The Acts of the Apostles is given to us to illustrate how we should and must live our lives as children of God. In Acts 5:1-11, we see Ananias and Sapphira his wife, who willingly sold their property. Although this was the common practice of the early church at that time, who shared everything in common. The brethren prayed together, cried together, laughed together, eat together, worshipped together and did everything together, as seen in Acts 2:44, “All the believers were together and had everything in common”. However, were they sinned was when they brought the proceeds to the Apostles under false pretences that all the proceeds derived from the sale of their property, was all that they presented to the Apostles. If they had simply stated that although they sold their property, they only brought a portion of the proceeds which they gave to the disciples, they would have been free of sin.
After Pentecost, the Apostles and brethren where still learning more about the character, personality and power of the Holy spirit, therefore when Ananias and Sapphira lied in the presence of the Holy Spirit, an example was made out of them, to teach the brethren about the purity and power of the Holy Spirit, and to deter them from sin. The book of The Acts of the Apostles reveals the true nature, character and divine power of the God, by the Holy Spirit. We cannot fully understand the book of Acts without first knowing and understanding who the Holy Spirit is because it was the Holy Spirit that made the Apostles change from ordinary beings, to extra-ordinary people. Therefore, the Lord wants to teach us about the Holy Spirit in Acts chapter 5 and 6, who raised Jesus from the dead.
This is because it was through the Holy Spirit that the Apostles performed mighty works and received the divine wisdom and revelation knowledge of God’s nature and word. Just like it says in Romans 8:11, “And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies because of his Spirit who lives in you”. I have often said that as Believers, our uncommon blessing, is the Holy Spirit living in us and through us.
Who is the Holy Spirit?
My definition of The Holy Spirit is this: He is the power of God’s truth living and working in us, and through us as children of God, to accomplish the perfect will of God. The Holy Spirit is not a thing or a force, but He is a Person, who we must get acquainted with, so that we may live a successful Christian life. i.e., God’s perfect will for us. He is the third person in the Godhead trinity after God the Father and Jesus the Son. This signifies that the Holy Spirit is co- equal with God and Jesus. Matthew 28:19, “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit”.
It was the Holy Spirit occupying Peter in verses Acts 5:15 and 16, that caused Peter’s shadow that fell on the people, to heal them all. In other words, Peter was a willing vessel that carried God’s power and glory. God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are distinct from one another in terms of their personal relationship. But they are co-equally God, meaning they are all the beings of God. In other words, they do not exist independently one from the other.
The best way that the Holy Spirit explained the person of the Holy Spirit to me in 1996, is in Genesis 1:1-3, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters. And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. When God the Father decided to form the earth, He spoke the word and the word we know is (Jesus). It was the Holy Spirit of God, who is the power of God, that brought the word to pass, by accomplishing all that God the Father commanded.
The Holy Spirit is pure, holy, true, gentle, loving, kind, highly sensitive, emotional, compassionate and extremely powerful in every way. The Holy Spirit does not condole sin in anyway or form. This is because He is pure and excellent in every way. Therefore, when we commit sin, we drive the Holy Spirit away from us. As a result, we must vividly remember that it is extremely dangerous to lie to God, just like we saw in the case of Ananias and Sapphira.
14 Functions of the Holy Spirit in us, which caused the Apostles to do mighty works.
1. He brings the tangible presence of God to us.
2. He enables us to work in God’s perfect will.
3. He helps to become Christ-Like
4. He gives us understanding of the Bible and releases the Rhema word to us.
5. He empowers with strength and boldness for us to do exploits.
6. He bestows and blesses us with His fruits and gifts.
7. He intercedes for us and helps to pray the right way.
8. He instructs, comforts, teaches and guides us.
9. He is our loyal friend and partner, especially in our time of need.
10. He reveals Truth and God’s will to us.
11. He edifies us and the church.
12. He helps and increases our faith.
13. He gives us divine wisdom and revelation knowledge.
14. He is our seal for the day of Redemption. Ephesians 1:13.
When we go before God in prayer and in truth, we will receive answers to our prayers and petitions because God is a Lover of truth, and anything true. One major reason why the Apostles, e.g., Peter was able to do great things through him working in truth with the Holy Spirit. We must understand that God sees everything that we think, do or say. He judges the intents of our heart rightly. Therefore, when we pray, we must be brutally honest with God and ourselves. Lying before God has caused many Believers to become being sick, and some even die. 1 Corinthians 11:30, “That is why many among you are weak and sick, and a number of you have died”. God does not like sin, cover ups, excuses, and half-truths. This is because John 4:24, “God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth.”
One major reason why the Apostles faced so many persecutions was because they were carriers of the Holy Spirit. Therefore, they too had to bear their crosses just like Jesus did. But the Apostles rejoiced that they were persecuted because of Jesus. Acts 5:41, “The apostles left the Sanhedrin, rejoicing because they had been counted worthy of suffering disgrace for the Name”. This showed us that the disciples also willingly identified with the birth, death, resurrection, and glorification of Jesus.
The new life that we have, is the Holy Spirit living in us, and through us. Acts 5:20 “Go, stand in the temple courts,” he said, “and tell the people all about this new life”. Due to the presence of the Holy Spirit in the lives of the Apostles, the word of God grew mighty and prevailed. We too today, must have the presence of the Holy Spirit living in and through us, for us to accomplish great works like the Apostles of Jesus. We need the wisdom, knowledge, character, holiness, faith and power of the Holy Spirit in living and fulfilling the will of God for our lives.