by Shaun Caudill
God’s display of power during Pentecost got the Jews’ attention. Many of the Jews had traveled from distant lands to come and celebrate this feast when something shocking took place. A bunch of uneducated men started to speak in every language for every Jew represented there. How was this possible? Though some tried to explain it away as just a drunken episode they were having, Peter proclaimed to them that this was the power of God! He began preaching to them about who Jesus was and how the Jewish people as a whole had crucified and killed Him. Peter then stated that God had raised Jesus from the dead, confirming that Jesus was the Lord and Messiah the Scriptures had foretold. Many were convicted of their sins and became followers of the risen Jesus right then and there. In fact, the Bible tells us that 3,000 Jews became Christians that day!
Was the power of salvation only working through the apostles though? Absolutely not! It was amazing that Peter and the other apostles could speak and do such powerful works, however, we know from the Scriptures that they were just common men with no special education or training beforehand. During their time with Jesus, they had learned over and over that it was through faith in Him that these powerful works were done. Even at times when they seemed to fail, Jesus would rebuke or encourage them that it was all about faith in who He was and what He had taught them.
In Acts 1, Jesus told the apostles they would receive power from the Holy Spirit. This power became evident as they all spoke to the crowd as Peter preached. So why would it be wrong for us to think that Christians only came to faith through the power displayed through the apostles? The end of Acts 2 gives us some insight. It states that the new Christians “. . . devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.” New Christians were living out their new faith and were showing great love and compassion to one another by providing for needs and taking care of one another. Do you know what happened as these “common Christians” lived out their faith? The Bible tells us that “the Lord added daily to the number of those being saved.” Outsiders watched how Christians loved and took care of one another as they were introduced to the gospel and were convicted by the Holy Spirit. That is the truth we each need to grasp a hold of. It is God who saves, not any person. It is not the talented or special that God uses but those who join with God in His mission and live out their faith in Christ to this lost world. It is not our power that changes lives, but His power living through us. Are you trusting Christ and living out your faith in Him to see others come to Christ? He wants to use even you!