The fact that a Christian has received the baptism of the Holy Spirit must be manifested in his daily life. The most obvious manifestation is the believer’s Christlike character and behaviour, in that he has evidence of the Fruit of the Spirit. We could say that the daily life of such a one as this is full of joyful holiness and power. The Holy Spirit is working into believers exactly what He did in the first century church. The Spirit-filled man or woman should closely resemble the description found in Acts 2:44-47:
“And all that believed were together, and had all things common; and sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all men, as every man had need. 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, praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.”
“All that believed were together.” It is not possible for the church to know the fullness of the Spirit until there is true unity and fellowship. Where there is bitterness and contention there will be disunity. Minor differences must be laid aside and forgotten, while major ones ought to be worked through with brotherly love. Hearts that are occupied by the Holy Spirit cannot help being bound together in love and unity. For there to be unity believers must have mutual lowliness, forbearance and peace.
“They had all things common.” The Holy Spirit frees the Christian from selfishness and covetousness. Self-centredness is replaced with self-sacrifice and generosity. Covetousness is replaced with a joyful willingness to assist others who may have material needs, even to the point of selling “possessions and goods.” There will be no hesitation about letting go of the things that others have more need of. This calls for self-denial on our part.
This love is not in word only, but is both warm and practical. It “seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil” (1 Corinthians 13:5). This kind of love makes the believer to spend and be spent for the benefit of others. Such love can only be found where people are truly filled with the Holy Spirit. It is only through the Holy Spirit that we can love others as ourselves, and wholeheartedly love God.
God’s children love to draw near to Him, for they hunger to know more of His truth. They delight to converse with God in prayer and to praise Him both in public meeting and in private. The gathering together of the saints to worship God is never boring, instead it is glorious for the believer.
There was “gladness” in the hearts of the early church. The Holy Spirit filled them with the same joy He wants for us today (Romans 15:13; John 15:11). This joy filled their hearts even in the worst of tribulations (2 Corinthians 7:4). So it is that our joy can be “unspeakable and full of glory” (1 Peter 1:18).
Singleness of heart
There was no compromise amongst those who were filled with the Holy Spirit, for they served God with singleness of heart. They had laid everything upon the altar and refused to take it back. Their minds were set upon one thing – to fully know the Lord Jesus Christ. Their lives had one aim – to glorify God by preaching the truth to the lost.
Favour with all the people
It is a good thing to be a Christian in church or in private, but Christlikeness must be manifested as we interact with those who do not know the Lord too. Do sinners admire our lives? Do we live in a way that makes them envious enough to want he same blessing? The lost are more likely to respond to our words if they see us living the Christian life. In this way more will be added to the church.
The same Holy Spirit, who filled the believers of the early church, abides and works in us today. We must allow Him to live His life through us without any hesitation on our part. He is able to manifest Himself through us in a mighty and powerful way, and thus bring glory and honour to the Lord Jesus Christ. As we permit Him to reign in us we will have the spiritual power to extend the Kingdom of God through the preaching of His word.