The book of Acts in my Bible is titled ‘The Acts of The Apostles’. Titles and sub-headings were added by man. There are great records about the apostles in the book of Acts, but there are also records of others who did great things for God like Philip and Stephen, the certain disciple, Ananias, and others. The common denominator of all those that did great things for God was the gift of holy spirit. Instead of Acts of the Apostles, it might be better to title the book: Acts of Holy Spirit, or maybe even Holy Spirit Action.
God is spirit and everyone who truly loves Him worships Him in spirit and in truth. The very essence of what He is, spirit, has been imparted to man, with measure in the Old Testament, without measure in the New Testament. Throughout the New Testament there are references to the ‘new man’ or the inner godly nature that the spirit of God brings us. The Word of God fans the flames of that spirit. Where God is concerned, ‘spirit’ and ‘truth’ go hand in hand. Spirit can exist without truth and truth without spirit but both may not be godly. Spirit without truth can be quite lively and misleading. Truth without spirit can be verrrrrrrrry dull.
On the day of Pentecost, Peter delivered a great explanation about what had just gone on in Jerusalem after all the events surrounding the crucifixion of Jesus Christ and the outpouring of holy spirit. Peter was a changed man, no longer denying Jesus, he squarely confronted those who had put Jesus to death. Not only was he changed, but those listening were changed also and acted without fear in response as recorded in Acts 2:42-47:
42 And they continued stedfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers. 43 And fear (respect) came upon every soul: and many wonders and signs were done by the apostles.44 And all that believed were together, and had all things common; 45 And sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all men, as every man had need. 46 And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart, 47 Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.
People recognized the wonderful compassion of God. They rejoiced. People changed in their hearts as the holy spirit worked in them. They continued boldly in the temple and from house to house and were no longer afraid of those who who sought to extinguish their movement. These verses are about the spiritual reaction to the gift energizing them. Love energizes. They were inspired. This section of scripture should be read with that in mind. Remember the people in Exodus? They didn’t exactly see deliverance the way the believers in Acts did. On the day of Pentecost God must have been so blessed with the 3000 people who were praising Him and sharing grace with all the people.
The grace continued as Peter and John ministered to a lame man and he was healed. People got excited about it. Peter responded to their wonder by telling them exactly where the powerful and faithful love was from:
12 And when Peter saw it, he answered unto the people, Ye men of Israel, why marvel ye at this? or why look ye so earnestly on us, as though by our own power or holiness we had made this man to walk?13 The God of Abraham, and of Isaac, and of Jacob, the God of our fathers, hath glorified his Son Jesus; whom ye delivered up, and denied him in the presence of Pilate, when he was determined to let him go. Acts 3:12-13
The power or holiness came from the gift. A lot has been written about holy spirit, some of it very confusing and frankly misleading. Internal genuine power comes from a loving and willing God. When people truly understand its significance, lives get changed and the glory goes to God. He has given us such a gracious gift and it didn’t disappear at the close of Acts.