The Three Elements
“. . . multitudes of men and women, were constantly added to their number,” Acts 5:14
The creative power of the redemption of God works in our soul only through the preaching of Jesus’ life, death and resurrection. The power of salvation is not in our sharing of personal experiences, thoughts, or anecdotes, but it’s in the raw, unfiltered truth of redemption.
The background for effectively bringing others into the kingdom is given here in verse 14. Peter models the three elements surrounding the presenting of the gospel – identification, holiness, and power.
Identification involves us finding common ground with the listener. Be it a felt need, a shared problem, or a question about God – it means having a point of contact. Our identification with people’s needs brings us closer to them.
Holiness was the trait that characterized the early church. Their call to holiness did not hinder the growth of the church, but was a major component of its expansion. This should give us courage and boldness in living differently from the accepted norms of our day. The presence of holiness in our life causes an uneasiness in some, but often it’s a trigger of conviction to respond to the prompting of the Holy Spirit to repent and receive Christ.
There is, as the result of salvation in an individual’s life, an undeniable power. There was power manifested in the church through healing. With an emphasis on holiness, there is also an experience of the fullness and power of the Spirit.
Identification, holiness and power are necessities and are intertwined. With only identification as a means of reaching others, the church lowers it standards of purity. To have a church that’s pure but powerless ceases to be compelling to those seeking Jesus. Likewise, a church that emphasizes power without holiness will bring scandalous dishonor to Christ.
Jesus paid the price to make all three elements possible. We see through His example that we don’t have to engage in sin to attract sinners.
Is your life characterized by identification, holiness, and power? Which area needs working on?