Five Marks of a Spirit-Empowered Disciple

Before Jesus left the planet, He promised His followers that they would become Spirit-empowered disciples pursuing His mission.

When the promised Spirit filled them on the day of Pentecost, He turned ordinary fishermen into extraordinary fishers of men.

Simple Galileans began preaching the Gospel in the languages of the nations. Peter, who had denied Jesus three times preached a powerful message of the Gospel and 3,000 people were added to their numbers.

A movement began.

The next day, and the next, and the one after that, the new believers committed themselves to one another and to God.

Acts 2:41-47 is a record of those first few days and weeks of the movement. These verses reveal some key traits or marks of a Spirit-empowered follower of Jesus.

1. Wholehearted Worship

Then fear came over everyone…

Wholehearted worship is active. Worship is sacrifice. Whether “in the temple complex” (large gatherings) or “from house to house” (smaller, more intimate gatherings), when we are together with other believers, our worship should be filled with energy and praise.

Worship is both ritualistic and relational. A spirit-empowered disciple will dedicate himself to the celebration of communion, to prayers, and to other elements in a consistent way with other believers. On the other hand, worship is also spontaneous and from the heart. There ought to be a holy awe that permeates our corporate worship and our private worship because God’s Spirit is on the move.

God’s Vision and Mission for the Living Church

From The Living Church: Convictions of A Lifelong Pastor by John R. W. Stott (1921 – 2011):

The Mission of the Church

We believe that the church has a double identity. On the one hand we are called out of the world to belong to God, and on the other we are sent back into the world to witness and to serve. Moreover, the mission of the church is modeled on the mission of Christ. He himself said so. “As the Father has sent me, I am sending you” (John 20:21). His mission meant for him the incarnation. He did not stay in the safe immunity of his heaven. Instead, he emptied himself of his glory and humbled himself to serve. He actually entered our world. He took our nature, lived our life, and died our death. He could not have identified with us more closely than he did. It was total identifacation, though without any loss of identity, for he became one of us without ceasing to be himself. He became human without ceasing to be God.

And now he calls us to enter other people’s worlds, as he entered ours. All authentic mission is incarnational mission. We are called to enter other people’s social and cultural realit: into their thought-world, struggling to understand their misunderstandings of the gospel, and into the pain of their alienation, weeping with those who weep. And all this without compromising our Christian beliefs, values and standards.