The Spirit in the Church Acts 5:12-16 “This is the church as it was meant to be...vigorous and flexible...before it became fat and short of breath...open on the God-ward side in a way that is almost unknown today” J.B.Phillips The Spirit’s Power is Evident “The apostles performed many miraculous signs and wonders among the people” Acts 5:12 Jesus said: “You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you” Acts 1:8 The Spirit’s Love is Real “All the believers used to meet together in Solomon’s Colonnade” Acts 5:12 “All the believers were together and had everything in common” Acts 2:44 “There were no needy persons among them” Acts 4:34 Jesus said: “On that day you will realise that I am in the Father, you are in me and I am in you” John 14:20 The Spirit’s Presence is Recognised “No one else dared join them, even though they were highly regarded by the people” Acts 5:13 “Then the high priest and all his associates... were filled with jealousy. They arrested the apostles...” Acts 5:17,18 The Spirit’s Life is Contagious “More and more men and women believed in the Lord and were added to their number” Acts 5:14 Jesus said: “When the Holy Spirit comes He will convict the world of sin and righteousness and judgement...” John 16:8 “When the Holy Spirit comes on you...you will be my witnesses...to the ends of the earth” Acts 1:8 The Church moving in the Spirit is a church in which: • the Spirit’s power is evident • the Spirit’s love is real • the Spirit’s presence is recognised • the Spirit’s life is contagious 1. When you hear the word “church” what is the first image that comes in to your mind? What can we learn from this? 2. Do you know of churches where numbers have declined? Do you know of people who have left the church and not gone anywhere else? Can you suggest reasons for this? 3. Concerning declining church attendance, how big a problem is the church in Scotland facing? What can we do about it, as lay preachers and church leaders? 4. Thinking about the Word and Spirit, what is the main challenge that has come to you today as a lay preacher?