WHAT MADE THE GOSPEL of Jesus Christ penetrate the known world for only thirty-three years right after the resurrection? Imagine accomplishing that without mobile phones, internet, jet planes, emails, chat rooms, television, telephones, websites, etc.
What sort of transformation took place between Acts 1:8 and Acts 8:1? What happened between the conversion of the sinners to becoming preachers of the Gospel?
I believe it has something to do with the foundations laid in the lives of the new believers and the genuine fellowship (family atmosphere) formed among them. In short, they were established – solidly grounded.
Take a look at this:
“They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. Everyone was filled with awe, and many wonders and miraculous signs were done by the apostles. All the believers were together and had everything in common. Selling their possessions and goods, they gave to anyone as he had need. Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.
Apostle Paul himself was established spiritually – a foundation was laid, when a disciple named Ananias assisted him in his new-found faith (Acts 9.10-19). Then another Christian disciple, Barnabas (which means ‘son of encouragement’), introduced him to the rest of the spiritual family (Acts 9.27).
Now, imagine the effect in his life and ministry. He wrote two-thirds of the New Testament, which were designed to help establish new believers in different regions, mostly churches he started.
One of the epistles, not the wives of the apostles, which he wrote to the Hebrews was designed to help them press on to spiritual progress and maturity. Some were neglecting the Word that he exhorted them not to drift away (Hebrews 2.1).
Try to look around us and see lots of people who responded well to the Gospel but in a stunted stage because they are drifting away like a boat, afloat but with no direction. No exertion of effort. Just at the mercy of the incoming waves. Before you know it, you’ve become so far away from the shore, and beyond reach.
But, thanks be to God, new believers don’t have to be adrift. They can be established firmly and securely (with the help of fellow ‘ship mates’).
When the storms of life start to attack us on every side; we will have nothing to worry, for our hope (Jesus Christ), is the Anchor of our lives.
“We have this hope (Jesus Christ) as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure.”