Going over Acts again. Thought it might be an appropriate time, ya know, the start of the Church and all. I love getting little gems, nuggets of Truth that hit me like a splash of cold water on the face. I got that feeling in Acts 4.
To set context, Peter and John had just been arrested for preaching "resurrection from the dead." They had to face the Sanhedrin and explain what the heck they were doing. Verse 8 gets the ball rolling. "Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit.....". I love it. Right away Luke shares with us that this whole episode would be led and governed by the Spirit. Well, Peter goes on to tell everyone present how wondrous deeds have been done in Christ's name and then jumps right to the Gospel message. How's that for a defense? The onlookers were astonished. Verse 13 goes on to say that they "saw the BOLDNESS of Peter and John, and perceived that they were uneducated and untrained men, and marveled." Peter and John were released as the Sanhedrin couldn't find fault.
I couldn't help but notice this key point: The Holy Spirit and Boldness are interrelated. Boldness, I believe, is a manifestation of the Spirit.
Peter and John went on to share what had happened with their companions. Everyone was excited, so excited that they professed that no man could withstand the anointing. They thus prayed, "Now, Lord, look on their threats, and grant to your servants that with all BOLDNESS they may speak Your word." (verse 29). As soon as they were done praying these things, the place they were standing was shaken and "they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and they spoke the word of God with BOLDNESS." (verse 31).
Once again, the intimate connection of the Holy Spirit with Boldness. I can't help but think that a key ingredient to establishing faith communities is boldness, much like the initial faith community in Acts 4.