The Focus of the Early Church: Acts 4:33
“And with great power the apostles were giving testimony to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and abundant grace was upon them all.” Acts‬ ‭4‬:‭33‬
This verse is worthy of carful study. Let me state the obvious; the “great power” was tied to the message of the of Jesus Christ and His resurrection. These two are intimately connected in this verse. But you ask; “why the resurrection?” What makes it so important? Let me give a few brief insights.
First, it is the resurrection that separates Jesus Christ from every other world religious leader. Romans 1:4 tells us that Jesus Christ was declared to be the Son of God with power by the resurrection from the dead. In other words, the resurrection is the proof of His Deity. The founder of every other world religion is dead and decayed.
Second, it is the resurrection that validates the gospel message. This is what adds the punch to John 3:16-17; “16) For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. 17) For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him.” God did not leave His Son in the grave.
Third, it is the resurrection that highlights the mission of Jesus Christ to give life to those who believe in Him. Take a moment and review John 11:25-26; “25) Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in Me will live even if he dies, 26) and everyone who lives and believes in Me will never die. Do you believe this?”
Finally, it is the resurrection that seals Jesus Christ as the only way to God. This was the message of Peter and John in Acts 4:9-12 to the religious leaders. It might surprise some people, but there is only one way that leads to God and that is through Jesus Christ. The gospel is very exclusive.
No wonder the “great power” was directly tied directly to giving witness to the resurrection of Jesus Christ. This should not surprise us. This is exactly what Jesus said in Acts 1:8. He clearly stated that the power of the Holy Spirit would be intimately tied to the spread of the gospel.
God’s grace and power always converge at validating the identity of Jesus Christ and spreading of the gospel. To the extent that Jesus Christ is left out of the message, the manifestation of the power of the Holy Spirit diminishes and abundant grace evaporates.
I want to state the obvious one more time; healings, miracles, signs and wonders in the book of Acts and the New Testament were directly tied to lifting up Jesus Christ and the spread of the gospel. They were not an end in themself.
The problem with powerless Christianity today is not a lack of faith, it is a lack of focus! Jesus Christ and the gospel are being displaced and obscured by all kinds of stuff. Hebrews 12:2 tells us to “fix our eyes on Jesus the author and perfecter of faith.” This verse has the cure for spiritual impotency today!
Daily Bible Commentary By Terry Baxter: Cofounder of GoServ Global