mandag 6. juni 2016

Signs mere side-effects?

Two days ago I wrote: "signs are mere “side effects”". The statement must not be interpreted as though I am averse to physical manifistations as a result of the Holy Spirit's presence. Such side effects of the Holy Spirit  often work as positive confirmations, but my point is that they should never be the goal.

Apart from immediate signs like tongues, sound, wind, fire and shaking, and the long lasting sign og effective preaching mentioned in Acts, t

here are several more effects even in this verse:
All the believers were one in heart and mind. No one claimed that any of their possessions was their own, but they shared everything they had. With great power the apostles continued to testify to the resurrectionof the Lord Jesus. And God’s grace was so powerfully at work in them all.
Acts 4:32-33
The Christian unity, the experience of being "one in heart and mind", is an effect of the Holy Spirit. One of God's desires is to "gather" (1). As a young man I was fascinated that the first Christians sold their possessions and had everything in common. In a historical perspective, I'm more careful with the idea to sell "house and home", because for many this also meant selling their means of production. But the idea that everything I have belongs to God and thus his kingdom, I think is in line with what the Holy Spirit will work in me. And for some, to sell everything, is what they need to be 100% free. 

The other side effect is "great power". I think the key to the "great power" is seen in the preliminary work of unity. It is great to discover the power in unity in diversity.

But such unity requires hours of preparation and maintenance. We have to be generous towards one another and not give up, and then we will experience even another side effect, which in the quoted verse is described in this way: "God's grace was so powerfully at work in them all."  If I am to be part of the unity that builds God's Kingdom, I must be generous with grace!

'Manna' for today:
One with God, and one with his people
(1) often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings.
Matt 23:37

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