we confront our life storm and hardship, how do we respond? Yes, we fail miserably.
It is absolutely true that we cannot overcome our trials and hardships by our own might and strength, but the power of the Holy Spirit makes use overcome all things, through which God’s name is glorified making people to fix their eyes on Jesus Christ, our Savior. Yes, we will surely fail in our everyday life even though we cling to Jesus with all our might and strength. Why? We are mere humans. Surely, we will fail miserably; not if, but when. We might not have strength to pray because of the harshness coming into our life. Then please do not dismay, and cling to the word: The Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. (Romans 8:26) The same Holy Spirit made Peter strong in Jesus is with us. Thus, we will come out more than conquerors through the power of the Holy Spirit.
No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. (Romans 8:37)