“Do not call something unclean if God has made it clean.” (Acts10:15)
God asked Peter to break the rules. This kind of thing is happening throughout the stories in this exciting book of Acts. Acts is all about transformation. It’s about lives, thinking and beliefs going through radical metamorphosis. It’s staggering. It sends you reeling if you try and take it in all at once. But let’s try anyway …
Acts is all about Jews believing Jesus is the Messiah; about the Holy Spirit coming and changing everything (no longer what we do for God, it’s what God does in and through us through the transforming power of the Holy Spirit); about Jews and Gentiles having their lives transformed by the forgiveness of sins by way of the gospel; about Saul going from persecuting Christians to becoming one – and by becoming Paul, the architect of the new body of Christ; and it’s about Peter going from discriminating against non-Jews to embracing Gentiles as equals and heirs of the promise. Father Abraham’s family just got a whole lot bigger!
Changes like this normally don’t happen overnight, but here they do. When Saul came to Jerusalem the people are terrified of him until they heard the story of his encounter with Jesus on the road to Damascus and they met him and bore witness to a changed heart and gentle spirit. “We thought we knew you, but our old assessments and prejudices have all been altered. You are a new person; we can’t wait to find out who you are!” This kind of thing was happening to people from all walks of life, from merchants, business owners and jailers, right down to servants and slaves. Even Roman magistrates were “almost persuaded.”
These are attitudes and beliefs that have been in place for thousands of years and suddenly they are coming down in an instant on the strength of a miraculous encounter with the supernatural, and the evidence of a changed life. This is unheard of. Acts is not a casual read; it’s the lives of people being turned upside down.
This is why we call this study Transformation Generation. We are seeking through the presence and power of the Holy Spirit to generate personal transformation in your life and in ours. And we are also acknowledging that periods of transformation are generational. Fifty years ago, many of us were part of a movement that transformed the church by shaking it to its core. We believe it needs to be shaken again, and that the millennial generation is already doing it. Many of them have already joined us. We want to come alongside them, listen to them, and look for where we can partner and learn together. Get ready to hear from some of our favorite millennials next week, and don’t miss our BlogTalkRadio guests where we are asking Jesus Freaks from the 1970s to address transformation then and now.
This is the Transformation Generation. We are in it, and we long for it to happen in us.