Terry R. Baughman
“And when they had prayed, the place where they were assembled together was shaken; and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and they spoke the word of God with boldness.” (Acts 4:31).
The infant church birthed on the Day of Pentecost exploded in growth. From the upper room experience where they were gathered, “with one accord in one place,” they stood together to proclaim the outpouring of the Holy Spirit as predicted by the prophet Joel (Acts 2:1, 16–17). The unity experienced in the beginning continued as they spread the message of Jesus and His resurrection from the dead. A powerful demonstration of God’s Spirit was evidenced, not only in the thousands who received the Holy Spirt but in numerous miracles of healing and spiritual signs. After the public healing of the lame man near the Temple and the subsequent arrest of Peter and John as they were questioned concerning this notable miracle, there was also another opportunity to proclaim the power and authority behind the event. They acknowledge the miracle was only through the power of the resurrected Christ. They reported that it was “by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead, by Him this man stands here before you whole” (Acts 4:10).
The religious leaders were greatly disturbed by the testimony of Christ by these disciples. Perhaps even more disturbing was the vast crowd of 5,000 that became believers in Jesus through the witness of this miracle and their preaching. After threatening them and forbidding them to preach any longer in the name of Jesus they were released.
The disciples gathered together with other believers for a prayer meeting. When they united in prayer there was a physical shaking of the place where they gathered. They were renewed in the Holy Spirit and emboldened to continue proclaiming the name of Jesus!
It was noted that “the multitude of those who believed were of one heart and one soul” after these events (Acts 4:32). Unity of the believers brought a powerful demonstration of the Spirit, which in turn brought more unity of purpose. They continued believing in the Apostle’s doctrine and proclaiming the Gospel of Jesus Christ; “With great power the apostles gave witness to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. And great grace was upon them all” (Acts 4:33).
Unity among believers will result in powerful signs and miracles. God’s blessing will be evidenced as the name of Jesus is proclaimed with a united purpose. When believers come together they are strengthen in their fellowship and faith and the commission of Christ becomes the focus of their efforts. The purpose for Christ’s prayer for our oneness becomes more evident as we see the results of that unity.
With God nothing is impossible and believers will discover that truth when we follow the apostles example: unite, pray, preach, and repeat. The destiny of the world and the salvation of multitudes depend on our response to the call of the commission and the power of unity.
“That they may be one as we are” (John 17:11).