So the quest of God finally reaches our age. We will call this the age of the Church. It falls after the resurrection of Jesus and before His second coming. As Jesus prepares to leave this earth, He speaks the following words to His disciples, as a reminder that His Father’s quest is not yet over, “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth” Acts 1:8.
Act 4: God Attempts to Establishes His Image Through The Church (Acts 1- Rev 3)
The Church is God’s chosen people, handpicked to reflect His image. It is now up to the bride of Christ to show the whole earth what the Father is like. Jesus came and showed the Jews what the Father is like and now He gives a mandate to the disciples to go back to Jerusalem and wait for the Holy Spirit to empower them to be His witnesses. We must remember that Jesus is not talking about evangelism here. To be a witness is to represent who Jesus is. Jesus, we’re told in 2 Cor. 4:4b, is the image of God. By representing Jesus as witnesses, we are essentially reflecting the image of our heavenly Father. So how and why should we reflect the image of God?
Through His death and resurrection Jesus conquered Sin. Sin, being the master that possessed us prior to our conversion, is overcome when we put our faith in Jesus (Romans 6:1-14). As a result we are now liberated and empowered to live a righteous life. Since the Holy Spirit indwells inside of believers, it is He who works in us to transforms us into the image of God (2 Corinthians 3:18). This is an ongoing process. Hence why the doctrine of sanctification is important! When we yield to God by relying solely on His grace and acknowledge that we can’t do anything apart from Him, then and only then are we truly transformed. God is on a quest to save not just the elect but to bring about change and transformation in our hearts and thus bring us to reflect His image.
As the book of Acts unfolds, it doesn’t take long until the Church, too, fails to reflect God’s image. Ananias and Sapphira lie to Peter and the God about their giving and are immediately struck dead. God’s desire was for the Church to represent Him appropriately. Ananias and Sapphira’s violation was dealt with very seriously so to set an example for all of how dangerous it is to disobey God.
In our day and age we constantly see failure within the Church; ministers rising and falling, the saints are both judgmental and hypocritical, and something deep in us screams, “How can this be; is this right?” Even the apostle Paul writes to the churches in his letters, rebuking dysfunction and misrepresentation. If we are to be honest with ourselves, we will see that we, too, have failed to appropriately represent God to the surrounding world. Yet, He graciously allows us to live on. However, we need intervention and we need it fast. It has been two thousand years and still no one has intervened. Now, I am no Harold Camping who can predict when this happens, but I do know that divine intervention is coming and how it will all end. God let’s us in on His secret of how He will bring this about. Buckle your seats, because the best is yet to come!
Act IV comes to a close…