In Acts 3, we find Peter and John going to the temple to worship. Just outside the temple gate sat a beggar who had been crippled from birth. Peter told him to stand and walk in the name of Jesus, and the man was healed!
When Peter and John saw crowds gathering to marvel at the miracle, they began preaching Christ. Thousands were saved. While Peter and John were preaching, the synagogue rulers asked the disciples, “By what power or by what name have you done this?” (Acts 4:7, NKJV). Peter was emboldened by the Holy Ghost and essentially told them, “His name is Jesus Christ, the man you crucified three weeks ago. God raised him from the dead, and now he’s the power that healed this man. No one can be saved by any other name than Christ’s name” (see Acts 4:10–12).
The rulers sat stunned. “Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were uneducated and untrained men, they marveled. And they realized that they had been with Jesus” (Acts 4:13). What was the mark that distinguished Peter and John? It was the presence of Jesus. They had Christ’s own likeness and Spirit.
Those who spend time with Jesus can’t get enough of him. Their hearts continually cry out to know the Master better and draw closer to him. Paul states, “To each one of us grace was given according to the measure of Christ’s gift” (Ephesians 4:7). What is this measure? It means a limited amount. In other words, we’ve all received a certain amount of the saving knowledge of Christ.
For some believers, this initial measure is all they ever desire. They want just enough of Jesus to escape judgment, to feel forgiven, to keep a good reputation and to endure an hour of church each Sunday. Such people are in “maintenance mode,” and they give Jesus only the bare requirements.
God has given you spiritual gifts not so you can maintain your life as it is! He wants you to be filled up with Christ’s Spirit. This is crucial because deceivers are coming to rob you of your faith. If you’re rooted in Christ and maturing in him, no deceptive doctrine will ever sway you. The only way to grow to such maturity, though, is by wanting more of Jesus until you are distinguished even to unbelievers by his mark.